Murfie Musings–a new series of thoughtful posts about Murfie

Murfie seeks to be the friendly media ownership platform. In these posts we talk about what it means to us to respect the stakeholders in the media ecology, and how Murfie is doing it. We discuss our thinking, implementation, and plans for rights holders and collection owners alike to sell new and used media backed by material objects you can hold in your hand. We talk about how and where we seek to improve digital access by owners and partners via the services and APIs we provide. We’ll provide information about our design and how it performs to discourage infringing and illegal use cases, and we’ll want to hear everyone’s concerns. We want to bring attention to the evolution of copyright and its impact on people within creative industries: musicians, producers and writers, to name a few. We’ll talk about where we would like to see the law and market go to increase healthy cooperation and competition among vendors, increase prosperity and exposure for professional creators, and foster both great consumer experiences and broadened opportunity to create and contribute for everyone.

How-to: mail in more CDs

What to do if you have extra CDs at home?

Here’s what not to do. No need to email us. Here’s what to do. Log into your Murfie account, and visit the Sell Your CDs on Murfie page. Complete the following online form, and thereby request a new kit, which will be mailed to you ASAP.

I’m not saying we don’t totally dig hearing from our members – so please do shoot us an email whenever you have two cents to share! – but it’s not necessary to email us about a new kit request. That’s what the online form is for. :)

All additional CDs you mail us will be added to your original Murfie collection. (And what’s a Murfie collection? you may ask. It’s the collection of CDs you own, stored safe and sound in our warehouse, including all discs you mail in, purchase, or trade for on Murfie.) We’re always happy to accommodate more guests at Château Murfie (which kinda, sorta, maybe looks like the photo on your left), so feel free to mail us more CDs when the fancy strikes. Please note, however, that after two kit requests, mail-in kits remain free as long as you send us 100+ CDs in your kit. OK, break! Daily lesson plan is complete.

Music ownership vs. streaming

The line must be drawn here! This far and no further!

The battle between music ownership and streaming rages on. Both sides have their virtues. Owning music (definition: owning physical discs, either locally or remotely) gives you control and reliability, while streaming music over the Internet is all about access to a big music catalog. Somewhere in between is buying digital tracks or albums off online music stories like iTunes and Amazon, which gives you the license to listen to the music.

What camp do you fall in? Let us know in the poll. Then force your friends to take it. Scientia potentia est (knowledge is power)!

How-to: set up your shop

The lowdown on shop settings

If you’re an active member of the Murfie universe, you’re bound to get an email from us saying your CDs are posted to your account. What happens next? Actually, you can do quite a few things with your collection. But this post around, I want to focus on your principal to-do: setting up your personal shop. Here’s how to go about doing that.

Once you see that hooray-your-discs-are-posted email in your inbox, head on over to your Dashboard.
– Sign into your account.
– Go to the “Your Discs” tab in your Dashboard.

This is the place to be to manage the settings of your CDs. For each disc that’s listed in your account, you can choose to set it “for sale” or “not for sale” and “for trade” or “not for trade.” If you choose to set one of your discs “for sale” and/or “for trade,” that particular CD will get listed in your personal shop on Murfie. For example, take a look at a disc in my Dashboard; it’s set to be “for sale”:

You may notice that this disc has a $2 price tag. (Good eye!) In the “Your Discs” tab, you’re also able to price your CDs. For each disc, you can choose one of the following prices: $1, 2, 3, 5, or 8. You can change any price, at any time.

Once you choose these settings, your shop is good to go. That means, anyone browsing Murfie will be able to buy, or trade for, an album from your collection.

Got a question? Leave a comment below, and I’ll make sure to give you an answer. I’m dedicated like that. ;)

1000 mail-in kits

A big milestone for our ops team!

Epic news. We just received our 1000th mail-in kit request! That’s pretty special for us because that means 1000 folks out there want their CD collections posted on Murfie. That also means our ops team has been working pretty darn hard.

A big thank you to everyone in ops: Andrew, Ben, Brian, Daniel, Eileen, Evan, Gao, Henry, James, Jon, Kayla, Keith, Leah, Melissa, Patrick, Sam, Tom, Tyler, Tynan, Victor, Will, and Zach. These are the guys that receive your kits and process all your discs, making the bread and butter of Murfie happen. Without them, you wouldn’t see anything in your account.

Now that we’ve all been around the block a few times, I’d like to share a few tips on how to treat your mail-in kit. Here’s some to-dos and to-don’ts:

  1. We only accept music compact discs. We don’t take CD-Rs, DVDs, cassette tapes, SACDs, etc.
  2. You’re not required to send us the CD packaging (jewel cases, album cover art, liner notes), but if you feel like it, we’ll gladly recycle any plastic cases after 90 days. We don’t recycle album art and liner notes: we keep those with your discs in storage.
  3. We don’t accept empty jewel cases. You need to send us your CDs in order to send us the plastic.
  4. The UPS label that we include with your kit is all we need to identify your CD collection.
  5. If you want to send us additional CDs, request another mail-in kit.
  6. We notify you via email once your CDs arrive to our HQ and again when they’re posted to your account.

How-to: make more CD sales

Tips from me to you

Okay, so you’ve got a personal shop on Murfie, but you’re just letting it sit there…that don’t impress me much. (Just kidding, I think it’s special either way.) The fact remains, though, that taking charge of your destiny will always get you there faster. In this case, that means promoting your collection of CDs to make more sales. Here’s some tips on how to do that.

1) Use social media. If you’re on Facebook (which is like everybody), do a status update about your shop. Just provide a little info (and wit or humor to make things interesting), and include your shop URL. [What’s a shop URL?] If you’re on Twitter, share your collection in a similar manner. If you do nothing else, dropping that URL is what matters most: that’s what gets folks to visit your shop.

Facebook and Twitter are just the biggies. There’s plenty of other social media platforms out there, like Tumblr, Google+, and Delicious. It all depends on how creative you want to get.

A final thought. Brevity is best when it comes to social media. Don’t try to write a novel.

2) Blog (or microblog) about it. It’s in vogue these days to manage a personal blog. If you already manage one, you’ve got a built-in advantage on your hands: write something about your shop in a post and publish it. Then share the URL on…what else?…Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t have a blog, services like Blogger and WordPress make it easy to create your own.

3) Check out classified ads services. This is probably the most direct way to S-E-L-L your CD collection. Create and post an ad on a site like Craigslist. It’s free, and we’ve already got an FAQ for you on how to post an ad on Craigslist. Other free services include OodleAdooseBay ClassifiedsBuyMyStuff, and Backpage. As with social media and blogging, it’s super important to include your shop URL in your classified ad, on whichever service you end up using.

Your turn! If you’ve got an unconventional approach to selling the CDs in your personal shop, pray do tell us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about your strategy. Remember: sharing is caring!