Need Extra Money? Sell Your CDs

Has your music gone entirely digital? Do you own an expansive library of CDs or vinyl?

If you answered no to the former and yes to the latter, you’re in luck! That is, unless you’re the type who refuses to give up your CD collection. In which case, you can stop reading.

Last year, when I realized that all of my CDs were either 1) scattered throughout my car, 2) stacked on top of my fridge or 3) in storage, I decided to do some purging.

I was very reluctant to do this. I like CDs. I like buying CDs even more. I LOVE music. But, I wasn’t listening to the majority of my albums, and they were collecting dust. I sold all 300+ CDs on eBay for roughly $500 profit. Interested in doing the same? Here’s how.

Step One

Load all of your music into iTunes. Okay, so I pretty much failed at step one. Months after selling all of my CDs I was trying to locate a Beatles album in my iTunes library. Turns out, I didn’t actually transfer a lot of my files. Don’t ask me how, just don’t make the same mistake.

Step Two

Sort your albums. I don’t recommend selling individual CDs on eBay. At all. In fact, don’t do it. Unless you want to waste time and money. You’ll have better luck selling your albums in lots by genre. Grab a 6-pack of beer, park yourself on your living room floor, and sort all albums into stacks. Following are some ideas for genres:

  • Rock/Alternative/90’s
  • Classic Rock
  • Electronic
  • Jazz (Classic, Standards, Modern)
  • Blues
  • Soundtrack/Musical/Theater
  • Ambient/Lounge
  • Pop
  • Folk
  • World

Try your best to think of your customer when sorting. Start with general categories and then reduce down to more specific categories if needed. For example, you could throw together a pile of rock albums, then reduce to metal, alternative, pop, classic rock, etc.

The only music I did not sell in lots were box sets and certain imports.

Obviously, if you are selling vinyl, you’ll need to do a ton of research to check on desirability. You don’t want that hard-to-find Miles Davis album to end up lost in a jazz lot.

Step Three

Check for quality. This part is time consuming. I developed a condition scale of 1-5 and gave each album a number. Perfect condition? Give it a 5. Some scratches but plays well? Maybe a 3. Use post-it notes and slap a number on each CD.

Step Four

Make a list of each lot. List every album (make sure to note if they are double CDs), artist, release date and it’s condition “score.” This allows the buyer to get a general idea of the quality.

Step Five

Take photographs. No need to photograph each CD. Just take a few photos of the spines stacked neatly.

Step Six

List your auctions. Make sure you do this in the “lots” section of eBay. Research other auctions before getting started. Include all information as noted above and any descriptions of the lots as you see fit. For shipping, I recommend USPS Priority Mail FLAT RATE boxes. They can get as heavy as 70 pounds and you’ll still be charged the same flat rate.

You’ll find that a lot of people are interested in lots, even with digital media taking off. Some are collectors but most likely own music shops.

It will hurt a little. I was sad when I had to say goodbye to all of my CDs and ship them off to some unknown weirdo. But, money is money.

For free music and music research, check out the following:

Also, if you’re after an album download, just plug the name of the album into Google and add “rar.”

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One Response to “Need Extra Money? Sell Your CDs”

  1. the dude Says:

    Dream Theater is in the studio again, and I can’t wait to see what magic they produce!

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