Does NetFlix pay off for you?

Both my mother and brother got roped into it, Mom by receiving a one-month subscription as a gift.
They both spend more than they would have for the same titles at the local video stores ( we have 3 within 2 miles) and they are always begging me to add things to their lists. Then if I do they nag me to come over quick and watch so they can get the turnaround.

I can understand pay as you go, but I see no logic at all to the subscription idea where you pay even if you are on vacation and can’t make use of the system.

I want them to quit but they can’t see money or inconvenience of the way they use it as problems.

Do you think you’ll keep it for a long time?

The “get the turnaround” part of your story doesn’t make much sense to me. I see the advantage of Netflix to be exactly the opposite – that you get to KEEP any (or all) of the three movies for as long as you want to!

Since your mother only has a one-month subscription, it makes sense that she would be rushing to squeeze as many movies as she can into that month. But, at least in my experience, if your subscription is perpetual, you get into a much nicer rhythm, where some movies are seen as soon as they arrive and returned right away, while others are lovingly enjoyed bit by bit over time, like a good cheddar cheese. So, the economic advantage only really kicks in when you compare it to all the late fees you’d have to pay to do the same thing with your local video store.

YMMV, of course.

I’ve had Netflix for going on 7 years now. To me, it’s vastly superior to having to go to a video store, even though there is at least 2 of them within a ten minute drive of my house. One of them is less than a 2 minute drive.

Why? Because I always have 3-5 really good movies at home waiting for me to watch them. The turnaround time has rarely been a problem for me - I’m OK with waiting a few days for the next movie to watch.

Money doesn’t even come into the equation to me. Yes, it would probably be cheaper for me to rent movies from the local places. But the local places don’t have nearly the selection of Netflix, and the hassle of having to go get them and bring them back is worth the few extra dollars that Netflix costs me every month. Plus, I never remember what movies I want to watch when I’m standing in a store. With Netflix, I read about movies on the Internet and turn around and put the ones I want to watch on my list, and they eventually show up.

I pay something like $17 per month to have 3 discs out at once. (Round it to $18 to make things a little easier.) That’s $6 per disc if I kept each one for a month. Swap them out every two weeks, that’s $3. If I’m actively watching 3 discs a week, that’s $1.50 per disc over the course of a month. You must have incredibly cheap rental places around you; Blockbuster is something like $4-6 per rental these days.

Because the subscription is per month, not per rental, I’ve been able to afford to rent movies I’ve passed up hundreds of times in a rental store, simply because I had a budget and had higher priority movies I wanted to see. The selection is vaster than anything you could get in a single store, too.

Actually, Netflix has a deal where you can put your subscription on hold if you are on vacation. You don’t pay for it when you do that.

It generally pays off for us. We pay $17 a month. We usually receive between 10 and 12 movies a month from them. If those movies cost us $2 each to rent (I don’t know what movies cost to rent where I live now, but when I lived in DC movies cost between $2 and $3 to rent), we come out ahead. Plus Netflix has a much greater selection. I’m pretty sure that our local Blockbuster doesn’t carry, say, Pandora’s Box or Red Beard.

I have Netflix off and on. In the summer, you couldn’t pay me to sit and watch a movie, so I drop Netflix. Once there is snow on the ground I watch every movie I can get my hands on. I’ll get 3 movies in the mail and stay up all night watching, then mail them back in the am.

Netflix probably hates me.

Even at one disc a week, I’m saving money over renting from the video place. I’m on the one-at-a-time plan for $10.

If I was doing three-at-a-time, I’d be losing money though. One a week is enough for me, just because I’m weaning myself away from the TV, and that includes DVD-watching. Except for The Wire – I try to watch some of that every day.

I’m with vetbridge…I will do Netflix for 3 months straight, watch all the movies that have come out since my last subscription, get sick of sitting around on my ass, and cancel Netflix until I have a new list compiled and I’m ready to veg in front of the TV again.
Works for me, and I *do * save money.

I think Netflix is a great bargain. I’m on the unlimited one-at-a-time plan, which gets me around eight movies a month for less than the cost of three movies at Blockbuster. And unlike any brick-and-mortar rental places, Netflix actually has what I want in stock (usually).

I’ve had Netflix for over three years and I absolutely love it. I figured out that the average amount I’m spending per movie is about $1.25 (less, now that they lowered my monthly rate by a buck!) and I have access to a bewildering array of titles that used to cause Hollywood Video clerks to go “Huh? Wha?” when I’d ask if they had them in stock. I don’t have to GO to the damned video store in the first place. I don’t have to spend an hour browsing shelves for something watchable. I don’t have to listen to ignoramuses yapping on about how great the latest Hollywood “blockbuster” is and fighting over whether Tom Cruise or Nicholas Cage is the better actor. I don’t have to listen to their squawking, whiny kids either. I never have to stand in line behind people bitching and arguing about their late fees. I never HAVE late fees. I never experience going to the video store expressly to get a certain title only to find it’s all checked out. Every couple of days there’s a lovely surprise waiting for me, something I added to the queue a while ago and probably forgot all about and here it is! I don’t get pissy if a movie sucks because I don’t have much invested in it. If a movie gets to me and the DVD is FUBAR I just send it back and they send another copy, no questions asked. I have access to 18 hours per month of online streaming video as well, not top shelf stuff by any means, but some cool obscure things that I might not otherwise bother to even put into queue. Netflix has probably every foreign language, MST3K movie and TV show ever issued on DVD–how’s your local store doing on those? My friends have Netflix and we constantly send recommendations to each other and browse each other’s rated movies for ideas on what to put in queue.

Quite frankly I think the only people Netflix doesn’t work for are those who are kinda unimaginative about their movie watching. People who go once a week or less to the local Lackluster for the most accessible new release. That ain’t me–Netflix is the best!

We went from one at a time to two-at-a-time, and my wife and I have separate queues. It definitely pays for us. A lot of our selections are old TV shows, stuff you can’t get at video stores, and the one disk at a time system works great. We probably go through 10 -12 disks a month, which is a lot cheaper than the store.

The other thing I like is that once in a great while I’ll go through a movie book and add a ton of stuff to my queue. It is nice to bunch the decisions to when I feel like it.

I suppose if all you are interested in are the new releases it might not make so much sense.

I have so many Redbox machines around me it wouldn’t pay to have Netflix.

Every single McDonalds around here has one as well as a few grocery stores. I can rent from any one and return it to any one. At $1 per night per movie I could watch 15 movies in a month for $15 or 3 in a month for $3. If I’m late returning it they charge an extra $1 per day.
The machine at the closest McDonalds to my house was so popular they added a second machine.
I haven’t rented from a Blockbuster in years.

I’ve got the two-movies-a-month plan, so it’s $2.50 a rental for me, and they conveniently show up without my having to go swing by the store. Only once in the last year have I not gotten my two movies per month (lost track of the date).

IOW – Netflix is also great for people who don’t watch a huge number of movies on DVD, like me. If I want a few more movies than that, I go to the library (local branch has an adequate collection and its free). If I wanted a lot more movies than that, I’d upgrade my Netflix plan.

I now watch a movie while working out, which I do almost daily. So yes, it now works for me.

But prior to that, no.

I have the $17 3-at-a-time plan from Netflix, and I can’t say I’ve really calculated how much each disk ends up costing, because my viewing habits are pretty sporadic. If I’m busy with other stuff, I might not watch anything for 2 or 3 weeks, and at other times, it might be 2 or three disks in one weekend.

If I figured out that I was paying more per disk on average than I would at Blockbuster, it would still be worth it to me, because a lot of what I get from Netflix wouldn’t be available at a local store (e.g. old TV shows and obscure documentaries). The selection makes it worthwhile to me.

Good point – my last two queue-adding outbursts were prompted not by movie books, but by SDMB threads. (And some of you folks, it turns out, like some pretty awful movies! Most of 'em were terrific, though.)

If it weren’t for Netflix, I would not rent movies (or old series). At all. Going to Blockbuster is too much a pain in the buttocks, and getting back to return is an even greater pain in the buttocks. Though nearby, driving and parking in Queens is neither fun nor relaxing, and making a special trip at the end of my workday just to return DVDs would do nothing but tick me off.

I enjoy it, too. At Blockbuster’s, they cost about five dollars per movie. At my other rental place, it depended on how long you wanted it for, but for overnight, it was $2.50, five or six for about five or six days. In any case, I’m getting something like twenty movies a month (three at a time), for about eighteen dollars, which is ridiculously cheap. Plus, there’s the easy access, the recommendations. I really love NetFlix, and I’m wishing I’d done it years ago. I thought it would be annoying or complicated–but it’s not. And the best part? No snooty video clerks!

Heh. My wife has her one Netflix disk that’s been sitting beside the DVD player for at least two months. It doesn’t help that she keeps ordering these obscure indie flicks that feature two people mumbling at each other in British accents.

I don’t really get a financial boost from Netflix (MAYBE averaged out over a year…maybe) over going to the Blockbuster down the street, but as others have said:

  • Their selection is far, far superior
  • No late fees
  • No actually having to GO to the store (our BBV has a terrible parking lot)
  • I get decent recommendations and can quickly and easily add stuff to my queue

I pay more for the convenience, not really to save money on movies. It’s definitely a luxury for me.