Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cheaper than Netflix

I just rented two movies for 54 cents, including tax, from Family Video, in High Point, NC. I drove by there tonight and noticed the store for the first time. Because of Netflix, I don't bother with video stores except for titles still available only on VHS, or if I need a specific title immediately.

This store gave me my first two DVD rentals for 50% off, which were regularly $1.00 for 5 nights. The first 30 days of my new membership, all my rentals are half off. The associate offered to give me a tour of the store. They rent kids' (limit 3) and educational videos for free. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, all new release rentals, about $2.50-3.50 for two or three nights, come with a free rental from the "almost new" section.

The downside is that it's still a video store, which means driving to and fro, and the location is about 15 miles from my home. The selection is well-organized, but still limited, so I didn't find any hard-to-find or out-of-print titles.

Still, because of the great customer service and low prices, when I can't wait for Netflix, I'll remember Family Video.


  1. Family Video is based here in IL, but I didn't realize that its geographic reach was more than just the Midwest. We have a membership at our local Family Video even though we haven't used it for over a year.

    While I liked the prices and the free kids' movies, our local store as recently as early 2005 still had a surprisingly small selection of titles released since 2000 on DVD. It almost seemed as if they were building up their DVD inventory via new releases and not purchasing DVDs of slightly older titles. It's funny and a bit strange to think that I ended up renting a fairly recent title or two on VHS from FV because they just didn't have it on DVD and I really didn't feel like going to my local Blockbuster.

    It would be interesting to stop by my local FV sometime soon and see if the selection has improved.

  2. FV is one of the larger regional chains, but certainly not the size of Blockbuster. They excelled when the primary rental material was VHS and, depending upon the manager, would carry obscure titles.

    It has been years since I worked for the chain in Michigan, but while we carried a limited inventory of titles, we rotated it on a regular basis.

    Today's market has changed considerably. The total number of titles available on video from all sources is likely approaching or surpassing six figures. This makes it nealy impossible to carry a broad enough selection to compete against NF and BB on-line service. So, the stores (and this is true of BB, as well), have opted for building their stock from new releases and then rotating out stuff that does not rent and just takes up shelf space.

    For the price, FV is still one of the better stores, especially if you have kids and want to get something for them, too.