The first experience with reBuy

Logo (image via reBuy)

reBuy is a German web-based service that allows you to sell your unwanted media and electronic gadgetry.

They accept books, CDs, DVDs, tablets, phones, cameras, wearables, Apple devices, software and, as of recently, even brand watches. There is obviously some acceptance criteria (condition, presence of EAN/ISBN, market demand etc.); they won’t take just any old torn book or scratched CD because they, themselves, evaluate and re-sell the stuff for profit. It’s a business. There are many sites like it.

When reBuy first came to my attention some years ago, I pecked in a sequence of digits to see what some random junk was worth: I was dismayed to find that if it wasn’t worth peanuts, they didn’t accept it at all due to low demand, or they simply couldn’t find my exotic CDs in their database to begin with. And if a product or book has no EAN or ISBN, then fuhgeddaboudit! Shelve the idea for now.

A few weeks ago some unwanted stuff emerged during spring cleaning. I again entered a sequence of digits and found that certain items were indeed worth more than just a few cents. One specific two-disc mini-series DVD, for instance, is always highly in demand – usually hovering around the 4€ mark. Other items were worth as little as 15 cents! The trick here is to exceed a total sales value above 10€ because only then reBuy foots the postage bill — which spares me the hassle of selling and posting near-worthless stuff as individual items and having to deal with end customers.

This could be an interesting little experiment. Even if the items were in good condition, I can suffer their loss if the deal goes sour. Let’s do this.

The next day a box of 20 items was dropped off at Hermes. There are progress status emails. A week later reBuy had checked their incoming new/old stock and you’re given the choice of transferring the funds over to a bank account or to buy something from their own inventory. Let’s sleep on it.

Some stuff gotten rid of

What I was very curious about was what might have happened to the new stock I had contributed: The “Monster Box” DVD set, for instance, was gotten rid of for 55c and can now be had from the site for 1.39€.  Fair enough. The “Big Wedding” DVD was sold for a paltry 15c. One copy is available today for 1.39€.  I wonder if that’s my old copy of this (dreadful) movie someone could be getting there?

It’s particularly interesting to note that those same DVDs would not be accepted right now. They’re simply not in demand. Do not want.

High fluctuation

Conversely, this Gérard Depardieu mini-series which I had gotten rid of for 4.34€ a month ago I’d be able to sell today, at the time of writing, for a whopping 13.94€ — simply because they have none in stock. Whoever bought mine for the 8 or so euros it was available for shortly after my copy entered reBuy’s stock could do well to sell it back to them for a hefty profit. Supply and demand seem to fluctuate tremendously; one is given to wonder how much turnover one individual DVD can generate during its lifetime!

With 13.92€ to blow it was time to launch part two of the experiment. What can I get, what would I receive, and what condition would it be in? Let’s find out.

Although reBuy do have some curious selections (including bootlegs) I kept it simple:

Some new stuff in its place

All were described as being in “very good” (sehr gut) condition. You can’t fault those prices, these are like junk dumping prices at a car boot sale. As long as they play fine and arrive in good nick I wasn’t particularly demanding about which exact edition I would finally receive. Even buying from Amazon or Discogs will run you higher (mostly due to postage), and the chance of getting a home-made copy is slim. But I certainly was very, very curious.

A few days later a plain padded envelope arrived through the mail. Fair enough.

Out poured two CDs and a DVD, the latter of which is the standard European re-issue from the year 2000. So far, so good.

The Nirvana CD came in a replaced jewel case and is an as-yet-unidentified European issue from sometime after 1994 (owing to the presence of IFPI codes).

Price in deutschmarks

The Grace Jones CD turned out to be a French PMDC pressing from the late 90’s  in its original case, complete with price sticker. Based on the EAN alone I could just as well have received a version from Japan, Australia, the US (?) or any of a number of standard or remastered UK/European reissues (the original was released in 1985).

Overall, the discs, cases and inserts were free of fingerprints and grime and had nothing but a few superficial scratches (with no effect on playback). They’re in very good shape – as advertised. It was a worthwhile exercise.

I’m keen to repeat it with the next spring cleaning. This is not a sponsored post.

Image credits: Photos and screengrabs by hmvhDOTnet unless specified otherwise

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