3000+ used cds to sell - looking for some advice on a particular problem

Discussion in 'Third Party Sales & Auctions' started by eddiel, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    Hi All

    I've been tasked with selling off 3000+ cds for my current employer. These were purchased from the late 80's till sometime in the early 2000's (I'm guessing). Essentially they were used as reference material (part of what we do is write music for tv shows, commercials, etc). Now we just send, or get sent, youtube links.

    Anyway, they're taking up valuable storage space and they need to go. Now no one really has much time to sell these as anything other than one big lot, take it all or leave it, and I know in those cases we're looking at a low price per cd.

    But we got a little problem. They tagged each cd with a small inventory sticker(*) about 1cm x 1/2 cm. The person doing it decided it would be a good idea to stick these on the spine, not the case spine but the artwork spine. I won't bore you with my theory that they choose this method primarily because it would take a lot of time and hence give this person more excuse to complain about how busy they were. The stickers are not removable and any attempts would likely damage the art work.

    If it were me buying these I wouldn't even bother with them. Those stickers would drive me nuts unless it was a rare cd and even then I'd pay very little. But not everyone is like me so....

    I'm curious, how much do you think these stickers will affect the price per cd. Again, we're looking to sell these quickly and as a job lot, take it all or none scenario. I thought at most we'd be looking at 25c a cd. But with the stickers, maybe not even that much.

    (* - despite all the work required to tag them all no one kept an inventory list. Why anyone would give an inventory tag number to an item and then not list that item somewhere is beyond me but certain people there, in the old days anyway, were quite fond of wasting time IMO)

    [As an aside, July tends to be quiet work wise so I have toyed with the idea of going through them to see if there's anything rare or removing any that may not have been tagged or are still sealed (they got sent free stuff over the years) but I'm not sure I have the time. I don't think there's anything particularly rare in there anyway.]
  2. AlanDistro

    AlanDistro Forum Resident

    Sandy, OR
    If I were in your position, I would just scan them all into the Declutter app and send them off in boxes of 200-300 discs. The app just reads the barcode on the back cover art. Declutter doesn't care about condition and from my experience, they pay anywhere from 10 cents to $3 per CD, depending on the demand for that title. Most often I get about 35 cents for common US albums and $1-$2 for CD singles that I could probably get $5 for if I went the eBay route.
    PhantomStranger and tmtomh like this.
  3. rjp

    rjp Forum Resident

    i think your location is quite important.

    if you are in, or very near, a large metropolitan area i believe you will have an easier, much easier, time selling whole lot in one fell swoop.

    3000 CD's to a large retail chain, or very large single store will not be a hard sell at all, stickers or not.

    so, here goes:

    large city with lots of possibilities - 50¢ - $1 a CD....all or nothing.....i would personally call each "large" business and tell them what you have and what you want, be very open about it and tell each you are calling every other one. also be sure to tell each prospective buyer about the stickers. offer to them to come back and peruse the collection should they choose. it is too bad you can't just send them an inventory list....which you might want to put someone on the task of doing.

    small town with not many possibilities - 25¢ - 50¢ per disc, they come and pick them up...all or nothing, you cannot allow them to pick and choose ro you will be throwing the remaining CD's away.
    eddiel likes this.
  4. micksmuse

    micksmuse Forum Resident

    san diego
    almost every label can be removed, leaving at worst a little dullness (which is probably not noticeable on the spine. lighter fluid generously applied will loosen then to be removed. of course that will take some time but only have to do it on the valuable one's. good luck
  5. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    Given the number of CDs and the reasonable desire to get rid of them all at once, I would agree with the decluttr option, assuming Canada-based shipping is possible with decluttr.
  6. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    @tmtomh & @AlanDistro decluttr is indeed a good suggestion but it doesn't appear to be available to us Canadians unfortunately.

    There was a similar company located in NY that I found that appeared to accept cds from Canada but I can't recall.

    I have a friend who works at a local used store so I'll message him about it.

    Thank you for the suggestions and advice so far.
    tmtomh likes this.
  7. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    I did think about the lighter fluid option but there were so many cds that I thought it would take way too much time. But if I do go through them and pull out rarer/pricers ones I may do just that.
  8. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Greater Vancouver
    Eddie, another easy option is craigslist. I've been offered $5 per twice now in the last 2 months for all of mine. If you don't mind letting them go in the $1 - $5 range you should be fine.
    eddiel likes this.
  9. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    If we got that much I'd be quite happy! I was expecting pennies for each to be honest :)

    We did consider Craigslist, and still are. We're just a bit weary as other work attempts to use Craigslist have resulted in time wasted (buyers not showing, being annoying, etc).

    Kajiji is another option.
    Dave likes this.
  10. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Niagara Falls
    Separate the audiophile and hi rez titles out. List them here!
  11. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    You might even consider separating out the extremely unrecognizable crap, and just selling them as, "cheap jewel cases; pick up locally".
    Deaf_in_ LA_1974 likes this.
  12. ISellCDs

    ISellCDs Member

    Can you send me some pics of the spines with those inventory stickers?
  13. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah I can do that. I'm in the middle of my month end at work but I'll try and get down as soon as...
  14. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    Oh if only they existed in that batch. They'll be run of the mill sort of pressings so nothing hi rez or audiophile on purpose. There might be cds that members here consider audiophile by default though.
  15. starfieldroad

    starfieldroad Forum Resident

    Ignore the stickers.

    Write up a good summary of the collection and contact every used CD place within 100 miles.

    Try these people: www.beatgoeson.com for example.

    see if you can get the buyer to remove the discs from your location -- otherwise you're stuck having to box and haul them too.
  16. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    @starfieldroad I forgot about Beat Goes On. I only had private buyers in mind actually, but I think it might be worth contacting cd stores as well. So thanks for the reminder.

    Any sale would require the buyer to pick up. No movement on that front I'm afraid :)

    We think we do have an inventory list but the problem is we can't actually guarantee everything on that list is in the boxes (it's not really a proper inventory list either, it's basically an export of everything in the itunes library, which in theory should be every disc in those boxes). So we didn't want to use that list in case someone buys based on some data and it's wrong. If we did it would have to come with a serious caveat to the list. Redoing a list is not worth our time as it would cost us money in salary so if we couldn't recoup that, selling would cost us more than just throwing them away or giving them away for free.

    I might put aside some of my own private time to sort through them and pull out anything that looks valuable, but that would be done mostly on the basis of my own curiosity rather than my employer willing to pay someone to do it. If I thought there were some DCCs and other very rare items, I'd get someone to do it, but there isn't based on my previous perusals.
    starfieldroad likes this.
  17. starfieldroad

    starfieldroad Forum Resident

    I went through a similar process with several hundred basic catalog CDs last year. I did find a buyer, similar to BGO. They won't care about an exact list, they'll want a general idea about genre, period of time, condition.

    A collection of this size should be treated as a "house call" by anyone serious about their business. A CD store / used shop is going to be much easier to deal with and private buyers much pickier / more demanding. If getting them hauled away is your main concern then BGO or another operation like them is probably your best bet.
    tmtomh likes this.
  18. Deaf_in_ LA_1974

    Deaf_in_ LA_1974 Forum Resident

    a store is gonna offer you 25 cents a disc unless they are super collectible. 750.00 is gonna be hard for some small and mid level retailers of cds so that narrows the field even more

    If you are a paid employee, I would doubt the pay they pay you will be recouped, regardless of how you sell them.
    my experience 15 years CD selling Ebay, Discogs, Amazon and retail.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    eddiel likes this.
  19. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    These days a store may not even give you $0.25 each. That will definitely depend on the titles.

    3000 all common title stuff with stickers on them? Assuming the average condition is VG++ or better, you might get $400-500 from a reseller. Maybe.

    If there's significant primo stuff (but not obviously rare and valuable) mixed in, then the number could be anything. But I'd say that realistically, if you are selling to a big store or reseller they are going to give you an average of maybe a buck for the good titles and pennies per title for the rest.

    You've got a spreadsheet based on what you loaded to iTunes...That's unquestionably a good starting point. Just be honest "These is an approximate reflection of what we're selling. Some CDs may be gone, some CDs may be missing from the case. I guarantee at least 95% are in the lot (or pick a number). "
    eddiel likes this.
  20. Deaf_in_ LA_1974

    Deaf_in_ LA_1974 Forum Resident

    Ignore the stickers??? This is horrible advice, potential buyers will be very angry.

    With the stickers I would say max grade is VG.

    There is a bottom to the value though, the plastic cases are easily worth 10 to 20 cents(without cd or art) each to a big seller, they use them to replace the cheap easily broken ones of post-2000
  21. starfieldroad

    starfieldroad Forum Resident

    Another option is to see what the tax deduction process would be if you donated them to a charity shop like Goodwill, Oxfam or the Salvation Army. Check with your company accountant.

    Claiming charitable tax credits

    In the USA the value of the donation is based on the fair market value, so for Goodwill that would be whatever price they sell them at (usually $2-$3). You might wind up with an actual benefit that's higher than what you'd receive in cash from some place like Beat Goes On.
  22. ISellCDs

    ISellCDs Member

    Definitely don't ignore the stickers.
    eddiel likes this.
  23. starfieldroad

    starfieldroad Forum Resident

    The stickers are not the issue, 3k basic catalog discs that need to be removed by the purchaser are the issue .

    I had 600 to sell and went through an extensive process of contacting stores in a 4 state area. They were on a spreadsheet, clean, boxed and I was willing to deliver. Store reactions varied, but I did eventually find a buyer.

    "Write up a good summary of the collection" is what I said, and this is where the OP would mention the stickers in passing.

    Reasonably clean, no cigar or cigarette smoke, disc surfaces in VG condition? They will find a home.

    And a charity shop isn't going to care a whit about the stickers or a detailed listing. If the OP does donate them he needs to document the lot with photos etc as proof.
    eddiel likes this.
  24. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    I'll giver you a cent per CD w/free shipping! :D
    eddiel likes this.
  25. Deaf_in_ LA_1974

    Deaf_in_ LA_1974 Forum Resident

    another option would be to sell them as a lot on ebay, list nothing specific except the stickers, and they are from all genres and good shape

    Some poor fool might go in big hoping you have some OOP rarities in there, charge them shipping, truck rate and NO RETURNS,
    This way you could start at 850 or so and "fish" for about a week, then drop the price 75 at a time untill you got a buyer. very little leg work on your part, in case you have some other work at your job.

    LEGAL STANDPOINT- ignoring or severly downplaying the stickers could end up getting your company in a small claims lawsuit, which would be way more expensive/stressful on your company than it will be on the used cd seller (who could have cherry picked the cds, added his own crap and be returning you a less valuable "lot" and getting his cash back) at least with ebay a no returns sale, all you need is delivery proof that you delivered xxx pounds of stuff, and your clear.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017

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