August 7, 2008

Buying and reselling DVDs instead of renting them?

I found this article on The Simple Dollar: Why Netflix Doesn’t Work For Us - And How We Found A Cost-Effective Alternative and it raised an interesting idea. They said that they buy and resell their DVDs on eBay and find it a more practical method than using Netflix.

Trent at The Simple Dollar mainly watches TV series which come in boxed sets. For them it is relatively cheap and more convenient for them to buy and resell used boxed sets of TV series. I thought it was a great idea. I decided to see if it might work for myself.

As an example I researched the cost of the movie The Pursuit of Happyness on a few online sites. The DVD runs about $2 + $3 s/h if you buy it used on Amazon marketplace. On eBay the cheapest I found it was $3.5 for cost + s/h. has it for about $4 including s/h. So you're generally looking at a price around $3-5 for a used DVD if you buy them online. The shipping/handling cost is the bulk of the cost and it typically runs $2-3. If you then resell the DVD you might get back $1-2 of that cost. So your net cost is in the $1-4 range per DVD.

SwapADVD is another alternative. Through that program you can swap your used DVDs with other members and basically only pay postage one direction for about $2. Net cost is $2 per DVD.

With a net cost of $1-4 for buying and reselling used DVDs or $2 net cost for Swapping DVDs you're still paying as much or more than if you just rented a DVD for 1 day at RedBox. Net cost at Redbox is $1 per day.

Trent at The Simple Dollar has a unique approach to watching DVDs that works well for their needs. But I still think that in general for most people a combination of Redbox and/or a 1-2 disc Netflix plan would be the most cost effective means of renting DVDs.

1 comment:

  1. Renting of instructional dvd’s would be more effective than buying and selling them...aside from the fact that renting would cost less, plagiarism would be decreased.


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