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I have been going through a spring cleaning/purging for the past few weeks... a neighborhood garage sale helped me get rid of the numerous old PCs, routers, tape decks, video game consoles, cell phones and MP3 players I had accumulated over the years. But, one of the biggest space-hog culprits in my house has been the boxes of CDs (with jewel cases).
I went through the extreme pain of ripping all of my CDs probably 7 or 8 years ago (over the span of a couple weeks), and I have not bought a physical CD since that time. I don't know why I held onto the CDs for so long... I don't read the jackets and I don't look at the artwork. My CD player (along with my dual cassette deck and turntable) have been disconnected from my stereo for a few years. So, when it came to (spouse-mandated) de-cluttering, I started to do some research on the best way to get rid of them. To me, these CDs were no longer anything more than non-biodegradable packaging for the music that now lived on my hard drives and network. I didn't want to just throw them away... with them spending an eternity in a landfill somewhere. I gave some away to anyone that would come and take them but, given the choice, most of my friends would prefer to have them as MP3s on a thumbdrive. I could drag them to a record store that buys/sells used stuff... but to be honest, I don't even know where one of those is around me. The thought of listing them all on eBay, individually or even as "collections" (e.g. 80's Hair Metal), just seemed like way too much work.
Google led me to SecondSpin.com, a used CD/DVD/video game retailer (online and physical) based in California. So, I bit the bullet and went through and manually entered the UPCs for each CD (to see what each was worth). I then filtered out all the ones that were worth less than $1 (a lot of stuff is only valued at less than what it would cost to ship) and the cut-outs (those are accepted on an "as-needed" basis). I then had to do some re-configuring.... putting the "valuable" ones in jewel cases that weren't cracked and falling apart. After all of that, I ended up shipping around 250 of them (media rate via USPS was only about $15). A couple of weeks later, I got an email from SecondSpin saying that they have accepted about 2/3 of them - they rejected ones that I had written on the disc (a requirement if you have ever lived with roommates!).
All said-and-done, it was a lot of work to get $175... but if nothing else, it is a greener way to dispose of CDs than putting them in a landfill. And that $175 will go right towards more digital purchases. What about the CDs they didn't accept? I didn't ask... it is SecondSpin's trash to dispose of now.