That was actually a GREAT price for the CD spindle. I've made about 20 of them, and they cost about $3.00 to make each one.
You have to buy a wooden dowel, a cup hook, a tiny piece of vinyl tubing, and two rubber grommets. It takes a LOT of time to make your first one, because you spend at LEAST an hour just looking for all the parts in the correct size. (I ended up going to THREE stores, looking for rubber grommets in the right size.) It also took me a while to find CDs I didn't mind letting go for this project.
THEN, I had to go to my step-dad's woodshop to cut the dowels to the right size, then sand down the tips. Then, my husband had to drill a tiny hole in the end of each dowel.
So, unless you have a lot of time on your hands, it pays to buy one from someone else.
Here are my handmade CD spindles: