718 729 6400
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Long Island City, NY 11101
United States
0228 5488 9971
ber@virama.com
Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 101
10553 Berlin
Deutschland
020 3239 6539
lon@virama.com
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United Kingdom
  • We buy Books, CDs, DVDs, Legos & Toys
  • We do not cherry pick
  • We do not need a title list
  • Instant payment by check or paypal
  • FREE shipping of all CDs, DVDs and Legos from you to us with insurance and tracking number
How it works:
  1. Box up your CDs, DVDs and Legos
  2. Complete order form to get FREE labels
  3. Or stop by at our warehouse
    (address, directions and opening hours)
  4. We will quote you one price for everything
  5. Upon acceptance we will pay you by check or paypal
Overview Main drivers of price trends in the markets for used books, CDs, and DVDs during the first half of the 2009 were:
  • the decline in consumer spending
  • the replacement of CDs and DVDs by Blu-ray DVDs, digital downloads, iTunes, and streaming video
  • the further blockbusterization of the media business because of store closings or the reduction of floor space
  • an oversupply of used CDs and DVDs
  • the reluctance of foreign and domestic bulk buyers
U.S. music sales 1999-2009 US Music Sales 1999-2009
Consumer spending, foreclosures, and unemployment Consumer spending has declined dramatically year-over-year. The rate of decline seems to have reached a plateau in the first quarter of the year without increasing further. The strained economic conditions might have stimulated demand for used and therefore cheaper items but this factor was more than outweighed by the increase in supply caused by high unemployment which gave sellers the time and motivation to sell collections. Real estate foreclosures and moves led to a doubling of inventory available at fire sale prices.
Retail sales and credit freeze The worldwide decline in retail sales combined with a near credit-freeze for small businesses has led to the disappearance of domestic and foreign bulk buyers which acted in previous years as buyers-of-last-resort that helped support a price floor for low-end inventory. Buyers of classical music located in Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria have virtually disappeared or have put all purchases on hold.

Many wholesellers and record stores reported that their credit lines with banks or credit cards were cut in Fall of 2008, often by 30%-50% or just slightly above the unused portion of the credit line. Customers of banks in trouble (Washington Mutual, Chase, Bank of America) were especially affected.

Advanta Small Business Card, recommended by Fortune and Fast Company as #1 small business credit card ceded operations abruptly in May 2009.
The disappearance of bulk buyers Before, bulk buyers provided a price floor for overstock and low end-items. It worked like this: if record stores buy collections they know that on average between 20% and 40% of all acquired items are either overstock, worthless, or below their cut-off point for prices for used items (usually between $1 and $3). In previous years, record stores could rely on flipping these items to bulk buyers, usually at a rate of $0.50 per item. The disappearance of these bulk buyers has significantly affected the buyers at record stores because the 20%-40% overstock and low-end items are now worth nothing or even generate storage or salvage removal costs while they were worth at least $0.50 in previous years. Record stores often relied on liquid bulk buyers for the cash flow to finance new purchases of music- or book collections because they had established relationships with bulk buyers who could buy large amounts of overstock on short notice which generated quick cash for the record or used book store.

The disappearance of bulk buyers together with the credit freeze has dramatically reduced the amount used book and record stores have available for the acquisition of music collections, libraries, and estates. Between 2005 and the second quarter of 2009, the average prices at which used record stores buy used CDs have declined from $1.25-1.50 per item to $0.50-$0.75 per item. In parts of the country, the prices record stores pay for used CDs have declined to $0.10-$0.25 per item. Internet based buyers usually refuse to purchase whole collections and limit themselves to just the most valuable items in a collection which reduces the average income per item in the total collection to the same range. A CD collection that was worth $1 per item in 2006 might now fetch a quarter a piece if sold to an internet-based operation or a record store in a rural area.

Average retail prices for used CDs bought online have declined from slightly below $7.94 in 2005 to $4.69 in the second quarter of 2009 before shipping charges.
Digital downloads, mediaplayers, and smart phones replace CDs and CD players The overall decline in CD sales which we have observed since 2002 has further accelerated. Over the last seven years, a generation of teenagers and people in their early Twenties has grown up that does not have the experience of buying a CD and instead acquires music only as legal (iTunes) or illegal downloads (Limewire).  The introduction of downloadable MP3 files on Amazon’s U.S. website has put music CDs in direct competition with digital downloads on the main website for music, movies, and books. The recently introduced 3G S iPhones and other smartphones provide enough hard disk space to store a small to average music collection. These phones equal hard disk space of the first generation of iPods that beginning in 2004 fundamentally changed the market for new and used CDs.
U.S. music sales 1999-2009 (rate of change) US Music Sales 1999-2009 Rate of Change
Virama price index for online sales of CDs in the U.S. The Virama Price Index for Online Sales of CDs is a weighted index of approximately 100,000 titles in used and new condition. The index records actual e-commerce transactions not product offerings. The index contains both used and new items as well as popular or rare titles. The index is designed to give a representative picture of online CD sales. Baseline are average prices for the year 2005 (=100).

Price trends don’t apply to other international markets such as the U.K., Japan, or Germany where different trends regarding the replacement of CDs by digital downloads, the number of online storefronts, etc. prevail.

Virama Price Index for Online Sales of CDs in the U.S.
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