One way to get an idea of the value of old 78 Victor records is to use a price guide, such as the American Premium Record Guide by Les Docks. However, even the most comprehensive price guides only have information about moderately popular records or those in demand by collectors. Because of this and other factors, consulting an expert or collector is the best way to determine the value of old 78 Victor records.
Most 78 record price guides only contain information about records from specific genres of music that are popular with collectors. The majority of 78 record collectors only pay large sums for blues, country and jazz recordings, and these records fetch the highest prices. The rarest blues records only survive in extremely small numbers of copies, and they can sell for thousands of dollars. On the other hand, most 78 records were recordings of popular music acts from the day, meaning they were pressed in huge numbers and have very little value today.
Unlike many types of antiques, old 78 Victor records typically only change hands between individual collectors and not through auctions or dedicated retail outlets. This makes assigning a definitive market value to any particular record extremely difficult. While the values listed in price guides give a rough estimate, the actual dollar amount an individual collector may pay for the record can be substantially different.