My experiment buying 500 CDs to sell on Amazon: The positives & negatives of selling CDs on Amazon.
Buying a collection of 500 CDs on Craigslist
Every morning I check Craigslist for potential inventory.
This week, I answered an ad from someone selling “500 CDs for $100.” When I emailed for photos, it looked pretty appetizing: 10 boxes of CDs vaguely classifiable as “indie rock.” At $100, it came to 20 cents per CD.
I met the gentleman in a Starbucks parking lot and took the entire lot.
My general thoughts on selling CDs on Amazon
Going into this purchase, my experience selling CDs on Amazon has been limited.I’ve sold a “few” CDs, “here and there.” And that’s about it.
While my data set isn’t large enough to draw conclusions, my impression has been that it is hard to command a significant premium for FBA offers when selling CDs via FBA.
In other words, pricing significantly higher as an FBA seller has never worked for me.
I can’t remember an example of ever selling a CD on Amazon where my listing didn’t occupy the top spot. Making CDs very different than books.
My thought with this 500 CD lot was that the CDs were of genres that had a small but devoted audience (punk & indie rock), which would mean there probably wasn’t a glut of these CDs on Amazon.
“Weird and niche” is my general formula for books. And that fit this CD lot as well. So I took a chance.
The results of this 100 CD purchase
I went home and immediately began scanning each one into Amazon.
Of the 500 CDs, about 200 were what I deemed “sellable.” For me, that meant CDs I could list for $4.99 or above. In other words, CDs that had no FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) competition selling at below $4.99. Based on this criteria, 300 CDs immediately when into the junk pile.
Of the 200 CDs that remained, the vast majority were selling at a penny merchant fulfilled (FBM). I priced these at a flat $4.99 each via FBA (about $2 profit).
Total listing price for the 200 CDs was about $1,500. Even if they all sold, that’s only about $500 after fees. And I don’t expect all of them to sell. Looking at the average Amazon Sales Rank, I couldn’t be sure most would ever see a sale.
What are the results of the CD experiment?
For now, I’ll call the results of this CD experiment “lukewarm.”
I think this will be the last time I invest in a large lot of niche CDs. After several hours of listing and shipping, and the general uncertainty of being able to command a higher FBA price, my time would have been much better spent sourcing and selling books.
If I ever purchase a CD lot again, it will be with more mainstream artists (unlike books, where I find the money is in the more obscure subjects).
That concludes my experiment purchasing hundreds of niche CDs to resell on Amazon.