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A Dealer's Note on Selling Blue Note Originals

Posted on October 24 2016

Selling used vinyl online is a pretty great gig. Loads of interesting records pass through your hands, you're constantly discovering new music, and you scoop a few gems for your personal collection every now and them.

However, there are a few drawbacks. Chief among them is that your job is to sell all these wonderful slabs of vinyl instead of keeping them! But a close second is that you have to convince people across the internet that your grading system is as accurate as theirs.

We get it.

We buy records from online strangers, too. But there is a particularly demanding group of buyers out there that we want to take a moment to highlight. We're talking about the Original Blue Note Record Collectors.


We've happily dealt with a number of them ourselves, so we thought it might be nice to pull together a little tip sheet to help any of you who may one day decide to sell your Blue Note originals. 

Here are 12 questions you will likely be asked when selling original Blue Note records. 

      1. Is this an original Mono?
      2. Follow up: Are you sure?
      3. Is there an "ear" in the dead wax?
      4. Does the label display the 767 Lexington address, the 47 West 63rd St New York 23 address, show no street address but read "New York USA," or does it read "A Division of Liberty Records, Inc" where the address might be? 
      5. Do the letters "INC" appear after "Blue Note Records"? 
      6. Can you estimate the number of hours of direct sunlight the jacket has been exposed to?
      7. Does the stamp in the dead wax read "RVG" or "Rudy Van Gelder"? 
      8. Would you mind if the Van Gelder estate came by to swab the dead wax for RVG's DNA?  
      9. Could you please tell me the actual weight of the record in grams?
      10. About that "RVG" in the dead wax - is it hand etched or stamped?
      11. Tell me, can you feel the spectral presence of Rudy Van Gelder when you cue up the record?
      12. Is it Deep Groove?
      13. Finally, will you take half of what you're asking and hand deliver the record to me in a steel briefcase handcuffed to your wrist?

Just playing! We've got a few original Blue Note and other first press jazz records and know just incredible they sound. Well worth the hunt to find an original, and well worth taking the time to read London Jazz Collector's guide to identifying them.  

Christina Bottego