Video shops like Blockbuster and Video Ezy are closing down at incredible rates. While these franchises were extremely successful and popular back in the 1990’s, people are en-mass flocking away from hiring video content and simply streaming, downloading or buying online.
In the past, if you wanted to watch a movie, you had little choice but to drive to your local Blockbuster store and hire it. It would likely set you back $7.95 for a new release or $4 for a weekly release. These days you can likely purchase the movie to own, both on DVD and online for the exact same price.
The margins that Blockbuster made are no longer there and nor is the foot traffic that saw them wildly popular; this has given rise to the legendary Blockbuster closing down sales.
These closing down sales see Blockbuster store owners mark their stock down to incredibly low prices, sort of like a fire sale or a going out of business sale (which they in fact are!).
These Blockbuster closing down sales are a sign of the times. We are witnessing the end of an era as video shops become less and less popular. The upside? There are huge bargains to be had and for the avid money saver, a lot of money to save.
Here is what you need to know about getting a bargain at the next Blockbuster closing down sale when snapping up movies, TV shows, DVDs and Blu-rays.
How do Blockbuster price their closing down sale?
Quite often all of the movies, TV shows and titles are priced on a per disc basis. This means it might be $4 per disc for weekly movies, $15.99 per disc for new releases (on DVD) and potentially more for the same titles on Blu-ray disc.
Most Blockbuster closing down sales will also have tiered specials; for instance, my local Blockbuster which is closing down as we speak was doing ‘Buy 5 for $4, get 20% off’ followed by ‘buy 10 for $4 and get 40% off’ with multiple tiers up to around 20 discs.
Basically they are wanting you to buy more more titles to receive a bigger discount. A great concept if you can indeed find 20+ titles that you want and you are not simply spaving.
The local Blockbuster is simply trying to clear stock, make cash and get to their end of lease day with as much money as possible. This means offers, haggling, bargaining and more is completely accepted. More on that later.
Movies & TV shows get cheaper closer to the closing day
Say your local Blockbuster is having a closing down sale and needs to get rid of all stock before the 1st of September, 30 days away.
The prices on day one will be more expensive than day 25. In fact, I have gone to two different Blockbuster closing down events and seen movies priced at as little as $1 each on the final 3 hours of the store being open. The key to scoring a good deal at a Blockbuster closing down sale is to straddle the fine line between waiting for the last day and getting the titles you want (given that on the last day, odds are people have already purchased the good stuff).
A special note to our loyal readers: on day 30 of the sale, you will likely be faced with a range of movies that either feature Adam Sandler or Tara Reid. True story and be careful savers.
Do some haggling and offer the Blockbuster owner a bulk purchase offer
While the Blockbuster might have an advertised rate of discount based on volume purchases; they are always receptive to offers of bulk buys that will see you clear our 50+ titles from their store, even if it means offering a significantly reduced price.
The trick is to find out what the Blockbuster wants per disc for say a weekly movie; then offer them half or one quarter of the price if you buy 50 discs or more. This will give you a huge discount, save you money and help the store offload a heap of titles in one transaction.
New releases at Blockbuster sales are often over priced
You need to remember that often the price of new releases are the same as at JB Hi Fi if not more so be careful not to believe you are getting a bargain only to find it cheaper elsewhere.
You should use Blockbuster closing down sales to your advantage; the goal is to snap up cheap content to watch when you are bored and the name of the game is to get as much as you can, for as cheap as you can.
New releases are often over priced because they are still new, still sought after and the store owner believes there is great value in the title. Try to avoid buying these or simply haggle a better price if you can find a few you want.
TV shows are normally the best value at a Blockbuster sale
While the Blockbuster may be looking to charge you on a per disc basis, TV shows often present the most value. TV shows are a pain to download, manage and watch, thus buying them for a cheap price and stashing them ready to binge watch is the best option.
Given that some TV series have so many discs, you can often tell the Blockbuster store manager that the pricing structure they suggest would make this TV series more expensive than buying brand new. They will then reprice the TV show accordingly; simply ask them if they can do you a better deal.
As an example, 10 days before my local Blockbuster closed down, I picked up the final series of Dexter. Instead of paying 4 discs x $5 ($20) I told them that JB Hi Fi has it for exactly the same price and they immediately reduced it to $2 a disc – thus costing me only $8 for a full season of a great TV show from HBO. I could sell it online for twice the price if I really wanted! Speaking of selling online…
You should research what titles you could resell online for a profit
You can also often use these fire sales to snap up some bargains that can make you a bit of money online.
It surprised me recently to learn that a friend of mine was selling his entire DVD collection on eBay and people were paying up to $20 a DVD. In this time and age it’s hard to imagine that second-hand DVDs could sell for that much but apparently, they do.
Find some popular items on eBay (often TV shows, such as Game Of Thrones or other epic titles) and purchase in bulk, list them online and sit back while you make a profit. You need to be switched on to the going market rates for these titles though or risk not selling your newly purchased items.
Sci-fi and Horror movies often have cult collector followings
If you are looking for ideas on which titles might sell well, you will be surprised to know that there are quite a few collectors out there for Sci-fi and Horror films. These collectors are often after the weird, wacky and limited edition titles that often get released to video shops like Blockbuster but not the public.
Ironically the Horror genre of films is the last to be purchased in these closing down sales, so feel free to offer the store owner a bulk purchase price to take them all and then you can list them individually on eBay for double the price per disc that you purchased them.
What are your tips and tricks to saving money at Blockbuster closing down sales?
Drop us a comment and tell us if you have had an experience with a closing down sale, whether it be Video Ezy, Blockbuster or some other chain of video stores.