$econdhand First Class

A thrift store fanatic shares her shopping secrets

Entertainment: DVDs, CDs and More

DVDs, CDs, and Games

There are DVDs and CDs aplenty at thrift stores. And for those who believe that cassettes or videos will come back, good news! They never left; they are as close as your local thrift store.

Cheap DVDs, CDs, or cassettes are a great way to try movies or music outside your normal taste. For a couple of dollars, you might learn you love The Offspring or the Evil Dead. Or you could confirm that you do loathe Tony Bennett or Ben Hur.

Discs: DVDs, CDs and Video Games

  • Check for a disc in the case. It is shocking that people steal from places that fund charitable work but, sadly, they do. Make sure you aren’t buying an empty case.

    Check the disc for scratches.

  • Check for a match between disc and cover. If the thrift store prices each CD, DVD, and game separately, another favorite trick of the ethically challenged is to put a higher-priced disc in a lower-priced case. You’re all set to groove to Three Dog Night but it’s the Donnas who are staying the night.
  • Check for scratches. If you are lucky enough to find the right disc in the case, you’re not ready for the register yet. Hold the disc at an angle and look for scratches. Some superficial scratches can be fixed but lots of scratches or deep gashes will have you crying the blues.

Cassettes or Videos

  • If you’re interested in these dinosaurs (pardon me, collectibles), look at the overall condition of the case. If it’s cracked or jammed with jelly, pass. If the labels look wrinkled or have water stains, move on.

    Release the catch on the door to inspect the tape.

  • Scrutinize the condition of the tape on the spools. For VHS tapes, release the catch on the door to inspect the tape. The tape on cassettes and VHS tape should be smooth with the coating intact. The tape should appear evenly wound. Loose tape or rough ragged edges can mean uneven sound on your cassette player or snowy pictures on your TV.
  • Check that cassettes have an intact pressure pad. Turn the spool with your finger to see if the mechanism operates smoothly or if it is jammed.

When you get home with your treasures, pop in that DVD and grab the chips and dip.

You’re ready for an evening of cheap fun!

Happy thrifting!


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