The Price of Picture Sleeves

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nightsblood
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The Price of Picture Sleeves

Post#1 » Mon May 26, 2008 6:34 pm

Random observation: Over the years i've noticed that most people will only pay a fraction of a record's normal price if it's missing the picture sleeve. This even applies to releases for which not all the copies had a picture sleeve in the first place (e.g., 500 were pressed but only 250 sleeves were made). I understand wanting the sleeve if one was made, but I'm always surprised at the price difference between sleeved and unsleeved copies. I've seen several singles/EPs that will bring in the $500 range with a sleeve, but not even come close to $100 w/o the sleeve. It's as though people are really buying the picture sleeve and the record- the part that actually contains the music- is an afterthought. Does this seem kind of odd to anyone besides me? The same logic applies to numbered pressings where people will pay more for certain numbers than others. #1/1000 is no different from #363/1000 but copy #1 will sell for a lot more.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

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tomas
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Post#2 » Mon May 26, 2008 6:55 pm

Imagine what 666/1000 will sell for!!!! 8)

I think the cover is a very important part of the record. When playing the record, I constantly pick up the cover to look at the band pics, to read some lyrics, or just stare at the cover.
When buying a rare record, it has to be complete, and anything that is lacking will take down the price. But I agree that an 80% difference is a lot. One of the explanations might be that die-hard collectors sometimes just like owning an album, instead of listening to it. So sometimes the music is not as imporant as the fact that they own it.

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nightsblood
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Post#3 » Mon May 26, 2008 7:12 pm

Good point about collectors; some don't ever play the records. Years ago I bought a collectible Mercyful Fate vinyl from someone and he was flabbergasted when I later told him that I had played it! :lol:
You're also right that the cover is an important part of an album, but is it really a $400 part of some singles? :) Especially when, in some cases, at least half the copies were issued without a picture sleeve in the first place? In those instances, unsleeved copies are not incomplete, they just don't have the 'extra' that the sleeved copies do. Nevertheless, most people will pay a lot less/are not interested in the unsleeved copy... they hold out to try and get a sleeved copy, even if it costs them hundreds of dollars more.
I understand going bonkers over the sleeve in some cases (if I ever buy the Marz 7" it WILL come with the awesome guitar-playing-alien picture sleeve!). Speaking as a small-time collector on a small-time budget, I can either 'settle' for an unsleeved copy OR simply forget about ever owning the record since the sleeved copies are usually out of my price range.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

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Nightlock
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Post#4 » Tue May 27, 2008 1:57 am

Probably just another obsessive feature of the human mind. Always wanting the best avalible version of the collectible. I think this argument is also kind of linked to that Die Hard argument and you'll probably also notice the people who don't care about picture sleeves so much don't care about die-hard versions. Also that "download vs. paying obscene amounts of money" argument also rises. I'll admit I like to get the best version available I'm sometimes willing to pay "obscene" amounts of money to do this I have no problem admitting it. Whatever makes someone happy.
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Into the night that you'll never remember"

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Keir
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Post#5 » Tue May 27, 2008 4:00 am

I totally agree with you nightsblood. What's nearly as mind-boggling is that a sleeve that could potentially add $400 to the price of a record would never sell for that much alone.

This phenomenon is also true in the video game collecting world. Games that are relatively common and cheap "loose" will sometimes sell for hundreds of dollars boxed.

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Keir
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Post#6 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:02 pm

Here's a good example: I recently bought the original Mythra 7" on Guardian, which was never released w/ pic sleeve, for $10. Not a top rarity or anything but the reissue goes for quite a bit more, presumably because it comes with a picture sleeve.

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doomedplanet
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Post#7 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:32 pm

the Mythra 7" on guardian is a different story, because it is not that rare, there are a lot of copies out there. great single nonetheless.

In the typical case, if the single is tough to find AT ALL with or without a picture sleeve it will be worth something but with the sleeve it is complete and should be worth many more times in mint condition than the same copy with no sleeve.

just to give you a similar comparison, I'll take a drastic example in the book world. I've heard of an high grade copy of the Dashiell Hammett MALTESE FALCON 1st edition hardcover from 1930 sell in the $50,000-$100,000 range (yes that is not a typo) but the same book, average copy with no jacket I have seen offered for $500 (I know because it was offered to me and I didn't want to spend that $500 on that book).

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nightsblood
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Post#8 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:12 pm

Rob- what about cases where all copies were not issued with a sleeve. E.g., supposedly only about half the copies of the Riccochet 7" came with a sleeve in the first place. Thus, an unsleeved copy in not incomplete, yet sells for 1/10 the price of a sleeved copy. Also, what about singles that only had promo sleeves, such as the Reincarnate single or Triarchy EP? Sleeveless copies of those aren't incomplete, but they get relatively little attention b/c everyone wants to hold out for a copy with the promo sleeve.
Dust jackets/1st editoins of books do indeed bring some crazy prices.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

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doomedplanet
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Post#9 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:54 pm

yes when only part of the run came in a sleeve or was a promo sleeve then these are of course fare rarer and should be exceedingly higher priced. They won't get less rare because not enough were made to meet demand + since these releases (Ricochet for example) are close to 30 years old it makes them even harder to find good examples. I wouldn't say people hold out for the 2nd Triarchy single (I never did), just that the sleeve is 100x harder to find so should be much more expensive.

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AxeCrazy
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Post#10 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:27 pm

You need to be careful of rare picture sleeves. The difference in price has caused people to create bootleg sleeves. I know a certain unscrupulous record dealer talked about creating fake sleeves in cases where none existed just so he could charge extra money. For example, I think some sleeves for Raw Deal (Kent) showed up, but I am pretty sure they are fake. I've also seen photos of an alleged Lotus Cruise sleeve, but I contacted the band myself, and it never had a PS.

I also know that Vinyl Tap reprinted the picture sleeve to the Warrior EP (Don't Let It Show). The original sleeve is on really thin paper and is very rare.

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JonahQuizz
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Post#11 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:59 am

A record that is missing some part will never feel complete in my collection. You have it but still it feels incomplete. It's the same with inserts, if the original record comes with an insert it feels incomplete if this isn't there.

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nightsblood
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Post#12 » Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:08 am

JQ- if you had the Reincarnate 7"or the Triarchy EP, would you consider it incomplete if you did not have the pic sleeve, even though the sleeve was only for promo copies?

Axe- yeah, I've seen that Lotus Cruise sleeve too and it's definitely not original. Never heard of a sleeve for Raw Deal either.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

St. Erben
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Post#13 » Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:38 pm

On the other hand, people won't pay that much for a picture sleeve without a record either, right?

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JonahQuizz
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Post#14 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:56 am

nightsblood wrote:JQ- if you had the Reincarnate 7"or the Triarchy EP, would you consider it incomplete if you did not have the pic sleeve, even though the sleeve was only for promo copies?

Axe- yeah, I've seen that Lotus Cruise sleeve too and it's definitely not original. Never heard of a sleeve for Raw Deal either.
I would definitely rather have the picture sleeve but in that case it's not as crystal clear. Same with Mythra, it sure looks better with a ps but the original is always fun to have as well.

Here's something else that I've noticed. When you see records that is available in two different versions where one is supposed to be more rare than the other it's almost always the "more rare" version that is up for sale. Let's take Vixen - Made in Hawaii in example, I have seen the blue vinyl for sale 4-5 times the last few months but I haven't seen the black vinyl one single time even though it's supposed to be less rare.

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Keir
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Post#15 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:20 pm

St. Erben wrote:On the other hand, people won't pay that much for a picture sleeve without a record either, right?
Right, and here's proof.

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