DVD Clubs Discuss & Strategize about DVD Clubs like Columbia House

debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Old 04-05-09, 12:17 PM
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debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Per IJMSPORT'S request, so as not to clutter up the Sale Codes thread:

Original posts...

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
You have to remember that those of "in the know" are flying under the radar so to speak. All this marketing crap/games is aimed at the true "bread and butter" of the CH system. The people who think a B1G1 w/shipping is a *great* deal because it only cost them ~$13/ea. for titles they would have had to purchase for $15+ at their local BM. The same group that opens an account and uses it forever... no cycling. That group is probably eating up this B1G1 weekend while we sit and stew waiting for it to end so we can use a truly good deal.
Originally Posted by IJMSPORT
I agree with you, to a point.

As a recent former member of the "bread & butter" club, I have to say that even with knowing about codes and low-key deals, ANY BOGO deal that includes BDs is a great deal. Yes, a free shipping code that piggybacks a BOGO is wonderful and takes off 2 bucks per title from the grand total, but as long as you hit the deal right, it's far from bad or stupid.

As many of you know, the trick to a BOGO isnt getting the free movie(s), it's getting the right free movie(s). Plus, the more you buy, the better the deal is going to be, shipping or not - if you're going to get 10 or 20 movies, the extra shipping cost isnt going to sway you.

As long as you dont try and get a slew of overpriced movies where the competition sells them at least 10 bucks cheaper before shipping, at the end of the day, you win. And even if you do go that route, you're still getting movies for free and if that works for you, then it's still a win. So, in essence, the only folks that arent winning are the folks that arent playing.

I dont fault anyone for sitting on their hands as they wait for a BD BOGO with free shipping deal to roll around. But, I also know that in any scenario, the best deal is always the one that's on the table now and not the one that may or may not be coming down the road.
Originally Posted by Cheato
Originally Posted by IJMSPORT
in any scenario, the best deal is always the one that's on the table now and not the one that may or may not be coming down the road.
I couldn't disagree with you more. That's among the worst of all business advice I've ever heard. What you said is only true if you NEED the deal and if you have evidence that, at worst, the same one won't be coming back again in the not-so-distant future. Any discs in your unwatched pile at the moment? A simple B1G1 on Blu-ray would seem to be the future of CH deals. In other words, the best deal is HARDLY EVER the one that's on the table now.

If you don't learn from experience, then you're not being an informed shopper. Experience shows us that CH repeats certain behavior. There are sales that go away and come back--not like clockwork, or at least that of a clock you'd want to use daily, but they do have a habit of coming back. Couple that with the occasional planet-alignment that allows the best codes to stack, and you get some truly amazing deals. Other, greater people have said it before me, and I will repeat it: patience is the key with CH.

If your "to be watched" pile is down zero, then yeah, go ahead with an OK deal if you want something to watch now and you don't have other options of cable TV, Netflix, or whatever else you might have. But if you still have stuff sitting on your shelf that you haven't watched, and if you have EVER had the experience of double-dipping, or upgrading to Blu-ray on a title when you didn't even watch the first version that you bought, then you're not buying intelligently, and you're spending too much money. It really is that simple.

Of course, it all comes down to time and money. If you have more money on your hands, and you're too busy to keep checking for codes and maintaining a priority list of titles to pull the trigger on, then do whatever you like. Most people here, I believe, are looking for the best deals. A B1G1 on Blu-ray without free shipping does not qualify.
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Old 04-05-09, 12:33 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Nah, I enjoy actually watching the movies too much to bother with waiting months for just the right deal. If something comes along like last year, with b1g4, then I'll jump on it, but the difference between b1g1 and b1g1+fs in the long run is hardly worth the effort. I still cycle, of course.
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Old 04-05-09, 12:39 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Yeah, if you are properly cycling, there isn't a ton of difference in waiting for the best possible deal. I don't cycle too often anymore, so I tend to wait for a great deal before closing out an account though.
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Old 04-05-09, 12:41 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Can someone explain the advantage of cycling to me? I tend to keep just two accounts open for the BOGOs and good deals. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-09, 12:43 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Originally Posted by BuckNaked2k View Post
Can someone explain the advantage of cycling to me? I tend to keep just two accounts open for the BOGOs and good deals. Thanks.
average cost per dvd is lower.
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Old 04-05-09, 12:44 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

If you only want Blu-ray, then there's no advantage (unless you're selling the DVDs you don't want for more than $5 each).
If you're still buying DVDs, then there is a big financial advantage. The math is discussed ad nauseum in other threads. It's the difference between $4.80 per DVD and an asymptotic $10 or so per DVD (the more you buy, the worse the deal).
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Old 04-05-09, 12:56 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

I've been lazy about cycling. I have two account open now, strangely on two different addresses instead of one. I need to close one. I wait for deals most of the time. I have one account open that I've spent a few hundred bucks on and I leave that one open, but the other can close and be the cycling account I guess. It usually takes a B1G1FS or a glitch to get me to place an order. Once every couple of months is enough for me. I just have to keep myself from buying available titles in the store in the meantime while waiting for a code.
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Old 04-05-09, 01:21 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

For me, I am upgrading up to BD exclusively, as I will no longer be buying standard definition discs, unless theyre a part of a BD combo pack (Thanks Disney). While I had never cycled my long standing account with CH beforehand (I always wanted to believe that they liked me due to my loyalty for YEARS), I do see the benefit of doing so to stockpile movies on the cheap. And whether cycling, codes or a combination of the two allows you to acquire a boatload of the movies you want or wouldnt otherwise get, as long as you're doing it how you want, youre ahead of the curve.

As far as codes go, I think it's two-fold. You can always wait for the next deal that may be better or you can jump on the current one. There will always be a hindsight factor, but that's the case with anything you buy. Stuff will always be cheaper later or you'll see that you were able to get more bang for your buck after the fact. It's no different for movies, laptops, cars, etc..

Specifically to CH, a BOGO BD deal is legit, no matter how anyone spins it. There isnt a downside to paying shipping since the only way you really come out ahead on not paying shipping in a BOGO is if you bought enough movies, where your shipping costs would equal another purchased disc & freebie. And then again, if you're spending at least 130 bucks, does an extra 20 kill the deal? Doubtful.

I think we're all in these movie clubs for our own reasons. Some of us will pinch the numbers down to a science, where we wont spend one penny more than necessary, but still garner the movies we want. Others of us, myself included, arent that dialed into it, where spending an extra 7 bucks here and there doesnt matter becuz the biggest thing is the visible discounted DVD acquisition.

I guess my thing is as long as one acts on a deal that is better than just about every other deal currently available or of those that occur more than every blue moon, it's a win. There will always be a better deal later becuz there always is. But, becuz later is an unspecified time frame, banking on later isnt always the best strategy and it's always going to be best to do what you can when the opportunity presents itself.

But, thats just my take on it.

Last edited by IJMSPORT; 04-05-09 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 04-05-09, 03:40 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

i try to wait for bogo fs.because thats about what i try to pay for new release bd's.thats because i can wait a little while for a sale or used one.but really bogo with no fs is still a great deal.all you have to do is go to best buy on tuesdays and see guys buying blus for $30 each without thinking much about it.for us guys with the blu ray addiction the more you save the more you can buy!i'll be waiting for better codes since i have 7 preorders coming.
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Old 04-05-09, 04:22 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Originally Posted by Cheato View Post
If you only want Blu-ray, then there's no advantage (unless you're selling the DVDs you don't want for more than $5 each).
Yea, that's kind of what I thought. I haven't bought a DVD in a long, long time, and don't plan on buying any more. The deal to join CH with initial Blu-rays is convoluted and hard to find. IIRC, you have to call up and speak to a rep and tell him/her what titles you want. Kind of a waste, because the only titles I want on Blu-ray are pre-orders or newly released, and thus not available for new enrollments. Also, I've noticed that it's getting harder and harder to move titles on half.com. The "used" market just isn't there unless you're selling for super cheap.
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Old 04-05-09, 05:01 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

I just opened a new account, but plan on waiting for B1G1 BD w/FS before I fulfill. I know it will happen eventually, and I bought all of the BD's I want now in the last FS sale. So I can wait. But if you need to fulfill, and there are titles you really really want now, then I say go ahead and order now. It all depends on your needs...
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Old 04-05-09, 11:37 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

I decided to quit "cycling" since I don't have much desire for just dvds to "stack up" anymore and there is no advantage to do it right now when buying only Blu-Rays. I might however sign up for that tv club so I can get ahold of Doctor Who Season 4 and another set for 20 bucks (I know it is a DVD set but what can you do?)
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Old 04-05-09, 11:49 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Originally Posted by dsa_shea View Post
I decided to quit "cycling" since I don't have much desire for just dvds to "stack up" anymore and there is no advantage to do it right now when buying only Blu-Rays. I might however sign up for that tv club so I can get ahold of Doctor Who Season 4 and another set for 20 bucks (I know it is a DVD set but what can you do?)
Doctor Who Season 4 is great. I got it along with Reaper Season 1 during my last enrollment. Remember to use HDL and you'll be paying $9.95, not $20.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:23 AM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Originally Posted by kenbenobi View Post
I just opened a new account, but plan on waiting for B1G1 BD w/FS before I fulfill. I know it will happen eventually, and I bought all of the BD's I want now in the last FS sale. So I can wait. But if you need to fulfill, and there are titles you really really want now, then I say go ahead and order now. It all depends on your needs...
I agree. However, even if there are titles you REALLY want NOW, it might be better to wait anyway if you have a large catalog of films to watch as it is. I know that's how I view it in my case... because of this I will ONLY purchase with a B1G1+FS. I hardly ever even order BD's outside of Columbia House. They get the majority of my overall business.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:48 AM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

My abbreviated DVD vs Blu-ray opinion: I am now buying more and more Blu-rays, but still "prefer" DVDs due to pricing, selection, and portability issues. Also the AV quality is only a very small part of my enjoyment of a movie. VHS on a black and white TV is almost as enjoyable as a state of the art IMAX theater. The story is the thing.

My plan with CH is to keep cycling, but I'm lazy and end up only doing it once a year or so. I still have a couple accounts open, and jump on the big deals as they come in.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:57 AM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

I used to have an "inert" account left open in case something came along that was just a mind-blowingly good deal. I was very happy to have that when the B1G4 deal came along, I got to get twice as many DVDs as I would normally have had time fore.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:21 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

I appologize if this is the wrong thread for this question but there's a lot of "Shorthand" here and I'm just curious...

I know B1G1FS is "Buy One Get One Free Shipping"
I assume B1G4... would be "Buy One Get Four"? although I didn't know they'd ever do that?

Can someone explain B0G0?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:55 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

buy one get one
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Old 04-06-09, 01:16 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

B1G4 was a kind of glitch. A while back, CH had a promotion where you'd get 4 free DVDs for renewing your account with a new commitment to buy more titles--kind of like cycling an account but without closing it and with getting a not-very-good deal. BUT the code was discovered (by thejester?) and you could enter it and bypass the commitment screen and just get 4 free DVDs by ordering one. And then more codes were discovered that allowed it, too. In addition, a free shipping week or weekend happened during the promotion, resulting in B1G4FS for a short time. CH disabled code entry for those codes, but some people figured out how to get around that, too, until they expired.

So, some people got a lot of DVDs for virtually nothing (17 DVDs for $53 by cycling an account, or just ordering like crazy on a fulfilled account to work out about the same as cycling, but without the hassle). Other people screwed up their accounts and had problems with credit and/or debit cards because in some cases, the anomalous orders were caught and CH switched the orders around and tried to bill people for the costs of the DVDs. (And I'm begging here, I know some people had strong opinions about what happened, but I don't think we don't need discussion about the ethics of abusing the code or of CH's response. It's OT, has been discussed and debated and nobody's going to say anything that hasn't been said before.)


And as Trevor said, it's BOGO, not B0G0. Same as B1G1. You say tomato, I say tomato.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:31 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

A glitch, sure. But a fun one. The CYCD code years back was nice too.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:40 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Originally Posted by donnachaone View Post
a glitch, sure. But a fun one. The cycd code years back was nice too.
cycd?
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Old 04-06-09, 01:59 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne View Post
A glitch, sure. But a fun one. The CYCD code years back was nice too.
CYCD? Someone tell us that story, that must be before my time.

Now the B1G4 I remember. What I wouldn't give for that to show up again someday...
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Old 04-06-09, 03:34 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

If I recall correctly, it was a special signup offer: five DVDs for $19.95. Nothing more to fulfil.

So easy. I signed up/canceled/signed up again a few times.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:55 PM
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A little history

^CYCD: Five DVDs for $24.95, no commitment, February 2003. There was an earlier version of the offer in December 2002.

That may not sound good nowadays but the best regular code then was 7CY, with a nominal average of about $9.28/DVD and a best average cost using the best sale offers of about $8.30 or so. By comparison $5 a DVD was stellar and no commitment meant no hassle.

The CYCD experiment didn't last long (just a few days each time they tried it) because it was echoed on places like Fatwallet and the massive number of people piling on caused Columbia House to pull the code immediately. It also was intended as an experiment to see if people would remain members and buy more profitable Director's Selections and the like, but probably didn't succeed.


[Yes, I have been cycling Columbia House DVD Club memberships a long time, since August of 2000, to be precise.]
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Old 04-07-09, 02:28 PM
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Re: debate: jump on codes now or wait for better deals

Like others, I am slowly switching my library over to blu ray, though I did just open an new account - mostly for movies that aren't available in blu yet. To fulfill, I will wait for the b1g1+fs since I am not in a particular hurry. I still have many to watch. This is the first I have recycle accounts for a few years since I had been waiting for a good selection of blu movies to be available at CH - which they finally have.

As for cycd, that was a good time. I ended up with several accounts at that time, and not only was it $24.95 for 5 movies without commitment, the selection of movies also included some of the good special edition movies version: Seven Platinum Edition, Memento CE, Black Hawk Down 3 disc, E.T. 2 disc, Lawrence of Arabia LE, Fight Club CE - to name a few.
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