The music lover's guide to cheaper songs & albums

July 28, 2015

From vinyl to MP3s, music lovers are enjoying new tunes for less. If you love buying songs and albums, these tips will be music to your ears.

The music lover's guide to cheaper songs & albums

Buying used discs

  • As long as it plays perfectly, a used CD or vinyl record is a sensible buy. In a typical music collection of 100 CDs, an average saving of $5 each could buy a new TV and DVD player.
  • Many music stores have pre-owned sections or deal exclusively with used CDs and records.
  • Online auctions have a far wider selection, with CD prices ranging for as little as a couple of dollars.
  • Before buying at temporary sites, like flea markets or from street vendors, check that the disc is legitimate and not a pirated copy.

Buy songs instead of albums

  • If you don't like all the songs on an album, see if the songs you want are available from an online music service rather than buying a CD.
  • You can download individual songs from thousands of albums for 99 cents each, build up a music collection on your computer, then transfer the songs to an MP3 player or create your own CDs.
  • Be sure that your online music service is a reputable source to avoid illegal downloading and ensure payments are secure.
  • Although it's difficult to compare the cost of the downloaded tracks with the same number of tracks on purchased CDs, at least you'll have only paid for those tracks you enjoy.

Replacing old with new

  • The market for old, classic albums is growing as the younger generation discovers vinyl.
  • To find out if any of your old records are valuable, use the Search feature on an auction site to see how much the same records fetch.
  • Online auctions are perfect for getting the best price for items that are otherwise hard to sell, and you can reinvest your newly earned cash in more CDs and DVDs.

Auction buying

  • Buying online at an auction can be fun, but don't let the excitement get in the way of your better judgment. You may find yourself in a costly bidding war.
  • Check the seller's profile. This shows any feedback about how the seller has done business with other customers.
  • By bidding as late as possible, you avoid revealing your interest to other bidders and help to keep the price down.
  • If the auction description doesn't make it clear that you're buying an original CD or DVD, ask the seller directly in an email sent via eBay. Don't pay $10 for a pirated disc worth $1.

Getting the music you want has never been easier thanks to the myriad of places we can now buy music. If you love listening to music, being savvy with how you purchase songs can help you grow your collection and keep your foot tapping to the beat.

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