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I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

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I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

Old 02-27-09, 12:12 PM
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I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

I'd really like to get my GF the Harry Potter years 1-5 set and Ghostbusters I&II for her birthday in July, so I've got some time to sit on it, waiting for the right code. My question is, what would be the ideal code? They're pretty much always 40% off, but the S&P just kills ya. Is free shipping on sets the best bet, or does it ever get better than that? Is there ever 50% off sets + free ship on sets? Regardless of what I wind up with, it almost has to be free shipping since the base price for the potter set is only 50 bucks, but the S&P is the maximum 7.99, so even an "extra 10% off your order" doesn't cover the shipping, which is closer to 16% of the base cost (and even worse, 27% of the sale price).

I apologize if this is covered elsewhere, but I couldn't find it with a couple days of searching and browsing through the codes thread.
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Old 02-27-09, 01:36 PM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

I don't know if you cycle enrollments, but your best bet on the Harry Potter set would be do a new enrollment and use it as two fulfillments. As for Ghostbusters, your best bet might be to get it somewhere else. If you don't mind used, you can get it at wherehouse.com for 8.79 right now, as they have 20% off and free shipping.
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Old 02-27-09, 02:04 PM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

Originally Posted by graized View Post
I'd really like to get my GF the Harry Potter years 1-5 set
You might want to check out the Amazon reviews first!
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Old 02-28-09, 07:13 AM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

I don't know the prices of those things, but you can do the math:

1st, as joltman said, use them as fulfillments. Otherwise, you're throwing away 6 or 7 other DVDs for only a couple bucks.

2nd, sometimes there are 20% off your order (not "off DVDs," but "your order") codes. That means that a box set is discounted by 20% after its discounted price. A 40%-off discounted $23.97 box set would be cut by another $4.80, for example. If the box set is 2 discs, this savings is better than a box set free shipping code, since the shipping would only be $2.99. If the box set has 3 discs, its shipping is $5.99, so a box set free shipping code is better.

I assume HP 1-5 has at least 5 discs. If that's the case, its shipping is $7.99. If the discounted price at CH is over $40, then the additional 20% is better than $8, so a 20%-off-your-order code beats a box set free shipping code.

And if you somehow get super-lucky, and the stars align for you, you might get in on a B1G1 Weekend, or a Free Shipping on All Orders Weekend, and the code might stack with a sitewide offer. But don't hold your breath for that; just be grateful it can happen sometimes.
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Old 02-28-09, 08:05 AM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

If the right code does not come along or you just don't want to wait that long you could always purchase these during the next bi-annual % off sale at DD. Currently the Harry Potter 1-5 Limited Edition Giftset is $91.36 (they show it to be FS but I believe this set is only available in WS) and Ghostbusters 1/2 set is $14.37. Assuming they keep the sale at 25% off and the prices do not go up that would make them $68.52 and $10.78 respectively.

While that's not a great deal difference in the HP set, by the time you add shipping (12 disks) of at least $7.99 it's a ~$12 difference. Of course, using a % off code and then making it a fulfillment title changes all that considerably. At that point, CH is the best place for purchase. Then again, if she's that big a fan you should probably wait for "Deathly Hallows" to be released, wait for the expected "megaset" with all the films and get that instead. If you can't wait, opt for the less expensive sets to fill the gap.

I've seen the Ghostbusters set at WM for ~$10 too. Since it's $11.97 at CH and is considered a set it's not a very good purchase from them. Can't get a free one with it (with *most* codes) during a B1G1, can't get it free, without a special code/offer on sets you pay shipping, and it doesn't count as a fulfillment.
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Old 02-28-09, 10:01 AM
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The Harry Potter set is $71.97, which is worth three fulfillment credits. The most cost-effective way to purchase it from Columbia House is to fulfill and close your current accounts and open a new one using a 7:2 code but decline the $9.95 "bonus", making it a 6:3 code. The Harry Potter set would fulfill the account.

What sort of deal you use to lower the cost a bit is hard to say. The options mentioned above include a rare "free shipping on sets" code, 10% off order codes, B1G1F codes, that would allow another DVD to be purchased for free, and so forth. There is only a few dollars difference between these. I'll use a "free shipping of sets" code as an example below. I use $4.80 as the average value of a regular DVD.

Enrollment:
6 x 49 = $2.94 (six DVDs)

Fulfillment using set and free shipping on sets sale offer:
$71.97 + (free shipping) = $71.97 (1 set)

Total:
$2.94 + $71.97 = $74.91 (1 set + 6 DVDs)

Relative cost of set:
$74.91 - (4.80 x 6) = $74.91 - $28.80 = $46.11


Here is what it would look like with a B1G1F sale offer:

Enrollment:
6 x 49 = $2.94 (six DVDs)

Fulfillment using B1G1F (free shipping on DVDs) sale offer:
$71.97 + $7.99 shipping + (free DVD) + (free shipping) = $79.96 (1 set + 1 DVD)

Total:
$2.94 + $79.96 = $82.90 (1 set + 7 DVDs)

Relative cost of set:
$82.90 - (4.80 x 7) = $82.90 - $33.60 = $49.30


Finally, this is what it would look like with a "10% off order" sale offer:

Enrollment:
6 x 49 = $2.94 (six DVDs)

Fulfillment using "10% off order" sale offer:
($71.97 x 0.90) + $7.99 (shipping) = $72.76 (1 set)

Total:
$2.94 + $72.76 = $75.70 (1 set + 6 DVDs)

Relative cost of set:
$75.70 - (4.80 x 6) = $75.70 - $28.80 = $46.90



[While a "20% off order" sale offer would be the best deal, such offers are so rare that I wouldn't count on seeing one.]

You also need to consider whether getting the set for $47 or so is worth the hassle of a Columbia House account. Do you want or need the other DVDs?

If you prefer to buy the set on an already fulfilled account, the cost is so high that you would probably be better off looking for a good sale price at Amazon or DD. Or even at a B&M store, such as Target or Wal-mart. It is possible that the set will go on sale as the opening of the sixth movie approaches (in July I believe).
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Old 02-28-09, 12:59 PM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

Not lookin at the limited edtion set. I'm lookin at the 29.95 set. I listed all the numbers in my original post. I was just curious if there were any B1G1 for sets or anything on top of free shipping for sets to look out for.

Thanks anyhow.

Edit: I still can't post links, but the set I'm looking at is item# 1213772. I really appreciate all yalls help, but the math on the limited edition set doesn't help me.

Last edited by graized; 02-28-09 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 03-01-09, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by graized View Post
Not lookin at the limited edtion set. I'm lookin at the 29.95 set. I listed all the numbers in my original post. I was just curious if there were any B1G1 for sets or anything on top of free shipping for sets to look out for.

Thanks anyhow.

Edit: I still can't post links, but the set I'm looking at is item# 1213772. I really appreciate all yalls help, but the math on the limited edition set doesn't help me.
A simple "Harry Potter" search doesn't list the HP 1-5 set for $29.95, so I didn't spot the other set. And 1213772 is not a valid selection number; rather, it is a URL product ID and not searchable. However, I think you are referring to:

Selection number 4998704 Harry Potter: Years 1-5 (Widescreen), list $49.95, Special Price $29.97, 5 discs, shipping $7.99, one fulfillment credit.

The other title appears to be:

4136602 Ghostbusters 1 & 2: Double Feature Gift Set, list $19.95, Special Price $11.97, 2 discs, shipping probably $2.99, not eligible for fulfillment credit.


A typical 7:2 membership would look like this:

Enrollment:
6 x 49 + $9.95 = $12.89 (7 DVDs)

Fulfillment using both sets, a rare "free shipping on sets" sale offer, and a B1G1F plus free shipping sale offer for the extra fulfillment DVD:
$29.97 + $11.97 + (free shipping) = $41.94 (2 sets)
$19.95 + (free DVD) + (free shipping) = $19.95 (2 DVDs)

Total:
$12.89 + $41.94 + $19.95 = $74.78 (2 sets + 9 DVDs)

Relative cost of the sets:
($74.78 - (4.80 x 9))/2 = ($74.91 - $43.20)/2 = $31.58/2 = $15.79 each



Enrollment:
6 x 49 + $9.95 = $12.89 (7 DVDs)

Fulfillment using both sets and a standard B1G1F plus free shipping sale offer:
$29.97 + $7.99 shipping + (free DVD) + $11.97 + $2.99 shipping + $19.95 + (free DVD) + (free shipping) = $72.87 (2 sets + 3 DVDs)

Total:
$12.89 + $72.87 = $85.76 (2 sets + 10 DVDs)

Relative cost of the sets:
($85.76 - (4.80 x 10))/2 = ($85.76 - $48.00)/2 = $37.76/2 = $18.88 each



Enrollment:
6 x 49 + $9.95 = $12.89 (7 DVDs)

Fulfillment using both sets, a "10% off your order" sale offer, and a B1G1F plus free shipping sale offer for the extra fulfillment DVD:
($29.97 + $11.97) x 0.90 + $7.99 shipping + $2.99 shipping = $48.73 (2 sets)
$19.95 + (free DVD) + (free shipping) = $19.95 (2 DVDs)

Total:
$12.89 + $48.73 + $19.95= $81.57 (2 sets + 9 DVDs)

Relative cost of the sets:
($81.57 - (4.80 x 9))/2 = ($81.57 - $43.20)/2 = $38.37/2 = $19.19 each



By way of comparison, Amazon currently has the Ghostbusters set for $12.49 and the Harry Potter set for $36.99, although it is OOS, and the user reviews said it had a missing disc 5. The DD price is $38.69. I have no idea if the Columbia House set has a problem with a missing disc 5; perhaps someone who bought it can say.

A general strategy note: Because the Ghostbusters set is not eligible for fulfillment credit, it would likely be cheaper to get it from somewhere other than Columbia House.

Last edited by lizard; 03-01-09 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 03-01-09, 08:39 PM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

"Wow, that's a big reply," said the kettle.

Personally, I wouldn't lump the 2 sets together to look at a simple average cost. Some different ways of looking at it:

One is 5 movies, the other 2, so maybe 5/7 and 2/7.
Using the box set FS code:
HP = $22.56, GB = $9.02

Or, one is $38, the other $15, so maybe 38/53 and 15/53.
Using the box set FS code:
HP = $22.64, GB = $8.94

Or, comparing to prices at other retailers, say DD during a 20%-off sale:
DD HP = $30.95
DD GB = $11.50
So, 30.95/42.45 and 11.50/42.45:
CH HP = $23.02
CH GB = $ 8.59


All those numbers are pretty close. So, you can get GB for about $8.75 and HP for about $23, along with 9 other DVDs for about $4.80 each.
Bottom line:
Buy them at Amazon (but one is OOP) now for about $49.
Buy them at DD during a sale (assuming they're available, and at the same price) for $43.
Simply buy them from CH for $42 using a box set FS code.
Cycle an account at CH for $75, getting 9 other DVDs in the package.



And as lizard said, eliminating GB from the CH calculations is probably smart, since you can just buy it easily from DD or Amazon for about the same price, and you don't have to worry about availability of FS codes at CH.

In addition, since the HP set is OOS at Amazon, it is entirely possible that it will also go OOS at CH, or at DD before their next sale, or both. So, you have to weigh all of that in, too: expectations of box set FS codes, hassle of cycling an account--or if you even can get one approved, whether you want 9 other DVDs, whether you want to outlay $75, whether you want to take the chance of one or both going not just OOS, but OOP, whether DD's sale is 20%-, 25%-, or something else--or if they even have it, etc., etc., etc. And there's always eBay...

Last edited by Cheato; 03-02-09 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Referred to "thejester," but it was really "lizard." Oops!
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Old 03-02-09, 09:57 AM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

^ I averaged the sets together in an attempt to keep things simple. But I agree — and hoped that it was obvious from my examples above — that the GB set is not a worthwhile purchase from Columbia House.

The purpose of showing, in detail, various ways of how membership costs can be calculated is intended as an educational tool, not the "one right answer".

Many years ago, when puzzling over how best to value sets in Columbia House membership calculations, I came up with the relative cost method. As you know, it can be approximated very quickly by valuing a fulfillment credit at about $15 and just subtracting that from the Special Price plus shipping cost of the set. But then newcomers are left to wondering where that number came from.
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Old 03-02-09, 05:49 PM
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Re: I'm waiting for the right moment to buy a couple of sets

^I understood what you were doing. And if you had put the extra stuff in, it would have made your post twice as long, making it more comprehensive, but far less comprehensible to newcomers. So I figured I'd chime in. To be honest, it also gives me a chance to exercise my brain about something like that so if I want to make a purchase decision in the future, it may make it easier for me.
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