March 4, 2010

Amazon Trade-In for DVDs

On Amazon they have a service called Movies & TV trade In.   I stumbled upon it the other day while looking for something on Amazon.  The basic idea is that you round up your unwanted DVDs or Blu-ray discs and mail them in to Amazon for store credit.  Amazon lists the simple steps of the process as :

1. Select Items, 2. Ship items FREE, 3. Get a Gift Card
I thought to myself that this might be an easy way to quickly sell some DVDs.  But I wondered if you'd get a good price for your DVDs doing this.

As a test I chose to check the trade-in value of the Sopranos seasons 1-4.   The trade in prices seemed OK to me.  But I wondered if I could get more money by selling the items myself via Amazon Marketplace or on eBay.  I decided to compare the Trade-In prices to what you could sell the DVD's for on the Amazon Marketplace or via an auction on eBay.   For the Trade-in program the prices are fixed.   For Amazon Marketplace I just used the lowest used price for the items.   On eBay I did a search of current auctions showing the ones ending soonest then took the minimum price on the first page of results.

Amazon Trade in values:
Season 1 = $3.50, Season 2 = $6.75, Season 3 = $10.50, Season 4 = $6.00 for a Total = $26.75
Amazon Marketplace values:
Season 1 = $12.72, Season 2 = $16.89, Season 3 = $17.48, Season 4 = $20.98 for a Total = $68.07  [-$14 fees]
eBay prices.  

Season 1 = $7.00, Season 2 = $10.00, Season 3 = $10.50, Season 4 = $19.50 for a Total =$47.00 [-$5 fees]

[edit:  I originally forgot to account for the fees you have to pay on eBay and Amazon Marketplace. Roughly speaking from what I can tell the fees on the eBay sales would be 25¢ + 8.75% cost you around $5 and Amazon Marketplace would charge $1 + 15% for about $14]

You can make a lot more money selling the items yourself on eBay or Amazon Marketplace.   Selling them yourself will take a bit more work and there is no guarantee they'll sell quickly.  But if you're willing to do a little work and wait a week or two to sell things then you can make a lot more selling items individually on Amazon Marketplace.

Amazon Trade-in doesn't seem to be a bad service, it does what it is supposed to.  But if you want to maximize the amount of money you get from DVD's then I wouldn't recommend it.

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