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Trade instead of buy?

Home Theater

November 2, 2005 01:12 AM PST

Here is something different. It gives the term peer to peer a whole new meaning. Peerflix is an online DVD service that allows you to trade DVDs rather than rent them. The idea is that you list the DVDs you have that you are willing to trade, and the ones that you want and they facilitate the transfer for .99 a trade (mailing envelope included). For each movie you trade out you earn ‘peerbux’ toward incoming movies. You can even buy peerbux if you want to score up more movies than you trade. Their site is setup a lot like netflix. You enter your trading library using the UPC code on the back of the case. Pretty easy.

I’m not sure I would ever use something like this however. I tend to only purchase DVDs that I really, really want to keep, it’s netflix for everything else. But perhaps there are others out there with large collections that are willing to part with flicks they are tired of. Someone out there seems to think so, they just got $8M in funding. What is your opinion? Would you use something like this?

Comments (4)
Wheelson, November 2, 2005 04:31 PM:

This is a pretty cool idea. However, I wonder which one is really cheaper. With Netflix you've basically got the buying power of Netflix to strike deals with the production companies to secure good prices on the DVDs. With Peerflix however, their purchasing organization is all of it's users, who must pay retail rather than wholesale for the DVD's (usually). Plus they're paying for all the packaging that will just get tossed.

So to get started you need a DVD, and say I got it for $20. Then I pay the $1 handling fee plus the cost of postage ($.37). And don't forget the cost of printing the mailer (is it color? assume yes so for an average printer that's another $0.10 approx) So, total cost for ever trade involving a disc you own is approx $21.50. Let's say you have 10 DVD's that you want to trade and so you send all of those into Peerflix. That's $215.00.

But then, after that upfront cost it's only $1.50 per trade (including postage and cost of printing the mailer...maybe they send you the mailer though? It looked to me like you print it out.)

Assume watching 2 movies per week (8 trades per month) for a year that costs $12 / month. However, take the initial investment of 215 / 12 = $17 per month. Total cost per month for Peerflix is almost $30 per month plus a lot more time on my part because I had to go out and buy the movies in the first place.

The same plan at Netflix (this is what I have, 2 movies at a time unlimited per month) for $15 / month. That's half the cost of peerflix per month for the first year.

So, how long would it take me to recover that extra $15 per month? That's way too much math for me without my handy HP48Gx by my side. Given that I only buy DVD's I really really like, that extra $15 per month is a deal breaker. I'll stick with Netflix.

John, November 2, 2005 08:34 PM:

Nice work. They send you the mailers BTW. I'm also sticking with Netflix, but it is a creative idea.

John, November 2, 2005 08:37 PM:

Nice work.
They send you the mailers BTW. I'm also sticking with Netflix, but it is a creative idea. It is hard to compare it directly though. If at any time you decide to stop you still own 10 DVDs so that initial 215.00 is more like a deposit.

Gavin, November 3, 2005 08:27 AM:

It might be a way to trade up some of those movies that are lying around that you don't want anymore though. Just trade a few times until you get rid of the 10 movies you'll never watch again, and have 10 movies that you've wanted to watch.

They might get hit by something like this too. They'll end up with all the movies that are sitting in the 3 for $10 bin at the local Game Stop. All the newer higer demand movies will just dissapear from their stock.

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