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Best and Worst Stores to Buy DVDs (1 Viewer)

Will_A._Russell

Auditioning
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Apr 15, 2002
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4
I like to buy a DVD every now and then. I've been to several places to buy DVDs, and I've come up with my list of good and bad place to buy DVDs.

Here are some of the good places on my list:

Borders-good selection;value

Hastings-huge selection;value

And here are some of the bad places on my list:

Blockbuster-very limited selection;widescreen versions of certain titles not available in-store

Wal-Mart:widescreen versions of certain titles not available in-store; has policy that asks for your ID every time you purchase an R-rated DVD, regardless of age.

Anyone else willing to share their lists of good and bad stores to buy DVDs?
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
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Dec 4, 1999
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I don't buy at any B&Ms except Best Buy, Circuit City, and occasionally Coconuts. They're at least $3-4 less than Borders
 

Malcolm R

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Feb 8, 2002
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Real Name
Malcolm
Sticking exclusively to brick-and-mortar stores with whom I have experience:
For everyday lower prices and a huge selection, I'd have to say Best Buy. Regular prices are routinely several dollars per title cheaper than most other regular stores. Circuit City can be competitive on weekly specials, but regular prices seem to average $3-5 higher per title than Best Buy.
Circuit City inventory can also be maddening, as they seem to only stock a few copies of anything, even brand new releases, whereas Best Buy will have three different free-standing displays and an entire shelf in the aisle dedicated to some new titles. This depends on the CC, though. The one closest to me is terrible, very small selection, but a newer store that's farther away has a DVD department that is twice as big.
Overall lowest prices, especially box sets, can usually be found at Costco or Sam's Club. Complete "Monty Python" for $99, "Twin Peaks" for $34, "Buffy the VS" for $26, "Star Trek TNG Seasons 1 & 2" for $94, "The X-Files" sets for $99, "Queer as Folk" Season One for $64, "Friends" for $48. For single-disc titles, you need to compare as the warehouses are sometimes beaten by the first-week specials at Best Buy or Circuit City. Also, their inventory varies greatly and they tend to favor P&S releases when given the choice.
Target seems very good for Disney titles. Most are $19.99 (and are usually $22.99 at Best Buy and higher elsewhere). They also compete well with some weekly specials ("Mulholland Drive" was recently $16.99, cheapest B&M price I saw anywhere.) Downside is limited selection and stocking of P&S titles where a choice exists.
Borders has a nice selection and I use them pretty much for the occasional rare or harder-to-find title. Their prices are rather high.
I continue to be mystified when people say that Wal-Mart is responsible for so many DVD sales, since even their Supercenters seem to have quite limited selection. I very seldom buy at Wal-Mart. Their selection is relatively poor, and their everyday prices are similar or slightly higher than Best Buy. They do have some good "Bargain" releases, however. Recently got "Dolores Claiborne" and "Logan's Run" for $5.88 each. "The House on Haunted Hill" and "Ghostbusters" for $9.44.
And, of course, you should always check out David Lambert's Weekly Roundup in the "coupons and bargains" section of the HTF. Click here for this week's round-up!
 

Oliver_RN

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Joined
Mar 23, 2002
Messages
14
As much as many people hate this idea, I buy a lot of DVD's from Columbia House... I know, people say it's a scam, and if you don't beat them at their own game, it probably is. Here's the deal. They offer you 3 DVD's for 49 cents each, then you owe them 4 more at "regular club prices", which are in some cases, slightly higher than most stores. BUT, here's the way to win....

1. Know your DVD prices. Of the ones you want, buy the most expensive with your initial 49 cent offer.

2. Take advantage of the 4th low price DVD they offer in their flyer ("Buy a fourth DVD now for only $9.99, and then you only have to buy 3 more to fulfill your obligation")

3. As soon as you receive your first four DVD's, go online to columbiahouse.com find the DVD's on sale... careful here, some don't count towards your obligation to buy 3 more... but some do!

4. They will have hundreds of DVD's on sale. You WILL find three you like. Buy them.

5. Send them an e-mail, or a snail mail letter QUITTING the club. You have fullfilled your obligation.

Let's review, you got 3 DVD's for 49 cents, 1 for $9.95, and three more for the sale price of approximately $20.00.

Thats an average DVD price of $10.20 each.

They count on people staying with the club and buying more DVD's at high prices. Or forgetting to mail in the little card and getting some DVD they don't really want. If you follow through, buy your DVD's and get out... it's an unbeatable deal.

Incidentally, 6 months after you quit, you'll get a letter from them saying.. "As a former member, we have a SPECIAL deal for you!" They'll give you 4 (I've heard some people have been offered 5), 49 cent DVD's... brings the average price down to under $10.00.
 

Jerry Wright

Agent
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
44
Oliver, You neglected one very important point regarding Columbia House. And that is their insanely ridiculous shipping and handling fees. Years ago I joined their CD "club" and got out quick. They make their prices look good, then make up the profit by calling it "handling." Figure those charges in, then repost your average DVD cost. I'll stick to Deepdiscount.com where if you buy one or thirty, shipping is the same.........FREE
 

Jeff_A

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 6, 2001
Messages
1,454
Oliver, You neglected one very important point regarding Columbia House. And that is their insanely ridiculous shipping and handling fees...Figure those charges in, then repost your average DVD cost...
Sorry, Jerry, but your argument fails (big-time). As a matter of fact, it's not even close! I just compiled an average total cost of my last order with Columbia House and compared the exact same shipment to the prices offered by DeepDiscountDVD with free their shipping offer. They are as follows:
Columbia House - $9.28 per DVD
DeepDiscountDVD - 12.76 per DVD
Certainly CH has an inflated S&H fee, but remember, you're getting a bundle of enrollment copies for FREE!!
 

Brian E

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Messages
1,636
I've had a Columbia House DVD account 9 or 10 times now. Currently have one and am about to sign up for another one (you can have two at once). The thing to do is get all the high MSRP stuff when you sign up and then bare minimum price wise to fulfill your commitment. Quit as soon as you fulfill and them sign up again. Anyone interested in this method of building your collection be sure and check out the CH thread at DVD Talk under the store forum to make sure you optimize your enrollment. I've gotten quite a few expensive DVDs this way.
 

Duke H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Messages
86
Does anyone really wanna' know how DVD and CD clubs make their money (Actually, CD clubs, but I'd assume it's the same, as CH covers both genres)? By screwing the artists! Musicians do not receiver royalties on discs sold through "clubs," as they are considered "promo" copies. I'd assume that writers/directors/actors that get royalties are in the same boat. That cuts the cost of the disc by up to $1.00, and, seeing as a CD costs less than $3.00 accross the board to produce, that's a decent profit. Think about it...Columbia (Sony) saves money by selling direct, not paying royalties, and only having to cover the cost of production. S/H fees pay just that...Shipping and Handling. "Handling" would also include opperating fees, such as warehouse labor. That is why it costs them $3-5 to ship a CD that you or I could ship for less than a dollar. 15 CD's for the price of 4, plus one at $10.00 (or 1/2 off, depending on the offer). 4 times $15.00, plus $10.00 equals $70.00 (I'm not figuring in S/H). 70.00 divided by 15 equals 4.67, or an average profit of $1.67 per CD. Like I said before, this is refering to Music Clubs, as that is the only side of the mail order business I know about, but I'd assume it works the same with video clubs (or book clubs, for that matter). I'm thinking Napster had the right idea...if the industry can screw the artists, then why can't the internet?
 

Jerry Wright

Agent
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
44
Apologies to Oliver and Jeff, I stand corrected. I did the figuring too, and even with their high S&H, their bottom line wins. So much in fact that I joined the club and got my first five on the way. :b
 

Jeff_A

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 6, 2001
Messages
1,454
...I joined the club and got my first five on the way.
He sees the light! He sees the light! :D Seriously Jerry, I think you will be very happy with your decision. There is simply no better way to affordably beef-up your DVD collection (IMHO).
 

James Z

Grip
Joined
Dec 29, 2001
Messages
18
Over half of my DVDs have been purchased via Columbia House. It really is the best way to go about collecting mainstream DVDs for the least amount of money. For Criterions and hard to find titles though, DeepDiscountDVD is generally the way to go.

As to B+M's, one not mentioned too much that is doing a very nice job with DVDs is Target. Up until a few months ago, you could get great deals there, but it was a bit hit and miss. They've recently started to sell DVDs in the sort of "block price" way that WalMart does, ala their $9.44 selections. Target has a *ton* of Paramount titles set at very agreeable prices so if you're in the market for a few, you might want to check them out.
 

Jesse Skeen

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 1999
Messages
4,902
Worst: K-Mart! Most of their stores keep the discs locked up and you can't even tell what they've got! It might keep people from stealing, but probably keeps a lot more people from BUYING!
 

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