Redbox Testing Higher Prices In Some Markets

Renting a DVD for $1 per day is a simple, easy-to-understand pricing scheme. But in some markets, Redbox kiosks are testing some new pricing plans. They will charge either $2 or $1.50 for the first night, and $1 for subsequent nights.

According to Adam at Your Money Relationship, a few weeks ago, the $2 price point is being tested in the Harrisburg, Penn. area, and the $1.50 price point in Albuquerque, N.M.

Is a possible nationwide price hike due to Redbox’s ongoing war with movie studios? Could be. If you use Redbox, would a 100% or 50% price increase affect your borrowing habits?

Redbox Tests $2 Per Night Rentals: Will You Still Rent? [Your Money Relationship]

RELATED:
Redbox Sues Warner Bros. And Asks For Help From Consumers
Redbox Kiosks Crank Out Cheap DVD Rentals, Doom For Hollywood
Redbox Starts To Wean Customers Off Free Movie Mondays

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  1. Daggertrout says:

    That’s still less than half of what Blockbuster charges.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    As long as they still keep providing those free DVD codes, I’m cool with it. $1.50 a movie is still less than paying for a month of Netflix if you don’t watch enough movies to actually take full advantage of Netflix.

    • Wombatish says:

      I just hate when a brand builds a decent part of it’s identity around a price point and then changes it.

      If you knew you couldn’t maintain the price-point, don’t make it such of a focus.

      To me, Redbox = the Dollar DVD people. And that’s what they want me to think.

      That being said, I understand that the times, they are a changing, and it’s a tough economy, so they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do. Still, it’s a bit of a start to go looking for the “Dollar DVD Machine”, get there, and suddenly it wants a dollar fifty.

      • Wombatish says:

        And, I might add, it will probably only go up if this flies over alright. Maybe not now, but in the future.

        What would be really splendid is if/when the economy improves the price went back down. Doubt it, though.

        Alllll that being said, still pretty cheap. Their selection usually sucks around here though, so we tend to use Blockbuster/Renting through the PS3 unless we were already at a store with a Redbox machine.

  3. FatLynn says:

    I don’t know…the higher the prices get, the more tempting it is to grab them off of the internet.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      I assume you mean watch them through legal means on the Internet. Surely you don’t think prices as high as $2 justify piracy.

  4. comeongob says:

    Whenever I try to use Redbox, they are always out of anything I would want to buy! Even with a free code, I end up walking away.

    • bitslammer says:

      Same here. I’ve had only about a 25% hit rate on the 2 near me. Some of that stuff they have is like 20 years old ????

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Before you go out next time, look for the movie you want and find the location closest to you that has that movie. You can reserve online so it’s still there when you pick it up.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Sadly, this is probably not something that will make people stop using the product. Go RedBox for taking a great idea and make it still good enough for us to accept it.

    Waiting for it to $3… $5…. Blockbuster.

  6. macdude22 says:

    I won’t use them because the first and only time I ever used one I thought everything had been hunky dory. Rented Bolt. Took it back the next day. Machine ate my disk like it should. 30 days later, 26 dollar charge on my card. And Redbox treated me like a damn criminal for calling to get a refund (which I sort of understand because I’m sure this CSR is told their technology is 100% working). No thanks guys, back to Netflix and the local Family Video. My RedBox experiment is over.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      We tried to use Redbox once and both local machines were broken. So we were like, “Meh.” Blockbuster is actually easier than the local Redboxes.

    • fatediesel says:

      I had a different problem. I reserved a movie online, and when I went to pick it up the machine was broken. I still got charged $1.07 for the movie though because the system thought I reserved a movie and never picked it up, so I got charged for a night. I’m sure I easily could have gotten the charge removed but it wasn’t worth the effort for that little money, kind of like when Itunes double bills me.

      • looneytunes says:

        That happened to me too. When I emailed them, they said they couldn’t remove the charge but they sent me two free codes instead. So I didn’t get too worked up about it.

        • Trick says:

          I was doubled charged once and Redbox removed the double charge and sent me a free movie…

          Now if they can only do something about the fifty people at the LCD screen all pushing different buttons as once…

  7. Meteor62 says:

    Three words: Here we go. We finally got a RedBox in my lil hick town and now they’re wanting to ruin a good thing.

  8. morganlh85 says:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to charge $1 for the first night, and $2 for the nights AFTER that? It would encourage people to bring their movies back faster.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I suspect the reason for this is that most people take out movies for only one night…and this still makes them cheaper than Blockbuster.

  9. tbax929 says:

    I don’t think a price hike to $2 would discourage me from using Redbox, although I don’t use it often anyway. I like the concept of it but, like others have posted, have had little success in getting movies I want. There are tons of Redbox locations in my area, but getting a new release is tough.

  10. georgi55 says:

    I’d be cool with the price increase, if in return they stock Blu-ray. Then I can cancel my Netflix membership as I only get to watch 2, 3 movies per month and paying $2 for each rather than $11 Netflix plan is cheaper.

  11. Hogan1 says:

    Inevitably it will keep going up til it’. Cheap movies and Free coupons to build a customer base while they operated at a loss.

  12. fatediesel says:

    I wouldn’t use Redbox as often if they went to $2, just because usually if I rent a DVD it’s not something I am really anxious to see. If Redbox started renting Blu-ray I’d gladly pay $2 though, because at Blockbuster they cost $6 and Netflix doesn’t carry enough inventory so it’s always a very long wait for new Blu-rays.

  13. Scuba Steve says:

    I don’t rent movies.. ever.

    • Scuba Steve says:

      And I guess to add to that delightfully useless comment, I think Redbox shouldn’t have too much trouble with raising prices. They do deal only with credit cards, so an extra dollar won’t be noticable to most people paying for the rentals. They might not rent as much though.

    • Squeezer says:

      thanks but no one cares about you and your renting habits

  14. crichton007 says:

    I’d definitely rent less if they raised prices but since I only rent for one night I’d still rent from them before anyone else.

  15. clamjuice says:

    I won’t touch them. All good things come to an end.

    a buck is a buck.

  16. Brain.wav says:

    $2? I could deal with it. I don’t rent much (I tend to hit movies in the theaters, and I prefer to buy stuff I really like), so it’s still plenty fair.

  17. Razor512 says:

    it is thinking like that, is why the grocery shrink ray and price gouging exist, if a company increases the price, don’t buy it , they will quickly get the message that people don’t like the new price and they will go back to the old price, but the moment you become stupid and buy at the new price, you just told them “thanks for ripping me off, please do it again”

    • XTC46 says:

      Actually, the more likely occurance is that they will just stop producing the product since it is not as profitable as they need it to be.

      So redbox charges 2 bucks, every stops becasue they want it for a dollar, then redbox goes out of business. Now you get to pay $6 for blockbuster/netflix or not rent movies.

      Raising prices is a part of business, inflation happens, prices will always go up (please find me a product that has not gotten more expensive in say the last 2 years). It has nothing to do weith trying to gouge customers.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      How exactly do you define “ripping off”?

  18. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    …still not interested in renting a movie, in any form – at a kiosk, by mail, or by download.

    I’ll wait until the actual DVD (maybe BD at some point) is at a price point that’s acceptable to me, then buy the movie and own it. I have very little time to devote to sitting down and watching a 2 or 3 hour show…which is kind of good, since very, very little of Hollywood’s output seems of any value to me anyway. But when a movie does come out that I do want to see – I’m going to want to own it so I can watch it again and again over the course of many years. Even entire series…I’ve probably watched the entire run of Babylon 5 from DVD 4 or 5 times now, 45 or 90 minutes at a time.

    Spending money on a rental of a movie, and therefore not owning it, is a waste of money to me.

    • treimel says:

      I’m just the opposite. For me, for most movies, after I’ve seen it once, sometimes twice–that’s it. It’s over. There are exceptions (I’ve seen Blade Runner and 2001 probably 20 times), but most of what I get from Netflix I enjoy seeing–once.

    • dvdchris says:

      I guess you have unlimited storage for all these DVDs. Most people will watch most movies once, maybe twice, ever.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Not really…I own, I’m guessing, about 200 DVDs, and some whole-series sets. There are precious few movies on the market that I wish to have that I haven’t bought yet.

        And frankly, if I do get tired of owning a movie, I can sell it – or give it to someone else. Or even donate it to the library or Goodwill. Can’t do that with a rental.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      If you have very little time to watch a 2-3 hour movie, it seems like renting would make the most sense. If you have so little time, why would you want to spend it watching something you’ve already seen?

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Because it’s a quality movie that I enjoy, and therefore will watch again. Any movie that I don’t want badly enough to purchase is not one that I’m going to waste the initial 2-3 hours watching, just so I can wish I didn’t waste 2-3 hours watching it.

  19. metsarethe... says:

    I’d be willing to pay up to $2.50 a movie figuring one movie a week would be $10/month for about 6-8 hours of entertainment. Anything above $2.50 and I’d just use netflix.

  20. Starfury says:

    We like redbox and even at $2 for a night it’s cheaper than anywhere else.

    For new releases I want to see I’ll go online and reserve the movie and pick it up on the way home.

  21. BooBee says:

    If Blockbuster still had http://www.blockbusterfeedback.com still active I would have said NO to the question, would I still use RedBox because Blockbuster has a better movie selection. However, since the feedback site for a $1.99 coupon with Blockbuster no longer works a $2 price point would still keep me interested in Redbox so Yes I will still rent from RedBox.

  22. texbob says:

    I’d pay $2 if they have Blu-Ray as an option for that price. For standard DVD’s. A buck a night is fair for old stuff. I’d pay $1.50 for new releases.

  23. Mr. Bill says:

    We rent maybe 5 or 6 a month. The difference between $5 and $10 bucks a month I might not rent as often but would on the good ones that came out. It might be enough for the nights when its a spur of the moment thought to go ahead and get a movie since it’s only a buck to not do that. Why ruin a good thing? Especially now that about half the movies in the kiosks are older movies.

  24. quagmire0 says:

    They are jumping the shark with this move imo. They have two good things going for them: 1. Free codes and 2. Movies are only $1. Hell, I have several struggling Family Video’s that I can support for $2 a movie. :)

  25. pimpybra says:

    I would not use Redbox anywhere as much as we do now, which is, at most, a few times a month.

    I’ll just use the library more, or wait for free codes. My extra $1 is worth more than seeing a movie the minute it releases to DVD.

    This disappoints me greatly. I realize about inflation and all, but ehhh. Library is free.

  26. scottboone says:

    Heh. The other week when I went to the Redbox to exercise my free rental coupon, I was surprised to see the $2 charge come up. I thought they had done it nationwide. Now I find out I’ve been a guinea pig!

    Needless to say, I’m not too worked up about $2 (well I -AM- if we’re the only ones in the country paying that rate!) versus $1, still far cheaper than the $5 Blockbuster charges. However, $2 for ONE night is my limit.

  27. d says:

    No. It’s not worth more than $1/night. I don’t care what the movie studios think – the studios need to stop trying to dictate terms. The studios need distribution and they got paid for the damn movie already. If they think they should get more, they should offer some kind of value add other than just making the silly thing…

    Everyone being greedy is what’s causing people to go to less movie theaters, buy less DVD’s, rent less, and DOWNLOAD MORE.

    If they want to compete against the pirates, then they need to make it take less time to get the movie than a pirated version, and they need to make it cost the same or just about the same as a pirated version.

    If a blank DVD costs $1 – and it takes one 2 hours to download and burn it, then you’ve got to charge $1 and make it take less than that. Driving over to a Redbox could take 10/15 minutes – depends on the time of the day.

    Raise the price, and people start looking at what’s cheaper, easier, etc… I can solve their experiment right now – just keep the price where it is.

    • cigsm says:

      D said…”I don’t care what the movie studios think – the studios need to stop trying to dictate terms.”
      Um, Redbox was using their bulk discount to then rent new titles for $1 per day. So they may pay the studios, say $8 per DVD. So the studios are saying, OK, if you want to cannibalize our business, you can wait 30 days. If you want the new releases before 30 days, you must pay standard price of $18 or whatever. Makes sense from a business standpoint, because when people rent more, sales tend to go down. If people can rent for $1, they are less likely to purchase it for $15. Why would the studios give Redbox a discount to cannibalize the studios own sales? Nobody is forcing Redbox’ arm, they have the choice to buy the movies in bulk and pay full rate- they’ve chosen not too.

      You’re also completely wrong as more people are going to the movies than they ever have, rentals are up higher then they’ve been in years & although DVD sales are down a bit, Blu-Ray sales are skyrocketing.

      People still want the content, so your little “purchase content at the price the pirates sell it for” is ridiculously stupid. What the pirates (illegally) sell is all too often an inferior product. I would expect to pay $1 to own a pirated copy of a movie with digital artifacts galore, no extras and various authoring gaffes. I’d rather support the people who make their living off of filmmaking & get the perfect copy for $15. It’s just the morally right (& legal) thing to do.

  28. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Redbox made a decision to enter a declining market (retail DVD rental), own that market, and make as much $ out of it as they can in the short term before it disappears in the face of an increase in downloadable/on-demand offerings.

  29. H3ion says:

    “Testing” means seeing what the market will bear. If people will part with $2, the next “test” will be to see if people will part with $3. Do you seriously expect Redbox to survey its customers and ask them whether they’d rather pay $1 or $2? And get an answer that can be printed in a family newspaper?

  30. dvdchris says:

    Redbox has been ‘testing’ $2 rentals for months now, it’s just now being reported. Their $1/day business model is not sustainable. They have been cut off from new releases by half the movie studios. They have been cut off by half the movie studios for the first 30 days of a release, and to fulfill their output deals with the other half of studios they are being forced to place two machines side by side at the same location.
    Price restructuring is inevitable at Redbox.

  31. shepd says:

    Sounds fine to me. These DVD kiosks are broken more often than they are working. Whenever I get a hankering to rent a DVD I realize that the time it takes to drive around the city looking for a working DVD kiosk is longer than it takes to download the movie off the internet.

    Of course, the old-skool rental store is close by, but then I realize the $7 they charge to rent a DVD is often more than the DVD costs in the bargain bin to buy.

  32. Momto3BlackLabs says:

    If Redbox raised prices to $2, we probably wouldn’t rent from them anymore. We can get videos for $2.60 a night at Family Video, it’s the same distance to drive as the Redbox, and Family Video’s selection is MUCH larger.

  33. surfphoto says:

    I was wondering why the price was different this weekend. I thought they had always been $1 but they were $2.

    Thanks redbox for making me think I was crazy.

  34. SteveinOhio says:

    I still think my Netflix subscription beats all, but I have occasionally used Redbox if a friend or the girlfriend really wanted to see a particular new release. Thankfully, my apartment is about 200 paces from the Redbox in front of my Giant Eagle. To me, the Redbox upper pricing limit is $2. Much more than that, and my $9, already paid month of Netflix starts reminding me that I can wait and I’ll see it soon enough.

  35. Original_BlackRabbit says:

    My wife and I over the past few months have started using RedBox more and more. It is a matter of convenience right now. Coupled with the fact that there was quite a few new movies that came out in a short period.
    We recently stopped using Netflix, and Blockbuster mail order simply because we became lazy with the fact that we did not have to watch the movie until we wanted to. So they would sit here for a week or more until we had the desire to watch them and return them.
    So we come to the issue of pricing. Since we have rented 7 or so movies over the last 3 weeks, I know it would have been better to have Netflix. By using RedBox, we watched the movies the same night we got them, because they had to be returned the next day.
    We always use the feature of going online and reserving new releases, that way there is no worry of getting what we want. I do not understand why more people do not do that, and then complain that they cannot get the new releases.