Saturday, November 22, 2008

Far Better Than Netflix

Netflix isn't for me. I don't like time pressure on my leisure activities, I don't like having slim viewing choices at any given moment, and as someone who survived many years on very low income by learning to minimize overhead (and still must do so today, until I can finish and sell the books I've been working on), I'm very hesitant about adding yet another $$/month obligation to my monthly nut.

So here's what I do instead of Netflix. It's cheaper and better:

I buy my DVDs used, and, after watching them, I sell them secondhand for close to the same price. I get to hold onto titles for as long as I like, I have an even wider pool to choose from than Netflix offers, I don't get charged for those months when I'm busy or out of town, I get to enjoy the full packaging, and my net expense is never as high as $20/month. If I'm feeling over-extended, I can sell more aggressively, and if I want to languish with a bunch of unviewed titles, I can do that.

I buy mostly on, and from some Amazon Marketplace vendors (I tolerate lower vendor ratings on Amazon than on Half/eBay, because clueless consumers there rate vendors much more capriciously...always read the actual feedback on Amazon), sometimes from eBay, and buy new on Amazon when the price is right (they have tons of great DVDs for under $15; Amazon's new price sometimes dips below the prevalent used price, especially if you're an Amazon Prime customer, as I am, who gets free shipping). I also buy some directly from indie filmmakers, who rarely charge more than $20. I never buy popular titles until the first wave of purchasers starts flooding the secondhand market, bringing the price down. And when I sell, I always price 50 cents less than the competition to ensure that my DVD moves quickly. I keep DVD mailers handy so packing's not a hassle.

If I really like a film, I can keep it. And if the stock market ravages my savings, as it did this week, my DVDs are essentially liquid assets, easily sold off.


Carrie said...

What a good idea!

We've been taking movies out of the library...

jei said...

Meh, I use netflix $9.00 / mo. no "time restrictions" and half decent selection. Problem around here is that movies do NOT sell. Your lucky to get .50 cents per dvd since so many people burn them now. $20.00 a month sounds like a bit of money to spend on movies you just want to turn around and sell. But to each their own. Good sites though I may have to buy some movies now.

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