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Answering a Question About Used CDs

The following (screen cap above) was asked of me on the thread I used on the FSM message board to post links to columns that I think people might want to see:

I’m super intrigued about this - what compelled you to actually get into this? When people reached out to you, what motivated you to take it on vs. simply referring these collectors to the likes of SAE or MovieMusic who already had the infrastructure, warehouse space, customer list, etc?

I always got better prices from MM than SAE, so I always just sent my CDs off to MM, I think I did my final unload last year with what was left of my CDs after moving 3 or 4 times and never listening to them.

Are you somehow doing this with less overhead than those established businesses, providing meaningfully better prices to the collectors? I thought those operations were pretty lean already though.

Maybe warehouse rent in California is just way less inflated than apartment rent in California?

Well...I don’t know. I haven’t done a deep-dive into price differences at Screen Archives and And there wasn’t anything that “compelled” me to get into this, it just proceeded logically from wanting to sell my own CDs which were in boxes under the stairs—after the COVID years, I wanted to downsize and I could use the money.

Over the past, say, five to ten years, I have occasionally been asked for advice in disposing of large collections. And when I called around to the places you name, and a few others (I know them all), most said they weren’t taking anything on—they had too much stuff already and the market was too flat, etc.

So this all happened very accidentally when Creature Features kindly let me use their warehouse to sell some of my collection a year ago, and in exchange I helped them sell their stuff which needed to be organized.

The Brent Armstrong sale happened a few months later when Creature Features asked if I would do it, and I already had some experience selling, and I knew Brent and wanted to help his family, so I said yes.

The next sale I am doing, of the Tim Knapp collection, same thing—I got a call that a longtime collector had passed, the family had no idea what to do with his enormous CD collection (which happened to be local to me), and could I do it?

Now that I’ve built up some infrastructure, the choice is whether I make a real business of it—which requires putting out the word that we’re looking for collections to sell. Because I can’t go out and rent a space and hire employees just for a month or two, I need to know that we’ll have an ongoing use for what we’re setting up.

We’re really not going to be a “swap meet” kind of store, dealing in handfuls of CDs here and there and trying to get max prices on rare items. This is for large collections where the owner, or estate, doesn’t know what else to do with the stuff, and needs our expertise to organize, price and ship it, in bulk—and they’re fine with being paid on consignment.

So I honestly don’t know how good or bad our prices are. And I’m not trying to compete with anybody. People should absolutely deal with wherever they can get the best price, or have the best relationship.

Thanks for asking and your interest.

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