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Evolution of my DVD buying habits

Old 07-16-05, 01:40 PM
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Evolution of my DVD buying habits

I bought my first DVD player in the middle of 1999. I was one of those folks who desperately wanted to buy laserdiscs, but just couldn't afford to really get into it. I was never a fan of video. In fact I only owned about 10 movies.

In late 1998 I began buying DVDs with the expectation that I would one day buy a DVD player. As many people on this forum will remember, this was the day when many Internet companies were almost giving new DVDs away with various discounts and coupons. By the time I bought my DVD player I already had about 25 movies, most purchased on the cheap.

For several years afterward, I was one of those people who visit Best Buy on Tuesday to buy all the new releases I was interested in. I remember when Best Buy wouldn't stock nearly enough copies and would sell out immediatly. With three kids I found it almost impossible to go to the movies. I easily justified buying DVDs, as a trip to the movies for me and my wife would be more than the $20 I was laying out for a DVD. For the record, I am not a fan of renting movies. My collection quickly grew to more than 100 movies. At this point things were great. I regularly rewatched my movies and their extras, and those that I really didn't care for, I sold on eBay or traded in somewhere.

This buying trend continued for several years, until my collection increased to more than 300 movies. At about this time I began to notice that I wasn't rewatching movies with the same frequency. More movies + same amount of time = Madcougar can't watch them all more than once. At this point I began to buy used copies of movies I wasn't really sure about. At an average price of about $8, I felt this was a better use of my resources.

Today, with the exception of movies I REALLY want RIGHT NOW, I will happily wait a month or so to buy used copies of most movies. My collection is now at almost 500 movies. I have begun to read stories about how DVD sales have slowed down, and wonder how many people are in the same boat I am. I can no longer justify paying $18.00 for a new DVD that I may not watch more than once. Plus the fact that the B&M no longer seem to offer really great sales prices on most new releases hasn't helped. I'm at the point now where I will wait months for a 3 for $25 sale in fact. Lord knows I have tons of movies I can watch in the mean time.

I don't want to start a debate about buying used movies over new. What I'm wondering is how many people have amassed such a large collection of movies that it has eventually changed your purchasing habits. Have any of you reached the point (for finances, space or whatever) where you have said "Ok, I have enough movies." Again, I know many people don't like buying used. I get it. This isn't a "buying used DVD thread." Thanks for listening to my musings on this subject.
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Old 07-16-05, 06:40 PM
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My purchasing habits have gotten even worse as far as cost goes .. but for value, that's another story!! After purchasing all my R1 "must haves", I discovered foreign cinema thanks to a friend, which consequently led to Limited edition collecting. I would have discovered the latter sooner if not solely for R1 studios lack of originally, or creativity with respect to Limited edition releases - or what I really believe is lack of balls to put out a good LE release stateside. Though, that's a discussion for another post. Either way, almost 600 strong with no signs of stopping ....

... ain't it glorious??
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Old 07-16-05, 08:43 PM
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I can relate to your DVD purchasing habits. Like you, OP, I got my first DVD player around 1999 or so (back in the day when you got 5 free movies in the mail just for purchasing a DVD player) and since then I have accumulated maybe 700 or so DVDs. Of those, I would say half I bought from retail stores the week they came out (in the $15-17 range) while maybe 30% I bought used (I am a Movie Gallery "Buy 2 Get 2 Free" sale junkie). The remaining portion I got through multiple Columbia House memberships, various online deals (there used to be some great coupon codes back in the .com prime) and let's not forget those DDD sales.

I have to say my purchasing has become more frequent and less discriminating now that I have graduated from poor college student to actual real job, but I still try to bargain hunt as much as possible (e.g. used dvds). For a while there I was going nuts. I felt like I HAD to buy something every week, regardless of the quality of the movie, just because it was $14.99 at Best Buy or Circuit City (I actually bought Flight of the Phoenix one week because there was no better DVD that week) but since then, I try to be a little more selective and only buy new release movies if I REALLY can't wait (stuff like LOTR, Criterions, Star Wars) until I see a better deal on them (used, CH, or DDD, whichever comes first).

Anyhow, that's my 2 cents...
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Old 07-16-05, 09:12 PM
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My heavy DVD buying got much slower after about 3 years of it. I think it's because I already had most of the movies I cared about and not that many new ones were "must-owns". There doesn't seem to be as many new movies coming to DVD that I'd care to own and older good ones don't come out all that frequently. Even the last DDD sale only had me buying about a half-dozen Criterions and a couple others.

If I had to, I could be happy not even buying another DVD for several years and just watching the hundreds of DVDs sitting around that I still haven't watched. I rent to catch up on new releases and obscure titles I want to see, but wouldn't watch again and don't have any real desire to own. I think storage considerations came into play as well. These things take up a lot of space!
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Old 07-16-05, 09:45 PM
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I used to be the one at Besy Buy picking up the 2 or 3 new releases. I haven't done that for over a year mostly due to finances and other priorities. I do love the hunt though for a good deal, Blockbuster/Hollywood Video 3 for 25, local used DVD store called McKays sells them fairly cheap, but pawn shops are my favorite. You can pick up fairly new releases for $5.00.

Another factor is that I have all of the movies that I really want. There are a great deal of TV sets I'd like to have but prices are way too high. If it isn't around 30.00 for the season for get about it. The only exception would be the X-Files. If I see a 5.50 DVD at Walmart that I'd like to watch again I'll pick it up as it's almost the same as a rental. If I realize that I don't care for the movie I can always trade or sell it.

I'm hovering at about 500 movies. This goes up and down as I buy more and trade/sell more.

The new movies coming out just don't interest me as they used to.

Last edited by C_Fletch; 07-16-05 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 07-16-05, 10:14 PM
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Christ, where to begin...

Got my first player in 1999. Like the OP, I wanted to get into laser disc but it was too costly, and I wasn't that big on buying video tapes that I knew could wear out or easily break if something went wrong with my VCR.

My first DVD player was a gift to myself. I was leaving a $6.25 / hour security job and moving on to a factory job that paid $12.25 / hour and would go up to $18 / hour in a year and a half. Too bad an injury kept me from reaching that mark.

Anyhow, I spent the next few years doing temp jobs here and there, and my collection grew to about 250 titles. Then in September of 04, I had the opportunity to open my own business. It had to be relatively inexpensive to start (I only had around $10k to work with), it had to be something that could be marketed to others, it had to fill a niche that wasn't filled yet, and most importantly it had to be something I not only knew a lot about, but also liked. The answer was obvious - I started my own new & used DVD store. This, of course, allowed me to increase my collection as well. As it stands, my collection is slightly over 600 titles. On the average, I added about 50 titles a month this year, with the probable exception of June. My habits have really slowed down now... I have almost everything that I want that is currently in print. There aren't many new movies that I have a desire to get when they are released. My only weakness is TV on DVD, of which I buy a lot. TV on DVD probably makes up 150 titles of my collection.

I've tried to slow down my buying unless it's something at an insanely good price. I haven't watched at least 40% of my collection, and seeing as many of those are TV series, that's a lot of catching up to do.
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Old 07-16-05, 11:03 PM
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pretty much the same exact boat as madcougar. I rarely if ever pick up a new release at full price. They drop to quickly, coupled with buying used, and impending double dips, I hardly ever buy right away anymore.

One exception.. er.. vice:
TV on DVD. It is all I watch anymore. I do pick those up at release prices b/c they are less likely to drop and most rental places don't carry them.
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Old 07-16-05, 11:33 PM
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Have any of you reached the point (for finances, space or whatever) where you have said "Ok, I have enough movies."
Nope...I'm a junkie and I still don't have enough, even at 2,000+ titles of various films and concert dvds. I've been a rabid buyer since way before I joined this forum and I'm still waiting for certian titles to arrive on dvd, so that I may add them to my library. Today, even though I don't frequent local retail stores as much as I do mailorder, I managed to snag 3 titles that I've been needing: Shogun's Shadow from the Sonny Chiba Collection, Kiss Me Deadly and the newer version of Martin. For me, the library can always suck in more titles....I can't help that I have a wide taste spectrum and at least at the moment, one deep pocket of extra cashola.

As far as waiting for a price drop....it's just wasting time. Life is too short to wait a few months for something when I can grab it now for a few extra bucks. It's worth my time because I'm a busy man.

I've never been in fear of double or triple dipping, snappers, big-headed cover art, no insert dvds....nothing like that. If I were to spend my time squrtin' tears over crap like that....I would have little fun building my library.

And no....I still don't buy used unless I have too....which I have not. I like my dvds un-greased.
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Old 07-16-05, 11:58 PM
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I used to buy movies that I sort of enjoyed or if they had at least one good scene, but now I'm trying to be a lot more selective with what I buy...partly for financial reasons, but also because I want to fully like and enjoy every movie or TV show I own. Therefore, I'm willing to rewatch everything I own instead of just cramming titles into my collection for the sake of a final tally.
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Old 07-17-05, 11:13 AM
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I am probably buying more DVDs than ever before, but I am not getting the new releases at Best Buy every week now... If they are movies I want, I will wait for price drops or used copies (in excellent condition.)

I got my player in April of 2000, and I was always buying new releases of general Hollywood movies that I wanted. Now, I have quite buying many of the Hollywood stuff, and I switched over to Anime, classics, horror, Limited Editions, etc. I may search out some OOP titles (of stuff I want,) but only if I can get them at retail price or lower. Most of the OOP titles will probably be rereleased soon, so I don't worry too much if I can't get them.
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Old 07-17-05, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by gutwrencher
As far as waiting for a price drop....it's just wasting time. Life is too short to wait a few months for something when I can grab it now for a few extra bucks. It's worth my time because I'm a busy man.
Let me ask you a question gutwrencher. Do you immediatly watch every movie you purchase? I was like this too, and when I was only buying a handful of movies a month, it was great. I always had something to watch. But now with so many movies in my collection, I just can't justify paying full price for a movie that I may only watch once.
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Old 07-17-05, 11:49 AM
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In November 99 when I got a DVD player, I bought The Matrix, X-Files: Fight the Future and Star Trek VII-IX (all widescreen). I didn't buy another DVD until September 2000, Metallica's S&M (Best concert DVD ever, imo). Another year went by with me only buying around 5 DVDs. A lack of job (I was in High School) helped prevent me from spending much, but Christmas of 2002 I started my DVD addiction by buying 3 seasons of X-Files.

Then the CYCD days at Columbia House that Spring hooked me for good. I got a job in the summer of 2003, originally to pay for a car, but I ended up getting a really nice birthday present (a car). So Between July of 2003 and December 2003 I went through over 12 DVD accounts, while buying tons more on the side. Things died down again after I had spent my summer hire money + christmas funds, so between Jan 04 and May 04 I didn't buy much.

I got a job last July to jumpstart it again, bought a really nice HD projector /w a 100" screen, bought a whole new speaker setup and a new receiver to finish the year off. This buying addiction lasted until March of this year when I took a look at my DVD collection and saw that my DVD bookcase (which holds nearly 400 DVDs) was stuffed. I sold over 100 DVDs and started saving for a new car, since March I've spent maybe $120 on DVDs.

After I get my new car (Pontiac Solstice) I'll be buying a couple DVDs here and there, but being very selective of what I buy.
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Old 07-17-05, 12:06 PM
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I'm in a similar situation that madcougar was in. I started buying DVDs in 1998 and took advantage of many of the deals on this forum and at places like Reel.com and 800.com. My first 400 DVDs were probably bought by late 2000 at an average price of $5 each. I started to slow down a bit as the deals died down and I now buy fewer DVDs than ever. Even though I still am at over 800 DVDs I've probably sold 200+ DVDs on ebay and half.com since many of the DVDs I bought in the early days were bought just because they were so cheap. Its hard to turn down free DVDs. I had DVDs I bought in 1999 and 2000 that were never watched until a couple of years later. I just bought way more than I needed because they were so cheap.

I would have slowed down more, but I got addicted to TV on DVD. Even though I curbed my movie habit quite a bit I got addicted to entire seasons of TV for $20 - $30. Amazon share the love helped fuel this, but now its gone as well. Over the last few months I have averaged about 4 DVDs a month. The only exception is when I find a great deal online since cheap DVDs are always hard to resist. In the first two years of collecting I was averaging 17 DVDs a month so I have dropped off. Granted most of the films I wanted are now in my collection so that helped slow me down as well.

Talking with people I work with DVD buying has slowed down with all of them. For one reason most of the major releases drop to $10 or less a few months after coming out so its smarter to just wait instead of paying $16+ for it on release. A lot of them are also doing the netflix thing, borrowing DVDs instead of buying or the new favorite around the office, stealing DVDs by copying their friends.
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Old 07-17-05, 12:11 PM
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my first dvd player was infact my japanese PS2, which i got the first week of its release. it had the ability to play both R2 and R1 discs with a hack on the PS2 controller... i had already bought my first dvd by then, bjorks 'all is full of love' dvd single which was directed by chris cunningham, and then bought my first film 'deep red' by dario argento. ive been through an increasingly confident growth in how i get my discs, firstly using UK-based importers and then USA-based exporters, plus ebay, HK sellers, Korean sellers, Italian sellers, German sellers and so on... i get better VFM now than i ever did and ive learnt so much and probably could have saved quite a lot of money - but i do have a strict buying policy which helps alot also...
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Old 07-17-05, 03:34 PM
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I've been buying DVDs since 1999, and my collection is a little more than 100. I am very selective about what I buy. But what I do buy, I enjoy very much.
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Old 07-17-05, 04:22 PM
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My dvd buying habits for new releases have slowed down as well. In fact if it weren't for TV on DVD I wouldn't be buying hardly anything nowadays!!

Take care all!!
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Old 07-17-05, 04:31 PM
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I got a DVD player in 99 and had a handful of titles...I remember telling myself that I would only buy the really good, four-star films... I moved into my own place and had about 40 titles, but than something happened...I discovered DDD. I made some large orders, bought films that were of lesser quality but that I still enjoyed and that was all she wrote...Sitting at about 350 right now.

The good news is it is almost all new-releases for me from here on out, so the bulk of buying (in theory) should be behind me. I have had good and bad experiences buying and trading for used...just depends on where you go. I still would rather pay a few extra bucks and get a new product. Also as for waiting for a dvd to hit $10 before I buy, I'd rather pay $14 on release wk, get any bonus stuff that might come with it, and be able to watch right away. But that's me, if it's above $16 I might be tempted to wait. Those Fry's price-matches are spoiling me I guess.
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Old 07-17-05, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by madcougar
Let me ask you a question gutwrencher. Do you immediatly watch every movie you purchase?
Depends. If I buy 5 this coming week....I'm sure I'll enjoy them all at some point through the week, as usual, along with 3 or 4 older titles out of the library. My older titles get rotated in with new releases always. But if I end up working a 60 hour week...they may dribble over into next week....or the next time I give myself a day off. Anyway, my system works.

But see, there is a reason for having a library. I hate to repeat myself after 3 years in this forum, but I'll ask the same old question. If a book sits on a shelf at a public library for more than a few years, without being read, does that make it worthless? No...it still serves it's purpose and will be there when needed. Same with my personal library of films. No need to cram this stuff down my throat all at once. the dvds/films are there not only for enjoyment now, but LATER enjoyment, research and study. A library is what it is....regardless of what format gets shoved in my face next.

Last edited by gutwrencher; 07-17-05 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 07-17-05, 05:53 PM
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I've been buying since summer of 2000 and being a movie freak have accumulated a ton of movies, but my buying is usually at the pawn shops where plums can be had dirt cheap. As the prices in the retail stores drop, so have they dropped at the pawns. I usually pay from $5 to $6 and haven't had a problem with a used buy yet. Maybe once or twice a year I'll pick up a used rental when BB runs a sale, but the pawns are actually preferable, because in most cases they are one owner discs and usually haven't seen much use more than a watch or two. From time to time I'll buy a new release on the week something I REALLY want comes out, like MDB last week, but that's uncommon these days. When older movies see a release I occasionally jump on one new because their MSRP is cheaper. Concert DVDs are probably the most costly ones for me these days, but again, many of them carry a low MSRP for 2 hours of great music.
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Old 07-17-05, 07:04 PM
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I am probably some what similar to the OP. I got my DVD player the winter of 99 (or was it 98???) and I had been buying a few DVDs a couple months before because I got to the point I could not justify spending money on VHS, esecially since I had unwatched tapes and I knew I would be getting a DVD player, so why not just buy them on DVD if they will sit around unwatched anyway?

After I got my DVD player, I began buying anything I could find that I wanted. Back in those days, it wasn't like there were thousands of titles in a specific genre I was interested in. I was able to pretty much buy what I wanted and didn't feel my budget was stretched too thin. Hell, I even had a friend who made a point to buy EVERY DVD release that came out each week. He would eventually sell off titles he wasn't interested in, but that's just how the market was back then, where it was a handful of titles coming out each week and it wasn't outrageous to attempt to do something like that.

I would buy hundreds of dollars of DVDs at one time. One of my orders from dvdexpress.com (RIP) was $500.00 one month. I was buying what I wanted when I wanted it.

I have slowed down over the last couple years, especially in the last year, because I've seen too many good movies come out with better editions later on. Hide and Seek? I kind of want that one, for example, but come on...it's a Fox DVD. Announced or not, that puppy is getting the two disc treatment before we know it. Why the hell would I buy that? And even pay 15.99 for a new release? Why when Target will have them for ten dollars or less in a few months? Why rush? I have a ton of unwatched DVDs as it is.

And TV on DVD is another topic entirely. There was a point where, like my friend, I wanted to buy ANY TV show product that came on DVD. But back in "the day" the only season set you could find was X Files and anything that came after that was not too over whelming. A search for TV shows on DVD at amazon.com might pull up a couple pages or three. But now, I have shows I have not been able to keep up with because releases come so fast and are priced prohibitively to prevent me from buying several titles together in shopping sprees. TV shows on DVD has been and continues to be the fastest growing aspect of my collection, but there are a few series I have not completed yet because new shows keep on coming out that I decide I want more.

I would say I have slowed down in buying movies on DVD because of the SE's later on and how the prices will drop so dramatically over the coming months. New DVDs for 21.99 will be sold for 7.99 or less in the not too distant future at Deep Discount DVD, for example. It's just not worth it anymore to pay money like that. When I first got into DVD, I felt like I got a deal if I could find a DVD for 24.99, but not anymore.
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Old 07-18-05, 08:52 AM
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My DVD spending habits mirror the OP's pretty closely. It used to be that I bought at least one DVD every Tuesday, but that has changed lately. With my DVD collection swelling to 400+, and with 2 young kids at home, I've found that the "unwatched" portion of my DVD collection has grown exponentially.

Therefore, unless I consider it a "must-have" (i.e. LOTR, Star Wars, etc.), I'll hold off and either wait for a good price drop or more likely, I'll by it used. Like Deleted Scene above, I am a Movie Gallery Buy 2, Get 2 Free Junkie (I think I've picked up close to 100 MG PVDVD's alone).

As a sidenote, Gutwrencher, I appreciate your analogy of a DVD collection to a library. It makes me feel a lot better about my collection and all my unwatched DVDs.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by gutwrencher
But see, there is a reason for having a library. I hate to repeat myself after 3 years in this forum, but I'll ask the same old question. If a book sits on a shelf at a public library for more than a few years, without being read, does that make it worthless? No...i
After 3 years, you'd think you'd be used to repeating yourself by now!

The library idea is how I look at my own DVDs also, especially when catalog titles get released.

Like a lot of others, when I first got my player I bought a lot, and I bought often. I was building my library. Around the time Soylent Green and Omega Man were released, I owned pretty much everything I wanted to that was available at that time. Since then, I no longer buy 4-5 DVDs every Tuesday, it's more like 2-3 a month unless it's a good month for releases. I buy the occasional new release, but find myself buying mainly catalog titles that are finally getting released. These movies will get unwrapped and sit on the shelf until I want to watch them, which could be a day or a number of months. That's the point in buying them, so they can be in the library waiting for me.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:46 AM
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While driving a taxi, I would bring home about $125 a day give or take a few dollars. When I got off, I would then drive to Best Buy and buy DVDs. If I took home $125 all I could spend on dvds that day was $25. If I made $118, all I could spend was $18. That kept going on for about 7 months till I quit the cab company. I then had about 300 dvds and no player. When Panasonic came out with a player that played DTS, I finally bought one. I slowed down a little, but not much. I only buy new releases on Tuesday that are the ones that I've been waiting so long for or if it's a Special, Limited, Collector Editions that you know will disappear or like the WB 2-disc sets that never come down in price. I only buy discount bin, box sets, sales and columbia house. Counting TV series, my total is over 2500.
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Old 07-18-05, 02:59 PM
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In spring of 2002 I just had 2 DVDs, one about hair transplants, the other about home theatre equipment. No player, just wanted to have owned at least 1 DVD. Then in November 2002 I bought a player (Go-Video DVP853), and just stuck to the DVDs they had at the public library. They had lots of movies, TV show sets, and anime, enough for me. In December I bought the movie UHF and got Spider-Man 2-disc WS for a Christmas gift.

After that I started to look for free DVDs on anything. Walt Disney World vacation information, puppy care, woodworking equipment, etc. This was just a change from looking for the same stuff on VHS.

In April of 2003 I found Wal-Mart's "dump bin", and I bought a Three Stooges set. For the rest of the year, I just bought 1 DVD from the dump bin each month and that was it for DVD purchases for that month.

Then in March of 2004, the dollar store started selling DVDs. Now most of my DVD purchases are there. Most of my dvd purchases of this year (over 60) is from the dollar store. Most of the DVDs I own , about 60% of them, come from the dollar store.

I don't spend alot, but most of the DVDs I have, nobody would want. That's ok,, I like them all.
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Old 07-18-05, 03:14 PM
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I really started in around mid-2001 and have been buying pretty rabidly for a while. I'm at over 350 dvds and about 150 LD. Lately, mostly because of space concerns I've considered scaling down the collection and trying to maintain something like 300 DVD's and 100 LD. So if I want something new, I gotta get rid of something else. I've got a lot of movies that I do like in my collection but aren't essential for me to own. I'm considering trading or selling those and simply renting them when I fill the infrequent urge to see them. Others are very personal favorites which I watch more fequently and will definitely be keeping.

I rarely buy anything new, prefering to wait 6 months and get it via Columbia House for much cheaper. I've also been buying a lot from our very own dvdexchange and other similar forums.
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