Thrill of the hunt: Vinyl predators can nab precious finds - Metro US

Thrill of the hunt: Vinyl predators can nab precious finds

Serious record collectors are hunters, often seen rummaging through thrift shop bins and garage sales, searching for the rarest game possible.

Toronto’s Akim Boldireff and Aaron Keele (The Record Guys) have found some super rare recordings over their careers, often being sold by folks with no idea of the record’s worth. You, the reader may have a small fortune in old records.

Boldireff and Keele want to appraise your collection at The Toronto Downtown Record Show this Sunday. They will be among 60 different vendors, staffed with experts. Getting several quotes on your collection has never been easier.

“People sell rarities because they don’t know what they’re worth,” explains Boldireff by phone. “In North York I found a $700 copy of the first Rush recording, the one on the old Moon Label, before the band had a record deal, with different cover art and mixing.

“It cost me a dollar,” he says happily.

That sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime find, but Boldireff assures me it’s not. “That far from my biggest discovery,” he says. “Part of the challenge for a collector is knowing what’s worth what. For example, many people don’t know Plastic Cloud, but this Canadian ’60s psychedelic group’s only record is worth a solid grand. I found it in Toronto, also for a buck.”

A rarity’s value depends on what a collector is willing to pay, which is partly to do with being a fan of a band as well as loving rare records. That’s why record shows like this one are so helpful: Different collectors offer different prices. Also, the needs of individual collectors change regularly over time.

“I just have about 10,000 records at home,” he says, “but I’ve been collecting for decades now, and so that’s just a fraction of what I’ve bought over the years. Collectors know their purchases are investments and can become cash quick if bills have to be paid.”

Obviously a collector can’t keep a copy of every record, which is why shows like these will always be a great opportunity for vinyl fiends. This is also where you can discover if you’re a real record hunter; capital C Collectors like the stalking part most of all.

“The chase is in often better than the catch,” says Boldireff, paraphrasing Mötorhead. The Toronto Downtown Record Show isn’t just a place for sweet deals; it’s a way to learn about the worth of your collection, or of that collection someone left in your basement.

The Toronto Downtown Record Show takes place @ The Estonian Banquet Hall, 958 Broadview Ave. on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. therecordguys.com

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