The Swarm

February 18, 2008

3 million records and 300,000 CDs for $3 million starting bid

TDS Editors

UPDATE: Check out the video…

UPDATE: ‘World’s Greatest Record Collection’ For Sale… Again:

The first time Paul Mawhinney tried to sell his 3-million record, 300,000-CD record collection, the Irish student who had apparently entered the $3 million winning bid claimed he had been the victim of identity theft. Mawhinney’s collection, which he calls “the world’s greatest,” is back on the auction block, this time with a couple of new rules.

A spokesman for Mawhinney told Listening Post that a couple of new rules have been instituted in order to facilitate the sale. Sadly from a historical point of view, Mawhinney no longer insists that the collection remain intact. The collection is now up for grabs from profiteers looking to break the collection into pieces in order to sell it for more than the $3 million-plus they will have paid for it, rather than museum-minded folks who would put the whole thing on display…

UPDATE: Record Rama bidder turns out to be a fraud:

The $3 million winning bid for the Record Rama collection on eBay was a fraud, according to J. Paul Henderson, agent for the sale.

Mr. Henderson said he got a call from an eBay executive last night explaining that the “jopsoup” bid was not legitimate and the account has been suspended.

The Irish man with that screen name says he didn’t even know about the bid until after the fact.

“Jopsoup” told the eBay executive that he was a victim of identity theft.

“He claims he went to an Internet cafe and got the e-mail with the invoice from us and wondered ‘what the hell is this?’ ” Mr. Henderson said.

Mr. Henderson says he and owner Paul Mawhinney plan to re-list the collection and run the auction in a more “semi-private” fashion with screened bidders.

UPDATE: More doubts about record collection bidder:

The latest development in the auction of the Record Rama collection is that the high bidder known as “jopsoup” is now listed as no longer a registered user of eBay.

It’s not clear what that could mean for the tentative sale of the some 3 million LPs, 45s, CDs, cassettes and 8 tracks, deemed by owner/seller Paul Mawhinney as “the World’s Largest Music Collection.’’

On Thursday, jopsoup put in a bid of $3,002,500 for the collection, housed in Mawhinney’s Ross store. J. Paul Henderson, the agent for Mawhinney, was trying to track down the bidder today.

UPDATE: Sold for $3,002,150:

A man says he can now retire because someone bought his massive record collection on eBay for the asking price — $3 million.

A buyer from Ireland agreed to shell out $3,002,150 for the collection of nearly 3 million vinyl albums, singles and CDs, owner Paul Mawhinney said Thursday.

The winning bidder has already deposited $300,000, and a bank has confirmed that he has enough money to buy the collection, Mawhinney said.

The price tag is one of the highest recorded by eBay Inc., said Karen Bard, a spokeswoman for the online auctioneer. A Gulfstream II jet once sold for $4.9 million, she said.


From Thomas Edison to American Idol, this is the complete history of the music that shaped and defined five generations. 3 million records and 300,000 CDs containing more than 6 million song titles. It’s the undisputed largest collection of recorded music in the world. About half of the recordings are new and never played, and every genre of 20th century music is represented. There are countless rare recordings worth hundreds, or even thousands of dollars each on the collectibles market. Organized and cataloged, the collection is meticulously maintained and housed in a climate-controlled warehouse. The estimated value of this amazing collection is more than $50 million.

Every recording in the collection was purchased by the collection’s owner over the past fifty years and represents a lifetime of work and his desire to see the music preserved for future generations. Advancing age and health concerns are forcing the owner to sell.

The history of 20th century music belongs in a museum (existing or new), or a music library. The collection’s owner is seeking a private collector or a philanthropist willing to buy and donate the collection. A donation would qualify as a tax-deductible event. The collection contains many thousands of duplicate copies, which could be sold individually on the collectibles market to recoup a substantial part of the purchase price.

Payment terms are 10% of the purchase price within five business days, by certified check, bank transfer or PayPal, and the balance by certified check or bank transfer within 30 business days. The owner will ship anywhere in the world, and the buyer pays actual packing and shipping costs from Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
For a personal tour of the collection, contact us.

For complete details on the collection and the seller, go to

This is a NO RESERVE auction. High bid wins.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

For sale: 3 million record albums and 300,000 CDs; rare and out-of-print titles, all varieties of American music from classical to hip-hop.

But it’s much more than vinyl and jewel cases.

“It’s the history of music,” says Paul Mawhinney, the owner or Record Rama Sound Archives in Pine. “It’s my life’s work.”

Mawhinney, 69, is reluctantly parting with a collection he started more than 40 years ago. Legally blind and fighting diabetes, he wants to spend more time with his five grandchildren.

The collection is worth millions of dollars—Mawhinney’s personal estimate is at least $50 million—but he has received only one solid offer.

That bid of $28.5 million fell through. Other parties have shown interest, and Mawhinney says he continues to talk to a few interested parties. He has set of goal of selling the collection by March 1.

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