Music Magpie site has busiest January selling unwanted Christmas gifts
A BUSINESS that buys and sells used CDs, DVDs and video games online enjoyed its busiest ever day last month as people sold unwanted Christmas gifts to free up cash.
Entertainment Magpie buys the items through its Music Magpie website and they are then cleaned, repackaged and sold through its That's Entertainment brand, which runs a website and 26 high street stores.
The business said in one day in January it bought a record-breaking 602,417 items - six times the normal amount - as people made good on new year's resolutions to declutter and get rid of unwanted Christmas gifts.
The most commonly traded items on the day were Guns N'Roses' greatest hits, Nirvana albums and Lord of the Rings DVD box-sets.
The firm also said people wasted no time selling unwanted Christmas presents, after nearly a million items were sold on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with U2's Joshua Tree album and Dirty Dancing DVD topping the list of unwanted gifts.
The company's business model of buying second-hand goods cheaply from the public has allowed it to thrive at a time when entertainment retailers including HMV and Game are struggling to compete with cheaper downloads.
The Macclesfield-based firm has also benefited from the trend of people getting rid of older formats as they increasingly download their entertainment online, and from cash-strapped consumers looking to free up money amid the spending squeeze.
The firm's turnover nearly tripled to £31m in the year to May 31, while underlying earnings more than doubled to £4m.
Chief executive Steve Oliver, who set up the company in 2007, believes turnover will exceed £100m next year as the market for second-hand entertainment continues to expand.
He said: "Consumers are watching what they spend as well as looking for new ways to make a little extra money."
Entertainment Magpie employs more than 900 people in the UK and serves more than 6 million customers in more than 140 countries.
The business recently announced plans to create 100 jobs at a new warehouse in Hazel Grove, Stockport.
The firm is backed by private equity outfit LDC and former Asda and Royal Mail boss Allan Leighton, who is its chairman.