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It’s time to get rid of my collection of music CDs.  I have well over a thousand CDs and, these days, my hard of hearing problem coupled with internal sound distortion means I can no longer enjoy any of them so it’s time to say goodbye to all the beautiful music I used to listen to — classical, jazz, ambient, techno, early rock ‘n roll, world, fusion, hip hop, …  You name it, it’s in the pile.

cds-for-saleSo, what are my options?  I could take them to the local recycling centre (what used to be called a rubbish tip) and offer them to the men who run the bustling onsite shop.  Or, I could take them to a charity shop but, to be honest, I have doubts about what happens to the income generated by such shops.  Or, I could sell them as a job lot or as singles.  In the end, I’ve decided to sell the bulk of the CDs as a job lot and, in some cases, as singles.  To that end, I have partitioned the collection into two groups — those that are widely available at throwaway prices and those that may be worth a bob or two.  I’ll sell the bob-or-twos either on Amazon or eBay (I’ve not decided yet) and the rest will go to one or more of the websites that buy in job lots.  Such websites pay a token amount per CD — typically £0.20 to £0.40 — but if the number of CDs is in the high hundreds, it produces useful beer money and empty shelves at home so what the hell!

It’s the bob-or-twos that interest me.  How do I set a selling price for a CD? The obvious way is to check whether the CD is for sale anywhere and, if so, at what price.  Let’s take a look at what happened when I applied this process to this acid jazz CD, selected at random from the pile:

fat-jazzy-grooves-6-and-7Fat Jazzy Grooves Vol. 6 & 7, New Breed, 1994

What sort of price should I place on this CD?  First stop Amazon, to get a feel:

buyer-beware-1Wow!  This CD is selling for up to £312.  Hmm.  There are more listed. Let’s scroll down further:

buyer-beware-2More wows!  £967.95.  That’s serious money.  Let’s click through on the £967.95 link:

buyer-beware-3Yep.  There it is — £967.95 and a further £1.26 delivery.  To quote Penny of The Big Bang Theory — “Holy crap on a cracker!”  I’m holding almost £1,000 in my hand.  This is crazy.  Better do a check and balance on eBay:

buyer-beware-4It’s there, just one copy, this time priced at $199.99 (circa £159).  Well now, whatever the true price is, this particular CD is obviously a high-value object but before I get too excited, let me run a third check on Discogs, one of the larger buy-and-sell CD websites.  Here’s what turned up:

buyer-beware-5Just one image showing but when I clicked through…

buyer-beware-6… two for sale starting at £6.95, which a further click revealed…

buyer-beware-7… to be one at $8.75 (circa £6.95) and one at €10.00 (circa £8.40).

There you have it.  If you were looking to buy this particular CD, you can pay anywhere between £6.95 and £967.95.  That is an amazing price spread and says “Buyer Beware” when out shopping online for items such as CDs.

I have a theory about this however.  I reckon that websites that sell single CDs (they normally state that they have just one CD left) are biding their time until all the lower-cost items have been sold and then they wait for the person who desperately wants the item at any cost.  I didn’t extend my search for Fat Jazzy Grooves, Vol. 6 & 7 beyond the three websites above but even across those three sites there were only nine copies of the CD available so maybe it won’t be that long before eight are snapped up leaving the £967.95 priced copy the only game in town.  At that point, if it sells at that price, the seller has made a killing.

One more thing.  I mentioned that most of my CDs are going to a bulk buyer.  It’s easy to do this.  You select the buyer, download the buyer’s app onto a smartphone, use your smartphone’s camera to scan in the barcode of the CD, and then wait for the bulk buyer to come back with a price.  I did this with my Fat Jazzy Grooves, Vol. 6 & 7 CD.  The offer that came back was £0.50.  Fifty pence! 0.05% of £967.95.  Hmm…

Make me a better offer!