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How to Choose a Mail Order DVD Service 
by Skylar Hamilton Burris June 10, 2005

A free market has bred fierce competition, leaving movie lovers with at least two great choices in mail order DVD services: Netflix and Blockbuster. This article will examine four factors you need to consider when choosing the service that is right for you: price, speed of delivery, selection, and website ease of use.

Netflix, Blockbuster, and smaller specialty companies (like CleanFilms) are all offering services that allow you to rent DVDs from home. But how can you decide which service is best for you? You need to consider and compare four major factors--price, speed of delivery, selection, and website ease of use--and then take a look at how the big two rental services stack up in each of these categories.

Why Choose an Online DVD Rental Service?

Mail order DVD services allow you to receive movies in your mailbox and return them when you are ready, so that you don’t have to trek out to the video store, rush to meet delivery dates, or pay late fees when you fail to get your movies back on time. You pay a flat, monthly fee for the privilege of receiving a set number of movies at a time. There is no additional cost for shipping. You make an online list of your movie rental choices, and when you return one of your movies, the next movie on your list (assuming it is available) is mailed out to you. If that title is not available, the rental service simply sends you the next movie on your list.

If you watch at least four movies in a month, chances are that a mail service will cost you less than going to the video store, even if you usually return your video store movies on time. If you tend to return movies late, you will probably save money with a mail order service even if you check out fewer than three movies per month.

Another advantage of mail order DVD rental services is that they generally boast a larger selection than your local video store. Browsing online is not as easy or pleasurable as it is in-store, but you can easily search a database of movies to find a specific title, and most services will also provide you with recommendations based on your past rental choices.



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