A Thought Experiment

Ready? Of course you are.

Assume, given many priced below and above, therefore, an average price of $10 per item.

Include all items currently owned, as well as those you’ve sold off, given away, etc.

So the question is:

If you had back all of the money you’ve spent on your music collection in your lifetime, all in one go, today, how much money would you have?

Go! Drop a comment!


Myself? Let’s see… I know I bought my first tape when I was 10, and pretty much never looked back… switch to CD in high school… all these years of records and discs since… oh man… I could probably buy a nice mid-sized pick-up truck, brand new, right off the lot. Gotta be north of $35-40k. 

Damn, that’s sobering.


Posted on January 7, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 81 Comments.

  1. Oh, don’t go there, man. That way lies insanity. I once (many many years ago) worked out a sum for insurance purposes along the lines you suggest. It was sobering then…

    The only thing worse is working out how much you’ve spent on therapy.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Insanity? THAT’S MY MIDDLE NAME! Hahaha

      Insurance purposes, that’s a great idea. All of us with large collections should accurately document all of our collections (with catalogue numbers) in case of house fire or disaster. It’d be a LOT of work, but I’m pretty sure that the person who is sitting behind the desk at the insurance office where it’s their job to try to not pay you doesn’t give af.

      The complete list should also be stored off-site, even in your email, or on a thumb drive in the glove box, or kept at a firend’s, or in a fire box or SOMETHING.

      Pro tips from Bruce at Vinyl Connection, folks! PRO TIPS!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have started my list today, thanks to you!

      In a way, it is it’s own kind of therapy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is scary. I am thinking maybe $15,000-$20,000 over a 30+ year period. Possibly more, but I used eBay a lot and could get cds for under $5 each and in the early 2000’s I would buy a cd they it came out and would burn it and then sell it on ebay and get most of my money back. When kids came I had to get creative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, man. Kids take ALL the monies! Diapers and food and clothes and all the everything else. Hooboy. Of course, wouldn’t trade it for the world. Nope no way not a chance.

      I became the Master Of Bargain Shopping, even before kids, but definitely after!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Um, I will say $5000. I know that sounds modest, but there was a time….in 2000…when I wore a pirate patch to get some music…
    Now, I have google music so I can listen to pretty music anything without pulling out a cd.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I need to think about this one for a moment. Of course, I would need enough to buy the albums I truly wanted but if I had too much money, I’d be buying albums for the sake of buying them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I want to say around $10,000 (US). Does this include musical instruments?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. THis is a very, very difficult question! All my stuff was priced so varyingly. And I have sold so much over the years.

    Rough guess only — $100,000.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know a lot of yours are the special editions, and from far away lands (even ignoring the costs of shipping), so that would add to the average price, probably. But then yeah, all the freebies and cheaper discs might balance it out. I just said $10 as an average…

      Whew. That’s a sobering final number, though, isn’t it! Daaaaaaamn!

      Liked by 3 people

      • I read Rich’s answer and that that summed up my feelings perfectly.

        You also have to account for the CDs that are not here anymore because they’ve been upgraded. Hundreds upon hundreds of those.


        • Yeah, you’re constantly upgrading. The AAAA has seen benefit from this, for sure! 🙂

          I think when I set an average at $10, it was meant to take in even things like more expensive upgrades and removal of older copies… Spend $20 on an upgrade, give away a $10 disc… balance…

          Anyway, it’s probably impossible for any of us to put an exact number on any of it. And even if you tried, there’s inflation… I mean, I bought my fist tape in 1984…

          Ah well, it’s a fun mental exercise. I found that, if anything, it made me appreciate my collection even more!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Difficult question, would have to wrack my brains.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yikes, this is a scary question. I was fortunate to find a lot of CDs & LPs at low prices from used record stores over the years, but I’ve also paid full price on just as many titles. Of course I’ve worked in the music industry for 30+ years so I’ve gotten a lot of free items as well. Keeping in mind the 200+ box sets in my collection, which increases the total number of discs, my amount is probably in the $100,000 range.

    I’ve often thought about what my financial situation might be if I wasn’t obsessed with music, but the additional money would be offset by a very boring life, so I have no regrets.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wowzers, yup, your average price number might change a wee bit, but it sounds like things would balance out in that ballpark anyway…

      200 boxed sets? I bow to your superior collecting abilities, Master Rich!

      Oh totally, it wasn’t meant to make people think about all that money over the years and then have regrets. Who could regret a kick-ass record collection? It’s just a thought experiment in the reality of owning that collection. 🙂

      Bruce at Vinyl Connection had a good point with insurance in mind. Do you have your collection documented accurately in case of disaster? Not a bad idea, if you don’t!


  9. Neat/frightening experiment, I think I’m the 5-digit range!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. If you ask about smoker how much money do they spend daily on smoking


    • Yup, that’s an age-old, good one too. I remember in school, around Grade 5, our teacher did the math (in math class) showing how much it would cost to smoke a pack a day for a day, week, month, and year. It was pretty eye-opening.

      I wouldn’t tell anyone what to do with their lives, but if they asked me I’d tell them smoking is pretty damn silly (and dangerous) for all of the reasons we know too well already. A record collection, on the other hand, continues to give pleasure for years and won’t wreck your lungs or yellow your teeth!

      Thanks for your comment!


  11. I lost count after £100.


  12. I’m not playing. It’s frightening.


  13. Wow…you can buy a nice new truck! For me, maybe a used minivan (5-8000). I am cheap and have been patient enough to wait for sales or used copies! Pretty cool to think about it though.


    • You know, in a while when my car finally dies (it’s 8 years old already), I am already working on my lovely wife to let me get another truck. I had one and I friggin’ loved it. Mind you, it was a 15-year-old big V8 with a 96L tank, so I don’t miss putting gas in it, but the utility of the vehicle cannot be beat. This time around I’m thinking a 6 with full cab so the kids can fit in too. Of course, I won’t be selling all my music to get one. That’d be silly…

      Also: Minivan? Hahaha DUDE DON’T DO IT. I heard that they take your man card when you buy one and you never see it again! I’d believe it!

      I fully agree with waiting for sales and bargain shopping. Man, that’s how I buy just about everything…

      Glad you had fun thinking about it. Thanks for your comment!


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