Records contain a serial number that is used to identify the listing price and true value of the album. The serial number is found toward the inside of the record, close to the label, and can be used in conjunction with directories or online search engines for tracking.
Once the record has been located in a directory, the next step is to determine how much wear and tear the record has received. Poor condition makes even the most valuable record significantly drop in value. In determining this condition, there are five standards: mint, near mint, very good, good and poor. This scale is determined by the condition of the actual record, the sleeve, ring wear from play and any sort of holes, scratches or light damage.
Experts recommend avoiding online auction sites as a determination of a record's true value. Not only is it difficult to self-determine the condition, online auction sites do not use the same standards of guidelines that directories and professional record dealers use when pricing. Details such as pressing runs, record histories and authenticity are all major factors in determining pricing. The serial number located on the vinyl is the first step down a path of multiple determining factors when it comes to value.