Gone digital? Recycle unplayed music CDs and clear your shelves

Some music in your CD collection endures forever.  However, most of it just takes up space — especially if you’ve gone digital.

That’s why I made a pledge to unload at least 100 unused CDs, unwatched DVDs and unplayed video games using online services. Why online? It’s easy and I’m lazy.

I started the journey at Amazon. Their trade-in program is pretty straight forward. You select individuals items you want to trade in.  Amazon will tell you what each item is worth.  Then, you send in the items you want to trade using the provided shipping label.  In about an hour, I traded a half dozen items (video games and DVDs) for $30.

The best trade in, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess netted $13.25. Most others titles I wanted to trade in netted much less.  For example, a full-screen edition of Independence Day on DVD, unopened, would have only netted .50 on Amazon.  The site doesn’t even accept trade ins for music CDs. For those, I found Murfie.com — a site that does most of the work of for you.

Murfie sends you a prepaid shipping box for all of the music CDs you want to sell.  After you fill and return the box, they’ll add all of your items to their website of more than 20,000 CDs and create a personal online store listing ALL the Music CDs you want to sell or trade.  Items sell on Murfie for $1 to $8. The average sale price is about $2. You set the prices. Murfie takes a 30 percent commission on each sale.

The site also allows the music you buy to be delivered online as MP3, FLAC, Apple Lossless, or Apple Audio Codec for an additional $1.  That makes it a shitload better than downloading entire albums from iTunes or Amazon.

“We fill the gaps that other digital music store leave – by providing a digital product that’s backed by a solid guarantee of legal rights to sell, trade, and convert to new formats – the physical CD,” said Preston Austin, co-founder of Murfie.com. “Our business needs don’t compromise our ability to be a friend and ally to our members or music lovers in general.  We don’t control or censor what music is bought and sold… Instead, we’re invested in making sure everyone has a win-win experience, building a community of music lovers who are happy with what they get out of it.” He said the site hopes to collect between 500,000 and a million CD’s over the next 12 months.

The site works great for music.

In nearly two months, I’ve sold nearly 20 of the 100 CDs I listed on Murfie. And, Since I can receive anything I buy or trade on Murfie electronically, I’ve offered all of my remaining CDs for sale or trade. I’d like to see the same level of support from Murfie for selling used DVDs and video games.

Is this likely to happen? I think so. Even though the official response from Austin and his cofounder Matt Younkie is ‘no comment,’ they see the value in transporting their recipe to other media such as DVDs, video games, and books.

“We’ll be talking with our members about this in coming months,” the pair tells me. “There are different copyright and distribution questions, marketplace preferences, and processing, warehousing, and technology issues with each type of media – but the basic model we have patented is flexible and includes the notion of doing this with a variety of media forms.”

Credits: Cartoon by Mark Parisi of OffTheMark.com.

World ‘Record’ for the largest collection

Paul Mawhinney was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Over the years he amassed the world’s largest record collection… but was forced to sell his collection due to health issues and the struggling record industry.

4 thoughts on “Gone digital? Recycle unplayed music CDs and clear your shelves

  • You’re right. @murfiemusic is based in Madison, WI.  Preston and Matt are local entrepreneurs — but I think they’ve got a big idea for music distribution. I’m about to order a second Murfie box to send in another 100 cds.

  • This is right up my alley. I can’t remember how many times I’ve asked this question on Twitter and I always get suggestions to make pretty mobiles out of them. I’m moving soon and since I’m all digital anyway, I’d like to make it official. Thanks!

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