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MusicMagpie: the worst way to sell DVDs?

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MusicMagpie allows you to sell off your unwanted DVDs, CDs and games quickly and easily. But does it pay as well as eBay or Amazon?


A more up-to-date study of MusicMagpie has now been published. Check out MusicMagpie vs the competition: where to sell your DVDs

The TV has been full of ads recently for a new way to sell your old DVDs called MusicMagpie.

It intrigued me. Could I cash in on my DVDs and make a few quid?

How MusicMagpie works

The firm allows users to cash in on their old CDs, DVDs and computer games. You can enter the barcode from the DVD, CD or game’s box on the website, and it will give you a quote for how much cash you’ll get from the firm for it. There’s also a mobile phone app which allows you to actually scan the barcode, which is far quicker.

You can then print off Freepost labels from the site for sending your DVDs to MusicMagpie, so it really won’t cost you a penny to make a few quid from your unwanted films.

So let’s see how much I can get for a selection of my old films.

Penny pinching

I’ve tried to select a varied range of (fairly) recent films and classics, across different genres, as well as TV show boxsets. Here are the ten DVDs I went for, and how much I could get today by selling them to MusicMagpie.

DVD

MusicMagpie offer

The Godfather Trilogy

£1.67

The Dark Knight

30p

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

30p

The Inbetweeners season 1 and 2

£1.22

Rocky Anthology

£1.26

Kung Fu Panda

47p

Peep Show series 4

57p

The West Wing season 4

£2.10

Max and Paddy – Road to Nowhere

£1.72

Spaced – Collector’s Edition

£1.78

So for my ten DVDs, I’d get £11.39.

Clearly, selling my old DVDs is not going to get me rich anytime soon. Given the guy on the MusicMagpie advert talks about getting a cheque for £50, clearly he is shifting an awful lot of DVDs.

So how do these values compare with the return you can get on alternative sites?

Giving eBay a try

Perhaps the first place most of us think of if we fancy selling some unwanted goods is eBay. There are currently auctions on the site for many of DVDs above – I’ve only quoted prices where there have been actual bids made, rather than auctions where nobody is currently matching the vendor’s asking price. I’ve also not included delivery costs.

Here are the current bid levels for them:

DVD

eBay price

Difference from MusicMagpie offer

The Godfather Trilogy

£1.70

+3p

The Dark Knight

£1.47

+£1.17

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

£2.19

+£1.89

The Inbetweeners season 1 and 2

£7.50

+£6.28

Rocky Anthology

£3.99

+£2.73

Kung Fu Panda

99p

+52p

Peep Show series 4

£2.95

+£2.38

The West Wing season 4

£2.50

+40p

Max and Paddy – Road to Nowhere

£2.47

+37p

Spaced – Collector’s Edition

99p

-79p

So only Spaced represents a worse deal than MusicMagpie, though there were a number of Spaced boxsets on a ‘Buy It Now’ deal at prices ranging up to £13.45.

Overall then, I’d be looking at a return of £26.75. That’s just shy of £15 (£14.98) more by going down the eBay route. However, this doesn’t take into account the cost of listing products on eBay. There are three different fees here – insertion fees (paid for listing an item on the site, irrespective of whether it sells or not), final value fees (based on a percentage of the item’s final selling price) and feature fees (for using subtitles or pictures, to improve your chances of selling).

So let’s use the Inbetweeners boxset as an example. If I started the auction price above 99p, I’d have to pay a 10p insertion fee. I’d then have to pay 10% of the final selling price in final value fees, while having more than one picture of the boxset would set me back an additional 12p.

On that basis, for shifting the Imbetweeners boxset for £7.50, I could be paying around 97p for the privilege. Not such a problem when you’re getting a decent price for your DVDs, but if you pay for extra pictures to try to help you sell your DVD, and don’t manage to shift it, it can be an expensive game.

Then there’s all the hassle of having to go to the Post Office to despatch each individual DVD you sell, which can be pretty time consuming.

What about Amazon?

After University, I sold a lot of my old text books on Amazon, but I’ve never sold DVDs on there before.

Here are the prices Amazon users are currently charging for the DVDs above (again I’m not including delivery costs, and have gone with the cheapest offer):

DVD

Amazon price

Difference from MusicMagpie offer

The Godfather Trilogy

£6.97

+£5.30

The Dark Knight

£1.53

+£1.27

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

92p

+62p

The Inbetweeners season 1 and 2

£6.48

+£5.26

Rocky Anthology

£4.18

+£2.92

Kung Fu Panda

98p

+51p

Peep Show series 4

£1.72

+£1.15

The West Wing season 4

£6.98

+£4.88

Max and Paddy – Road to Nowhere

£3.39

+£1.67

Spaced – Collector’s Edition

£5.49

+£3.71

So the prices on Amazon are even more attractive for vendors. On these 10 DVDs, selling on Amazon may get you a return of £38.64. That’s £27.29 more than you’ll get from MusicMagpie - so three times as much!

Again though, there are selling fees to consider.

There are two different selling accounts you can have on Amazon – Basic, for those who play to sell fewer than 35 items a month, and Pro for those who want to sell more. On a Basic account, there’s no monthly subscription fee, but there is a 75p ‘referral fee’ for listing the item, a closing fee (starting at 14p depending on what it is that you’re selling) and a 15% commission based on the item price.

So again, if you manage to sell the Inbetweeners boxset at the current cheapest price on Amazon, you’ll have to pay a minimum of £1.86 in fees.

Sacrificing cash for ease

I know it’s more hassle selling on Amazon or eBay, and there’s no guarantee that you will actually manage to shift the DVDs, but I’d still be far more likely to use those sites than MusicMagpie. MusicMagpie offers a relatively hassle-free way of shifting unwanted DVDs, but the money you sacrifice for that ease just isn’t worth it in my opinion.

But what do you think? And are there other places to sell DVDs which I should consider?

For more ideas on how to make money from old or unused items, have a read of Recycle your things for cash!

More on shopping around

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Slash your supermarket delivery costs!

How to cut the cost of your cinema tickets

Alternatives to eBay

Watch free movies legally online

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