Whether you’re just getting into the hobby or have been doing it for many years, you should know that anyone is likely to make mistakes while collecting. To help you avoid some of these situations, here are a few examples of what not to do when collecting records.
One of the worst things you can do as a collector is to neglect taking care of your records. Given the care they need, your records will last much longer. For one, keep them in a protective sleeve. Don’t leave them out of their sleeves or jackets longer than you have to. And don’t just drop the records back into these cases. Gently slide them in and out when you’re ready to play them.
After you’ve listened to your record, never try picking it up while it’s still spinning. Wait for the platter to come to a full stop before taking it off of your record player. Picking it up while it’s still spinning will scratch up the record and make it lose its quality.
Anytime you’re handling the record, avoid touching it right on the grooved parts. Slip a finger into the hole in the middle, or hold it by the outer edges. The oils from your fingers will transfer to the record, damaging it in the process.
If your record does get a little dirty, you can clean it, but make sure you use a cleaner that’s meant for cleaning records. Using another type of cleaner will damage your record and keep you from enjoying it as long.
Using a Low-Quality Record Player
When you collect records, it’s not just about buying them and then storing them away forever. Not investing in a quality player is one of the big vinyl record collecting mistakes.
A low-quality player could scratch or warp your records. After that, they’ll never be the same again. Avoid those problems by buying a high-quality player, which will keep your records in good shape and give you a great sound.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a good record player, but you shouldn’t buy the cheapest one you can find. As a collector, a few hundred dollars is a good ballpark for investing in a great record player. And if you ever need to replace components on the player, make sure you go to a professional and have them use quality pieces as the replacements.
There are two sides to the mistaken value coin. On one, you overpay for a record. On the other, you think something in your collection is worth a lot more than it really is. Do your research to know how much to spend on a particular record and see what a fair price is if you plan to resell or trade them. Just because you think you know an item’s value doesn’t mean you’re right, even if you’ve been collecting a long time.