Change to DVD pricing structure?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by David Wilkins, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    I conducted a quick forum search, but didn't find anything regarding this issue. Perhaps it's old news, perhaps I'm imagining things.

    I've been buying DVD's from day one of the format, and it seems to me that there's been a recent change in pricing. The new releases seem generally higher, with few to none of the attractive first-week prices once offered by Best Buy. On the other hand, I've noticed quite a few very low prices on some very desirable catalog titles, to the extent of making me green with envy, considering the "new release" price I paid for the same title a year or so ago.

    Then there are the stubborn catalog titles (Paramount seems particularly bad), where they simply won't back off a premium price tag, though the titles hardly seem to be flying off the shelf.

    Any thoughts? Perhaps some of you are involved with distributing or retail, and can provide some confirmation, or otherwise, to an otherwise uninformed consumer.
     
  2. I can't speak for the industry, only my current shopping habits:

    In the last year or so, I've decided to simply not pay more than $10 for anything.

    I get the new releases from Hollywood Video (2/$20, 3/$30) sales (recent sale yielded Pirate of Caribbean, Hulk, & Seabiscuit).

    They place all rentals in new cases and I can live without inserts.

    At the moment of purchase I open, inspect, and ask for another disc if there's anything more than dust and smudges.

    CC and BB have regular (2/$15) sales on popular catalog tiles (Snake Eyes, Stripes, CopLand, Truman Show, & Planes, Trains, and Autos)

    I do pay $10 for less popular catalog titles occasionally (We're No Angles, Sea of Love, & Bat 21).

    I also hit used locations on regular basis for $5-8 DVDs that have passed out of typical retail circulation (Age of Innocence).

    Wal-Mart's $5.50 bin has good DVDs all the time (Robert Altman's 'The Gingerbread Man', some mindless action like 'Double Team', or decent comedies like 'Dream Team').

    I did cave-in recently though and paid $15 at CC for a rare copy of Hard Eight. Couldn't help myself.
     
  3. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I think most list prices have stayed steady. Best Buy however has for the second year in a row upped a lot of prices. For example, it used to be that DVD's with a list of $15 sold for $10, list $20 went for $15, and list of $27ish went for $20. Now it's more like $15 list go for $13, $20 list go for $18 and $27ish list go for $23.

    Without even making the conscious decision to do so yet, I have found myself shopping less at BB in the past 6 months because of this. I either pre-order from DVDEmpire (usually costs about the same shipped as BB w/tax), or I go to Target or CC when they beat both of them.

    Best Buy seems to be determined to curb the enthusiasm people have towards buying a ton of DVD's at once...
     
  4. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    I think that BB's problem might also be tied into its "Reward Zone" program that gives you $5 certificates when you purchase $125... Unless their DVD sales fall drastically (and their pricing on CD's seems to have risen too). I think their offering a 5% discount on items that they now charge 10% more for pretty much sucks!
     
  5. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I've thought about it the same way Eric. Luckily I got a ton of RZ coupons from buying a 16:9 and some other stuff, over $200 worth of certs by the end of the year. With all of them now spent, I frequent BB less.
     
  6. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i think this part of your post is inaccurate.
    Paramount was one of the worst in regards to pricing structure, but they've made huge improvments in the last yr.
    i remember when they didn't even discount back catalog titles and now this seems to be a regular occurance.
    i've bought about a dozen great Paramount catlog titles in the last few months for under $10, and even a much requested title like Once Upon A Time In The West, with SE content was only $15 street at many retailers.
    i'm very happy with Paramount now.

    Columbia, on the other hand has regressed big time.
    bare bone catalog titles constantly coming out with a $24.95 msrp- inconsistency in regards to AR (which thankfully doesn't seem to be a problem with Paramount).
    and i'm still waiting to see price reductions on catalog titles from them that have been out well over a yr now.
     
  7. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    I almost never buy new releases now. I know they'll likely drop in price within the next year or so, and I can wait if it means saving 7-10 bucks on a title I'll likely watch once a year anyway.
     
  8. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    Robert: My point exactly (one of them anyway), that used to not be the case. Pre-order or first week at BB, CC or other large retailers was the time to get the best price.

    Paul: You're right in that there's been an improvement with Paramount. I'm not always sharp at remembering title/label affiliation, so I'm sure you're right about Columbia. All I know for sure, is that there are still a lot of catalog titles that command $24.98 (and up), and it's bound to add tremendously to the fact that those titles are collecting dust.

    The phenomena that I referred to in the original mail seems to me, across the board, store-front or online, as if it's a change industry wide. One fact is clear: I'm not hurrying to BB on Tuesdays to pick up new titles for $14.95 the way I used to. It's more like... $19.98. There are a few happy exceptions like "Once Upon a Time in the West", but they're fewer and much further in between.
     
  9. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Two words: Columbia House
     
  10. Wayne Earl

    Wayne Earl Extra

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    Here in Vancouver I have definitely noticed the same trend .Higher new release prices and quicker price reductions.I used to feel rewarded by buying early but now I usually feel done when the prices drop so quickly. Best to wait them out unless it's a gotta have.Criterions here are $38 to $70 bucks.I guarantee Criterion that they will sell a ton more dvd`s if they can get their price points to a more reasonable level. People are drooling over them but can only afford to indulge a little.Really appreciated the better pricing on Traffic and The Royal Tennenbaums though . I myself would have about 200 ,instead of 15,if they were cheaper .
     
  11. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I've been ordering more and more through Amazon, taking advantage of their Share the Love discounts. It helps. This coming from a guy who used to go to Best Buy every Tuesday on the way home from work.
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I don't have a Best Buy near me but for me I still generally buy things on or around release date, I've still found that in my area at least that's when the prices are generally the best. Of course, there are limits to what I'll pay for something, like I will not be shelling out $65 for the Flintstones season 1, when it can be had for $45 at Amazon. I am glad I waited on the Godfather, and I'm getting to the point where a Band of Brothers purchase may be in my near future, but I will not give HBO $50 for 8 half hour episodes of Sex and the City season 5.

    But, that's actually off the original topic, so like I said generally if its a title I really want I try to take advantage of the release week prices if they're any good, if not then I wait.
     


  13. That was another rare $15 moment for me at BB as well.

    But for restored 3hr classic with 2nd disc, you can't complain.

    Now, if only they would drop '...In America'.

    Probably find a used copy before BB/CC does a drop on that one.

    Also looking for a copy of 'Dragonslayer' for $10 or under, not paying $15 for a bare disc with content from early 80's.
     
  14. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i think i may have picked this up from DDD for about $10.
    i know Captain Kronos, Black Sunday, Pretty Baby all ran me $5.88 each (the first two from DDD the last from Wal-mart).

    all Paramounts, and all with nice transfers.
    Kronos even had an audio commentary.

    you guys might want to try Columbia House for "...In America" and Dragonslayer.
    under $10 average price is hard to beat.
     
  15. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    David, I've been meaning to put up an identical post for a month now. I can't add anything other than more anecdotal evidence - but the initial week releases seem $3-$7 dollars higher now than last year. Like someone else related, I used to stop at Costco every Tuesday for lunch and a new release or two; but the ~$5 price difference has killed that.

    I could have sworn that I saw somewhere in the last 2-3 months something about the industry actively reacting to the percieved value of new releases; and this price restructuring seems to follow as a natural reaction to that. I thought I might have read it on HTF or CNN or something like that, but I tried looking and can't find it.
     


  16. I saw a comment in another thread which seems to confirm my observations:

    Day One prices don't seem to be as good as before, but 'newer' titles are being put on sale much quicker than before.

    For example, BB and CC seem to be doing 2/$25 or 3/$30 on titles that were released in last 6-9 months.

    I think alot depends on the title though, if they think they can sell a ton, then the Day One is usually low.
     

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