Summer Guide: Quick change from selling things other than your clothes

Hipster fashion isn't the only thing you can hawk in exchange for some serious scrilla in these cash-strapped times. Everything from the books and CDs on your shelves to the blood in your veins is up for grabs to the highest bidder. Here's how to sell out:


Zia Record Exchange
Five Valley locations
This Valley chain is often the first place to take your undesirable discs (as well as box sets, DVDs, LPs, and video games). The funky and punky clerks at each store will determine what they'll buy based on what's in stock, sellable, and in demand, in addition to its condition (scratches and scuffs = no dice). Payouts are typically $2.50 to $5 per CD, $2.50 to $10 for DVDs, and around $10 for games; offered either as store credit or cash (usually around 30 to 40 percent less than credit). Whatever they don't buy, try taking to another location to see if they're interested. (It works. Trust us.)


Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
8034 N. 19th Ave.

1056 S. Country Club Dr., Mesa
There's very little these home-grown retailers won't buy: computers, cassettes, VHS tapes, board games, DVDs, LPs, toys, housewares, video games, and, oh, yeah . . . books. Clerks will assess each object's condition, resale value, and each store's stock before determining remuneration in either trade credit or cash (approximately 60 to 75 percent less than credit).


50 Valley locations

26 Valley locations
Both chains purchase used games for the newer systems and handhelds from PlayStation 2 and onward (although some locations buy older stuff), with the same resale rules for Zia and Bookmans applying. The payout ratio is generally around 40 to 60 percent of its original sale price. For example, if you paid $50 for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you'll get $25 to $30 selling it back.


ZLB Plasma
1000 & 1334 E. Broadway Rd., Tempe
Donors must be 18 to 65 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be both drug-free and disease-free, and lack any recent piercings or tattoos. Sturdy veins in each arm are also required. Donations typically take one to two hours. ZLB offers the best rates, with $40 for the very first visit, and $60 for your second visit. Follow-up donations are $25 and $35, respectively, for following weeks (with $5 more if you're heavier than 200 pounds). There's a mandatory 24-hour period between donations, and no one gets tapped more than twice in a seven-day period. Cross-donation with other Valley plasma banks is forbidden.


Arizona Center for Fertility Studies
8997 E. Desert Cove Ave.,Scottsdale

Fertility Treatment Center
Three Valley clinics

West Valley Fertility Center
17612 N. 59th Ave., Glendale
Sorry guys, sperm banks don't currently operate in Arizona, so only females can hawk their reproductive materials. Even then, egg donation offers payouts of $3,000 to $3,500 for harvesting a batch of anywhere from five to 15 of your ova. There's a long and involved process, from several weeks to a couple of months. Participants must be 18 to 30 years old and endure a rigorous application and screening process, in which they're tested for STDs and other health issues. Afterwards, donations are permitted only if candidates (whose identity is kept anonymous) are selected from by an individual or couple seeking in vitro fertilization. Participants must then receive a series of hormone injections over several weeks to facilitate the harvesting process, usually done outpatient.


MDS Pharma Services
2420 W. Baseline Rd., Tempe

Dedicated Phase I
734 W. Highland Ave,

Hill Top Research
3225 N, 75th St., Scottsdale
Wanna be a human guinea pig? Both MDS and Dedicated recruit participants for Phase I FDA pharmaceutical testing to determine how experimental medications are metabolized in a healthy body. Most studies require participants to reside, 24/7, at each company's facility for periods from two days up to a couple of weeks, where they're subjected to round-the-clock pill-popping and blood draws. Compensation averages from $150-$200 to as much as $5,000 or more for the longer studies. Participants must be 18 years old, disease-free, healthy, and not on any medication. A healthy dose of caution might be necessary, as the meds used are experimental, so there's the potential for some nasty side effects. (Dedicated also offers outpatient trials, like vitamin studies, for smaller pay.)

If you'd rather not get stuck (or stuck in a pseudo-prison), Hill Top Research does skin tests of a wide variety of toiletries, personal-hygiene products, sunscreens, cosmetics, and topical medication on participants (including trying out deodorants on willing-yet-stinky armpits). Product trials run from one or two days to six weeks (with no overnight stays required), and pay anywhere from $40 to $400. Potential lab rats should also visit (short for "guinea pigs get paid") for other research studies, product trials, and focus groups going on in Arizona.