Friday, April 26, 2013

Trade-Ins: Tips and Tricks

As pretty much everyone who knows me already knows, I have been a long-time user of trade-in services.  Originally, I just traded in video games; I don't do that anymore, but I still do trade in DVDs at MovieStop and books at my local used bookstores.  With all my years of experience, I thought that I would give out some tips and tricks for those who are interested in trading in items to save money.  These are in no order:

  1. If you don't want it, and you can trade it in, do so, regardless of the potential trade-in value.  You may think that you won't get much for your DVD or book, and you might not, but every cent you make on any of the items you trade in is one less cent that you have to spend to get what you want or need.
  2. Don't go too crazy with trading in items.  Unless you're completely strapped for cash and need the money to buy food or pay rent, don't recklessly trade items in for credit or cash.  Unfortunately, I've had to buy DVDs more than once sometimes, because I traded them in and later wished I hadn't.  You can learn from my mistake.
  3. When trading in DVDs or CDs, make sure that the correct discs are in the correct cases.  This is especially true for those who keep their discs in some sort of binder.  I once mistakenly traded in an empty case; it was a bit embarrassing.  Not only that, but I recently bought what appeared to be a two-disc "best-of" set of The Jetsons, when it turned out to be the first half of the first season.  I didn't know it until I had purchased it from MovieStop and opened it; I'll be returning it soon.
  4. Don't expect miracles from your trade-ins.  The used bookstores in my area give you twenty-five percent of the list price for whatever books you trade in; you can calculate that by finding the price online, if it isn't already on the cover.  MovieStop, FYE, and other places in my area go on a sliding scale, but you can get a general idea by looking up the prices online; if it's on clearance for only a buck or two, don't expect much!
  5. Don't buy something just to trade in unless you are sure it will be worth it.  Usually, new release movies on DVD or Blu-Ray are worth at least ten dollars in a MovieStop trade-in; if, by some random chance, you come across one at a yard sale or thrift store on the cheap, it would likely be a good idea.  Other than that, I would suggest buying just what you like; as prices rise and fall, and trends go and come back, you might be surprised at what DVDs you bought for yourself are actually worth.
  6. Know the rules of the places you are trading in items to before you get there.  I know that MovieStop accepts DVDs and Blu-Rays, but I know they don't accept VHS tapes, and I'm pretty sure they don't do HD-DVDs either.  Those would be better suited as a donation to a thrift store.  Also, the used bookstores in my area have rules about condition--no holes in the cover, no cracks in the spines, audiobooks must have all the discs and be in good shape, etc.--and format as well: no hardbacks unless the same book is not available in paperback form.  Sticking to the rules can help you and the employees at the store save time and effort, and will make you a more popular customer.
Any questions or comments?

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