The 7 Types Of Record Collectors

Published Categorized as Vinyl 101

What kind of record collector are you? What kind of record collectors are your friends? Want a handy way to find out?

Then come on in and compare these traits and symptoms against your record-collecting friends.

Table of Contents

The 7 Types Of Record Collectors

1. Lifer

This is the kind of collector whose vinyl records are their prized possessions. Each vinyl record occupies a pride of place in the record collection and their hearts.

This kind of collector never stopped record collecting and has been buying, selling, and trading records since the first era of vinyl right up to the present.

This kind of collector will often seek out rare records, not for the way these records sounded but rather for the rarity itself. For such a collector, the hunt is often more gratifying than its eventual end.

2. Obsessive

These kinds of record collectors will have a personal collection that is more like what you might find in record stores. They will collect just about anything they can get their hands on, sometimes even stuff that does not particularly interest them.

Indeed, even if, say, they do not have a record player amply suited for it, they will still purchase some shellac records for the sheer kick of it.

They will know records worth of old records and original vinyl, but more importantly, they will make it a point of concern to have collected it before you.

3. Completist

Such a collector will compulsively ‘need’ to own the entire catalog of a certain artist, whether they actually want to or not. This type of collector is most often associated with the symptoms and traits of OCD.

The inability to complete certain parameters of a catalog will often lead to a great depression which can only be left behind by the smell of hot wax.

Let the long play lie, and let the picture sleeves swim. Albums were meant to be heard and not necessarily collected. Music is music, and the album is an album.

4. Audiophile

This is the kind of collector that is far more interested in the sound of a record. This does not necessarily equate to someone who listens closely to the music contained on an album, though. Rather, this is someone more focused on the quality and fidelity of a recording and how this reflects their usually rather illustriously decked-out home stereo system with a kit constantly used to clean the stylus.

For such a collector, it is all in the tiny details, sometimes to the point where they can’t zoom out long enough to look at the bigger picture and realize that their wife, kids, family, and friends have all left them long ago.

5. Casual

In stark contrast to these more neurodivergent types of collectors, we have a kind that is going to be far more representative of the average collector.

This is the kind of collector who simply buys a handful of their favorite records, maybe starting with a few a year. Some of them will be old favorites, and some will be more representative of their current listening habits.

Of all the types of record collectors listed here, this is definitely the sanest of the bunch – i.e. the person who does not spend all their time collecting or thinking about records.

6. Limited Edition

Somewhere amongst all those listed above is the limited edition collector, someone who hankers only for the extremely rare and limited edition copies of albums.

Much like the completist, there is often little to no consideration paid to the fact that such a collector might already have a copy (or several) of the album in question. If it is a version they do not already have that is somewhat rare or limited in pressings, then they will have to have it at all costs.

This is a sickness, and it needs to be treated at the source.

7. Nostalgist

This kind of collector is the one that brought records back from the dead during the vinyl revival. This is a person that is usually on the younger side of adulthood, exploring vinyl and audiophilia as a means to express themselves.

This has typically come about as a way to explore nostalgia as a personality trait, using it to burrow out a nook in the past away from the horrors and responsibilities of the present day. You will see plenty of these kinds of collectors orbiting your local Urban Outfitters.

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you have gleaned some truth in all of this. Perhaps you can now see your friends for what they are, or perhaps you have seen yourself in far too many of the types of record collectors here arrayed to even consider yourself a human anymore.

FAQs Record Collectors

How do I find out what my vinyl records are worth?

The best way to find out the worth of your records is to do some specific research with a website like Discogs, which provides a wealthy and elaborate database of all the records in circulation today.

What old records are worth money?

This remains to be seen, meaning you will have to do some research of your own if you wish to find out. Some records, like, say, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, is legendary and highly revered but, owing to how popular the album is, are not really worth much.

How do I sell my old record collection?

The best way to do so is to properly catalog the entire collection onto a service like Discogs, allowing you to not only sort through your collection in one fell swoop but also to check your records and pressings against the prices of the same records currently on the market. This is easily the best online vinyl store, though there are others worth trying.

Where can I sell records for the most money?

This will depend very much on the records you are selling, though Discogs is a great place to start, even if only purely from the viewpoint of getting the best perspective on the kind of prices you can ask for.

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


  1. I have a lot of customized sets of records in albums. I really don’t know how old they are but I don’t think they are vinyl. I stumped. Just don’t want to put them in the landfill.

    1. Hey there Jane,

      Hope this finds you well. While I’m not exactly sure what you are referring to, I have no doubt that your local record store would be able to help. Diagnosing such things gets quite difficult without pictures as language is an inherently subjective thing. Taking it to your local record store you will get to know what exactly you have on your hands, how much it might be worth, and, thus, whether or not it is worth selling or not.

      Hope this has been of help, Jane.


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