Sell Your CDs

I had a good experience selling my CDs.  I thought you should know. A little history...

The first CD I ever bought was Janet Jackson's Design of a Decade.  Or was that the first CD I loved?  Because I think the first CD was actually Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, but I wasn't ready for rock.  Well anyway, I soon after became a CD collector which compiled into one of those book sized CD binders that held 200 CDs.  I thought that was super cool!  I bought the CD cases you hung on your car visor.  I was part of BMG music so I could catch up to my friends who already had a larger collection.  I had a cassette tape to CD converter for the portable Sony walkman CD player that lived in my car.  In 2000, I started to rip CDs onto my first desktop computer from Dell.  Then, in 2001, when I went on a trip to New Orleans in college, I left my huge CD binder on the bus...never to see those CDs again.  Thankfully, I still had all of the jewel cases, so I was able to complile a list of all of the CDs.  And thankfully, due to this being the age of Napster, I felt justified to replace most of them, so I did, but now I was missing the physical CDs.  Thank you burned CDs!

Moving to New York City was a huge change for my life and my CD usage.  I did not have a car anymore so I lost my safe space to play my CDs (and sing in really, really loud in private, if you know what I mean).  It was either carry my hundreds of CDs around with a portable CD player like a tool or have no music.  Since neither of those were an option, I got my first MP3 player, and boom, no more need for CDs.  I played all of my music on my computer and my MP3 player.  I'm so 2005!

It's time!

After nearly 5 years of barely ever touching a CD, I made the life changing decision to cut the cord.  Time to sell them all off.  But it wasn't that easy, which is why I'm sharing my steps, so that it will be easier for you.  I made a 3 step process to sell my CDs:

  1. Rip all of my CDs into MP3s.

  2. Find websites that buy CDs.

  3. Sell my CDs to the highest offer.

Ripping my CDs was a big deal for me because my first MP3 player also played files called WMAs (Windows Media Audio), which an iPod does NOT play.  There's a reason I said MP3 player above and not iPod, because I didn't get an iPod to begin with.  I got an iRiver!  JEALOUS??!!?!?!?!  Now I have an iPod Touch.  So I need all MP3s.  So I went through my CDs one at a time to make sure I had burned every single one.  I had no intentions of re-buying tracks from CDs I already owned.

Next, I researched companies that buy CDs.  As it turns out, there is an amazing company somewhere that sells software to make it simple to start a company where you buy CDs from the public!  So there were a LOT to choose from, but most of those programs were not changed from the their default state, so 6 websites at a time would offer to buy this or that CD for exactly the same price.  Some gems, though, were more proactive in their business plan and changed the prices they would buy CDs to reflect the demand.  That said, here are the best companies in my experience to buy your CDs:

  1. Wherehouse.com

  2. Spun.com

  3. mx123.com

  4. any other site you can find

(I just did a google search and found 2 additional sites that were high on my google search that I don't recall the first time:  secondspin.com and cashforcds.com.  I can't vouge for how well these sites are run.)

Learn from my invested time

Now, I did do one thing the hard way, hence this article to save you time.  To sell the CDs on these sites, they want the bar code number so they know EXACTLY which version you have (Japanese import vs limited edition vs typical US release).  Each version of the CD is often sold at a very different price.

I first took a sample of about 10 CDs I thought would be representative of my collection and entered their barcodes into about 20 different websites.  After determining which websites were the most financially rewarding, I took each barcode and painstakingly entered it into about 6 different websites to see which site paid the most for each and every CD.  Let me tell you, that took HOURS.  And I also had to take into consideration that each websites had a different set of rules:  "You must sell at least $5 worth of CDs." or "You must sell at least 10 CDs."  This process took SO MUCH TIME.

I can basically summarize what I learned though so you don't make the same mistake.  See that list above?  They are in the order of which site paid the most (generally speaking).  So if you want this to be easy, list all of the CDs on the first site.  Whichever CDs are at a low price (less than $0.50 or so?), try listing them on spun.com.  If any of those CDs are listed at a low price, try selling them onto mx123.com, etc.   Or you could just sell them all to wherehouse.com and make some easy money quickly.

How did I do?

I made over $200 selling about 100 CDs!  That's an average of $2 per CD.  For what they offer for most CDs (about $0.10 per CD), I am VERY satisfied.  And I only mailed out my CDs to four addresses.  I didn't sell them individually on eBay and mail them to 75 different users.  Totally worth it.  One less "thing" in my life.  And one less worry.

And for those of you worried about your computer crashing, check out MozyHome.  It backs up your computer ONLINE!  That should be a future post! No, it WILL be a future post.