a different paradigm for buying DVDs

 
Old 01-25-04, 02:45 PM
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a different paradigm for buying DVDs

Like a lot of people who frequent this forum, my DVD collection has grown faster and larger than I anticipated. I have finally developed what (at least for me) is the true solution to the problem. I share the history of how I got to my current attitude in the hopes that others may benefit.

1) First, I limited my purchases by cost. it started out I wouldn't buy anything unless it was under $14.99. well, that didn't work very well! then I lowered it to under $10.99. I was surprised that I was still buying in leaps and bounds. Then (thinking I was clever) I lowered it to not buying it unless it was under $5.99. However, this was the same time I discovered (and fell in love with) Honk Kong cinema and DDDhouse and thus my foreign percentage of my collection rose astronomically.

2) Then I limited it to "only those occassions where there is a super duper incredible sale on an incredible DVD" when I bought. Sigh...too many of those, too.

3) seeing that the above didn't work, I then limited my purchase to my "really want/classic films/films I have always wanted to see on DVD" etc. sigh. This helped initially, but as we have seen the classics and cult films are now being released at a fairly decent clip.

This all got me to thinking - what was the REAL problem with buying all these discs? space? nah. I am using a caseless system (store the discs in 200 DVD organizer notebooks). money? Nah...I was getting them too cheap. Buying DVDs for the sake of buying them? Nah.. solved that with going to attitude #3. So what was the issue?

and I realized it was my unwatched DVD pile. The more I bought the farther and farther I got behind in "catching up" with these discs. And then the obvious dawned on me - if I don't have time to see the 20 films on my shelf now, then if I buy ANY more DVDs when will I ever find the time? and the answer was as obvious - 'never!". The real issue was time. Precious, elusive and never to be regained once lost. I simply did not have the time to see all the movies in my collection.

So since then before I buy any DVD I ask myself - Do I have time to see this DVD? and as long as I have ANY dvds in my unwatched pile the answer MUST be "no."

A funny thing happened when I did this.. I stopped buying cold turkey. Oh sure, I still frequent this forum and sites like Thedigitalbits, dvdfile, etc. but only to see what films I should put in my "want list" when I am ready to buy again.

It has been tough sometimes.. the 20% deepdiscountdvd was especially hard to resist (though I did). and I have seen some incredible bargains at the Blockbuster 25% off, too. But I have only violated this principal twice.. Once, when I had a horrid week at work I was so angry and frustrated that I passed a Blockbuster and they were having a sale. I bought a few PVDs thinking it would help my mood.. Poor rationale. Got some great movies, but have ultimately regretted getting them (could always get them later!!).. as a compromise, I saw these as soon as possible so it would "pollute" my unwatched pile.

The other time is because I have so many Sony Points that allows me to get movies for free I have ordered some. This was a conscious effort because the last time I had a credit card that had this benefit they stopped the offering just as I was about to cash in (that really hurt.... saved for years on those points!). So this is one of those truly "use or lose" deals in my opinion. Also, since the Sony owns Columbia/tri-star, a lot of the classic films from the 30's to 50's are available for free - and I know I will always want to see this.

But besides that, I don't get any new DVDs.. A funny thing happened too.. I noticed that after about 6 months to a year after the initial release three things typically occured.

1) the MSRP of the disc was reduced DRAMATICALLY to the point that getting it from my local electronics store was cheaper than the "super duper oh my gosh I can't believe I can get it for so low" amount of a year ago.

2) The storm had settled on the defects of the discs (wrong/missing audio, defective framining, etc.) Even the special features that were SUPPOSED to be on the disc but never were became clear. Thus when I buy those discs I won't have to worry about problems or unwanted surprises.

3) A new anamorphic/enhanced/ super special edition of the same movie comes out at about the same price as I would have bought the original version a year ago.

All in all, I came to the realization that pre-ordering was no longer the best thing to come along since slice bread.

so my philosophy is simple. Do I have unwatched movies? yes? then there is no reason to buy more.

anyway, thought I would share this... Understand this is not for everyone....

peace....
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Old 01-25-04, 03:26 PM
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Whatever works for you. Me, I started buying DVDs to 1) replace my VHS tapes and to 2) explore international cinema a bit by taking advantage of the code-free player option. I'm still waiting on about 40 titles from my VHS collection to make their way onto disc, but once this happens, I anticipate my purchases will diminish dramatically.

Beyond those specific cinematic interests, however, I limit my purchases for the most part to films that I passed on seeing in theaters so that I could afford the DVD release with all its extras. I love extras -- and I like being able to watch things at my own pace -- so I opt to buy the discs rather than to spend my money on pricey tickets and enormous beverages.
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Old 01-25-04, 10:44 PM
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I say this with a lot of love.... seriously.

Some people think about their DVD collections WAY too much.

I buy DVDs. I enjoy DVDs. I have a few DVDs I haven't seen, but not too many as I usually want to see them (that's why I bought them). I don't buy a DVD when I can't afford it.
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Old 01-25-04, 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by madcougar
I say this with a lot of love.... seriously.

Some people think about their DVD collections WAY too much.

I buy DVDs. I enjoy DVDs. I have a few DVDs I haven't seen, but not too many as I usually want to see them (that's why I bought them). I don't buy a DVD when I can't afford it.
Took the words right out of my mouth.
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Old 01-26-04, 12:59 AM
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Netflix.
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Old 01-26-04, 07:55 AM
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And I thought I had problems
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Old 01-26-04, 08:01 AM
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I had an extensive VHS Collection, and when I converted, I started slow, and now, three years later, I am at about 255 with a bunch on order.

I don't moniter my exact total spending, as it is irrelevant. I look for the best deal, which is usually found online or at Costco, and buy what I like. Plain and simple.

No specific business model or anything. Just a simple movie collection. I have had one for years, and upgrading to DVD was an expensive, necessary, and wonderful thing to do.

--LVM
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Old 01-26-04, 09:42 AM
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If I like it, I buy it. If we don't have the money, we wait. Nice and simple, no need for deep thoughts on the matter.
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Old 01-26-04, 10:54 AM
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Re: a different paradigm for buying DVDs

Originally posted by cinemaman
Do I have unwatched movies? yes? then there is no reason to buy more.

how depressing. I'm so glad I'm on the other side of the fence.

I stopped buying cold turkey.
if any of you guys catch me doing this...please shoot me.



Got some great movies, but have ultimately regretted getting them
many suffer from this sickness. hey, it's your time.

the bottom line is that if someone is going to be serious about building a film/dvd collection.....they need to plan ahead, not just react to a blow-out sale by buying a bunch of crap that they know, deep down inside, that they will never watch or keep. as a serious film lover and collector, I've worked from a plan since the very start, and avoid making "quick buys", just because I can. this is why I dont browse. every week, I work from a list of priority needs. I regret nothing in my library and each title is a brush-stroke to an even bigger picture.

I LOVE these threads, no really! they do nothing but to fuel my fire. time for another order to be placed!!
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Old 01-26-04, 10:55 AM
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Tazwolff.. unfortunately it was that attitude that got me so many discs in my unwatched pile....money can buy more DVDs that you have time to watch..

btw - for the record.. i enjoy and will probably re-watch 99% of the movies in my collection.. Got the impression that people think I was buying stuff for the sake of it... far from it.. don't consider Citzen Kane, Seventh Seal, A Better Tommorow "junk". just had too many films piled up from buying films that I WANTED.... and not enough time to see them all....

I LOVE films... I have seen over 5,000 films (easily) in my lifetime.. and will probably see 5x times that before I die... I just didn't like having an unwatched pile greater than 1 or 2.

Sorry if people read more than that into this..

Last edited by cinemaman; 01-26-04 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 01-26-04, 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by cinemaman
......
I LOVE films... I have seen over 5,000 films (easily) in my lifetime.. and will probably see 5x times that before I die.....
Well, so that's 25,000 more movies, and that's going to have you watching 2 movies a day, every day of the year, for the next 34 years.
Just an observation.

Better get back on the couch and get off the internet.
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Old 01-26-04, 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by cinemaman
I have seen over 5,000 films (easily) in my lifetime.. and will probably see 5x times that before I die
Roger Ebert, is that you?
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Old 01-26-04, 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by cinemaman
Tazwolff.. unfortunately it was that attitude that got me so many discs in my unwatched pile....money can buy more DVDs that you have time to watch..

btw - for the record.. i enjoy and will probably re-watch 99% of the movies in my collection.. Got the impression that people think I was buying stuff for the sake of it... far from it.. don't consider Citzen Kane, Seventh Seal, A Better Tommorow "junk". just had too many films piled up from buying films that I WANTED.... and not enough time to see them all....

I LOVE films... I have seen over 5,000 films (easily) in my lifetime.. and will probably see 5x times that before I die... I just didn't like having an unwatched pile greater than 1 or 2.

Sorry if people read more than that into this..
You should see me with boxed sets. I can't watch just 1 episode of a show. I pop in DVD 1 and the next thing I know I'm on DVD 4 or 5, lol.
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Old 01-26-04, 12:54 PM
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The real issue was time. Precious, elusive and never to be regained once lost. I simply did not have the time to see all the movies in my collection.
i like having a good pile of yet-to-be-watched discs, a lot of which are films i've never seen at all.
once they get watched, if they don't make a good impression on me, they go into the 'to sell' pile, and eventually they will be sold off and the proceeds used to supplement more buying.

my big problem is time.
i wish i had the time like i used to, to be able to sit for a 3 or 4 movie marathon every night, or whenever i felt like it.
those days are gone now, and if i were wiser, my buying habits would take this into account more.
But there are just too many titles coming out that i've been looking forward to, and each day i run across something i haven't seen yet that sounds too intriguing to pass up.
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Old 01-26-04, 02:26 PM
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Re: a different paradigm for buying DVDs

Originally posted by cinemaman
... I noticed that after about 6 months to a year after the initial release three things typically occured.

1) the MSRP of the disc was reduced DRAMATICALLY to the point that getting it from my local electronics store was cheaper than the "super duper oh my gosh I can't believe I can get it for so low" amount of a year ago.

2) The storm had settled on the defects of the discs (wrong/missing audio, defective framining, etc.) Even the special features that were SUPPOSED to be on the disc but never were became clear. Thus when I buy those discs I won't have to worry about problems or unwanted surprises.

3) A new anamorphic/enhanced/ super special edition of the same movie comes out at about the same price as I would have bought the original version a year ago.

All in all, I came to the realization that pre-ordering was no longer the best thing to come along since slice bread.
I've cut back on my purchases as well and come to the same conclusions.

I've also realized that I'm not really a collector. I never owned laserdiscs and I don't have a VHS collection. I got swept away with the thrill of the (cheap) hunt, but after the dust settled I find that I don't really re-watch all that much (other than Disney and Totoro with my 3 year old).

There are a few that I would like to own, but I'm not rushing to buy as I once was.
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Old 01-26-04, 02:58 PM
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Sure, I'm behind. By quite a lot. And I keep buying discs faster than I watch them.

But I'll keep doing it, because I can't tell you how much I hate being in the situation where I waited too long to get something, only to have it go out of print, and then have to pay WAY too much to get it, all the while kicking myself for not buying it when I had all those chances before.
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Old 01-26-04, 03:39 PM
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Cinemaman, I honestly can't imagine buying so many DVD's that I can't watch all of them at least once. I currently have 592 in my collection and have watched all of them at least once except for the Space: 1999 set which I am currently watching. I love movies and want to own many. I have a budget for purchasing every month and I stick to it. I often wait for prices to come down before purchasing certain films. But, ultimately price is not an issue if I want the film in my collection. I have never had any problem controlling my collection or restraining myself from buying crap.

Originally posted by CheapBastid
I've also realized that I'm not really a collector. I never owned laserdiscs and I don't have a VHS collection. I got swept away with the thrill of the (cheap) hunt, but after the dust settled I find that I don't really re-watch all that much (other than Disney and Totoro with my 3 year old).

There are a few that I would like to own, but I'm not rushing to buy as I once was.
Cheapbastid, thank you for admitting what many on this board should, that you are not a collector. That is not a bad thing. However, most people on this board are collectors and really can't understand all this handwringing going on lately about the size of DVD collections.

It seems that too many people buy DVD's for the wrong reasons. None of them are collectors.
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Old 01-26-04, 03:50 PM
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Originally posted by dvd2001
Well, so that's 25,000 more movies, and that's going to have you watching 2 movies a day, every day of the year, for the next 34 years.
Just an observation.

Better get back on the couch and get off the internet.
.

well... guess my hyperbole will outlive me!

would you believe about another 5,000? that would be about another 30 years.?.... God willing, I hope to live that long....

people keep on referencing money as the "gate" to buying DVDs. as I said that is not the issue, imho. at less than $10 a pop, a lot of folks could probably afford to get a DVD or 2 a week... thats 100/year.....and with sales, that could easily reach 200/year. The question for me was I don't have the time to see all of these and the unwatched pile just started to grow to the point where I felt I needed to reassess my buying methodology. For people who CAN see all the films they buy - that is great. Honest.. Just wondered if anybody else felt the same way as I do...

I will see ALL of these films eventually. They were all on my want list so no regrets for getting these..

btw.. DVDprofiler now lists over 150,000 DVDs available worldwide.. even taking into account that each film is listed 20 times (region coding, full screen/wide screen, SE, dupe entries, etc)... that sure is a lot of discs out there waiting to be seen - by somebody!

Last edited by cinemaman; 01-26-04 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 01-26-04, 03:59 PM
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Well now that you are not buying as many, you can work your way through your backlog.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by EPKJ
Cheapbastid, thank you for admitting what many on this board should, that you are not a collector. That is not a bad thing. However, most people on this board are collectors and really can't understand all this handwringing going on lately about the size of DVD collections.

It seems that too many people buy DVD's for the wrong reasons. None of them are collectors.
Please, give it a rest. We know that YOU are a collector and we are merely consumers. You've mentioned that a million freaking times. You've well rationalized your "collection" to everyone here.

Last edited by Wannabe; 01-26-04 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:11 PM
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My collection is growing slowly but I like having a small pile of UNWATCHED movies for those rare occasions when I have a free hour or two.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by Wannabe
Give it a rest.
if I may....no way. as long as people keep bringing up the same old threads, day after day, then serious collectors and hard-core film lovers will have no choice but to respond. some of us can only take the psychobabble for so long.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:32 PM
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Originally posted by Wannabe
Please, give it a rest. We know that YOU are a collector and we are merely consumers. You've mentioned that a million freaking times. Give it a rest. You've well rationalized your "collection" to everyone here.
Well, Wannabe, when these silly threads which do nothing but whine about problems with collection sizes stop, I'll think about it. Until then, live with it.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:38 PM
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I'm in that boat of having about thirty purchased DVDs in my collection that I have not had time to watch, and that's not counting the numerous commentaries I have yet to listen to on many more disks. Part of my problem has been my Number Slate membership. I felt the need to put those disks at the top of the watch priority list so I could turn them around quickly in the mail and get a good return on my subscription. I'm about to can my NS membership so I can catch up on my unwatched DVDs and because they have just gone to a strange "Circle" rental system where members pass the disks back and forth to each other without even going through NS. I'm not sure I want to share my address with all of Number Slate's members. Anyway, I know where cinemaman is coming from.
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Old 01-26-04, 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by EPKJ
Well, Wannabe, when these silly threads which do nothing but whine about problems with collection sizes stop, I'll think about it. Until then, live with it.
Okay, that's a fair deal.
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