Unless you’re a millennial who has only ever purchased things in a digital format, then you probably have some CDs, DVDs, games, or even books sitting around. And if you do, the chances are that you’re never going to actually use them again!
It’s easy to hold onto these kinds of things. After all, you remember wanting them, right? It makes sense that you would see them and associate them with that value. But if you’re looking to make some money, it might be a good time to consider selling that stuff.
Perhaps you never even thought you could.
Well you might be surprised to hear that not only are you able to sell these things, but there are even multiple ways to go about it!
What will I learn?
“How Much Can I Make,” You Ask?
Well that’s a good question.
As you might expect, you’ll mostly be making up your losses with this type of operation. Or in other words, you will only be earning a fraction of how much you spent initially!
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The best rates are for things like video games, which you could easily still make $10-$20 for, depending on their condition and their rarity.
For things like DVDs or CDs, you’ll probably be looking at something like $1-$2 per piece.
Now, you can probably figure that if you have something especially rare or valuable, you are going to get more bang for your buck selling it specially. These trade-in sites we are about to discuss are just more convenient for exchanging general goods. If you’ve got a golden, limited-edition press of something, these trade-in sites are not the way to go (but I’ll talk more about that in a second.)
Related to that point, you’ll always be getting different amounts of money depending on the popularity, or demand, of the item you’re selling. If you’re trying to sell your extra CD of “Hotel California,” I’m sorry, but it’s not going to fetch you much money!
Ideally, you’ll have something that is popular but in temporarily limited supply, like a course textbook. If it’s something common and mass-produced, you can make a little money. If something is super-rare, you can make a lot more money selling it privately.
Something in-between the two is your best bet, for trade-ins.
The really big sites, particularly something like Amazon, will try to reel you into a higher trade-in rate, provided you accept it as credit for use on their site. That can be fine, if you’re just looking for some extra money to order off of Amazon. You’ll want to avoid this option if you’re looking for more practical money, of course.
Without further ado, here’s a list of sites, as well as what media they trade in.
1. BookScouter: Books
Kicking off the list is BookScouter, an extremely useful website that makes it a snap to get the best price for your old books. All you have to do is enter the ISN of your book, BookScouter then will search over 40 book buy-back websites and lets you know which one pays the most or your book.
They also have an app that you can download for free so you can check prices on the go. The app is very handy if you are into buying and selling used books.
2. Secondspin: CDs, BlueRays, DVDs, and Vinyles
This is a rather new(ish) site that buys all kinds of media, from CDs and BluRays, to DVDs, Games, Vinyl records and more.
Simply enter what you have, and the site will tell you how much exactly they are willing to pay you for it.
3. CeX: DVDs, CDs, Games, and Books
CeX is a UK-based business that has been in the game for over two decades! For perspective on that, they’re two years older than Amazon. So you could definitely say that they have established themselves well.
Aside from their established credibility, CeX is also noteworthy because they accept virtually any type of media. They’ll accept your wearable electronics, your books, and any type of electronic entertainment, including video games and systems.
CeX is glad to pay out to bank account or via PayPal, and they offer payment in the form of checks. They have no minimum amount for what they’ll accept, so you’re welcome to sell just a few things. If you live in the UK, you can walk into a physical location to do business, as well.
4. Decluttr: DVDs, CDs, and Games
Depending on where you live, Decluttr might be called Music Magpie. There are two separate sites, so keep your eye open!
Decluttr is a service that accepts trade-ins of many types. Though they don’t accept books like CeX does, they have recently started accepting clothes, which expands the amount of stuff you can trade in.
The trade-in rate isn’t exactly premium, but this is a service which is focused more on closet-clearing and bulk selling. Since they have a “quantity over quality” approach, they’ll pay for your shipping with a prepaid shipping label. The only catch is that you’ve got to be sending at least $5 of stuff, or ten items.
You can check out their mobile app for quick barcode scanning, too. They offer checks, bank transfer, or a Marks and Spencer voucher. However, they do not offer PayPal.
5. Amazon Trade-Ins: Books and Games
Yes, it had to appear on the list eventually, didn’t it? It’s no secret that Amazon is on the path to covering as many types of services as they can, and they’re in the trade-in game, too.
They aren’t doing trade-ins on just anything, though; specifically, they’re looking for video games and books, which aren’t hard to resell. As you might predict from such a giant company, you aren’t going to be making huge gains on the trade-in rate, but they will take just about any video games and books. You will be compensated in the form of Amazon credit.
6. Gazelle: Games (and gadgets)
Gazelle by far offers the fastest and easiest way to sell your used games. That said, you may not always be able to get the best price, but it is a quick service.
So if you’re looking for some fast cash in exchange for your old games, this is the site to use.
7. GameXchange: Games (UK Based)
This is a bit of a more specific option than the rest. GameXchange is a US-based company that remains as the desirable alternative to retail giant GameStop, and pre-dates them by almost a whole decade!
While they used to offer a mail-in trade system, they have sadly changed to an in-person trade system exclusively. They offer cash or trade-in credit, and as per the usual, you’ll get more if you opt for credit. That’s a good option if you’re a gamer, which you just might be, if you are trading in games!
GameXchange offers trade-ins on both current and retro games, which expands your options. The thing that makes this option limited is that the only operational GameXchange locations are in the Southern/Midwestern United States. But if you happen to live there, this is a better option than your local GameStop.
Other Ways to Sell Used Media
8. Auction and Private Sale
As I discussed up above, a trade-in site really doesn’t work too well if you’re trying to move something rare, antique, or otherwise valuable. So if you’re looking to get a direct monetary exchange for something worthwhile that you own, you might want to consider an auction or a private sale.
If you are looking to auction, use a site like eBay. It’s not as simple as throwing it up on eBay and getting your money, because it’s a person-to-person system. You’ll want to do a little bit of research on the estimated value of your item, and price for that, as well as accounting for the commission the site takes.
You can also try to arrange a private sale, which can be done in a few ways. The first way would be to advertise it on your local Craigslist, which is a solid option, but you’ll have to be willing to meet someone in person and do business without a middleman. The other way to do it would be to find a forum dedicated to the type of thing you’re selling. Likely the largest forum site is Reddit, and there’s a good chance that you can find a “subreddit” for whatever type of thing you’re selling.
9. Advertise on Bulletin Boards
This idea is as simple as they come! In a world that’s increasingly dominated by e-commerce, it’s easy to forget that some of the most effective ways to do things are the most simple. You can find bulletin boards in a lot of places– at work, at school, at church, or at the town hall. Anywhere bulletin boards can be found is a decent place to advertise.
Advertising on a bulletin board is also a pretty simple process. Make a simple flier in Word, or something similar, and print it out. Include your number/contact info, the product, and the price. It’s usually a good idea to put “OBO” (Or Best Offer) or “ONO” (Or Nearest Offer) next to your price, to inform the customer that you’re alright with negotiating a price, person-to-person. Areas with heavy foot traffic can get you some serious advertising, usually for free!
10. Car Boot Sales
Though the idea of a “car boot” sale is regional to the UK, the idea is rather international. It’s basically a swap-meet. The most basic version of this would entail driving your car to a place where a car boot sale is happening and selling your wares. You can sell all your own wares, or you can team up with friends, but the core idea is just to sell your items at a faire-like event.
Usually, you’ll have to pay a small fee to participate in one, but that’s usually marginal (5 or 10 bucks, on average.) Swap-meets are something that happen in a lot of communities around the world, so the chances are that you can find one going on somewhere near you.
This are some of the easiest, most effective ways to make money from your used wares, and you might even have some fun while you do it.
If you have anything to add to the discussion, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments and help your fellow readers make the most of their sales!