Sealed records or unsealed records?

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Here's a question that's been floating around my head for awhile. If you are looking for a particular limited edition audiophile record which is out of print and out of stock at the record stores and you find two available on the secondary market. One is factory sealed and the other states that it was opened, inspected, ultrasonicly clean, played once and is a perfect copy. Both are the same price from reputable sellers. Which one would you buy? The reason I ask is because I see many sealed records listed saying presumed mint, or no returns. Over the years I've bought quite a few of these types of records new from big name sources and there were defects. The big names always made good on them, but a secondary seller may not.
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Comments

  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,225
    edited December 2021
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    well... if my goal were to purchase the record to play (i.e., to enjoy it myself) I would probably buy an open (used) copy. It should be cheaper than a sealed copy -- at least if the album/release is at all collectible.
    There's also that "The devil you know vs. the devil you don't" >:) thing. The sealed album is a bit of a pig in a poke. E.g., could be warped or have other issues. If it's current production from a reputable vendor, it should be (could be?!) returnable. Otherwise -- it may be an expensive place mat.
    Also -- at least back in the day, some larger record shops had heat-sealers on the premises. It was said ;) that the less scrupulous ones might take a returned album, reseal it, and resell it as new. Some folks are way less picky than others when it comes to the quality of a purchased item... and some folks are way less confrontational about returning things, even if they are truly defective. :|

    Those are my fairly un-modern perspectives, FWIW.
    I am sure others have more up-to-date counsel, informed by the insanity of the current vinyls :# market.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,410
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    I’d go with the one that was opened, checked, and cleaned if it a regular LP. Depending on how old it is the sealed copy may be warped from improper storage in the old shrink wrap. When referring to “audiophile” I assume it’s something like MoFi. It is less likely those are bad because some people just buy more than one copy when those come out, store them properly, and sell their sealed extra a bit later for triple or more than what they paid.
  • gudnoyez
    gudnoyez Posts: 8,078
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    Emlyn wrote: »
    I’d go with the one that was opened, checked, and cleaned if it a regular LP. Depending on how old it is the sealed copy may be warped from improper storage in the old shrink wrap. When referring to “audiophile” I assume it’s something like MoFi. It is less likely those are bad because some people just buy more than one copy when those come out, store them properly, and sell their sealed extra a bit later for triple or more than what they paid.

    Agree older ones originally sealed have a good chance of being warped, happend to me a time or two.
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  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,225
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    ...'specially modern production. :(
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,478
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    Well since everyone else is saying go with used I'm going to say go with vintage sealed. Especially if it's a reputable dealer
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  • decal
    decal Posts: 3,205
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    Any record can be "factory sealed" . Buyer beware.
    If you can't hear a difference, don't waste your money.