8 Ways To Buy Cheap (Or Free) Music

Let’s face it, we are in a recession that probably won’t be over for another two years. We have to find ways to get music from our favorite bands without stealing it. Although, some labels will probably be pissed at me for making this list because some of the ways could be considered “stealing” in their eyes. Again, we’re in a freakin’ recession!

Here are 8 Ways to Buy Cheap Music (or get it for FREE):

1. Download MP3’s instead of buying CDs. Most online retailers sell music for less if you just buy the download and not the actual CD. After all, the labels aren’t paying for the manufacturing and shipping of the actual music in this way. It’s only fair that you get the discount.

Amazon’s MP3 Page has daily, weekly and monthly specials with full albums going for $5 (including new releases). This is a must site for checking daily deals.

Shop at the iTunes Music Store. This is a no-brainer but make sure you check out the front page to see what deals are going on. Also, don’t forget to make the home page genre-specific to the music you like. It will help you find deals of bands you actually like.

2. Use Ebates.com. Chances are that you’re already buying music off Amazon and iTunes. With Ebates, you get money back for going through their site to buy from Amazon, iTunes or any other online retailer. Not only would you get that new release off of Amazon for $5, you will get cash back for going through Ebates. It’s FREE to register too! (I got a $36 check from Ebates last week for my purchases.)

3. Go to the library – What? Are you serious? Damn straight I am. You can go to your local library, get a free library card and checkout up to 10 CDs a day (at least here in Phoenix). Whatever you allegedly do with those CDs (burn them) is not my business. New releases come out every week. I have personally checked out CDs from A Day To Remember, All Time Low, Norma Jean, Tori Amos, Smashing Pumpkins, Jimmy Eat World, The Format and countless others. Yes, your local library does have “cool” music too.

4. Buy from independent record stores then sell them back. This is my favorite. Not only can you get lower priced new CDs (usually used CD stores carry new releases for less than other stores) at your local indie record store (find one near you here) but you can sell them right back to them when you’re done with them. And if you’re smart, you’ll opt for the store credit instead of taking cash because you’ll get a lot more back. The biggest store in the Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas areas are the Zia Records stores (pictured above).

You can also buy really cheap used CDs from Goodwill or Salvation Army stores. Yes, you can find brand new CDs for.50 cents to $2. Oftentimes, you can sell them to your local indie store for more than you paid for them (did I say that?).

5. Use eBay.com Most CDs that weren’t released during the current year can be bought for $3.01. Why $3.01? Most eBay sellers charge $3 to ship CDs (don’t buy from anyone that charges more) and you can win the auction for under.99 cents most of the time or even a penny. DO NOT BID ON THE ITEM YOURSELF. Use a sniper program called Gixen.com. It’s 100% free to use and it will place your bid on any item within seconds of the closing time. This keeps you and others from outbidding each other and paying more than you should. I’ve won soooo many auctions with this program and I walked away with the CD for under.25 cents. Yes, you might lose sometimes but who cares. That same CD is somewhere else on eBay for you to bid on.

Another great benefit of eBay is that people sell their iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy and Target gift cards. You can bid on those gift cards for a lot less than face value and save a lot of money on buying music. Again, I would use Gixen.com.

You can also search Craigslist.com for people trying to sell their gift cards for cash. I’ve seen some on there as well.

6. Buy music at the band’s concert. This is probably the most beneficial to all parties. You can buy a cheaper priced CD, help the band, help the label and do it all legally. Everyone wins! Hell, if you play your cards right, you can flirt your way to a free CD.

7. Start your own music blog. That’s right. Start a legitimate music blog and email labels to get on their press list. Before you know it, you’ll have a desk overflowing with free CDs and other materials from labels. The record label will do their research to see if you have a legit site but you actually don’t have to have many visitors. I’ve seen sites with less than 200 visitors a month get promo CDs. Why? The labels don’t really pay for all those free promo CDs – the bands do. It’s a part of most band’s contracts (even if they don’t know it).

But one thing I DO NOT suggest you do is sell those promo CDs online or to independent record stores. Even though it is legal to do so, you will burn bridges and it won’t look good. Keep your promo CDs for yourself and never sell them anywhere. Also, some of those promo CDs are watermarked which means that CD can be traced back to you! If it gets all over the internet because you loaned it out or sold it, you’re in trouble with the law.

8. Buy CDs directly off the band’s website. This is another way to benefit everyone involved and buy lower priced CDs. The only thing you have to worry about is shipping so buy the MP3 download off the band’s website.

There you have it. I’ve used all the methods above and continue to. Enjoy!