So you brought your prized CD collection to the used shop for rent money, and got chump change. Here's why.
I used to rotate my CD collection a bit... trading/selling 'old' and purchasing new (or other's people's castoffs). I guess I suffer a little bit from what Sahm described earlier. Size Matters.
Actually, it has a lot to do with having prematurely discarded discs and re-purchasing them. It has to do with seeing my CDs as a collection and library more than a 'Current Playlist.'
Interesting article and research.
i don't get rid of anything.
(ok, except for one particularly horrible Lee Rittenour cd that i got before learning that Grp Records equals "icky smooshy sorta-jazz").
I used to be like Mark,and took pride in keeping everything, no matter how junky it was.
Then, I was like DJRadiohead, and started rotating stuff forcredit at good old Poobah records in Pasadena (don't know if they're still there...)
Then, I decided to travel overseas, and gave away all my worldly possessions (he who travels light travels far).
You should've seen the feeding frenzy when I let my three best friends rummage through my library; covers were torn in half during the struggle.
These days, I keep a pretty comprehensive digital collection. I don't have complete collections of songs by major artists like I used to (I once paid $60 for a lousy Ringo Starr single to get the B-side). But my digital collection has more depth; I like beingable to get just that one good song, instead of having to buy the whole otherwise-lousy CD)
And elsa, you may be right about Amazon traffiking in stolen booty. At the local MEGA-used store, you have to show ID to trade in CD's. But they don't check carefully; my neighbor used to borrow my drivers license; and he's 5 inches taller, 12 years younger, and doesn't look like an Irishman.
My heart goes out to you, though. Having someone swipe your whole collection is pretty horrible...
Thanks for the comments, guys.
And J.P.'s comments were good too; no argument from me on that one, Christopher. All the comments were; I do appreciate them.
Saleski, I remember listening to a Ritenour CD... once. I was in my brief "jazz-sophistocation" phase. It ended when I decided I'd rather be a moron and not listen to this stuff than a genius with Lee Ritenour. Found out a few years later I was listening to the wrong stuff entirely.
Wonderful piece, UAO.
Fascinating read, uao! One of the most surprising things to me is how cheap some of those albums are new these days, let alone used. Back in my big spending on music days (figure early '90s when I was in high school and music was a huge part of my entertainment budget) it was nearly impossible to pay less than top dollar for new CDs. Very interesting, too, that the cult/niche markets seem to retain the best.
This piece has been chosen as a Blogcritics.org Editor's Pick of the Week, Celery Sticks and the Post-New Year Story Cornucopia edition, congrats!
You've just earned yourself the right to nominate your favorite story (for the period of 1/4 â€" 1/10) for next week's Editors' Picks column. List the link, the story title, and the author in the comments area of this week's column, and of course tell us why it deserves to be honored!
Thanks and congrats again ~ EB
Thank you kindly, Scott and Eric.
This is one I had written in my head a few times over the years, but never actually tried to commit to paper or pixels. Finally got it out.
Back in the vinyl-CD switchover period of the mid 80's, I recall paying about $23.99 at Tower Records in NY (one of the cheaper places, in those days) for the average CD, in 1986 dollars.
So they are a lot cheaper, and they've improved a lot in terms of adding bonus cuts, artwork, and the rest. So a well-chosen CD really isn't a very bad investment at all. And if digital downloading or other distribution means ultimately push some CD's out of print, that might actually boost the value.
So if Nik (#8) really did get those 100 Backstreet Boys for a buck, he might want to hold on to them for when the millennium-nostalgia craze comes, around the year 2015, after Backstreet Boys CD's have become as scarce as bluegrass 78's. At $0.01, the price can only go up...
I'd like to think that the competition by digital music and the massive number of ways to be entertained these days will force record companies to put out great products at affordable prices.
BC Music Premium
Target Music Lovers!
mp3: Tracey Thorn "Love And Its Opposite"
Friday at Carabar: Smug Brothers (Dayton), Sowashes, Ghost Shirt, Bicentennial Bear
THE GOSSIP UNVEILS US JOURNEY
Will Austin terrorist attack impact SXSW attendance?
Due Dillagence Part 2
Lucent Lâ€™amour, February 13, 2010, Shrine Expo Hall
Book Notes - Terry Castle ("The Professor and Other Writings")
Advertise here now
How well does your CD collection retain its monetary value? If you decided to cash it all in, how much of all that money you spent will come back to you?
One of the interesting things about Amazon product links is looking at the disparity between the price of the new product and the going rate for used copies, both of which are listed below the title.
In some ways, this is a purely economic indicator of the residual popularity of the album; it's simple supply and demand. Some albums, like a good car, retain their value pretty well; others are worthless within a year.
A simple real world indicator of this principle can be had when you truck your used CD's over to the local used shop for cash or credit. All those one-hit wonders you got suckered into buying? So did everyone else; the used market is oversaturated and you get a dime for the CD you spent $15 on.
Conversely, a shrewd buyer of cult titles that maintain a solid fanbase but never get overexposed will exit the store, green cash in hand.
Supply and demand. The supply side can be affected by overpressings and underpressings; going out of print altogether ratchets up the price. However, as a rule, it's not a bad indicator; the good enduring stuff keeps some value, the useless junk doesn't. The CD model is even more purely reflective of popularity than vinyl record prices, since condition is more of an issue with used vinyl. The prices aren't static; they represent hundreds of sellers, and are updated hourly at Amazon.
To examine this farther, we'll start with the Beatles. The White Album, from 1968, is now the Beatles' biggest selling album ever, and remains popular among fans. The Beatles continue to attract new first-time listeners at a remarkable rate even now, so the market for used Beatle product is brisk. At Amazon, a brand new White Album, a double disc, goes for $27.99. Used starts at $16.99. That's 61% of its value: a good retention.
On the other hand, Justin Guarini's (remember him, American Idol?) album is selling for $0.49 used, retaining a paltry 4% of its value since its release a few short years ago, confirming its junk status. Evidently, people can't trade 'em in fast enough.