Lemme get your opinion on something here... if you were given a choice between buying an open tape and a sealed tape, which would you choose? And, before you just blurt out the obvious choice, lemme throw in some potentially decision-affecting considerations.
Assume it is the same album regardless of the wrap and both copies are currently available. Here are some pros and cons of both as I see it:
Sealed (Presumably Never Used) Tape
- More expensive, but only by about $5.
- It could be re-sealed and not the original manufacturer wrapping even though it does have marketing stickers on the outside. Shrink-wrapping machines are not that expensive these days. Some are even sold with the bags needed to re-seal media. I can't believe the RIAA and MPAA haven't tried clapping down on that!
Additionally, I used to preserve the marketing stickers and store them inside the jewel case just because I thought they were cool; so those could easily be reused.
- It may have been sitting around in a variety of climate conditions and there's no way to know if the tape is playable or not. I have actually had this happen to me with a tape that was described as "new" because it was sealed but was stuck and wouldn't spool properly. I did finally get it to work, but it took a lot of coaxing.
Unsealed (Opened/Previously Used) Tape:
- Is less expensive.
- Has a description from the seller indicating that it has been tested and the sound quality is good.
- Despite being described as having good sound quality, it was not fully rewound meaning that there is a segment of recorded tape that may or may not have been exposed to the elements lo these many years. But, it could also just be where the current owner stopped listening to it. No way to know for sure.
Any votes one way or the other?
BTW, I'm not saying I'm buying anything. No plans to at the moment. But I do like “internet window shopping” and was checking out an album when this question occurred to me.
UPDATE: I have a survey on Twitter about this if you wanna answer there.