How to Appraise and Sell An "Introducing The Beatles" Record

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Things You'll Need

  • Beatles record
  • Price guide

When people hear about prices that Vee-Jay Records' "Introducing The Beatles" command at auction, they may think they will have enough for a nice trust fund. But most will be disappointed. The first Beatles album released in the United States, "Introducing the Beatles" was caught in a gray area before the Beatles moved to Capitol records. Because of an injunction and court ruling, two songs -- "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" -- were on the first version of "Introducing the Beatles," released in January 1964. But the songs were left off a later press, replaced with "Ask Me Why" and "Please Please Me." To add to the confusion, some versions of the later pressing -- released in February 1964 -- were sold in album covers of the earlier version. Beatles collector sites speculate that "Introducing the Beatles" is the most counterfeited of the Fab Four's records.

Look at the record's label. If the spindle hole separates the title of the record from the Beatles' name, it's a counterfeit. Not all copies with the words above the hole are authentic, but all copies with words separated are counterfeit. If your album passes this first test, note which type of logo and label you have, because this information will influence its value.

Check the back of the album cover. There are four versions of this jacket, described in the market thus: an ad-back, blank back and two types of song-titles backs, one with "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" and another with "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why." The most common authentic version of this record has the latter song titles cover and a label on the record with a color band and a Vee-Jay Records "brackets" logo.

Examine the condition of the record and the cover. Scuffs, scratches, tears, dings and audible pops and clicks greatly reduce the value of a record. The reason why near-mint Beatles records sell for high prices is that most enthusiastic young Beatlemaniacs played their records -- and played them. The newer it looks and sounds, the higher a record's potential value.

Check whether the record is listed as stereo or mono. Approximately 1.4 million copies of "Introducing the Beatles" were pressed, but only about 3 percent were in stereo. The rare stereo copies are the most likely to be counterfeits.

Consult resources. If the record you have is in very good condition or better and appears to be authentic, consult a price guide such as "Goldmine" magazine's "Standard Catalog Of American Records 1950-1975" for pricing ranges.


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