78 RPM Records Value: Price Guide

Published Categorized as Vinyl Buyer Guides

Looking to sell any 78 rpm records? What is the value of a 78 rpm record?

Let’s find out, shall we?

Table of Contents

What are 78 RPM Records Worth?

There were many hundreds of millions of 78 RPM records produced during the early 20th Century. Thus, it is quite unusual to find ANY 78 record that sells for more than a couple of dollars in the wholesale market. In fact, in most cases, they are bought and sold at auctions and yard sales by the box load, at very low prices.

There are, of course, rarer ones out there, but these were mass-produced just like all other vinyl media at the time.


This is arguably the most important part of buying and selling records – if you have an older record in good condition, then that instantly ups the ante in terms of the price you can command for it.

You may, for example, find 78rpm records priced for $10 at record shows. In most instances, the sellers purchased crates (or truckloads) of them from someone for less than $1.00 each, threw out the tarnished ones, sorted them, cleaned them up, graded them, and then marketed them at a retail level.

Sellers obviously have to make some money out of the deal, but don’t expect yourself to get $10.00 each for the 78 rpm records that you might have lying in your attic

Records that have some serious value would include very early (pre-1905) records, picture discs, records in brand-new (unplayed) condition, or an occasional rare release. Online vinyl stores like Discogs are a great place to investigate your releases in this way.

Where to Sell 78 RPM Records

You can buy and sell these types of records just about anywhere you might otherwise buy and sell records, though you might like to specify your interest at a certain point.

A website like Old 78s, for example, is a place dedicated to the procuring of 78 rpm records. Specifically, this service seeks to take 78 rpm records off your hands.

Facebook and Craigslist are also worthy contenders as people with more niche and specific interests can be more easily sought out through services like this.

Of course, if you would rather not do the heavy lifting of listing and selling individual records yourself, you can either sell in bulk or enlist the help of a service that does it for you (for a fee, of course).

One such site is 2ndMarkets.com owned by 2nd Markets Corporation of Chattanooga, a relatively affordable service that can get the job done quickly.

Rare 78 RPM Records

Some 78-rpm records are worth more than others, right?

1. “3 O’Clock in the Morning” b/w “Waltz Me to Sleep” by David Sheppard

Value: $14.00

2. “The Night That We Met in a Blackout” b/w “Who is That Man” by Tommy Handley

Value: $13.00

3. “Maple on the Hill” b/w “Take the News to Mother” by the Callahan Brothers

Value: $13.10

4. “Malaguena” b/w “La Cathedrale Engloutie” by Olga Samaroff

Value: $13.10

5. “Mother Still Prays” b/w “He Took a White Rose” by the Country Carter Family

Value: $14.15

6. “Take Up the Cross” b/w “Row Us Over Tide” by the Country Blue Sky Boys

Value: $13.64

7. “Red Cross Store” b/w “You’re Gonna Need My Help” by Walter Roland

Value: $13.92

8. “I’m Walkin” b/w “A Teenager’s Romance” by Ricky Nelson

Value: $13.72

9. “In The Pines” b/w “Going Back to Jericho” by Dock Walsh

Value: $13.56

10. “For My Baby” b/w “The Man I Love” by Leo Reisman & Fred Rich

Value: $13.90

11. “Bring Back My Blue Eyed Sweetheart” b/w “Brown’s Ferry Blues” by the Philyaw Brothers

Value: $14.20

12. “La Grimas Negras” b/w “Sueno Infeliz” by Trio Matamoros

Value: $13.49

13. “I Can’t Make Her Happy” b/w “Heartbroken” by the Ipana Troubadours

Value: $12.99

14. “Love Me Tender” b/w “Anyway You Want Me” by Elvis Presley

Value: $14.09

15. “Shake It” b/w “I Won’t Be Your Fool No More” by Johnny Otis

Value: $14.45

What are 78 RPM Records?

For those who don’t know, there were once only 78s – 78 rpm records – but now we more commonly see 33s and 45s. Why is it that these vinyl record types now reign supreme?

Emile Berliner created a gramophone that could record and play music on flat discs, the next generation of cylindrical records that Thomas Edison used to record his voice. At first, the size and the speed of the discs had quite a bit of range, though in 1910 this was standardized to 78 rpm.

Since 78 rpm records were only 10-12 inches, they only had the ability to record about three to five minutes of music per side.

They were also made out of shellac, a material created with a natural resin that the female lac bugs leave behind on trees. The resin is combined with alcohol, which dissolves it and is reformed into shellac. This material can easily be scratched, which means that cutting the grooves to create music was simple. Shellac also resists moisture, so this new record type was straightforward to store, though it was of course susceptible to scratches over time.

The material was heavier, with high mineral content that made surface noise when the stylus played the record, and the discs were also more rigid, so dropping them often resulted in a shattered disc.

Proper vinyl LPs came along in 1948. Also known as 33s, these could hold about 60 minutes of music on both sides combined, which means that an entire album could be listened to without switching discs.

These records were also the first to have microgrooves, grooves that are four times smaller than what you’d find on the 78 rpm record. 45 rpm records (7-inch singles) were then invented to fit inside jukeboxes because they take up less space and hold more music than 78 rpm records.

Thus, it shouldn’t be hard to see how the 78 rpm record was gradually superseded by alternative technology.

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to enter back into the world.

FAQs 78 RPM Records Value

Are 78 RPM records of any value?

Some, yes, but they are for the most part another obsolete technology just waiting for hipsters to hop onto some sort of bandwagon about.

Does anybody buy old 78 records?

Though there are a few services online that offer to buy old 78 rpm records, they are for the most part undesirable and not really worth all that much.

How do I know if my records are worth money?

The best and most efficient way to check a record’s worth is by using a site like Discogs.

Are Elvis’s 78 records worth anything?

More than most other 78 rpm records, yes, but still not all that much.

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *