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DVD purchases: Columbia House?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Paul_III

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Posted March 27 2003 - 04:07 AM

I was wondering if anybody here has used the Columbia House DVD club to purchase DVD's? The offer sounds like a decent deal, and I plan to build a rather large DVD collection over the next year or two. I was just wondering if anyone has done this, and if so is the selection wide enough, do they offer anamorhic DVD's, etc.? Or are there better retailers that are preferred by the majority of members of these forums? Thanks.

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   GlennH

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Posted March 27 2003 - 04:31 AM

CH is the best way to build a DVD library at a low cost. You can easily get a large variety of titles for an average cost as low as $8 or so, by using the best offer codes available and following this sequence: enroll, fulfill, quit, repeat. You don't make out too well by staying in the club after fulfilling your obligation - it's always better to quit and rejoin to get another enrollment offer.

You can have 2 memberships simultaneously and there seems to be no limit to how many times you can rejoin. The DVDs are the exact same ones you would buy in retail stores.

New releases aren't available as an enrollment selection until 2, 3, or more months after street date, depending on the studio.

CH certainly doesn't carry every DVD title, but the selection is pretty good.

To learn everything you need to know about playing this game check out the DVD Clubs section of dvdtalk.com forum. Start with this thread.

#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Paul_III

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Posted March 27 2003 - 04:52 AM

Thanks Glenn! Posted Image

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted March 27 2003 - 05:29 AM

I suggest the enroll, fullfil, quit, then wait for them to send you an offer to join. I have found that if you wait for them to come to you to rejoin, you well get a better offer than the standard mail ins / internet order forms.

#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted March 27 2003 - 05:33 AM

I don't know Russell, using the codes, CVX is one of the best right now, you can get 8 DVD's for $7.80 per. I have started getting DVD's via CH since early Feb. I much prefer it due to the low price and have drastically curtailed my purchases elsewhere, and have been saving a lot of money.

#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Jim Spencer

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Posted March 27 2003 - 05:49 AM

[quote] I don't know Russell, using the codes, CVX is one of the best right now, you can get 8 DVD's for $7.80 per. I have started getting DVD's via CH since early Feb. I much prefer it due to the low price and have drastically curtailed my purchases elsewhere, and have been saving a lot of money. [quote]

Russell, like me, is up in Canada, where it is slightly different. When you sign up on the internet you can only choose from "the top 200" DVD's. The only way to order other DVD's is to do it through a mail in enrollment.

The best savings code for CHC DVD is A64 which is if you buy the extra 1 @ $19.95 you only have 2 enrollments to purchase instead of 3.

I try to do mail in ones because of the small selection on the web page. Luckily I received 2 offers in the mail on the same day a few weeks ago.
My DVDs

#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Nater

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Posted March 27 2003 - 09:23 AM

I have had 4 memberships with Columbia House DVD club -- not counting 2 with their TV Greats club!

Me likey. Posted Image

#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted March 27 2003 - 11:17 AM

In the end, I didn't feel that the hassle was worth the minimal savings that I received from the ordeal. Not to mention they keep sending you shit for about 2 months after you quit. You DO save some cash by going the Columbia House route, but whether it is worth the hassle (not to mention that it takes them about a week and a half to ship everything) is really your decision to make.

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   MarkHarrison

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Posted March 27 2003 - 11:59 AM

In the USA club, I just finished a membership and got nine movies for $7.25 each. It did take a long time to get them shipped to me (about 1 1/2 weeks), but you know what? I have nine new movies sitting on my shelves right now and they were only $7.25 each. So while I hated the wait, it was totally worth it in the end. As for the hassle, it's not as simple as driving the two miles to Best Buy. But it's no harder than ordering from any other online store either. Unless you call going online to cancel your membership a hassle. Beyond that, it's about equal in hassle to any other online store. As someone else mentioned, enroll, fulfill, quit. Don't stay in the club long enough to have to mess with the directors selections every month. I've never had to decline any monthly offer except for the initial offering. And I've never had any unwanted discs sent to me.

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Eric F

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Posted March 27 2003 - 12:12 PM

I dunno- you can't beat 10 DVDs for $50.

I hope they have more of those deals soon.Posted Image

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   Randall Dorr

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Posted March 27 2003 - 03:11 PM

The DVDClubs forum is absolutely invaluable. I just got approval on a CVX order today. Posted Image

The best way to get some PSNs (account numbers from previous accounts) is to enroll in the
TV Greats Club. You pay $4 for the first in a series, then cancel the account. You get a DVD (The movie lines include 2001, The Shining, The Outlaw Josey Whales, Pretty Woman, etc.) and a PSN for very little hassle.

[quote] In the end, I didn't feel that the hassle was worth the minimal savings that I received from the ordeal. Not to mention they keep sending you shit for about 2 months after you quit. You DO save some cash by going the Columbia House route, but whether it is worth the hassle (not to mention that it takes them about a week and a half to ship everything) is really your decision to make. [quote]

Adam: I don't want to sound like I'm ragging on you but-

1) The shit they sent you: Is it just letters asking you to rejoin? If it is, who cares? Throw it in the garbage like any other piece of junk mail. If they're sending you DVDs after you've closed all accounts than I believe, legally, you're not obligated to pay for said discs and you can do what you want with it.

2) I don't understand why some people need their DVDs NOW, NOW, NOW. The film (and the disc) will be exactly the same. Isn't it worth waiting a week or two if it means getting them for half the price of ninety percent of all other stores? Which brings us to-

3) If one is a DVD enthusiast, more money saved means more DVDs bought. (Or don't buy DVDs; put the extra money in the bank, give it to a homeless person, buy a new car, etc.) Most stores will charge between fifteen and twenty-five bucks for a DVD. But with Columbia House, you will never pay more than twelve dollars for a disc, and most of the time you can get them for eight or nine. (And on rare occasions, as was a few weeks ago with code CYCD, you can get discs for five bucks a piece.)

4) Absolutely, some people have bad experiences with CH, but said persons often didn't make timely payments, or never bother to decline their Director's Selection. With all the help readily available at DVDClubs, there's no reason why any internet savvy person should get screwed.
8 Ball gave it a 9:
Yo, Martin and Will are my boys, you know what I'm saying? They make jokes I understand. The car chase is dope! I give it a 9 but I'm still 8 Ball.
-user review of Bad Boys II from Metacritic.com

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#12 of 22 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted March 27 2003 - 03:22 PM

Just thought I'd mention, for those in Canada at least, you can call CH and tell them you want to be taken off the "negative option" plan. That means you don't have to respond to each mailing, unless you want something. For CD's too.

Also, it is in some ways best not to quit, because if you do you lose general access to the web site, aren't aware of recent additions, and have a much more limited selection to choose from when you re-enroll Posted Image Unless of course you pre-choose (remember the #'s) before quitting, or have at least one active DVD account...

Edit: When I said "not to quit", I mean wait for them to quit you, as Russ mentioned, then re-enroll. It takes around 6 months of account inactivity for them to send you another offer. No need to feel guilty either, no matter what you do, taking advantage etc., everything is done by computer unless you want to deal with a human...nobody will ever even know what you're doing. Or care, they're still making money.

#13 of 22 ONLINE   Paul Penna

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Posted March 27 2003 - 03:33 PM

There are some DVDs that are exclusive to Columbia House. For example, an ongoing collection of Woody Woodpecker cartoons. Selection of prints seems variable - some are edited TV versions, but often they're the full theatrical releases, uncut and complete with original logos. Reports are that the good stuff is very, very good. This one alone is making me think about taking the CH plunge. Again.

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   MarkHarrison

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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:55 AM

[quote] Also, it is in some ways best not to quit, because if you do you lose general access to the web site, aren't aware of recent additions, and have a much more limited selection to choose from when you re-enroll Unless of course you pre-choose (remember the #'s) before quitting, or have at least one active DVD account... [quote]

I disagree. Don't stay in the club. When you want to rejoin, visit this site, Columbia House Files. He has a CSV file (open it with any spreadsheet program) that lists the entire Columbia House catalog and is updated on a weekly basis. I would never try to join the club just by picking titles off their web site. The spreadsheet has about 2400 titles listed. If you can't find something you want from that list, you have way too many movies. Posted Image

#15 of 22 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted March 28 2003 - 06:11 AM

I was speaking for the Canadian version of the club...they fairly recently started restricting web access to just members. Different title availability than the U.S. And you need the web access or the magazines to know when newer titles are available as an "enrollment" selection. Just for the info I suggest keeping an account open somehow. I must say that for recent title availability the DVD club is far far superior to the CD club.

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Trevor_N

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Posted March 28 2003 - 06:24 AM

Almost all of the DVDs that I bought and want to buy are DVDs of classic films (US and foreign). How good is CH's classic selection? Thanks...

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted March 28 2003 - 08:26 AM

I think it's pretty good. Go to that site, download the latest .csv file and open it in Excel. You can then sort the list by Genre and look at the ones listed as CLASSICS. Or sort by title and browse alphabetically. Thing is, one cycle, enroll, fulfil, cancel, is 8 DVD's right now, at an average of $7.79 each. Surely you'll se at least 8 there you want.

#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted March 29 2003 - 07:01 AM

[quote] Absolutely, some people have bad experiences with CH, but said persons often didn't make timely payments, or never bother to decline their Director's Selection. [quote]As someone who never missed a payment and was careful to decline all my Director's Selections, but still managed to get screwed twice by the program, you can see why I have problems with that characterization.

Still, if you're willing to put in the time and deal with the hassle, you'll save in the long run. Me? I'm sticking with Best Buy.

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   GlennH

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Posted March 29 2003 - 01:51 PM

[quote] Almost all of the DVDs that I bought and want to buy are DVDs of classic films (US and foreign). How good is CH's classic selection? [quote] They have most of the more popular "classic" titles. But I'm a little disappointed that there are several older titles that I wanted to get, but they don't carry. It just depends on what you're looking for.


For example, CH does not carry:

The Harvey Girls
Calamity Jane
Mildred Pierce
The Eddy Duchin Story
And Then There Were None (Image)
Witness for the Prosecution
Good News
Sorry, Wrong Number
The Incredible Mister Limpet
Now, Voyager
Driving Miss Daisy (SE) - they have the original release
The Great Race

I can't understand why they would not have a classic like "Mildred Pierce" when they have lots of less popular and obscure titles.

And it would be real sweet if they carried Criterions.

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Randall Dorr

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Posted March 29 2003 - 03:06 PM

[quote] I never bothered to do the math, but between shipping and taxes, I doubt it was that low [quote]
When figuring the per disc average of an account at DVDClubs, the cost of shipping is always included. Taxes are not because that will vary from place to place.

The "Standard Deal" at CH is 5 for 49 cents, 3 fufillments and shipping. Take the total price, divide by 8 and you're paying $11.71 per disc. And that's the lousiest deal they have. Use a code like CVX and it goes: (taken from the DVDClubs FAQ)

5 DVDs @ $0.49 each $2.45
6th Optional @ $14.95 $14.95
Free Shipping/Handling $0.00
7th and 8th Fulfillment @ $19.95 each $39.90
Shipping/Handling ($2.99 + $1.99) $4.98
Total = $62.28 / 8 = $7.79 per DVD
8 Ball gave it a 9:
Yo, Martin and Will are my boys, you know what I'm saying? They make jokes I understand. The car chase is dope! I give it a 9 but I'm still 8 Ball.
-user review of Bad Boys II from Metacritic.com

guzzlefish




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