With the backlog of CDs and DVDs on my desk, and the fact that nothing really exciting has been released, the CD hunt really ground to a halt in January. New albums have been released, same with DVDs, but nothing really jumped out at me that I had to have.
I worked late Friday night into Saturday morning so I didn’t get to bed until 4am. When I woke up around Noon, the wife and kids were out. The perfect opportunity to head to the local shop to burn the gift cards I got for Xmas. I get a lot of gift cards to Newbury Comics because it is the only independent chain left in my area and the prices and selection are pretty good. I do a lot of business at the North Attleboro store (5 mins from home) and the Warwick branch (20 mins away).
There is an art to redeeming gift cards, it is one that only the most savvy CD scavenger can master. There are certain rules, certain criteria, to follow:
- The amount of money you spend is double the amount of the gift cards. This is the first rule. If you have a $50 gift card, then you are obligated to buy up to $100. The reason? Normally you would spend $50 anyway so spend $50 and the gift cards get you $50 in free music! Makes sense to me.
- Buy those higher priced items and/or regularly priced albums you keep passing up because they aren’t a priority. Box sets are always a good play here because the gift card takes part off at the register. You can easily justify buying the new Robert Plant box set because you’re getting a “discount”. Same goes for CDs like the Helloween and Motorhead expanded reissues that retail at $20 each or Japanese imports that you have a hard time shelling $25 for. It’s always easy to spend someone else’s cash with the gift cards.
- Raid the used bins and bargain bins for all the CDs you pass on because they are always there. How many times do you go through the used section and see that King Diamond CD, or that Yngwie Malmsteen album, that is always there in the same spot? You’ve hidden that particular CD because it’s a good price and you want it but you pass because something else catches your eye. Happens to me all the time. The gift cards always make it easier to fill up on used discs that you have passed on previously…..because they’re free.
- Try to redeem your gift cards when there is a discount, promotion, or coupon. Pretty self explanatory. Nothing is better than getting the coupon for “$3 off regular price for each CD (up to 3 discs)”, it just makes financial sense. I like the “buy three, get one free” on all used CDs. You’re getting maximum bang for someone else’s buck.
I have been holding on to my cards for weeks waiting for the weekly coupon that made the most financial sense. Since the holidays, the only coupons and/or promotions have been on holiday merchandise or Newbury Comics swag. I couldn’t wait any longer. Armed with my $60 in cards and $60 in cash, I stepped through the doors of the North Attleboro branch and began the quest…..
Iron Maiden – Death On The Road (DVD, 2007) – $16: Been waiting on this one for awhile to surface. I’ve had the CD version since the day of release but I was especially interested in the DVD because I saw the tour stop in 2003 at the Centrum in Worcestor, MA with Motorhead and Dio. Great show!
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades (Deluxe Expanded Edition)(2005) – $19: Rule #2 in effect. This filled the hole in that Motorhead collection of the expanded deluxe series. It also replaces one of my oldest cassettes.
Winger – IV (2006) – $15: Missed out on this one for $9.99 the day of release. I thought I’d get it for Xmas but the wife couldn’t find one.
Jeff Scott Soto – Essential Ballads (2006) – $15: JSS could sing the alphabet and I would pick it up on CD. One of the hardest working, and highly talented, singers in the business. Congrats to him for landing the Journey gig.
Vixen – Live & Learn (2007) – $10: Who knew Vixen was releasing a new album? I read the Metal news three times a day and I don’t recall seeing this on the schedule. I just watched the VH-1 Bands Reunited on Vixen a couple of weeks ago so the band is fresh in my mind. For $10…..how can you go wrong?
Black Stone Cherry – s/t (CD/DVD, 2006) – $8 used: I read some good things about BSC so I figured I’d take a chance. Came with the bonus DVD…..this set was selling for $16 regular price. Can’t beat half off.
Southern Gentlemen – Exotic Dancer Blues (2000) – $6 used: The debut of David T. Chastain’s southern rock/blues rock side project. I have the second offering, DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE (2003), it was good so I figured this one was worth a shot. The chick on the cover is hot, that guided part of the decision also.
Insane – Wait And Pray (2004) – $6 used: All I know about this band is that they are from Italy, they play Metal, and this was two dollars cheaper than ordering from Sentinel Steel.
Stillborn – State Of Disconnection (1992) – $4 used: They play Metal and are from Sweden, released on Century Media. The back cover had a pic of the band, knowing nothing about them I grabbed it based on the band’s pic. It was only four bucks.
Fozzy – All that Remains (2005) – $3 used: I have the other Fozzy CDs so this three dollar disc fills a hole in the collection.
Total (with tax) = $107
So my part was only $47. Not bad for the first hunt in a month. I followed my rules except for #4, there were no promos or coupons but the bargains made up for it.