We Buy Records
We know selling your collection can be a difficult process. That's why we strive to offer the most informative, personal, fair and thorough examination of your collection.
With 40 years of buying under our belt, we've bought out radio stations like CHUM, York U radio, UofT Mississauga radio, and Ryerson radio, as well as countless former label employees.
Unlike other stores that say they'll pay half of what they'll sell it for, we at Kops don't believe in such blanket policies. Instead, we look at each record and will pay upwards of 2/3rds on items, or even carry it on consignment to sell on your behalf.
We buy at our Danforth & Oshawa locations - where parking actually exists.
Danforth: We buy Wed-Sun 11-5 (please call ahead so Martin/Nick know to expect you).
Oshawa: We buy on Fridays ONLY 11-6. One of Nick or Martin is there every Friday and they are always happy to look at your collection. Please call ahead to let staff know you are on your way; it makes viewing your collection a painless process.
The question then is: "How should I go about dealing with my collection?"
Below we've given a slightly wordy, but helpful FAQ broken up into sections:
Evaluating Your Collection
Q: I hear records are making a comeback! My parents must be sitting on a gold mine, aren't they?
A: Records are like collectable sports cards. There are hundreds of millions of them around, but of those hundreds of millions, people either want to buy a brand new booster pack (like they buy a brand new Radiohead release), or they're on the hunt for that Wayne Gretzky on O-Pee-Chee (like they're looking for the rare Beatles Butcher Cover). There's not much middle ground sadly. Tens of millions of ABBA records have been made (and continue to be made) and though the music is great, they're in every collection, and are quite common. Just like with hockey cards, it's about: 1) The title first (Led Zeppelin, for example), 2) The pressing (UK), and then 3) the condition (Near Mint).
More than anything, we just want to make sure you're in the right mindset when it comes to records and their value.
Q: I want to sell my own/siblings/parents/children/relative/friend's record collection, what are some of the pitfalls I should avoid? What should I know?
A: First and foremost try to keep your collection whole. Selling at a garage sale/yard sale may seem successful at first, however in actuality, your most valuable items are getting picked clean, and the less valuable items are getting left over. The end result will be trying to shop around a collection of leftover items that most stores will refuse, and your items that did have a value will have gone for far less than they could have. When we purchase a collection, we separate it into piles, so you can see what's valuable and why.
The second pitfall is selling the records you "don't want" from your collection, meaning (for example), I want to keep my David Bowie, but I'll sell my Yes albums. You'll be disappointed to learn that the items you want to get rid of are the same items other collectors want to get rid of, and the ones you want to keep are the ones that have a value (usually).
Finally, while we love the enthusiasm shown by people who look up their albums online, or want to list them all in an Excel file, it's best asking us first, as, after 40 years, we tend not to need lists. Nick and Martin can size up a collection in 10 minutes.
It's also important to remember that if you're going to try and look your albums up online to self-appraise them, look at what it last SOLD for, not what someone is hoping to get for it, as anyone can put any price on an item. What's important is what someone has PAID for it. eBay has a nifty "sold listings" feature you can use.
Also note: if you're using Discogs to look up albums to go by 'Sold' listings too. Remember to keep in mind: 1) if it hasn't sold for a while, that means that the listed prices are too high, 2) how many people want it vs have it 3) how many copies are for sale (meaning how common it is).
At the end of the day though, you have to be comfortable with your decision to sell, so if there's any way we can ease the process, don't be afraid to ask!
Selling Your Collection
Q: How much will you give me for my records? $1 a piece? $2 a piece?
A: Since many records have different pressings/variants/misprints, it would be unfair to you to give a quote without looking at your record collection in person. Our motto is "What you think has value usually doesn't, and what you don't think has value usually does". For example, one word makes this Zeppelin album worth 9x as much, and do you recognize this Beatles album cover? Probably not, as it was recalled after only a short run, and can be hiding in plain sight, as it was hastily stickered over with the "Trunk" cover we know today!
In sum, there are too many variants in a record to offer a price over the phone or via e-mail. In person is always the best bet!
Q: Is it true you buy everything? Are there things you don't buy?
A: We do buy almost everything, but there are a few things we don't buy/can't offer much for:
We sadly can't offer much for Classical (give us a call anyway, as we still may be interested).
Although old and interesting, we don't buy most 78s. If you have 78s to sell, feel free to let us know, as there are some rare ones with value, but most aren't in Toronto.
We also can't offer much for Pop/MoR artists, like Nana Mouskouri, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Anne Murray, Arthur Fiedler, and other artists in the Pop category. These albums were extremely popular in their day, and therefore there are millions of copies out there. The problem is, more people are looking to get rid of their Anne Murray records than are looking to buy them, and so we can't offer anything for them other than the promise of finding them a good home.
A final note, while the condition is critical, for us the title is the most important, so don't panic if your records are well loved, let us worry about the condition! We've heard people say they threw a record out because the condition was bad... Don't! record collectors will buy a record even if it's chipped or cracked if it's the right title!
Delivering Your Collection
Q: I don't have a car / I live 30 minutes or more outside of Toronto / I have a car, but as a septuagenarian, I don't have the mobility to lug around my collection. Can you come to me?
A: Of course, however, whether we can come to you or not is based on how many records you have, what kind of collection it is, how far you are, and the titles/condition. If you're unsure, just ask.
Q: I live in Ajax/Whitby/Oshawa. Do I really have to drive all the way downtown?
A: Nope! As stated above, one of Nick or Martin is at our Oshawa store during store hours and would be happy to look at your collection.
Q: There are over 50 record stores in Toronto and the GTA, all offering to buy my used! How do I know to pick Kops???
A: We're a family store; we've been buying and selling since 1976, and believe strongly in transparency. Martin himself has been buying and selling since 1965! We've got the knowledge, the background, and the expertise to quickly and easily assess your collection
Hopefully, you've made it this far down! Our stores pride themselves on education and customer service, so ask any questions you have!
For more information, to place special orders and to set up appointments, fill out the form below, or give us a call at Danforth any day between 11-6, at (647) 347-0095 and ask for Martin or Nick.
And most importantly: There's no such thing as stupid/silly questions! We'll answer any you may have (Just check your spam folder first!)