Renting Movies On-Line

What's Netflix?
Oh, I'm betting you've heard about Netflix by now.  I know I had heard about it months before I gave it a try, and even though several people told me just how great it worked, I was hesitant.  Hey, I liked going up to the video store and grabbing my DVD's.  I was sure I got them, and I avoided late fees most of the time. Okay, some of the time.  Uh, would you believe occasionally?

But I was getting tired of not finding the DVD's I wanted.  I usually rent from Hollywood Video because I can't stand the evil empire that is Blockbuster.  But neither of these stores stock all the new releases, particularly if they aren't the stupid Hollywood hit of the day.  I could find 50 copies of Agent Cody Banks, but older movies like Basketball Diaries, Heaven and Earth and Cutthroat Island (hey, I like pirate movies!) were nowhere to be seen.

And so began the free trial...
I think not being able to find Below, the submarine ghost movie, was the last straw.  C'mon, I could buy it at Wal-mart, why couldn't I rent it at the video store?  A friend suggested I check out Netflix, the largest on-line rental shop, and I was sold.  Since joining up in early August, I've rented and watched 18 movies.  If I were renting them at my local video store, that would cost just under $4 each, or $72.  That doesn't include late fees.  How much from Netflix?  Just $20 a month, or about $40 in this case (ignoring the one month free trial).  That comes out to about $2.25 a flick.  How can you beat that?

But what about shipping?
That was one of my original thoughts - who wants to pay for shipping?  Well, it turns out that's not an issue.  Your $20 a month covers all shipping back and forth.  The DVD comes to you in a special envelope.  You tear off the outside, and the inside is a postage paid mailer to do the return.  No hassle, no fuss.

$20 a month also allows you to have out up to three movies at a time, for as long as you want.  You set up a queue of movies that you want to rent on the website, and as you return one film the next one is automatically shipped to you.  I have all the upcoming releases already set up in my queue, and each week I make sure I get the movies back to them from the previous week by Wednesday.  That way I have my new movies to me in time for any weekend plans.

Do they have the movies I want?
They have an incredible 15,000 titles.  They've had every title I wanted so far, and I've only had a wait on one once - for some reason, it took a little longer to get the new, first release of The Hills Have Eyes.  Hey, don't ask me...maybe it's a more popular movie than most of us realize.  Every other film, all 18 of them, came in immediately.  It takes two days from the day they receive your movie back to when you get the next one.  For example, if I ship a movie back on Monday, they'll have it Wednesday and I'll have the replacement back on Friday.  By sending them back as soon as you see them, you always have something to watch and something on it's way to you.

As you can tell, I'm pretty happy with it so far.  I've been able to get the movies I want to see, both old and new, I don't have to deal with hitting the video store and wondering if what I want is still in stock or not, and the cost is half.  As they continue to grow, they'll have to keep up the quick turn-arounds and speedy service, but for now they're doing a great job.  They have a free trial deal going on right now which is how I got started.  Sign up and you get your first two weeks free.  After that they just charge your credit card $20 each month.  There are other options, and you can have more movies out at one time for a higher monthly fee.  There's an economy package that allows you to have out only two movies at a time, and only rent four per month for $14 a month.  The $20 a month service is probably the most popular, and that's what I use.  It allows for 3 movies out at a time, no max on how many you can rent in a month.

The higher priced options include having up to 5 movies out at a time for $30 a month, or having up to 8 movies out at a time for $40.  If you and your friends or co-workers were really co-ordinated, you could use one of these higher priced options to the fullest, and really have some savings.  For example, if you and three other friends agreed to have two movies out each every week, so you were actually renting eight movies a week on average, the cost of a single movie rental would only be $1.25!

If you think something like this could work for you, check it out by clicking on the nifty banner below.  I'm betting you'll like it a whole lot better than making the trek to the video store, and paying those obnoxious late fees - especially come January!


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