A guide by rainbowjam
Although most CDs come in standard jewel case packaging, there are a variety of other ways a CD can be packaged which can sometimes be confusing for buyers.
I've been selling music on all formats for over 20 years and have found that I get quite a few questions about packaging terms. I always have hundreds of CDs listed in my eBay shop which are all 100% legitimate and start at £1.99 Buy-It-Now. So if you want a safe and easy purchase, visit my shop at http://stores.ebay.co.uk/rainbowjam. Well, that's the plug over; now back to the matter in hand. The different terms are explained below.
Jewel Case: The normal plastic case with a plastic tray inside which holds the CD. Will include a paper inlay at the back and a paper inlay or booklet at the front. This is the standard packaging for CD albums.
Super Jewel Case: Plastic case with slightly rounded corners and an unattractive cut-out (missing) square in each corner of the front and back inlays because of this. They were the "new design" for jewel cases a few years ago but seem to have been just a passing fad.
Inlay: The front and back paper inserts inside a CD jewel case.
Slipcase: A cardboard box, open at either one or both ends which slips over the jewel case. Sometimes also holds a thicker booklet which doesn't fit inside the jewel case.
Box Set: A box which is different to a slipcase as it doesn't have any open ends. Usually used to hold multiple CDs in either jewel cases or card sleeves but occasionally used as special packaging for a single CD.
Slimline Jewel Case: A slimmer jewel case to standard with no inner tray; the CD is held in place on the back of the jewel case. Will include a paper inlay at the front with the disc visible at the back. This is the standard packaging for CD singles.
Wide/Fat Double/Multiple Jewel Case: A jewel case which is at least twice as deep as a standard jewel case and opens at the back as well as the front to hold 2 or more CDs. Will include paper inlays at the front and back and may have a booklet inside as well. This is the standard packaging for older CD double albums.
Slim Double Jewel Case: A standard jewel case with a special tray inside. The tray holds a CD on each side and flips open inside the jewel case like the pages of a book. Will include a paper inlay at the back and a paper inlay or booklet at the front. This is the standard packaging for CD double albums.
Digipak: A cardboard sleeve which opens up like a book to reveal a plastic tray glued inside which holds the CD. All the CD artwork is printed on the cardboard packaging. May include a booklet which will slot inside the digipak.
Fold-out Digipak: Exactly the same as above but with extra fold-out sections on the digipak.
Slidepack: A cardboard slipcase, thinner than those used to hold a jewel case, which holds a plastic tray (similar to the tray inside a digipak) containing the CD. All the CD artwork is printed on the slipcase.
Card Sleeve: A cardboard sleeve identical to a record cover but in miniature. All the CD artwork is printed on the sleeve.
Plastic Wallet/Sleeve: A clear thin plastic sleeve with a fold-in envelope style flap. Usually only used for promotional CDs; if you're offered a standard release (ie: not a promo) in this kind of packaging (with or without artwork) then it's probably a pirate copy. Check out my guide on the different types of illegal CDs and how to spot them. Assuming the CD is a promo, it will either have a generic insert (white paper with printed CD details), a picture insert (basic copy of the proposed artwork - usually poorer quality than the finished product) or sometimes no insert at all.
Well, thanks for taking the time to read my guide - hope it's been of some interest; if so then please register a yes vote and take a look at my other guides. Don't forget to visit my eBay shop for hundreds of 100% official Buy-It-Now CDs from just £1.99. I offer speedy delivery and reasonable postage rates; check out my feedback before you buy.
All the best, rainbowjam
Guide created 2006, updated March 2016 to correct (as much as possible) all the formatting errors created by ebay's extremely broken editing software. Apologies if it still looks a mess; it displayed perfectly for many years until ebay decided to make "improvements" to their Guides editing software! All they achieved was drastically limiting its functionality.