Monthly Archives: May 2015

Bulk upload for Music Magpie and Ziffit

I’ve got a stack of CDs, but it occurred to me that I no longer even have a CD player. I decided to move them on using Music Magpie or one of those we-buy-your-old-stuff services. I didn’t expect to make a pile of cash out of it, but wanted to clear the space, dematerialise a bit, and didn’t want to just throw perfectly good CDs away.


I used barcode2file on my android phone to zap all the barcodes. About 300 items, including a few DVDs.

I looked at:

  • Music Magpie (
  • Ziffit (
  • We Buy Books (

And wanted to compare the prices I’d get from each. Of those, only We Buy Books has a bulk upload option that can take 50 item codes at a time. Even with hundreds of items, that’s easy enough to do manually.

Music Magpie and Ziffit only have a slow one-by-one interface that you wouldn’t ever want to use twice, so I recorded a little selenium script in the Selenium IDE (Firefox), and embellished the Python that came out with the ability to loop through my list of barcodes and record the results.


The code I used is in this gist:

The scripts are probably pretty fragile, and is “just enough” to work. It’s slow too. Successful submissions are written into a tab-separated file.

  1. Upload the entire barcodes list into each service
  2. Tabulate the results in a spreadsheet to give the highest price for each item, and which service will pay it
  3. For each service, produce a list of it’s “winning” items
  4. Upload the sublist into the service, saving the results
  5. Manually, log into each service and complete the trade


We Buy Books give the best prices on average, per item, but also rejected the most items. We Buy Books also gave the widest range of prices; for the items that they did not win, their price was often very low (2p vs 20p from other services for a particular item).

Service Total value Items accepted Average value Bids won Winning bids value Highest bidder
webuybooks £151.00 200 £0.75 74 £73.04 27%
music magpie £184.34 270 £0.68 138 £108.23 49%
ziffit £134.73 246 £0.55 67 £37.22 24%
combined £218.74 £0.66

Comparable items that received bids from all three services:

Where all three services offered bids (178 fairly comparable items), the prices are much higher, which might indicate an element of competition, but given that these things are so hard to compare, I’m not sure this is a factor.

Service Total value Items accepted Average value Bids won Winning bids value Highest bidder
webuybooks £66.97 62 £1.08 62 £66.97 35%
music magpie £71.28 79 £0.90 79 £71.28 44%
ziffit £31.40 37 £0.85 37 £31.40 21%

Average prices are higher. Music Magpie was still the highest bidder most often, but the margin between We Buy Books and Music Magpie has narrowed quite a bit.


Pretty inconclusive. I can’t see a particular pattern that would make me say “Use service xyz always”. If I had less time to do these, and then sort through all the items a second time putting them into different boxes, I’d go with Music Magpie, because although they don’t always give the best prices, they accept a wider selection of items.

With time, a combination approach is most thrifty, and that’s what I did, and it resulted in about 16% extra cash.

What I didn’t do was any kind of breakdown of the types of items: DVDs, CDs, genres etc.

300 items x £10 original price = £3,000.

(Incidentally, £3000 / 20 years of buying media = £150 per year, and I’m paying £95.88 per year to google to host my records now. I suppose the difference is that I have no piles of plastic to show for my money any more. That makes me a bit sad, but also a bit happy.)

Sold for £218.74. That’s about a 7% return of cash value. Over a couple of weekends, it took me about four or five hours to scan, process and box the items. 5 hours x £20 per hour wage = £100 wage for that time, and £118.74 money back.

Well, at least they aren’t just going in landfill.