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Goner Message Board / ???? / Selling a Robert Johnson 78-Is Ebay the best way to go?
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 4:56 pm
Dear Goners,
I recently bought a box of old records and came across a Robert Johnson 78. It's a VOCALION 78 w/ "Sweet Home Chicago" and "Walkin' Blues". I'd love to keep it but I'd rather have the $$$ right now. Is EBAY the best place for something like this or is there a place where hardcore 78 collectors get together? I can't seem to find anything on EBAY except reissues.
Help me please,
Sweet Home Mojave
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 5:06 pm
It might be worthwhile to check with the dude who does the 78rpm auctions over at bluesworld.com. (He's got an auction up now) I think he takes stuff on consignment, which might not get you the $$$ you want and would definitely be a slower process, but he might be able to give you an idea of how much to expect.

Somebody sold a Robert Johnson test pressing recently on Ebay and I was kind of surprised how "cheap" it went for --- I think it was a couple hundred bucks. A couple Skip James 78s in good shape sold for just over a hundred each.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 5:12 pm
It depends on the state of the disc if it's in mint condition you'll get a couple of $1000 for it but even if it's in a worse shape it's still a Robert Johnson the holliest of 78's.....make some good foto's and a good decription and sell it on eBay, you'll get the best deal. I,ve been selling and buying old 78 for years. Don't go to dealers you'll get a lot less.

Ps: Where the hell did you find this record, these discs don't get found anymore for but once in like 10 years or so
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 5:16 pm
And those test pressings are vinyl test pressings from later years and not worth anywhere near an original, a 30's Skip James record will be worth more than a Robert Johnson if in good shape.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 5:30 pm
"...Where the hell did you find this record, these discs don't get found anymore for but once in like 10 years or so..."

I stopped at a garage sale and an 50ish year old woman was kind of pulling stuff out of her garage as she was selling. Of course, I noticed the boxes of records that she hadn't got to yet, which she informed me were her New York father's collection. It was alot of Jazz and Hebrew/Yiddish stuff. While digging through I noticed that some of the LP sleeves had 78's stuffed into them. She offered me $20.00 for both boxes and I took them and hurried to the garage and started digging. From the collection, I think that this lady's dad was a New York, Beatnik, Jazz and Blues Hippster and must have bought these 78 records in the late 50's/early 60's when this stuff was alot cheaper and easier to come by. I have some Bessie Smith too from the same box.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 5:39 pm
A friend of mine has been trying to unload a more desirable Johnson title for some time. No one wants to offer what it's worth. The record market is a little weak right now. My 2 cents. A dealer will offer much less, but he risks more as the seller and since I rarely pay much it's no biggie to split the dough. Let him worry about it when it gets cracked in shipping, either when you mail it to the buyer or when he mails it back because it was not accurately described. 78 collectors are PICKY! I know a couple guys who would treat you fairly if you want to contact me for info. On the other hand, if you sell it yourself get INSURANCE. And last of all, consider holding on to it until record collecting hits a peak again.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 5:43 pm
Also, if you've never sold on ebay, you will not get the big money because all the big money spenders are skiddish about getting ripped off. I f you know someone who sells regularly consider having them sell it for a %. Make sure they have good feedback.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 5:52 pm
Damn Guys, thanks for the feed back so far. I don't know anything about SELLING records. I've only bought what I plan on keeping, but this time it was a little different. I'm in no rush to sell this but I DO shutter at the thought of ALL the 78's that I've cracked and broken over the years while drunkenly playing DJ and stacking them carelessly. I'm shaking right.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:04 pm
I suggest you EMBALM this disc, toot sweet!
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:20 pm
If you want/need money, I'd like to buy one of those Haunted George live cds I read about elsewhere on this board.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:23 pm
This one:
It's a museum piece!!!
Read this too:
The songs are from his first recording session and most pressing orders for Robert Johnson 78s were between 40 and 500 for the 75 cent Vocalion first release 78 discs.
Comparative: the first black blues-hit, Crazy blues of Mammy Smith, sold alone in November 1920, the first month after publication, 75,000 times, The first success disc of Bessie Smith, Down Hearted Woman from the year 1923, reached a sale of 750,000 copies.
If it's in good shape it should be worth between $3000-$6000.
Good luck!!!
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:30 pm
"...If it's in good shape it should be worth between $3000-$6000..."

It's got a chip like 78 get when you drop them, but it doesn't go into the grooves. It's very playable.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:31 pm
"...I'd like to buy one of those Haunted George live cds I read about elsewhere on this board...."

Send me your address and I'll send you one.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:37 pm
And I don't know if you can read Deutsch, but you might be able to understand this:
"Eine Auktion von 'Good Rockin Tonight' in Newport Beach/California brachte für 5 Johnson-78er über $18,500: $5,500 für Hell Hound On My Trail / From Four Until Late (Vocalion 03623), $4,400 für Stones In My Passway / I'm A Steady Rollin Man (Vocalion 03723), $2,970 für I Believe I'll Dust My Broom / Dead Shrimp Blues (Vocalion 03475), $2,860 für Me And The Devil Blues / Little Queen Of Spades (Vocalion 04108) und $2,915 für 32-20 Blues / Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Oriole 7-04-60)"
I guess yours has the cat.no. 03601, so that means it's one of his first releases. The Oriole 78's were 25 cent re-releases at a later time.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:43 pm
Das ist ein würziger Hotdog!!
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:54 pm
Ever sold a hotdog on ebay? Be carefull with that wurst!
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:56 pm
I'll take that 78 off of your hands for $7 and keep you abreast of how the eBaying goes.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 6:59 pm
Sounds fair to me...
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 7:04 pm
Don't front like I don't got dibs, H.G. Ne'erdowells!
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 7:16 pm
In my will it says that if anything happens to me you'll be the first one to get to dig through ALL the boxes and boxes of 25 cent records I've bought over the years.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 7:26 pm
Thanks! I look forward to your death!
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 7:26 pm
Not really.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 7:27 pm
I guess I'd better watch my back from now on...
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 7:31 pm
Good thing you got eyes the back of your head.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 9:12 pm
note to self: put "no early birds" in will.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 10:10 pm
Mr Haunted

The bad news here is, is that if you break this great rare record in shipment or something stupid like that YOU WILL GO TO HELL.

But the good news is that you will meet Mr Johnson in person.....so I've been told.
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 10:12 pm
Robert Johnson and hell.... I learned a couple summers ago that Boston concert promoter Don Law's father was the recording engineer on those Johnson tracks. Everyone in Boston calls Don Law the devil.... coincidence?
Posted: Sep 14, 2005 11:16 pm
"...The bad news here is, is that if you break this great rare record in shipment or something stupid like that YOU WILL GO TO HELL.
But the good news is that you will meet Mr Johnson in person.....so I've been told..."

Maybe he can teach me some HOT licks! Hey, I'm listening to it backwards now and it's freaking me out! The windows are starting to shake! The lights are flickering! All the animals in the house are foaming at the mouth and screaming! I gotta go!
Posted: Sep 15, 2005 1:54 am
All the animals in the house are foaming at the mouth and screaming!

The fucked up thing is, all those animals have been dead for ages.
Posted: Sep 15, 2005 9:58 am
what's in the museum George?
Posted: Sep 15, 2005 5:18 pm
"...what's in the museum George?..."

Well, I actually work in two museums. Durring the day I am at "The Antelope Valley Indian Museum". It's a Swiss-styled/Indian-styled chalet tucked away in rocky crags, built in the 1920's in an area of the Mojave desert that must have been extemely remote in it's day. It's full of American Indian artifacts, mostly from California/Mojave/Great Basin tribes, that were collected privatly around the turn of the century and into the twenties. The whole structure was built using existing matterials from the surrounding Mojave desert. Tables and cabinets are built from Joshua wood. Instead of moving huge boulders, the builder just built the room around them and later with a hammer and chisel fashioned it into a rock-chair. There are "Indain-styled" paintings of thunderbirds and totems on every beam and wall. It was a private residence until the 1970's when it was made into a museum. The second museum is were I spend my evenings: "The 'Haunted' George Odditorium and Museum of Natural History". My wife helps me with the curatorship and is currently looking for a grant from the Getty to take over some of the collection. They haven't yet returned our calls. This is one of the finest collections of cultural artifacts around and only rivaled by "The Shannon Bros. Museum" in Columbus, Ohio and "The Arthur House of Cutural History" in Spring Branch, Texas.
Posted: Sep 16, 2005 2:14 am

You don't need to be messin' around in them old records, now, hear? Just give that over to me and be on your way. Fella might get hurt messin' around with that. Come along, now.....
Posted: Sep 16, 2005 3:52 am
Haunted George is the fucking best. S.G.P. I can't wait until my next visit to Palmdale.
Posted: Sep 16, 2005 5:39 am
Man o mano, I wanna visit eastern cali next winter so e-mail me directions to the roost at bkondrak@yahoo.com.

Posted: Oct 21, 2005 2:04 am
Just got off the phone with Phast Phreddie Patterson. He said you should be able to get between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on the condition.
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