Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I rented a movie from McDonald's last week. Actually, I rented the DVD from a Redbox that was at a McDonald's. I discovered this ingenious idea a few weeks ago. Redbox's business model allows customers to rent DVDs for $1 per day (plus tax), with no late fees.

Each fully automated Redbox DVD rental kiosk holds over 500 DVDs - generally representing approximately 70-140 titles - with stock rotated every Tuesday. A rental can be returned anytime before 9:00pm the following day without any penalty. DVDs rented from one Redbox location can be returned to any other Redbox rental kiosk. If a DVD is kept for 25 days, according to Redbox's policies, the customer has effectively purchased the DVD, and charges to the customer's credit card will cease.

And that's not all. Some of the best features, in my opinion, can be found on the website at You can search for Redbox locations near you by entering your zip code. Once you select a location you can then view all the titles available for rental and you can even reserve the one you want for pickup later.

Both website and actual Redboxes are very easy to operate and efficient. With over 6000 McDonalds location, if each Redbox only has 50 out of its 500 DVDs rented one day, that is still $300,000 for one night. I don't see how these things can not be making a fortune. Initial cost of DVD + maintenance + staff who stocks every Tuesday are about the costs it takes to operate these machines. Overall, an ingenious idea, and could this be the end of Family video, Blockbuster, etc.?

Another great Redbox feature are the promo codes. If you join their emailing list they send you promo codes to your email that allow you to rent a movie for free one night. I’ve rented a total of 5 movies from Redbox and have spent a grand total of $2.14!

The only downside of Redbox that I have seen thus far, as with almost any movie renting retailer, some of the DVDs could be dirty or get scratches on them. But for only a buck a night, I’ll take the chance.


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