Save Money with Used CDs

Buying used CDs and ripping them to MP3 can result in some great cost savings, with the added benefits of higher quality digital copies (when setting your ripping application to produce the highest quality) and an actual physical copy for storage. You get an extra bonus if you get a charge finding a box on your doorstep.

Selected below are some albums of classic rock that would serve you well to buy the physical discs and rip your own CDs for import into your music management software (in my case, iTunes). You’ve waited this long to buy a copy, no reason you can’t wait for the UPS driver to leave a package at your door. If you’re so inclined, Craigslist or local used record stores offer you the best of both worlds – instant gratification AND the physical object AND high quality digital copies.

The Beatles “1”

The 27 Beatles #1 hits in the United States and England represented on this 2000 compilation album. As a digital album, it’s only available in the iTunes store for $12.99, which each song available at $1.29. Searching eBay yielded a “Very Good” copy for $2.95 plus an additional $2.29 for shipping, a total of $5.24 and 4-days waiting. 40% savings over the instant gratification of downloading.

And if you’re looking for more than just the #1’s you might look at

The Beatles Box Set

It’s available on iTunes for $149.99 with the physical copies available through a site called eCrater for $89.99 with other prices ranging from $140 up to $202, and a best price on Half/eBay posting at $120. It seems to me that part of the lure of a box set is the packaging and in which case, and while the price differential doesn’t seem that great there is something to be said for foregoing the download to getting the physical copy.

The Complete Led Zeppelin (remastered)

To buy this 5-CD set on iTunes and the Amazon MP3 store as a download will set you back $99.99. A quick search of yields the actual CD box set selling for $86.83 through Amazon (free shipping) with used copies selling for $51.45. I could find no copies available on Ebay/Half, but if you were to buy that used copy, you’d be saving yourself just about 50%.

Bruce Springsteen Live 1975-1984

This collection will set you back $29.99 on iTunes, and $32.46 at Amazon. You can buy a used copy for just under $16 on Amazon, or a little less than 50%.

The bottom line is that with the iTunes import feature, you really don’t need to buy your music directly from iTunes, with the result being you will get a higher quality digital copy AND some pretty cool artwork. If you just can’t wait, go for it, but if you’re avoiding the murky waters of free downloading sites and peer-to-peer file sharing, there is money to be saved by ripping your own copies from used discs.

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