what to do with 1000+ CD's, many imports and live concerts

Sadly my cousin passed away recently.   She was a huge Eric Clapton & Bob Dylan CD collector and other assorted Blues, Rock acts.   I've ripped FLAC versions of the few CD's that were of interest to me but I now have a huge collection of what appear to be "Limited Edition", Japanese and European imports, Promo Copies, MFSL, etc piled high in my den.  

Does anyone have any advice as to how best remove the collection from my house quickly?  I also want to make sure I'm not selling a "rare gem" for a $1.  I'm not in the CD selling business and have a day job so it's not feasible for me to list them one by one.  

Are there any particular CD's that I should be looking for in the collection?  Is Audiogon the place to sell a lot such as this or are there more appropriate marketplaces?

Start by being honest with yourself ... how much time do you really wish to devote to this?  Sorry for my abrupt directness.

As with any small collectible, you are essentially limited to 4 options:  1) sell it piecemeal, where you may get the higher price because you will be doing the research and listing legwork (slowest way) or 2) find a collector/ re-seller who will give you a bulk price (second quickest way) or 3) find someone who will do the cataloging and listing for you and give him a percentage of the selling price or 4) throw it all out (quickest).  If none of these options appeal to you, there is always donating to a library or university and taking the tax deduction.    

I have been there and am presently going through this only it is with 30 - 50 year old vacuum tubes.  You would think it would be easy with tubes.  Anything that I thought I knew about doing this a few years ago, has  been shattered by reality.

Some tips:

1.  if moving the collection by bulk, find someone local.  Packing and shipping and everything that goes with it is a royal pain.

2.  there is no getting around researching & cataloging if best price is what you are committed to.  You may be able to take photos or use the hardware & software around UPC codes.  

3. What city do you live in?  You may get lucky just sharing that information here.  

4.  Don't listen to anyone who has not gone through this.  Also, be understanding if your significant other is not pleased by how much real estate this all takes up.

Feel free to send me a private message, if you would like to speak more.

Best regards & sorry for your loss, 


If you have the time the best tool for quick valuation is Discogs. Using their app you can scan bar codes and get a valuation on the spot.

I'd then sell on eBay using very conservative (i.e. Low) prices and fixed duration sales with free shipping (media mail) and eBays global shipping service. This is about as easy as it can get but you are still looking at 10 minutes of so a CD
Thanks for you advice Rich.  I live on Long Island and moving the collection in bulk is my only option.  I can't simply throw out (or even give away) assets that are part of an estate with heirs but I also am not looking to start an online CD shop either!  

Still looking to find out the answer to the following:

1)Are there any particular CD's that I should be looking for in the collection?  Point being one of these CD's could be a Ty Cobb rookie card for all I know.  Is that even a thing with CD's?

2) Is Audiogon the place to sell a lot such as this or are there more appropriate marketplaces?
So, these are estate assets that are being liquidated with the proceeds distributed to heirs.  What a thankless task.  I would be tempted to sell the whole lot to a used record/ CD store in Manhattan (Academy Records or Bleecker Street Records).  

Keep track of all expenses for charging back against the estate. 

Your quick hits would be the MFSLs, DCC Golds, SACDs, Japanese imports only, and any new, unopened CDs.  Also be on the lookout for any bootlegs ... don't worry, you will know those when you see them.  

List them on eBay or Audiogon.  There may even be the same items on eBay for sale, so this will give you a ballpark idea as to worth.  List them separately or in logical groups.  Assuming that this would represent 10% of the collection, handling a 100 or so listings should be manageable (give or take a couple of cocktails).

By doing this, you will have effectively picked the collection.  It is just like selling comic books, once you have sold off the Amazing Fantasy #15 and Fantastic Four #1, the rest is just the rest.  So, you would just move the rest as a lot.   CDs are not that old to be truly collectible and CDs are currently experiencing a downturn in desirability.  

Offer is still open to chat if you like.  Feel free to pose any other questions that you may have.  

As @rar1 points out the MFSLs and DCCs are the go to items

Quick scan on Discogs of Clapton+MFSL+CD shows values of $35-100 per CD, pick of the crop is "Derek & the Dominoes - In Concert" UDCD 2-660 with a median sale price of $110

In other words with a 100 collectibles at say an average of $30 each you have something that's worth your time

And I personally think using the discogs app is fun 😀  the ebay app is equally easy to use
Agree with rar1. Research prices on Discogs, then approach Academy Records in Manhattan first. Not only do they have a retail store, but are a major player in online sales.

"Your quick hits would be the MFSLs, DCC Golds, SACDs, Japanese imports only, and any new, unopened CDs."

Agree that these are in demand and would fetch higher prices
Lots of good advice here. I have learned a lot. 
Let me know if you have any Derek & The Dominos with Duane Allman. I will buy those and pay full market value.  
Another option is to get the collection appraised and then donate it to a local college or university music program or library.

This will ensure that the collection will continue to be enjoyed by future generations.

And you should, at least, be able to get a tax receipt for the value of the collection.   
Used CD stores will buy it for nothing and then google each CD for prices and then sell those that are rare for massive mark ups - often way more than the original price.

Find some friends and give them away. Don’t feed those rip off used resellers. They are as bad as scalpers are to live music.

We have a local rip off used store called Turn It Up Records & Hi Fi. They bought CBC library and got many demo CD for next to nothing. Many CD say "demo not for sale" and guess what, Turn it Up illegally sells these sometimes for as much as $30 - triple the regular commercial price on a free demo to a radio station.Don’t feed those crooks.
Please read the op's responses ... these CDs are part of an estate and must be liquidated.  Donations are not an option, unless (speculating here) all the heirs went along with the donation, which is not likely.  

Not sure how many who have suggested donation ever went through an estate liquidation and/ or have been the estate executor.  A tax receipt is of no use here.

The whole episode is very instructive as we baby boomers begin to age out.

Leaving behind large collections of anything ... records, stereo equipment, comic books, figurines, etc without specific and responsible instructions for disposal is a huge PIA for the poor bastards who are then stuck with having to deal with it.

Unless the receiving person has a specific interest in your passion, very often it comes down to what are they going to do with it?

I don't care how much these things are worth, the typical liquidation nets a small fraction of their worth and it is an absolute chore to execute.

Lots of good advise here, but please I would not sell this treasured collection to a retail store for pennies on a dollar. 

If I may suggest, make a stack of like CD's, take pictures and start an auction on Audiogon or eBay.  Someone who knows the worth of these CD's will pay top dollars. 

Good luck! 
Sorry for your loss
you have got some great advice
you could also do a quick catalog of the rare high value stuff as advised and include the rest as 800 ish other CD
list whole collection on Audiogon
run it as auction with a reasonable reserve...
Say $5K
a thought anyway


I am interested in learning more about your latest acquisition.

Send me a PM.

Happy Listening!

I have an interest. Can you send me a list? I collect CD's
Hello. I am very sorry for your loss. I too am on Long Island. Not a reseller but one of the few who still loves CDs. I would be interested in talking with you regarding this collection. Thanks
+1 @shadorne
Sorry about your loss and the space it leaves....:(

One thought on cataloging...you might hire a local student or the like to create the list.  That might enable you or any interested party to identify the gems vs. the chaff easily.  It shouldn't cost much, and again could be charged against the estate...
It is a shame that CD's are no longer mainstream.  A majority of the population only cares about music portability and lossy digital downloads.  Me....I tried to sell some of my CD collection a few years ago.  I refused to sell them for the prices I was offered.  Glad I kept them because a couple years later, I decided to rip them all to FLAC (archive quality).  All that lossless resolution CD music is now on a large external hard drive that I play through my Oppo BDP-105D.  Loving it!!  All my CD's now are boxed up in a bedroom closet (just in case) and I'll never sell them.  Wish I were where you are and could take some off your hands for a fair price.
Where are ya- bbyer ?
Thanks everyone for your responses.  Those of you interested in talking - feel free to PM me.  I'm happy to discuss and maybe skype or facetime to go through the collection.  

PM sent.