Some bands have such die-hard fans that their music is nearly impossible to find in the second-hand market, and when it does show up, it commands a hefty price relative to everything else for sale.
Belonging to such a group's fandom is like joining a religious community, going to their shows is a form of communal bonding ritual, and the various material items associated with them -- musical media, clothing, etc. -- are given sacred significance. Parting with the group's albums would constitute sacrilege, whether you donated them to a thrift store, sold them for cash to a used media store, or just threw them out in the trash.
Defiling sacred objects in these ways would be grounds for a charge of apostasy -- and you wouldn't want religious norm-enforcers to find out about it, would you? Even if you did grow bored of them for awhile, best to just keep them somewhere around the home without using them. Christians don't throw out their Bibles, give them away, or sell them in a market for cash, just because they experience doubts.
That also raises the costs to entry for initiates of the religion. You can't just stroll into a used media store, buy all their albums for dirt cheap, and then be a decent way along the path toward becoming a true fan. Nope: if you want in, you have to pony up, up front. It puts more skin in the game, keeping away halfhearted would-be members from a very tightly cohesive community. They don't want initiates who could just be "going through a phase".
The best example of this pattern is Iron Maiden within the church of metal. Ten years ago I was curious about them, and noticed how rare it was to find their CDs in the used music stores. When they did show up, they were at least $10 used, vs. half that much for the average album. Having taken a tour of various used media stores and thrift store music sections lately, that is still the case a decade later -- I saw only one CD of theirs (Powerslave), and it was $11 used vs. the store's standard $4 price. Not that I was looking for their stuff around 2000, but I'm sure it was high-priced back then as well, and back in 1990, and ever since the group's fandom came together.
It was far easier to find CDs by other metal gods like Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, AC/DC, and so on and so forth. Iconic albums of these groups were more expensive than usual, but were not nearly impossible to find second-hand. Although widely worshiped, they were not treated as the summit of the metal pantheon like Iron Maiden was and still is.
As part of my general interest in revisiting and reviving the culture of the late 2000s, I looked into getting some CDs by emo / scene / pop-punk bands of that era. I was never into it, but I do remember hearing it a lot at the used record stores -- it was the only contemporary style they played (along with older, canonical styles for record store workers and customers).
One exception was My Chemical Romance: in this post from my late 20s, I named The Black Parade as the last strong rock album of the past several years (the mid-late 2000s). Along with other observers, I noticed the similarities to "Bohemian Rhapsody"-era Queen. Pretty good stuff, I thought, considering that most people dismiss them as just another whiny emo band for angsty teenagers.
I also could not help but notice how widespread their appeal had become, with cute singer-songwriters like YouTuber Mia Rose covering "I Don't Love You" to viral success (6 million views back then is like 60 million today). Around that time a former tutoring student, who was a cultural normie, uploaded a video to her Facebook of her friend lip syncing and dancing to "Teenagers". She was also a normie, and both were from the pretty & popular crowd, not at all scene kids.
Although every normal young person back then knew who the other emo / scene / pop-punk groups were, I don't recall such widespread appreciation for them as for My Chemical Romance. And it's not because MCR was more musically mainstream -- they had a harder edge than Fall Out Boy or Panic! at the Disco, and were not dance-friendly (unlike other bands during the most recent heyday of dance-rock). You'd think that would have made them more marginal, especially among cute girls.
But they had a social and emotional appeal that transcended their strictly musical appeal, and kept them from being confined to sub-cultural status. Their plea to the audience was more intense, direct, raw, and honest, bringing legions more initiates into the church of emo than did the lesser gods of the pantheon. In retrospectives on that era from popular normie YouTube channels (the React crowd, ClevverTV, etc.), you can tell from their responses that MCR still touches more of a nerve than the other groups. Of all emo bands you may have ever been into, you're least likely to "move beyond" them, relegate them to mere "guilty pleasure" status, let alone reject and disavow them.
Sure enough, on my tour through the second-hand music spots, it was impossible to find any of their stuff at all. And not because it was obscure -- their two main albums both went triple-platinum in the US, or over 3 million in sales apiece. There are tons of copies out there somewhere -- just not in the brick-and-mortar second-hand market. Sacred objects are not given away or sold. Again, think of how many Bibles are out there in America, but how few copies there are in any given thrift store or used bookstore.
In fact, it was easier to find CDs by lesser emo deities like All Time Low, Taking Back Sunday, AFI, Paramore, and even the other two members of the trinity, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. As much as you may have resonated with their music, they didn't inspire the same level of reverence as emo Jesus, Gerard Way, so you won't be condemned to scene-kid hell if you sell some of their CDs to the local record store.
Evidently, listeners felt like Gerard Way wasn't just speaking to them, but saving them. Any cool dad or guidance counselor can listen to your problems, hear you out, make you feel seen, and so on. But diagnosing an illness is not as worthwhile to the patient as actually treating and curing them -- all the more miraculously when the healer is someone you've never even met.
I can't emphasize enough how dumbfounded I was by this turn of events. I was expecting to find multiple copies of both main albums littering the thrift store music sections, as cast-offs from when the angsty Millennial teens eventually grew out of their embarrassing MCR phase. Sure, I knew they were mega-popular way back when, and I'd seen some die-hard fans gushing about them recently on YouTube retrospectives. But there still had to be tons of former fans who just wanted to get rid of those reminders of their awkward teenage years, right? Not even close.
Turns out, those ultra-intense social-emotional bonds from the late 2000s, especially the experience of being spiritually healed or saved, elevated them into a summit-of-the-pantheon god like Iron Maiden for metalheads. It doesn't take a genius to predict that, of the various emo reunion acts under way during this return of the restless phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, the one for My Chemical Romance will most take on the character of a religious revival, a renewal of the fellow-feeling bonding the church members together, long after their awkward teenage years.