This week I answered a Craigslist 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 experience selling CDs is very limited. While my data set isn’t large enough to draw conclusions, my impression is that it is hard to price above merchant-fulfilled sellers and still get sales. I.e. Prime subscribers aren’t buying CDs (or at least aren’t willing to pay a premium to get them in 2 days). I don’t know if I’ve ever sold a CD where my listing didn’t occupy the top spot.
My thought with this purchase was that at 20 cents a CD, and with the CDs being of the genre that would have a small but devoted audience (any AKAs fans reading this?) that would mean there probably wasn’t a glut of these CDs on
Here were the results:
Of the 500 CDs, 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
Of the 200, the vast majority were selling at a penny merchant-fulfilled. I priced these at a flat $4.99 each (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. Maybe even most.
Altogether, I think this will be the last time I invest in a large lot of CDs. If I ever do this again, it will be with more mainstream artists (unlike books, where I find the money is in the more obscure subjects).
If you’ve had success selling CDs consistently, please get in touch and tell me what I did wrong.
Also, claim your free book: