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A Tradeoff Doesn't Have to Be A Bad Thing

22 Apr, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

Our Editor-in-Chief, Kurt Indvik, made some interesting points about used disc trade this week, but I think he only told half of the story.

This is another case of retail lines blurring, like Wal-mart getting into the disc rental business and supermarkets edging back into selling video. It's a retail free-for-all out there and any product as successful as DVD is going to be a prime target in a market where Wal-mart steals grocery market share from grocers and convenience store margins on gas and cigarettes are drying up, sending those chains in search of new revenue streams.

It seems to me that most video specialty dealers have been slow to catch on to the used disc trade, viewing it only as a way to sell off retired rental copies, not a thriving model of its own.

It's been the music retailers – on the ropes since music downloads burst onto the scene (coincidentally at about the same time as DVD got to market) – who have pioneered the used exchange model.

Chains like Wherehouse and Django's, which have bankruptcy in common, had no choice but to push into this model, one they perfected years ago with used CDs and defended in court when artists like Garth Brooks and Metallica made a stink about it.

Maybe the greatest lesson from music retailers is not the used trade model itself, but how long it took for them to embrace it.

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