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Happy (Cashless) Holidays

19 Sep, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Online DVD trading services Peerflix.com and Spun.com are gearing up for a lean holiday season, banking that financially strapped consumers will find them a good alternative to buying more discs.

Peerflix is coming out of its beta stage with a hard launch that includes improved site features. The updated service includes a tutorlal on how to register for and use the service, which charges a customer 99 cents per trade for facilitating trading.

Customers register with the site, list DVDs they have to trade and those they want, and the trading begins. Peerflix has no inventory. Instead, consumers search the site for the titles they want and trade among themselves.

New to the site is a patent-pending “instant envelope” mailing system that lets traders print only the envelopes they need for each trade. Peerflix provided free Netflix-style DVD envelopes to its users during the development phase; now they will have the option of turning a 8-1/2-by11-inch piece of paper into a custom mailer. The site has also introduced U.S. Postal Service tracking features. In the third quarter alone, Peerflix has enjoyed a 300 percent increase in registered users, with members now in all 50 US states and most Canadian provinces, according to the founders.

Spun.com is promoting its service, which also offers new DVDs, as a unique way to shop for the holidays without spending a dime, or to unload duplicate or unwanted gifts after the holidays.

At Spun.com, consumers have the ability to trade in their used or unwanted CDs, DVDs and video games for instant online credit towards the purchase of new and used like products, eliminating the need for cash.

Spun.com offers consumers instant online credit toward purchases, or customers can just buy the old-fashioned way.

"Tastes change and people lose interest in some of their old CDs, DVDs and games," said Spun.com president and co-founder Andy Grundy.

In the same online shopping cart, consumers can load up all of the items they would like to trade in and/or buy. They get instant credit for the items traded in and are directed to checkout. Once the transaction is completed, Spun.com ships the consumer's ordered product in a box large enough to return the items they are trading in, and includes a prepaid mailing label and tape to facilitate the exchange.

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