I’ve tried out CEX, Zapper, We Buy Books, Music Magpie, Ziffit, and MoMox to see which offer the best trade-in prices for unwanted books, DVDs and CDs.
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Over the years I’ve accumulated hundreds of CDs, books and DVDs. Yet thanks to Spotify, Netflix and my Kindle I rarely use them. And with a big house move weeks away, it made sense to try a clear out. I actually sold the bulk of my unwanted items around seven years back when Becky and I were saving for travelling. A large chunk went to Fopp which at the time offered £1 per cd or DVD, and the rest we sold at a boot fair.
But this time there isn’t enough to warrant another stall, and Fopp no longer offers the same deal.
Instead I tried these six different companies which all promise to buy your unwanted physical media:
- Music Magpie
- We buy books
How these websites work
Enter or scan the barcode or ISBN number
Above or below every barcode is a 13 digit number. You type this into the websites to find out if the title is accepted and if so, how much you’ll get.
All the companies I tested also offered an app which allowed me to scan the barcodes. A much quicker process.
Reach the minimum amount
One of the frustrations with these companies is you can’t trade in until you reach a minimum amount. This figure ranges from an achievable £5 through to a massive £15.
Package and post
Once you’ve accepted the figures for trade, you need to box the titles up. Most allow you to drop the box off, though some will collect by courier. There isn’t usually a charge for this.
Wait for payment
You only get paid once the items have been received and checked. With CDs, DVDs and games in particular this involves a condition check. If they aren’t of the desired quality you might get less cash, or even none at all. Most allow you to be paid to your bank account or PayPal.
How the sites fared
I had around two dozen paperbacks, a few cookbooks, 10 DVDs and a handful of CDs. I don’t play computer games but you can sell them too. I’ve ranked them from the highest value offered to the lowest, though it really does depend on what you’re selling – any of them could come out top for you.
We Buy Books
We Buy Books accepted a few more things than the others but offered slightly lower prices. You can get a 5% top-up if you add £25 worth of items.
Minimum trade: £5
Music Magpie took a wide range of books and DVDs but at low prices. It offered just 1p for quite a few titles, which really is pointless.
However you can get a £5 bonus on your first trade if you sign up via this link.
Minimum trade: £5
CEX, or Computer Exchange, doesn’t take books, which had a big impact on the amount offered to me – so it’s only halfway down the list.
However it did offer me money for everything else, even if it was just a penny in some cases and was the top price for the blu-ray box set. You can also hand over items in one of the many CEX high street shops (when they reopen).
You can get a bit more for your trade in if you take the cash as credit to spend with them. If you choose this option there’s a £1.50 postage charge per item you buy, though you can use it in-store.
Minimum trade: None
My previous top pick has fallen down the rankings as prices were lower than elsewhere and it rejected most of the titles. It’s worth signing up and then holding out for a promo code that tops up your offer. I often get emailed ones for 15% extra.
Minimum trade: £5 or 10 items
It rejected most of the items I scanned but can up tops for a blu-ray boxset and old textbook. Plus, there’s a £5 bonus (when you sell £20 of items) for signing up to the newsletter.
Minimum trade: £10
On previous tries Zapper offered the lowest prices, but this time it was paused due to the pandemic and not taking any new orders.
Minimum trade: £5
Are these trade-in sites worth it?
From my test the answer is generally no. This kind of physical media just doesn’t hold its value, and with people also not really buying items second hand these websites can’t offer prices which make it worthwhile.
The vast bulk of companies refused to take most titles I had. Those that did take a wider selection offered such little money it hardly made the time taken to scan, package and post worthwhile. Why they even bother offering 1p is beyond me.
I really don’t think you’ll make much money with these websites with your standard collection. Which means you’re stuck with that Dan Brown novel, Spice Girls CD or Lord of the Rings DVD.
But you will get larger amounts for special editions, rare items, recent releases or textbooks. Though you’ll probably get more for these via eBay, it’s far more convenient to use these apps and websites than faffing about with eBay postage and fees.
And if you’re struggling for extra cash and don’t think you can put the time to better and more profitable use (such as switching your energy or bank), then I’d say go for CEX, Ziffit or We Buy Books.
Though the sites rejected most of the titles I had, some did offer decent prices on the books they did want, and those with a £5 minimum makes it easier to cash out. And CEX is a good option if there’s something you want to buy as the extra credit can really help.
I ended up selling five of the 20 titles for £8 via Ziffit and taking the rest to a charity shop. Better than nothing, but I’m not sure worth the time it took.