Cleaning Out CD’s Marks End of an Era
There was a time in my life when it seemed like I was buying at least one CD a week. That was also a time in my life when I still lived at home, wasn't married, and didn't have 2 kids to take care of. Outside of a vehicle payment, gas to make it go, and insurance, I had money to burn and I chose to burn that money on fast food, video games, and CD's.
At one point I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-225 compact discs on my CD rack organized in alphabetical order. Yes, I said alphabetical order. You could say that's a symptom of mild O.C.D., but I say it made finding the disc I wanted quick and convenient. Six of one, half dozen of the other I guess you could say. Anywho, back to the point. Most of my CD's were purchased, but as you might expect a good portion of them I had received for free through working at the station. I was pretty proud of my collection and as the years went on, I went from taking a carrying case that held 10 CD's with me everywhere I went to eventually lugging around a Case Logic (TM) carrier that held 200 discs which gave me the opportunity to bring nearly my entire CD collection with me everywhere I went. Then, back in 2001 a new device was born that would eventually end my need to collect CD's...the iPod.
When I first heard of the iPod I'll admit, I didn't quite understand why it was such a big deal. I thought I would have to re-purchase every CD I owned in mp3 format in order to use the darn thing. What I didn't realize until nearly everyone else one planet already had one is that you could put your existing CD's on your iPod using iTunes, and that's when it clicked. Why carry around 10 pounds of CD's when I could fit my entire library in my pocket? So I jumped on the band wagon and bought my first iPod. It was 2GB and held about 500 songs. I still have it to this day, however it sits somewhere in a dresser drawer unused because it has since been replaced by it's 160GB big brother that holds nearly 40,000 songs that I only have about 1/10 of the way filled.
But what of the CD's I worked so hard to collect? A collection I was once so happy with and made a point to take such good care of now sat untouched on that same wooden CD rack in my basement serving no other purpose other than to be a home for dust; pushed to the wayside much like it's predecessors the 8-Track & cassette tape, by the next big thing.
Let's say, for argument sake, that the average cost of each CD is $10. That means I had somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 worth of plastic sitting in my basement doing nothing. I decided it was time to part ways. I grabbed a plastic storage container and started at 311, cross-checking each disc with my iPod to make sure I had it loaded. Most ended up in the bin, others like copies I had made over the years and a majority of freebies I've received at the station found a new home in the trash. See record companies are pretty smart, when they send promotional copies of CD's to radio stations they'll do one a few things. They'll print the words "Promotion Copy Only" on the booklet, they'll alter the case in some way like drilling a hole through the corner, or they'll punch a hole through the UPC symbol so they can't be scanned which keeps radio guys like me from making money on a CD I never paid for.
Some were harder to part with than others, albums like Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten are modern-day classics for my generation. Much like Elvis and Led Zeppelin before them, they changed the face popular music. It was like I owned a piece of music history. Then the more I thought about it, the only way those CD's would be worth anything is if they had never been opened and were in mint condition. And even then, I'd probably have to wait another 20+ years before they matured to anything of value which wouldn't be guaranteed. Into the storage bin they went along with everything else until the only discs left were Sublime's Self-Titled album and Bob Marley & The Wailer's Greatest Hits, both of which belong to my wife.
Now the question is, what do I do with these things? At this point, all I've done is moved them from one spot in my basement to another which puts me back at square one. I don't feel like putting each and every one of them up on eBay, nor do I have the time. Plus half my profit would be eaten by shipping and handling charges. I figure my only option is to hit up a local store here in Evansville that buys, sells, and trades used CD's. I may be lucky to get $100 for all of them, but that would be $100 I didn't have before. And if they're not willing to give me that or they just laugh me out of the store, then it looks like I'm set on beer coasters for life.