Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Moving Out, Cleaning Closets, Selling Stuff

A long time ago, there was this now-defunct site, They took in old CD's. Granted, they didn't pay out cash, but they provided a trade-in value redeemable from among their selection. What was so brilliant (well, they failed, so maybe not as brilliant as a business model as it was appealing) was that the trade-in value was equal to the purchase value for any given CD. Thus, in theory, you were getting equal value. Now of course, they did build in a margin in the form of a fixed shipping fee of a few dollars per order, and a $2/CD purchased premium, but this was all above board, understandable, and modest when offset with the fact that they would send you a box with shipping pre-affixed to accommodate your trade-ins. I loved that place, and when they died so did a piece of me, honest.

In connection with my impending move and my attendant laments about how to get rid of all my useless stuff, my friend directed me to the new answer to SwapIt, SecondSpin, which functions more like a traditional used CD store. Tonight, I fished out from the back of some cupboard a box of CD's I'd designated for trade-in, sale, or garbage literally several years ago. I wrote everything down, then I hopped on line to see what SecondSpin would have to offer.

A couple of notes: first, the prices seem pretty reasonable when compared with my limited experience of used CD stores -- arguably damned reasonable, though I don't suppose it'll be cheap to ship nearly forty CD's. Plus, their database is insane; as I'll presently show, I searched on some seriously obscure crap of interest to virtually no one, and literally the only thing that had a UPC code that I couldn't find was an obscure drum and bass compilation disc they'd be fools to buy in any case. Finally, as a point of interest, the stuff that drew the highest prices (seven discs drew $5, and a double-disc drew $6) was not necessarily what you might expect. My only pattern observation is that those things that sold like mad for a short time are the least remunerative, as they probably suffer from a double-whammy -- high supply, and a bunch of people tripping over them in their inflated collections and saying, "How did I end up with this crap."

Without further ado, and with commentary, here was my list. I fully expect you to chirp about this stuff, mocking me for owning things, mocking me for selling things, mocking me because it seems like fun. Bring it!

Afro Celt Sound System Volume 2 Release $5.00 (good disc; never really got me)
Chemical Brothers Exit Planet Dust $5.00 (great disc, but one only needs a couple of CB CD's)
Connick, Harry Jr She $0.50 (overpriced)
Costello, Elvis Spike $3.00 (not his best work)
Cowboy Junkies Miles From Our Home $2.00 (Nytol will help you get your zzzzz's)
Cranberries Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? $1.00
Crystal Method Vegas $5.00
Deiselboy Drum & Bass Selection $4.00 (this is the CD that directly preceded him turning into a bad-ass)
Delerium Spiritual Archives $1.00 (I cannot account for their odd backroom popularity)
Dimitri International Club Union Session::3 $2.00 (mistake; I was looking for a different artist, Dmitri with only two i's)
Dj Icey Generate $3.00
Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac $3.00 (Rumours is where they begin and end for me)
Goodman, Benny Sing, Sing, Sing $2.00 (???)
Headrillaz Coldharbour Rocks $1.00 (faddish, passing)
Jewel Pieces Of You $0.50 (screw you, you know you owned it)
Lo Fidelity Allstars How To Operate With A Blown Mind (Explicit) $0.50 (I have a vague memory of liking this long ago)
Luscious Jackson Electric Honey $1.00
In Search Of Manny (EP) $2.00
Natural Ingredients $1.00 (the best example of the short very popular run thing)
Matthews, Dave (Band) Remember Two Things $5.00 (enough already with the DMB)
May, Derrick Innovator $6.00 (great historical artifact, but I don't play techno for historical purposes, and the world has moved on)
Moby I Like To Score $3.00 (oh yeah? well you look like you never do)
Olive You're Not Alone (5 Song Single) $0.50 (your guess is as good as mine)
One True Parker Will I Dream? $1.00 (here as well)
Presidents Of The U.S.A. Presidents Of The United States Of America, The $0.50 (fun for about seven minutes fewer than the disc lasts)
Pretenders Learning To Crawl $5.00 (should have some Pretenders but I'll simply never play it, and $5 is pretty cool)
Prodigy Music For The Jilted Generation $5.00 (jilted. ennui ennui. next?)
Redman, Joshua Freedom In The Groove $5.00 (the epitome of the vanilla contemporary jazz I just can't stand)
Simply Red Picture Book $3.00 (again with the should-have but won't-listen thing)
Soundtrack Saint, The $3.00 (amazing they pay anything for this oversold tripe)
Steely Dan Decade Of Steely Dan, A $2.00 (own all of these on their original albums now)
Tears For Fears Elemental $0.50 (Songs from the Big Chair is more than adequate)
Tortoise + The Ex In The Fish Tank 5 $3.00 (cool, but didn't bear too many listens)
Tricky W/Dj Muggs & Grease Juxtapose $2.00 (cool, but didn't bear one listen; a CD others probably think is incredible, and I think just drones in that way Tricky sometimes seems to think reflects high art)
Various B.B.C. 1: Big Beat Conspiracy 1 $2.00 (ummm)
Prince Paul Presents Prince Among Thieves $3.00 (Tommy for the MTV generation. Cool for like five minutes)

Total $92.00

Not a bad take, assuming it doesn't cost me more than $15 or so to send. And I get the satisfaction of knowing perfectly nice CD's remain in circulation instead of dying in some goodwill somewhere or rotting in my attic (!!!) or a landfill.

For those of you who will help me move, you're welcome. More weight to be shed in the coming weeks.


Blogger eli said...

I have the same Josh Remman album and I'll agree.

What exactly is one the Saint soundtrack that makes it such a hot ticket?

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Shar said...

If you're getting rid of stuff you don't want to sell, have you heard of Freecycle?

8:44 PM  
Anonymous binky said...

Thank goodness you didn't have any Flaming Lips on your "dump" list, otherwise I would have had to come up there and explain the error of your ways. Condescendingly, of course. :)

9:06 AM  

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