Boxes, Packaging and External Appearance
You will find record cases like these, stuffed full of 1960s-1970s LPs, at many auctions. Unless the vinyl LPs are of commercial interest, the case itself may be the most valuable item in the lot.
Appearance. In the world of collectables it is often wise to ignore the old adage "dont judge a book by its cover". If an item, despite flaws or damage, looks the part or has presence, then value is enhanced. Beauty may be skin deep but it still outsells drab every day of the week
Is the original packaging present? Original packaging and instructions can be significant enhancers of value. While the contents may comprise the bulk of the value, particularly if in mint condition, packaging and instructions can have value even if the contents are missing. Instructions and boxes are often required to complete a collection or, like advertising tins, form a collection in their own right. Technical instructions can be particularly sought after for vintage technology. It is worth noting that packaging reproductions can now be bought.
Look at the artwork. This can be highly collectable and is often used for display. Magazine covers, record sleeves and dustjackets are all now to be found framed on walls as part of the interior design.
Check out the container. We were reminded of this when a recent Storage Wars episode featured a safe which turned out to be empty. The buyer, Jarrod, was despondent until another player, Darrell, pointed out that the safe itself was a desirable collectible that would meet the costs of the storage locker. We often see auction lots that are in containers that have their own intrinsic value. Examples include deed boxes, hat boxes, crates, work boxes, chests and humidors. Focusing on the contents of a box can mean missing the potential for value of the container.