What To Do First


“I have a collection. Now what do I do?”

You may have a collection of records or memorabilia. Maybe you have been gifted or willed a record or music memorabilia collection, and you are not a collector yourself. So, “now what do I do?”

DECIDE: Think about what you want to do with this collection.
Sell it? Donate it? Keep it and insure it?

MAKE A LIST. No matter what you decide to do with your collection, life will become easier if you create some kind of list. This does not have to be a massive endeavor. Keep it simple.
Watch: What Your Music Appraiser Needs

Or scroll down to see the example – How to Make a List

Here are some choices:

SELL: Small Collection It will be a lot easier to give a list to a record store owner instead of hauling boxes to them to look at. If you only have a few items, you can go to Discogs.com to see current sale prices. MAKE SURE that you are looking at the exact same version as your record; there are often many versions and variations. This advice is for the same when searching for comparisons on eBay.

SELL: Large Collection Make a list. Get an appraisal. Talk to your accountant to see if selling or making a donation would be best for your taxes.

DONATE to a University, Archive, or Museum: You will not be able to make a donation to these kinds of institutions without an appraisal, as a donation needs to be USPAP-compliant. This is not difficult. We guide you for all the forms as part of the appraisal process.
Watch: 3 Things for the IRS
NOTE: We can give you a general idea of the value of your donation. That way you can check with your tax accountant to see whether is it worth doing an appraisal. ****

INSURE: All too often, the idea of insuring our valuable collection does not occur to us until after we’ve experienced a loss. Contact your insurance company and make sure that they have an umbrella policy that can cover your record or music memorabilia items. Having the foresight now to insure these items avoids the disappointment and cost of replacement.


How getting an insurance appraisal will help you:

  1. Provide you with proof of the existence of your property and, importantly, its pre-existing condition in the event of a total loss.
  2. Facilitate your claim settlement process by providing detailed inventories, descriptions, and replacement costs for the items lost or damaged.

Loss? Damage? – If the damage has already happened and your collection is lost to a fire or some other catastrophe, it is still possible to do an appraisal and calculate the loss.
Watch: Insurance Coverage video or call us for more information.

How To Make A List Of Your Collection

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Sort by Format Sort the items you have into different categories. EX: LPs / 45s / 78s / CDs
  2. Separate by genres, or styles:
    Example: Take one format (LPs for example) and separate them into categories – Rock, Classical, Jazz, Latin, Country, R&B, etc.
  3. Do a rough count of each category:
    Example: LPs – Jazz – 350 / 45s – Rock – 125­­­­

If you have time, make a more detailed list.
Here are 4 pieces of information to add:

  1. Band or Artist’s name (Last name, first name)
  2. Title of the Album: (or Song Title if it’s a 45 or 78)
  3. Record Company Name
  4. Catalog Number: Found on corner of front cover or on the spine.


You can email me at – Braitman@musicappraisals.com for more information.