Why do many CDs on eBay, etc. have punched barcodes?
April 25, 2004 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Why do many CDs on eBay, Half, etc. have punched barcodes? I tried a Google search, but that just gave me a lot of pages selling/auctioning CDs with punched barcodes. Check out the second item on this page.
posted by punishinglemur to Shopping (8 answers total)
Because they're freebies or promo copies. That's how they mark them. You see them a lot on Half because it's easy to have the cheapest selling price when your cost was zero.
posted by smackfu at 11:30 AM on April 25, 2004

its because they are promotional copies sent out by the record label or pr people and they aren't supposed to be sold.
posted by hazelmeg at 11:30 AM on April 25, 2004

Yup, sometimes they just drill right through the jewel case. This doesn't prevent them from being sold, just from being scanned so they don't end up in the SoundScan ratings and final sales tallies.
posted by scottandrew at 11:32 AM on April 25, 2004

Also, considering that nobody paid for these CDs in the first place, it's not much different than just downloading MP3s. FYI, if that sort of thing bugs your conscience.
posted by zsazsa at 12:14 PM on April 25, 2004

I think promo copies are in a bit more of a grey area than downloads. I think the record companies can demand them back, but you can't be arrested for selling them. (and if you could it would probably put many a record store out of business) Wasn't there a legal case a few years ago?
posted by milovoo at 1:33 PM on April 25, 2004

They're not necessarily promo copies. I don't know the precise logistics but sometimes labels will drill out CDs that aren't moving at all and sell them at a ridiculously low price.
posted by kenko at 2:19 PM on April 25, 2004

Drilled-out CDs are often promos, but they might be simply remaindered.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:49 PM on April 25, 2004

They are way more likely to be "cutouts" (remainders, as mentioned above) than promos, I think.

I will admit to paying rent by selling my promos when I was a rock critic. Since I rarely got paid, I figured that was fair.
posted by litlnemo at 4:29 PM on April 25, 2004

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