I have been collecting CDs for quite a while now, and I've found that every dollar saved matters. Used CDs are generally cheap, but buying from a more expensive place could easily cost you a few extra dollars than is necessary. If you are serious into collecting music, those few dollars will quickly add up when you buy hundreds of albums. With that said, here is my general CD buying process with the stores and places that I purchase from. It is important to note that I am American, so some items here will not make sense in other countries.
The local sources listed here can have some great deals at the expense of selection. Generally, you should not be using these as means to buy a specific album; rather, they should be used to acquire albums that seem good at lower prices than sources with more selection.
Major marketplaces here offer a great selection of music from potentially themselves and a wide variety of marketplace sellers but generally take fees that cause third-party listings to be more expensive than on their own sites.
These websites generally have less selection and fewer sellers with prices that could be cheaper than the major sites.
These websites are specifically for one store and generally offer that store's cheapest prices and shipping compared to marketplaces.
These websites offer users the ability to post individual ads with music for sale. These are generally good places to acquire CD lots or less common CDs at cheaper prices. These should be searched nationwide (use the "site:domain.tld" operator in Google) as some sellers are willing to ship items.
These should only be used if a CD cannot be found (if it was released in another country, for instance) or if a particular CD is expensive from sources above that ship to you directly. These sources will generally not ship outside of their country, and you will most likely need a forwarding service if you want an item from these. These are a last resort; I never search these unless prices are significantly cheaper than any other source.
Please contact me (my contact information is on the homepage) if you have found other international websites that sell CDs that are not listed here.
You should always search for both the title/artist and the barcode of an album. Generally, stores will list items by barcode, and private sellers will list by title. There may be overlap, but there are many instances where you will not find certain listings if you only search by one.
Page written on 8 February 2019 and last updated on 13 May 2020.