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Author: Subject: How to do a B&P(for everybody)

Zen Peach





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  posted on 7/15/2003 at 04:12 PM
This is a site that I was directed to by several traders at the begininng. Here is the link if what I have provided doesn't enough.

http://www.mcnichol.com/bnp/

One thing that I am not sure is mentioned in the B&P instructions but does apply, do not write on the disc itself, only in the center. If someone has a system of labeling there disc, and then you write all over it, it might not be a good thing. As well as problems that could result do to the color used. (write on a gold disc with a black marker and some cd players won't read it/ black and gold make a red tint that causes errors in the laser reading the disc).


What is a B&P?
B&P basically stands for Blanks and Postage. This arrangement allows a new trader who has a small or non-existent collection to acquire shows. In return for sending blank discs with return postage, you can end up with excellent shows on CD. The person distributing the music only gets the satisfaction of spreading some incredible music and joy, and assisting someone else in sharing something they love.


To participate in a B&P, you'll need several things. I was able to get everything I needed at Office Max to do my first B&P. I purchased the following;


1. 9x12 Tyvek Envelopes (#10 1/2) by Columbian (CO851)
[Tyvek is the material FedEx envelopes are made from]
2. A box of 25 Manco Care Mail Self-Sealing Bubble Mailers, Size 0 (6x9).

3. One package (25?) of Manco Care Mail address labels. These are optional.

4. Ten CD-R blanks discs, about $15. They say "Certified Plus" and "All-Speed" on them.

5. CD Sleeves (Tyvek)

6. Standard index cards. These are optional.


Bear in mind that these items may be available through other sources at better prices, but I like the one stop shop approach of an office supply store. Blank CD-Rs can be bought in bulk, often in spindles of 50, for far less than you'll pay for branded TDKs at Office Max. However, you need to remember that the discs you buy need to work in other people's burners. The people doing the B&P will let you know what discs work for them, and everybody I've worked with so far has accepted TDK. They seem to be the Maxell of CD-Rs. It is not necessary to buy "Audio" discs, as these are the same as "Data" or "Computer" discs with licensing fees included in the price!(unless the trader request such)

Also, if you can find a smaller envelope than the 9x12 Tyvek for shipping there, that the bubble mailer will fit into, use it. Some traders have a hard time getting the large envelope delivered to their residence. And many people find that manila envelopes will work just fine, but I prefer the strength of the Tyvek envelopes.


Some feel that Paper Fibers can contaminate CDs.
Try to avoid buying the mailers that are padded with paper fiber. They're usually brown and say "To Open, Pull Tab". The Care Mail KPE-2, which says "Jiffy Padded" and "Contains over 60% Recycled Fibers" is an example of a mailer to avoid.
Some traders feel that these can contaminate the CDs with small particles, especially since the packages seem to easily get statically charged and can rip when opening.


Doing the Deed
Now, here's what to do with the assembled materials:

1. Jewel Cases will usually not survive the shipping, and add significantly to the postage costs. So take the required number of discs and place them into either clamshells or Tyvek sleeves. I got mine from American-Digital. Clamshells provide better protection, but increase the postage cost. Most people find that sleeves work fine.

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2. Put an address label on the bubble mailer, to reflect that it will be coming FROM the trader TO you. Be sure to use a return address where this mailer can be delivered to you. You can write directly on the envelope if you prefer, especially if it will keep the weight under 3 ounces ($0.83).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

3. Put the discs into the Bubble Mailer.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

4. Write a short note explaining the B&P deal you've arranged, including the show you are getting and your e-mail address. Be sure to mention how happy you are that this kind person is willing to do this for you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

5. Put this note into the bubble mailer with the CDs. Do NOT seal the Bubble Mailer.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----


6. Take a large Tyvek envelope and put an address label on it FROM you TO the trader. If possible, put the show date on the envelope somewhere, or next to/under the trader's name. You can also write the information directly on the envelope, if you prefer.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----


7. Put the UNSEALED Bubble Mailer into the Tyvek envelope.

Take both of these envelopes to your local post office, or proceed as listed below if you already know postage rates (I don't). Actually, I send my stuff from work, where we have a postal scale in shipping. You can also take the materials to a local commercial shipping center, like Mailboxes USA, but you'll need to actually watch them to ensure that they do everything correctly. Often, the person doing the work will not be the person you talk to. Ask if they can take care of it while you're there, or go elsewhere. If you find that your packages always cost the same to mail, just use stamps in that amount.(STAMPS)


Metered Postage BAD

Mailing the Package

Please be sure to follow these special instructions for the Bubble Mailer carefully, or you may not get it back. The larger Tyvek envelope that you'll send out can use any manner of postage.

At the post office, have them weigh the bubble mailer, with the CDs and note inside, and tell you what first class postage would be for it.

Do NOT get metered postage for this package, as it may not work for the return trip. Postal regulations require that metered postage be used on the date issued, and only for traffic from the originating city. In other words, they are only valid from that post office, on that date.

Metered Postage is the strip of white adhesive paper that has the post office name, date and amount of postage on it. (See Picture)

Should the post office decline to accept the metered postage, the package will be returned to the SHIPPER, and in this case that would be the Trader. He would then have to either pay postage himself or contact you to resolve the problem. And this is a headache you can easily help them avoid.

Just tell the clerk that you need to put return postage stamps on the package. Put the needed postage on the Bubble Mailer IN STAMPS.

Then put the bubble mailer UNSEALED into the larger Tyvek envelope and SEAL the Tyvek. Put the required first class postage on it (metered postage is OK here) and off it goes.

Not going to the post office? Use the online postage calculator!


Stamps GOOD


Going International? Be aware that your local postage can not be used to return the package to you from another country. There are several solutions to this dilemma, the key being to work out the situation with the trader in advance. You can always convert small amounts of currency and send that along. And some traders welcome additional blanks instead of postage. Just be sure to ask the trader how they prefer to handle international postage. A good idea for international trades is International Reply Coupons (IRCs). These are coupons you buy in Post Offices in your own country. The trader can then exchange these in his own Post Office for stamps. The exchange rates in US Post Offices is 60c or 80c per coupon. Another good resource is the U.S. Postal Service International Postage Calculator.

If it took you longer than 3-5 days to get the package out, you should send a notice off to the trader that you've got the package in the mail, and remind him of the deal. Then all you have to do is sit back and wait for the bubble mailer to come home to roost!

Reaping the Rewards
It will normally take 2-3 weeks for your show to arrive, sometimes longer, sometimes faster. Understand that traders live normal, full lives like the rest of us. And dubbing a show for you can tie up their entire computer. So, be patient and keep checking that mailbox. If you don't hear anything and a month goes by, feel free to inquire about the status of your B&P. Use your own judgment here.

When your show arrives, inside you will find your original CD-Rs, only now they contain the show you requested. (Note that some traders will send you back the show on different blanks.) Also, the show may come back with no notation on what show it is. You'll need your note from when you sent the package out (you DID write it down, didn't you?) to figure out what show it is. Most traders will write small numbers on the inside ring of the CD to indicate the disc number (1,2,3).

I listen to the show several times for enjoyment and to get an overall feel for it. Then I do one pass of critical listening, to make sure that the show is trade-worthy. I log any errors, anomalies or problems, and include that log in my future dealings with that show. I then e-mail the trader, letting him know what I thought of the show, and thanking him again for taking the time to enhance my personal collection. I may also ask the trader any questions I have about the show, such as lineage and sources, etc.

If I have any problems with the show at all, I contact the trader immediately to see if my CDs reflect his masters, or if I got a bad copy. I let them know specifically what I'm hearing and where, and what I think it might be. If you treat the trader as a friend who is helping you out, you'll get a much better response than treating him unkindly.

I also use software to track my collection and trades. Personally, I choose Tape Tracker, but WinTaper is another alternative. I like the ability to enter a trade into Tape Tracker and have it keep track for me, instead of having to remember it all myself. It allows me to take on more trades and B&P's than I normally would be able to.

On To Trading!
I hope the information I've included here helps you get started with B&Ps. Remember, B&Ps are aimed at getting you started. Once you've got some shows and the ability to burn copies, you can graduate to trading shows. And don't forget to offer up a B&P occasionally to the new guys!

Thanks and kudos to the amazing community at rec.music.gdead for helping me to get started. Thanks to Drew Barry, Craig Cockerille, Chris Jones and Art Cohen for the great feedback. And special thanks to Bear for giving me my first show, and guiding me through the process! Please forward any corrections to this page to ed@mcnichol.com.

And Now Some Fun!
OK, you made it this far - you've earned some immediate gratification. Try the new online B&P Letter Mad Lib. And if you utilize this site and appreciate me creating and hosting it, consider sending me one of

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2003 at 04:30 PM
In an effort to educate, I am going to write down a few of the things I have learned about trading and burning.

This is a FREE TRADE community. Money can never be 'traded' for anything associated with a trade, except for postage.

This site is a 'one for one' trading site. It is not considered acceptable to send someone 2 disks for a one disk B&P, which is basically a pay off to the burner for his time. You are not supposed to profit even one blank disk.

It is extremely bad form, not to mention illegal, to burn commercial product and offer it here. It is also not a good idea to grovel for such here.

As much as possible, keep people informed on the status of the trade. Be honest. People can handle a delay if you are honest with them. Life gets in the way of play time sometimes...

By participating in the trading of live shows by bands that allow it, you are obligated to buy any commercial cd the band releases. That is the deal. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me....

Trades take precedence over B&Ps. Finish your end of a trade before burning a bunch of B&Ps for people.

Burning.....This is for computer burning, not stand alone...

It is very tempting to use the 'copy disk' feature of burning software. This can easily produce errors on the destination disk. This is known as burning 'on the fly'. This is not the preferred method. The preferred method is to extract to the hard drive and then burn from the hard drive.

USE EAC if you have a computer burner. This involves downloading a free program called Exact Audio Copy and then installing it and extracting your shows with this program. This program preserves the digital integrity of the shows. Once the show is extracted, remove the disk you extracted from. Then put in a blank disk in the burner and burn it from the files you extracted to the hard drive. You should always use the Disk At Once option, which means there are no gaps between songs.

8x should be the max burn speed you use for trades or B&Ps.

Have fun. Listen to the shows people send you.

Those are the main points I wanted to make. I did not make these rules. They were in place when I started. I had to learn how to do all of this correctly. I sent out a few TAO (Track At Once) shows when I started and people were kind enough to teach me how not to do that. I made good on all the TAO shows I sent out.

EAPFP

 

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  posted on 7/15/2003 at 04:55 PM
What they said...amen, amen, & amen.

BTW, since I asked the question before, I inquired at the PO about meter strips and I was told that they ARE date sensitive...It seems like there might not be a hard and fast rule, but I was told they are void by no longer than 2 weeks. So if there was some delay in a package arriving, being burned and sent for return, the meter strip for return postage would be useless. Keep it simple....USE STAMPS

If ever in doubt about return postage, put the recipient's address in for the sender's as well...

 

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  posted on 7/15/2003 at 05:36 PM
And also, Know what you have! I see several here that will get in on a b&p from me and then two weeks later get it from someone else. That cause the people that don't have it to start with to miss out.

And please, Don't make the people that are doing the b&p's have to contact you to make sure you got them. All you got to do is write the person and say I got them.
Pretty easy don't ya think?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2003 at 05:38 PM
amen, I've had several BnPs in the last 2 months that weren't done right.

 

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  posted on 7/16/2003 at 05:00 AM
excellent thread guys. these guidelines are not hard to follow, & will assure you that your trading is a very rewarding experience.

only thing I could add is make sure you get your extracting & burning sorted before you start offering up or committing to trades. nothing worse than finding out you can't burn at slow speeds when you've got a pile of discs to get out.

be polite, be patient, and be rewarded.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2003 at 06:51 AM
Now about that honesty issue......
So what you guys are trying to say is.. if you make a trade with someone, and the other person has recieved your disc*SANTANA*(and even says he enjoyed it) you are to then expect yours? *BOB DYLAN*?

 

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  posted on 7/16/2003 at 09:26 AM
Great information guys. I had someone send me $4.00 unexpectedly with his B&P. I am sure he was just trying to show his thanks. It was not an international deal. I lost track of who it was and it has bothered me ever since. I thought I knew who it was and sent the cash back with the discs. Later I became aware that I may have sent the cash back to the wrong person. If there is a newbie out there that sent me $ w/Discs please contact me privately so I can send you your cash.

PS I have it narrowed down to a 1/2 dozen possibles so Clay don't e-mail me looking for your $4.00 (That was a really cheap shot to a heck of a nice guy for example purposes only)

The important point is DONT SEND CASH. If someone asks for cash or extra discs trade w/someone else. Don't offer to send it either cause there are plenty of people that enjoy sharing the music for free.

Yurtle did such a thorough job of explaining B&P. I was wondering if we could get him to explain a few others:

Let's start with S&M?
What is it and how do I start my collection?

 

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  posted on 7/16/2003 at 11:26 AM
quote:


Yurtle did such a thorough job of explaining B&P. I was wondering if we could get him to explain a few others:

Let's start with S&M?
What is it and how do I start my collection?




I could do such in a private message if so needed, I'm pretty sure it's all about making the kind of pain that "feels""good".

 

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  posted on 7/16/2003 at 01:54 PM
I've been thinking about offering a b&p so thanks for the info....

actually, it's now Allman Brothers road trip season for me, so I don't think it's right to offer somethin up, then not be around to burn anything for a week or so (I actually cut it too close with the last 7.30.00 offer - SORRY to anyone who had to wait longer than expected!)

Also - don't gloss over Goliath's point about buying the commercial releases - just not right to not support the folks who let us trade all the live stuff for free...

 

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  posted on 10/19/2003 at 08:07 AM

 

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  posted on 10/19/2003 at 09:04 AM
Re Goliath's point about buying all official releases (recently backed by Benjamin) - I must raise a dissenting voice to this idea.

This is a perfectly laudable idea iro the "old" way of bands issuing records - band records an album or two every few years, and occasionally issues the odd live album, as a fan souvenir of a tour. Collecting all their releases made sense, in that sort of climate.

All well and good, but the situation has now changed iro ABB & a few of the "jam bands" - ABB have got the initial 6 of the Instant Live back up for sale (and may well be doing more in the future). These are techincally "commercial releases" - are we, therefore, obligated to buy all of these before we can consider trading?

Take the more extreme examples of Phish, String Cheese and The Dead - these guys are issuing SBD copies of everything they do. Again, if I want to trade any of these artists, do I have to buy them all?

As you can see, meeting my "obligations" to the bands who allow trading is going to be a bit of a tall order, to say the least! I also don't think the bands view it like this - with The Dead's summer tour collection costing hundreds of pounds/dollars, I cannot believe THEY expect all their fans to buy them all! Without wishing to presume their take on this, but I would suspect most bands who issue recordings of this nature would maybe expect most folk merely to buy the shows they went to, and maybe one or two others that have good reviews.

Sorry if I've laboured a point here, but can we simply respect the fact that most folk who are into a band enough to trade their material will want to buy the product that hits the shops, as & when their budgets allow - I think that's asking enough of them, personally.




 
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  posted on 10/19/2003 at 11:10 AM
Trading of AUD recordings of any of the releases you mentioned is OK. As long as you aren't trading the same source as the commercial recording there should be no problem with it.

 

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  posted on 10/19/2003 at 01:27 PM
Denza - I agree, though that misses the point of my last post.

My argument concerned the belief that, in order that you can trade ANY concert recordings of a band, you have to buy all of that band's "commercial releases", by way of support.

For the reasons stated, I don't think this is something that people are either capable of or prepared to do...

 
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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 09:04 AM
Paul, you don't have to buy all the shows as soon as they come out. Plus, the instant cds and their ilk are really not considered commercial releases the way a studio album or archive show is...But something like Peakin at the Beacon, as an extreme example, is supposed to be purchased by everyone who trades. It is the honor system, of course...

quote:
For the reasons stated, I don't think this is something that people are either capable of or prepared to do...


If people are not prepared to buy regular studio or archive releases, or capable, then they should not trade. It is as simple as that. It is the price we pay to have the right to tape and trade.

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 09:47 AM
Thanks Goliath, for summing up the way I feel about the Instant CD's - I'd hate for newbies to get the wrong impression about trading.

I was sorta playing devil's advocate a little bit: I do think it's going to be extremely rare for someone to be into a band like ABB and not have already bought most of their albums first, before getting into trading - it's certainly not comparable to the downloading problem that is affecting chart CD's (to my mind, the artists affected just don't seem to have the solid fanbase a band like ABB has - the outcome? no customer loyalty)

Mind you, I must wonder about your "extreme example" - can you possibly be suggesting that Peakin' At The Beacon is NOT one of the greatest albums ever??

(BTW, I don't yet own this - based on customer feedback, it may be some considerable time before I do!! )

 
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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 11:52 AM
well, i don't mean to start a fevered discussion here...but the whole "Burn no faster than 8x" should be opened for debate....

i have a Pentium 4 (800MHz).....with a 52x24x52 burner.

i think it's a waste of my time to burn at 8x - it's just plain SLOW. with the advances in technology 8x seems a lot like overkill. matter of a fact, a lot of times i get errors if i try to burn that slow. I've burned about 1,000 shows over the course of this year and have yet to get any complaints about the disks being messed up (well, some complaints but they where mostly source problems or disks not being closed properly).

just my opinion.

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 12:21 PM
Lots of people say burning no faster than 8x is stupid, and I have never seen any proof of why a slow burn is better than a faster burn, other than the fact that more errors can be introduced, which seems reasonable to me, and also you have people with older cd-roms that will not play something burned at 52x. I am just passing along what I have learned. 8x, in the trading community, is considered the max acceptable speed for burning. Something about maintaining the purity of the ones and zeros. When it is considered acceptable by the people who have been doing it alot longer than I have, I will burn faster than 8x. I would like to see some stats on this, for sure. Consider the debate open...

Heh heh, I used Peakin as an example, exactly because it was not received very well by the people who post at this website, but, as traders of this bands music, we must buy. I bet Butch would give us a pass though....

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 12:26 PM
quote:
Something about maintaining the purity of the ones and zeros.


so if i can get the ones and zeros to move MUCH faster, why wouldn't i? i'm such a speed queen.

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 12:49 PM
Great info sources here. Certainly not rocket science...

Just want to keep this thread active....

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 12:54 PM
I think they get mixed up a little when you burn real fast, at least that is what I have been told. Or some extraneous ones or zeros get added, or something.

And I would have to make the observation that burning at high speeds, at least where bunq burners are concerned, wears them out at a rapid rate.

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 01:34 PM
quote:
Heh heh, I used Peakin as an example, exactly because it was not received very well by the people who post at this website, but, as traders of this bands music, we must buy


Hmm, well we've had a bit of a laugh over this release, but I do think I have to take a stand on the issue in question - I have an extensive ABB collection, featuring just about every commercial release they've done (there's still one or two I've not got round to - Seven Turns is the obvious one, I think), but I do not own, nor am I ever likely to own, Peakin'. When everyone I've ever met or spoken to says it is cr*p (sorry guys), I have no inclination to buy a CD that I never intend to listen to EVER, just to salve my conscience over trading. Were the proceeds going to charity, I might feel differently...

I love the ABB and can't imagine NOT buying 90%+ of their output, but I do not feel I am expected (by the band) to buy everything they've ever issued, to allow me to trade their live material. A cr*p album is always going to remain a cr*p album - by the same token, I have approx four dozen GD CD's ('cos I love them), but I am hard-pushed to imagine a scenario where I am going to buy Shakedown Street or Built To Last; this does not preclude me from trading GD material, IMHO.

Final thought: where does one stand on compilations? These are "commercial releases" too, after all.

Just a difference of opinion here, nothing more, though I'd be interested to hear from a few more folk on this issue.


 
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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 02:04 PM
quote:
quote:
Something about maintaining the purity of the ones and zeros.


so if i can get the ones and zeros to move MUCH faster, why wouldn't i? i'm such a speed queen.


Hmmm, ones & zeros... dots and dashes. nothing but high speed Morse code

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 02:31 PM
Paul, The ABB have allowed us to tape and trade with the caveat that we buy what they put out. There were no riders stating, well, you don't have to buy the bad ones. Peakin has some damn fine moments and is worth owning, if just for Derek being on it. Luckily, I have the Arista records on vinyl, LOL. Here is a thought, though. I don't really consider compilations to be put out by the band. They are released by the record company and the band has no say on it. Besides, if you have the original versions on the original albums, then you already have the compilation, in a sense.

We make the decision to trade or not to trade. I think it is a small price to pay, personally, to be able to have these great aud tapes and I am willing to live up to my end of the bargain to ensure we can continue to trade. Alot of people buy the less than stellar efforts at used cd stores....

I do believe that the agreement is, mainly, going forward, that is, once you start trading, from that point on, you have to purchase the ones that were released since you began trading. How about that?

Still, it is honor system, and no one is going to know one way or the other. Everything depends on your definition of honor, I guess.

 

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  posted on 10/20/2003 at 05:30 PM
Goliath - good post, & I appreciate the points raised; there's nothing like a good healthy debate, IMHO.

Can I ask you if you have a link to the band's statement on this? Not doubting you on this, but I'm interested in seeing what's been said.

I take your point on compilations though, bearing in mind that they (the composers at least) are picking up writer royalties, under the rules you describe there is still a point to be made that we ought to get all of these, to compensate them accordingly.

As for your point about used CD stores, personally I think why not; however, remember that buying a used CD is not putting anything back into the artists income (that occurred when the original owner made the purchase)

I said it earlier: I love the band & it's a pleasure to buy the material, as well as trade it - I will get anything I can get my hands on that's been released since I started trading (not always easy in the UK!). Hell, one day I might even have the privilege of buying some concert tickets too!!

Unfortunately, I've already staked my colours to the mast re which albums I don't have (or probably won't buy!), but maybe I'm just being a little too honest for my own good, eh?

 
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