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Through the Wire



There's a glut of used CDs out there, and nowhere is this more apparent than the Amazon Marketplace. This section of the giant retailer's Web site ( allows independent sellers to hawk their wares using Amazon's storefront. It's similar to eBay, but the Marketplace area isn't about auctions — the seller sets a price and the buyer orders the item with a click or two.

Tons of CDs are available cheap; some good albums, in fact, can be had for one cent. How? Sellers charge $2.49 for shipping, which if they work it right will only cost them $1.50 or so. They may make $1 or less per sale, but they're dealing in volume.

Here are four good records for a penny I found while I was browsing the Amazon Marketplace last week. Sukpatch's "Tie Down that Shiny Wave" was a groovy, catchy indie-pop record released on the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label just before it went under. Many, many dozens of copies of R.E.M.'s "Monster" are out there for almost nothing; yes, it's one of the band's weaker albums, but it still has three or four worthy tracks. Paul Westerburg of The Replacements debuted as a solo artist with "14 Songs," which is still among his best solo works. And Belly's "Star," with the iconic '90s hit "Feed the Tree" is also a bargain at twice the price.

For a shiny penny, plus shipping and handling, any of these can be yours. And nothing more to buy later! S

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