Is Blockbuster Online Rental Worth it?

Posted on 15. Nov, 2005 by in Income & Expenses, Saving & Investing

Have you ever wondered if those online rental deals (Blockbuster, Netflix, etc.) are really worth it? Well, I spent the last four months using Blockbuster Online and thought I would share some real-world results with you.

In general I love the online movie rental idea. I love the idea of coming home every other day or so and finding a new movie in my mailbox – not only because the mail makes me feel special but because I never have time or the energy to drive down to the video store. I originally chose Blockbuster Online because of the 2 free in-store rental coupons that you can print from home. These handy coupons allow you to run to the video store on a Friday night when you have a craving to see that new action movie that just came out this week. However, after four months I left Blockbuster Online for Netflix because I couldn’t stand waiting all week for my rentals to come in the mail – and so far Netflix has been outstanding in that regard.

I should mention, however, that the results presented here are not “scientific” in nature and are by no means the only research you should do before subscribing to either service. Instead, I hope that you use this information as a general impression by a “real” user and not a cashier from Blockbuster trying to sell you their newest service. That said, here are some facts that you should be aware of:

  • The data provided here is based on a fairly consistent rental schedule. I never keep a movie for more than two days in my home – so as the data suggests, there were some times when Blockbuster was painfully slow at sending my movies to me.
  • Most of the time I would watch my new movies the very night I received them and then throw them back in the mail the next morning.
  • I subscribed to the package that allowed for 3 movies to be out at any given time

    As you can see, over this 4 month period, I spent an average of $2.63 per DVD rented. Compared to my local store rental price of $3.99 that’s a $1.36 savings for each DVD rental. If you are thinking about joining an online rental service such as Blockbuster or Netflix find out what the monthly cost is and then project how many DVDs you would watch in a typical month. Using this information you can tell if the service is worth it.

    For example, with the data presented here, I would need to rent 5 movies a month just to make the service worth it. If you don’t watch more than 5 movies a month then perhaps a cheaper version of the service is the way to go – or perhaps you should just stick to the “old fashioned” way of renting movies.

Blockbuster, Movies, Personal Finance, DVD Rental

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