Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ILHM's Guide to Building Your Horror Collection

I am commonly asked how I can spend so much money on movies when people see my collection, but really they have no idea how much painstaking work it takes to build a solid collection on a shoestring budget. The following tips are common tools I use to build a high quality collection without going broke in the process. I typically only spend $10-20 a week on DVDs using these rules:

  • Buy in Bulk: Many online sellers offer discounted shipping rates if you purchase more than one item. Sure, $1.00 may not see like much, but if you use the rules below and buy cheap, saving $3.00 or more on shipping can save you the cost of another DVD!

  • Avoid Impule Buying: There is no better way to waste your money than by grabbing high-priced retail items without checking around first. If Best Buy is next door to Walmart, spend 2-minutes and see if you can get it cheaper.

  • Buy Online: Purchasing from retail outlets is the thing of the past. The cost to ship and shelve DVDs is extremely costly to retail outlets since they make little overhead on DVDs. Online retailers like DeepDiscountDVD offer much lower pricing with FREE shipping many times.

  • Read Reviews or Rent First: Sure, that new Asylum release has pretty cover art and a cool name, but don't be fooled. There is nothing worse than coming home with a turd in sheeps clothing. Spend the time reading reviews, or open a cheap Netflix account and rent before buying to make each purchase worthwhile.

  • Buy Used: There is a HUGE stigma against buying used, but with good cause. Many online sellers have ruined the used DVD business for others, by misrepresenting the condition of their discs, selling bootlegs, or selling incorrect SKUs as OOP titles. If you take the time to research each seller's feedback, make sure to only purchase from high-feedback sellers, and only purchase conditions of Very Good or higher, you can save a TON off of the cost of new DVDs. Buying used from Blockbuster or other entertainment stores usually provides you with a 30-day guarantee for full return incase any of the discs are damaged, so why not save some money?

  • Buy Low, Sell High: Always be aware of upcoming releases. You may be sitting on a potential gold mine if a new manufacturer has a planned release for your OOP DVDs. Be ABSOLUTELY sure that the release will not get canceled, put your high-ticket items up on Amazon or eBay while the OOP title is at its peak (before anyone realizes it will be re-released), and then buy the new release and make a profit! Profits = more DVDs.

  • Search Low to High Prices Online: Most online outlets will have an option to search by genre and search by Low to High pricing. This is an invaluable tool that many people forget about. Amazon lists HUNDREDS of DVDs at $0.01 (plus $2.98 S+H), many of which will sometimes be NEW!! We arent just talking trashed copies of Horror Express, you can get excellent titles like The Fog, Hatchet, Behind the Mask, all at ridiculously prices. Combine that with the Bulk Purchase rule and you can get a quick jumpstart on your DVD collection.

  • Look for Multiple Releases: Many times that high priced DVD you want may have been released by another company in the past, and can be found much cheaper. Anchor Bay and Blue Underground both released many of the same titles, so never forget to check and see if that copy of Maniac or Mountain of the Cannibal God has been released in the past. Also, be sure to keep your eye on future releases, so that you dont mistakingly buy a high ticket OOP release from someone using the rule above when you can wait a month and get the re-release.

  • Create Wishlists: This is perhaps the most valuable rule of all. Create wishlists on as many online DVD outlets as possible, and be sure to update them and check them as frequently as possible to see what the current pricing is on all of your prospects. Prices change hourly, and if you are consistent, even the most expensive DVDs will drop in price. For those of you that only buy new, there is an awesome wishlist feature on www.dvdaf.com that has a built in price compare feature with all of the lowest-priced DVD sites online!

  • Be Patient: Unless you know something will be going OOP, be patient with your purchases. Sure, that itch gets hard not to scratch, but if you are thorough, consistent, and patient, your efforts will pay off ten fold when you grab that long-desired title $5.00 less than you would have paid normally.

Thats it, folks. There will always be people who refuse to buy used and rush to Best Buy every Tuesday to grab all of the new releases at full retail value, but for those of you that are like me and have to stretch every dollar, these rules will serve as an excellent resource for building your DVD collection!

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1 comment:

  1. I buy half of my DVDs used from Amazon and even with shipping, I save a ton of cash. I have yet to be burned, but I do only buy from places with a lot of feedback. It's so worth it and many of the DVDs that are purchased are brand new, not even opened yet! Great post Carl...some great ideas in there that I will have to put to use!

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