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Wal-Mart Pushing the DVD Rental

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Wal-Mart has lowered DVD rental service prices:

    The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said it would offer a $15.54 monthly subscription rate for the service for customers who only want to have two DVDs rented at one time. When the company started the service in October, it had a subscription fee of $18.86.

    For those who wish have three rentals at once, the price will be $18.76, with a monthly fee of $21.94 for customers who want four rentals, the company said. [Reuters]

They are also offering a free 30-day trial period:

    • Choose from thousands of DVDs, with no limit to how many titles you can add.
    • Arrange the DVDs in the order you want to receive them.
    • Receive the first DVDs from your list – how many is based on your membership plan.
    • Keep them as long as you like – there are no late fees!
    • Use the postage-paid envelope to mail a DVD back when you’re finished.
    • Receive the next title from your DVD List.

    Billing

    When you sign up for your 30-day free trial, we’ll ask you for a credit card number. If you’re happy with Wal-Mart DVD Rentals, we will automatically begin billing your credit card when your free trial ends. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can cancel the service anytime during the 30-day free trial to avoid being billed for the next month.

Actually the monthly fee still seems high: I’d do it for $10 a month for the one at a time deal. That would be about one a week for $2.50 each. Remember online services should be LESS than their real world counterparts as the company’s costs are lower (no display, lower storage, lower personnel costs), the time lag between order and receipt should generate a discount.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I’ve been a Netflix member for years and years, and I can tell you that even at $20/month for four DVDs, it’s a great deal. You wouldn’t think so, but Blockbuster adds up.

    I just checked my spreadsheet that I use to keep track of such things. After 40 months of membership, my cost per DVD rental was $2.53. That’s even after renting 0 movies during month 39!

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I went back and updated the spreadsheet. it had been a few months. Now, after 43 months of membership, my overall average cost per DVD rental is $2.55. Or, if I count just since the last time the monthly price changed (November 2000), $3.03 per DVD rental.

    I pay $21.60/month for four-at-a-time, but I think I’m under a grandfather clause.

  • Doc

    Very glad to see that the selection is more diverse than what is available in the store. I was a bit worried it would be more like another push to get out the endless sequals of the “Left Behind” series.

    Wonder how long that will be before the same wingers that pushed them to remove slightly adult magazines from Walmart shelves go through the list of DVD’s with their own ‘recommendations’.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Most of the wannabe-censors (Gore, Cheney, etc) seem more concerned about the availability of such materials to children than to their general existence. A web-based service is probably safe from their scrutiny, but who knows. Some people can be really stupid.