Instant Cash Trade-In Sites: Summer Update

best_deals_smallerIn a recent article I revealed what I consider to be the five best online ‘instant cash’ trade-in websites, where you can get instant cash offers in exchange for your unwanted books, DVDs, CDs and games.

In this eletter I want to re-visit the top sites from my survey, and to give you a very important update…

The trade-in sites I refer to are: ‘Music Magpie’, ‘Zapper’, ‘Ziffit’, ‘We Buy Books and Games’ and ‘FatBrain’.

Unlike retail and auction sites such as Amazon or eBay, these trade-in sites will offer you an instant cash pay-out for your goods.  In exchange for the immediacy of payment, the terms of their offer are usually quite low.  Take CD’s for instance.  They might offer anywhere between 20 pence and £3.00 per album (singles are not usually accepted).

Clearly, if you placed the same CD on Amazon or eBay your chances of a greater return would improve…but you do have to wait for the ‘fish to bite’ in order to get your sale, and this of course is the defining quality of cash trade-in sites.

The beauty of such sites is that they give you the opportunity to offload any unwanted items which are not cost effective to list on Amazon or eBay.  This might be because there is a glut of other similar items being sold at the same time, which can have the effect of driving prices down to almost one penny.

So, as an alternative, if you were to list the same media on trade-in sites, you stand a good chance of improving your overall earnings.

For example; when I buy CDs online, as job-lots, I do so in order to break down the whole consignment. I then re-sell the CDs again, but this time individually. Using this method I hope to achieve a position where the sum of the parts are greater than the original purchase sum of the whole.

As a technique this usually works very well, but no matter how careful I am in my choice of purchase, I’m always left with some residual CDs which are not worth listing.  But that’s OK, because I factor this into the whole equation when I make my original purchase.

If however I can get a little bit extra from a trade-in site, this helps to make the whole trade sweeter still.

Trade-in sites run their businesses to make money…naturally, and consequently the prices they offer to the public continually fluctuate based on supply and demand.

A surplus of supply and lack of demand will decrease their cash offers, and a high demand with poor levels of supply will prompt them to offer higher prices for your goods.

The Bad News

This update is to advise you that prices being offered right now – 2nd week of August – are significantly lower than they were just a few months ago when I first conducted my trade-in site survey. 

Liz (my wife) sat down only last week to list a lot of our surplus CDs and we were horrified by the small amounts being universally offered by these sites.  The climate for this market had clearly shifted, and within a very short space of time.

The reasons for this slump I think are obvious.  More people are on holiday, with more time on their hands to clear out their unused and unwanted media.  Perhaps they have tried their luck at selling at open-air car boot sales and have come away disillusioned, and have opted instead to get a lump sum payment from a trade-in site.  This of course has boosted the short term supply.

On top of that, it’s currently ‘overseas travel’ season, which favours portable ‘digital’ music rather than hard copy CDs.  And this has temporarily reduced demand for all hard-copy media.

These factors combined have predictably driven the prices down to what I consider a record low.

The Good News:  Things are set to improve! 

My advice would be to hold onto your stock and not to be tempted to offload right now, unless you really need to de-clutter badly to free up space.

For ‘what goes up, also goes down’…and visa-versa.  I would advise you to hold your fire and store your items until September / October time.  By then I fully expect prices to bounce back to the levels they were only a few months ago in the springtime.

I have seen this fluctuating price wave pattern several times over the course of a year and I’m sure that, as autumn follows summer,  price levels will return to normal by the time the autumn leaves start to change colour.

Bye the way, my survey showed that not all cash trade-in sites are created equal.  They have strengths and weaknesses depending upon what type of media you are hoping to sell.

If you are interested to see which sites are best suited to your needs, the full report can be seen as one of the free bonuses within my ‘cash from collectibles’ website, The Profit Box.

Until next time, have a great week.