Interview with CD selling expert Brian Freifelder on selling CDs via FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
In last week’s post, I covered buying a large lot of CDs on Craigslist, and admitted my general ignorance about selling CDs via FBA. Some of the biggest questions I was left with were:
- Can FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers price above Merchant Fulfilled sellers and get sales?
- What is the best CD pricing strategy for FBA sellers?
- What is a “bad” Amazon sales rank for CDs?
Note: CDs are a partially gated category, and not all sellers are allowed to sell all CDs.
The CDs have been selling on Amazon very well, but I still had some questions.
So I did what I like to do when I don’t know something: leapfrog over the learning process and just ask an expert.
Interview with CD selling expert Brian Freifelder
Brian Freifelder is an FBA seller and owner of Philadelphia Media Exchange, with over 50,000+ lifetime CD sales on Amazon. He agreed to a quick five-question lightning round about selling CDs via FBA.
Are people still buying CDs on Amazon?
Q: After doing a recent FBA shipment of over 500 CDs, I am surprised to see how quickly they are selling. So, are people still buying CDs on Amazon?
Yes people are still buying CDs. They are like books, common titles are worth a penny. Rare titles still hold value.
How do you price CDs on Amazon as an FBA seller?
Q: My biggest question pertains to the right FBA pricing formula. First, are Amazon buyers willing to pay more for FBA offers in the CD category? Why or why not?
Brian: No, from my experience of adding premiums, the buyer is not willing to pay much more. I think with the Amazon Music Player Amazon has made it a better buy purchasing from them since you automatically get the album transferred to any device you have with the Amazon player on it. I also think with the amount of product available it’s easier for a buyer to pay less from a Merchant Fulfilled seller or another FBA seller asking less.
What is your personal pricing formula with CDs sold via FBA?
Brian: $3.99 above the lowest MF price. Competition must have 94%+ feedback, 100+ feedbacks! Same condition or better.
Amazon Sales Rank for CDs
Q: What have you learned about Amazon sales rank and CDs? My personal formula has been to consider anything higher than 200,000 as “off the deep end” and a sales rank abyss, but I also haven’t accumulated much data. So what’s the real story?
Brian: (An Amazon sales rank of) 300,000 is when things get dicey. Once you go over 200,000 (when buying collections) start offering less per CD. Once you’re over 300,000 don’t offer more than $2 unless for rare circumstances. Over 1M rank, don’t even bother with it – it’s not selling.
What CDs categories sell best on Amazon?
Q: After my aforementioned large CD buy, I found that nearly 100% of CDs in the “metal” genre were selling in the $7+ range. Have you noticed particular genres that disproportionately hold their value? Can you list a few of the better ones people can look for when they’re out sourcing?
Brian: Jazz and Folk are almost always homeruns. Just try and avoid scanning the cheap labels (foreign production is a dead giveaway to items that aren’t gonna be worth scanning).
Q: Final words for people selling CDs via FBA?
Find someone with a professional disc cleaning machine (Not JFJ Pro). A lot of expensive CDs can be cleaned and resold. Don’t let scratched discs scare you off, paying someone to clean them or cleaning them yourself will leave you with more money than just passing on them.
How about a similar article for DVDs/VHS?
Peter Valley says
That’s a great idea.
Jim C says
Thanks for sharing this information. One question, though. What’s the problem with using JFJ Easy Pro to clean our discs? I’d like to know if there are any issues, since I have one.
Great stuff as always !!!
With the pricing strategy have you shifted to the 3.99 over merchant fulfilled. Or are you experimenting?
Peter Valley says
The early results confirm that going $3.99 above is the best approach with CDs. Even the better-ranked titles priced higher aren’t selling as fast as they might with books.
What would your approach be to a jazz cd that has a sales rank of 535k, no fba sellers, and is selling merchant fulfilled new for $250 and used for $30? Is that something you would consider worth sending to FBA or is the sales rank too high? Thoughts are really appreciated.
Peter Valley says
At a cost of only a penny a month in storage fees, I don’t think there is any CD at that price I wouldn’t ship in.
dan okeefe says
Can you tell us why you don’t like the jfj easy disc cleaner? An associate of mine has one and likes it do you know of any issues with it. Do you recommend something else because i would like to buy something in the next week or 2 and add cds into my inventory? Thank you.