Ebay Experiment #1

This is part an experiment in valuation, part an excuse to extend my CD collection on a budget. Here’s the plan: for a total of less than £5 a week (including postage), I’ll be snapping up CDs that I either particularly want or think are worth the price for a curious listen from eBay. I’ll then give the albums a quick one line review, tot up the prices and compare them to what the same selection would have cost if I’d gone over to the (also quite cheap) Amazon website and ordered them new. I’m interested in part because the value of music is such a hot topic right now, especially with downloads and stuff taken into account, and how the value of it changes over time varies substantially depending on what it is (buy an album by indie mainstays Ash off eBay these days, for example, and you’ll do well to spend more than a couple of quid. Queen are obviously a whole lot older, but the price is much, much higher… should value be dictated by this kind of demand? Who knows… anyway, here’s what I snapped up, scroll down for Amazon comparison and my ‘conclusion’. My CD collections look nice and filled out! Of course, I’ve already heard some of these albums ample times digitally, but it’s not quite the same as owning them…

Week 1: (total – £4.39)

Radiohead – Kid A (2000) – £2.41.
Ambient. Bizarre. Not as good as Ok Computer. Still fantastic. 8/10

Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005) – £0.99
Quirky pop punk. Like Fall Out Boy, but the album tracks are good, too. 7/10

Badly Drawn Boy – About A Boy Soundtrack
(2002) – £0.99
Ambient background music, mostly. Silent Sigh’s great, though. 5/10

Week 2: (total – £4.95)

Ash – Meltdown (2004) – £0.99
Not their best by a long shot, but there’s some good stuff on here. 6/10

Supergrass – Self Titled
(1999) – £0.99
Worth the money if only for ‘Mary’ and ‘Moving’. Classic festival band. 6/10

Supergrass – I Should Coco (1995) – £0.99
Early Supergrass is weird, but then it includes ‘Alright’, and it’s wacky. 7/10

Embrace – This New Day (2006) – £0.99
Great band, by far their worst album. Saved by ‘I Can’t Come Down’. 4/10.

Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
(2005) – £0.99
Ah, the Kaiser Chiefs back when they were good and energetic. Good fun. 7/10
Week 3: (total – £5.00)

Moby – Play (1999) – £0.99
You’d have to be living on a planet far from popular culture not to love this. 9/10

The Zutons – Tired Of Hanging Around
(2006) – £0.99
Why do albums this new go for so little? Interesting for a few weeks on summer, then not… 5/10

Mystery Jets – Making Dens (2006) – £0.99
They were great a few years ago. Not really sure what all the fuss was about. 5/10

The Fratellis – Costello Music
(2006) – £1.04
Cheesy, spiky indie rock with a seriously infectious bent to it. Can’t argue. 8/10

The Rakes – Capture/ Release
(2005) – £0.99
I always thought this band were all about ’22 Grand Job’. They’re good. 7/10

Week 4:
(Total – £4.96)

No Doubt – The Singles 1992-2003 (2003) – £0.99
Some of it’s great, some of it’s rubbish. I love ‘Running’. 7/10

Ordinary Boys – Over The Counter Culture (2004) – £0.99
Another indie band who are much better than I expected them to be. 8/10

David Gray – White Ladder (1998) – £0.99
Classic album, recorded in his back room, apparently. 7/10

Brand New Heavies – s/t (1990) – £0.99
Not their best, but they were great live. I should own at least one album after interviewing them… 5/10

R.E.M – Up (1998) – £0.99
‘At My Most Beautiful’ + ‘Daysleeper’ + average album tracks. 5/10


TOTAL COST FROM AMAZON (at time of writing) = £104.34

which works out at 18.5% of the Amazon retail price (not including the cost of Amazon delivery, though that can be free).

Which means that for this particular selection of music, people participating in an open auction value the albums at less than 20% of what the music industry values them at. My point? Well I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the cost vs. value of media. I’m off to listen to my newly extended CD collection. Round two coming up in a month or two,

J x

PS No, none of my Christmas present came from eBay. Not one!

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