Whenever I get invited to someone’s home, the first thing I do is look around. Looking at a person’s living space gives you a good idea of whether they are trying to optimise their finance or not.
So I look for ‘dusty assets’ – Things of value that are sitting on shelves gathering dust and dirt, rather than generating value.
In fact, most people have hundreds of dollars sitting in their living room without even realising it. And that hidden treasure is their entire collection of CDs, DVDs and possibly video games.
Such collections are generally amassed over the years with hundreds of them stacked on top of each other. Most of them barely ever get listened to or watched or played, but somehow are still kept as mementos.
As each of these used CDs, DVDs and video games can be sold for about $5 or more on selling websites like eBay, there is quite a lot of money trapped in those collections.
So, if you don’t actually listen to the CDs, watch the DVDs or play the video games, and you are not a passionate collector, why are you letting your assets gather dust?
Rather than hang on to this clutter, I will argue that you should sell your collection. And do it quickly!
Why Collect CDs and DVDs?
I have seen people with brand-new never opened DVDs sitting on the shelf. They have generally already seen the movie, sometimes numerous times, and liked it, so decided to buy the DVD or – liked it so much – that they wanted to own the limited edition DVD too.
However, since they bought the film, they never actually had the opportunity to watch it again. But, somehow, they hold on to the DVD.
So, think about your own collection. How many times have you listened to the CDs you own and how many times have you watched those films? I would bet the answer is once or twice for most of them.
Sure, there will be some ‘gems’ in your collection – films that you have watched (and will continue to watch) time and time again. But what about the other tens or hundreds of CDs and DVDs that you have? Do you really need all of them? You probably don’t, and here is why.
First, most good movies will get a lot of airtime on TV, which means you can either record them with your DVR and watch them to your heart’s content or you can watch them when they actually air. Second, most movies don’t age well. What was cool and modern when the movie came out, quickly becomes dated and uninteresting. Third, new movies come out all the time and you may want to watch those too!
These three things combined mean that the probability of you watching the same movies over and over is quite low – So, except for some Disney movies (thanks to your kids), I suggest you “Let it goooooo!”.
There is, of course, also a technology issue. DVDs are replaced by Blu-rays, CDs are replaced by digital music formats, and video games are moving towards online content. The technology with which your assets can be accessed is slowly eroding.
Cash out or you will end up like your parents – Holding a large collection of useless VHS and audio cassettes…
In fact, music is now virtually free and there is no need to own it physically. For instance, you can listen to any song you want on Youtube, provided you can handle a few seconds of advertisement before the song starts. There are many other programs and virtual radio stations that will act as free jukebox and have any song anyone could ever want to listen to.
Why Resell CDs and DVDs?
The answers to that question is actually very simple: Because you don’t need them!
With technology evolving to digital storage, there is no need to own physical CDs or DVDs. You want to listen to a song? It’s streaming online! You want to see a TV show? It’s streaming online! You want to watch a film? It’s streaming online! In fact, there is so much choice that the real problem will be WHICH song or film to listen to/watch, rather than how to get access to it.
The other point is that, as with any technology, it’s only a matter of time before CDs and DVDs become obsolete. Obsolete technology is worthless, so you are better off selling them now, while they still have value. Just like Vinyl was replaced by audio tapes and audio tapes were replaced by CDs, the cycle continues with new digital formats! New laptops nowadays don’t even have a CD-ROM player anymore.
You might think to yourself: “No problem! I’ll just keep my DVD player.” The problem is that once the format is no longer popular, firms will also stop making the players that play that format. So, when your DVD player breaks down (and that’s only a matter of time! – see planned obsolescence), you won’t have any way to watch those movies anymore. Firms know that these markets aren’t going to be profitable long-term, so they are trying to get out – You should too!
Even if you decide to stockpile DVD players for that eventuality, i.e. so you can continue watching DVDs even though the technology is obsolete, the question is whether you will really want to. The quality is likely to be lower than what would exist at that time. Technology is made to be replaced.
It means that value depreciation of entertainment assets is very high, so the key to not being left holding worthless assets, is to sell them as soon as possible.
For instance, the best way to get a high price for a DVD is to buy a newly released DVD, watch it and then immediately resell it. If you wait even a few weeks or months, many more people will want to sell the DVD but fewer people will want to buy it. That means less money for you!
Cost Saving Alternatives
Of course I’m not suggesting that you stop listening to music, watching films or playing video games. Entertainment is important! As I mentioned above, one way to still enjoy these things is to choose online streaming options.
Providers such as Pandora and Netflix give full access to all your needs for monthly subscription fees that would be equivalent to buying one CD or DVD. But in this case, you have access to a whole collection for that price.
Alternatively, you can rent movies. For instance, if you know that you will only watch a movie once, you would be better off renting the DVD for one night. It will cost you a few dollars but less than it would cost you to buy and then re-sell the DVD, not to mention the effort!
Another option that many people forget about is borrowing CDs and DVDs from the local library. When I was a kid, we always borrowed films from the library. It was convenient, cheap and fun. If you can borrow books, why not borrow those items as well?
If you need additional motivation to sell your CDs, DVDs or video games, how about selling your stereo or TV first? Once the TV is gone, there really is no need to hang on to a DVD player or DVDs.
We did that a few months ago and haven’t looked back since. You have so much more spare time once you free yourselves from the shackles of (unwanted) technology, and some extra cash too!