How to make money out of old books, CDs, games and DVDs

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By in Make Money. Updated April 2016.

Reckon you’ve got the world’s largest unused media collection? Perhaps you should look into cashing in on that baby.largecdcollectiondvdChances are we’ve all got a secret stash of books, CDs, games or DVDs that we’re never, not in a squillion years, going to watch or use again. Perhaps we never even used them in the first place.

It makes little sense to keep hold of stuff you don’t need – especially if you’re in need of some dosh and the unwanted remnants of your collection can be transferred into cold, hard cash.

As they say though, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so we’ve taken a look at all the different ways you can get your hands on some dolla.

How to go about selling old items

pcon1The most common way of getting rid of your unwanted goodies these days is to be found on the wondrous world wide web.

In fact, there’s a whole army of trade-in sites just looking to take your junk away.

While each site will differ on the information they want from you before coughing up, generally it’s just a case of plugging in a barcode, ISBN or product name to get an instant quote.

You might find that some sites have a minimum value or number of items, so you may need to flog several items at a time, depending on the site you’re using.

Make sure to pack your items well, as sites won’t be happy to pay up for damaged goods and probably won’t send them back to you, either!

If you’re cool with the valuation you’ve been given, simply accept the offer, fill in your details and post your goodies off in the post. In most cases the postage is free, but do be sure to check first.

Then comes the fun bit: getting paid! Normally you’ll receive payment, either as a cheque or to your PayPal or bank account within about seven days, but beware, it can take longer.

How much could you earn?

Businessman Throwing his Money AroundNow, don’t get us wrong – you can snag yourself a handsome bonus by using trade-in websites, but you haven’t by any means stumbled on a goldmine of epic proportions.

Depending on what you’re selling, you can expect to net about £1 for CDs, £1.50 for DVDs and £15 for computer games.

It’s widely acknowledged that you probably could get more money out of your stuff by other means (we’ll get to that later), but trade-in sites sure are convenient and hassle free.

As with everything we bang on about, it’s always best to shop around, as different trade-in sites will often give you different offers.

Remember too that the price you’re offered will be based on demand. So if you’re selling textbooks, for example, flog them as soon as possible to make sure the course is still running, and ideally just before term starts.

You might find that some sites will offer you a better deal if you accept a voucher instead of cash, something which might be worth considering if you have to buy stuff from them in the near future.

Top second-hand selling websites

Variety is the spice of life, apparently, so it’s only logical you’ll find a zillion different trade-in websites out there.

We’ve rounded up all of the big players so you can take your pick.

  1. Music Magpie

    CDs / DVDs / Games

    master_musicmagpieHappy to relieve you of your CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and games, Music Magpie is one of the most well known trade-in sites. Nowadays, they’ll even take your old clothes off your hands, too.

    The prices might not always be the best going, but they are always worth a look at – and crucially, they offer free postage on your old gear.

    They also have a handy mobile app which comes with a barcode scanner.

    You’ll need a minimum valuation of £5 or have ten items to flog, and payment is either by bank transfer, cheque or a Marks and Spencer eVoucher.

    Check out Music Magpie »

  2. Amazon Marketplace

    Books / Games

    amzn_fb-tw_Icon-globalWhile most well-known in the online sphere as a listings website, Amazon also offer a second-hand service on both books and games.

    It’s not known for getting the best prices, but they will quickly sell items you won’t be able to offload elsewhere.

    Check out Amazon Marketplace »

  3. CeX

    CDs / DVDs / Books / Games

    CeX-logo-for-Twitter-V5The only name in our list to also boast a high street presence, CeX has been knocking about for two decades now, also making it the most established of our big players.

    Happy to take your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and games, as well as pretty much anything electronic, CeX will pay to your bank account, PayPal or with a cheque. Vouchers are also available if you want to buy some second-hand gear.

    There’s no minimum value, and if you pop into a store you can also get cash straight away. You might need to become a CeX member first.

    Check out CeX »

  4. WeBuyBooks

    CDs / Books / Games

    download (25)Despite the name, WeBuyBooks are also cool with nabbing your CDs, films and games and often ranks pretty well for valuations.

    They’ll pay you within three days of getting your item via PayPal, cheque or bank transfer, and also offer free postage and rewards for regular customers.

    Check out WeBuyBooks »

  5. GameXchange


    games_exchangeIf you’re looking to offload games only, then it’s well worth paying a visit to GameXchange, who are often the best for retro games.

    They pay your postage costs if your order is £10+ and payment is in the form of cash for goods.

    Check out GameXchange »

Other options for selling

As we hinted at before, trade-in sites aren’t your only options, and you could often get a better pay out if you invest a little more time and effort in another method.

Here’s our pick of the rest.

Auction sites

auction-paddle-2If you’re willing to wait a bit longer for your cash, you can sell them item direct using an auction site such as eBay or Amazon.

It will take a bit more time to set up your listing, research how much to charge and you will have to pay a commission on your listing or sale, but you could potentially get much more for your items.

Make sure to check out our guide to selling on eBay first if you’re thinking of going down this route.

Car boot sales

car-boot-pic1Often massively underrated and underused as a way of making money on items, car boot sales are also a hell of a lot of fun.

If you’ve a lot of stuff to shift (or you can club together with friends), then keep an eye on your local paper or check out Car Boot Junction to find a sale near you.

You will have to pay out around a fiver for a pitch but you’ll get instant cash in your hand and the benefit of impulse buys, along with the opportunity to haggle!

Advertisement boards

Notice boardSadly we’re not talking about a huge billboard on the M2, but the more modest boards you’re likely to find at your uni, in supermarkets, churches and village halls.

Often free to use, you can get a lot of guaranteed views – and if you are competitive and show your items are in good condition, you are likely to get interest.

Inserting ‘O.N.O’ (‘Or Nearest Offer’) beside your selling price will encourage people to get in contact if they are put off by your price. Plus it makes it sound like you know what you are talking about.

Buy back policies

booksA totally valid option when it comes to academic books, but you will have to plan ahead with your purchases.

University campus favourite Blackwell’s, for example, offer a scheme where you’re guaranteed 40% of the price you paid on selected books if you choose to bring them back.

You will have to keep them in tip-top condition mind, so no scribbling in the margins!

Alternatively, if you don’t fancy selling any of your old items, you can get creative and use them to decorate your room.

If you’re still hungry for more moolah, we have loads more ways to make money as a student.

Have you sold any old items recently? How did it go? Was it worth it?

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