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Netflix Turns to Others to Sell Its Used DVDs

20 Jul, 2001 By: Jessica Wolf

Some Netflix DVDs have grown out of their rental-only status and are now beefing up used DVD selections at sellthrough locations likeWherehouse and Internet sellers like Half.com.

Wherehouse locations are selling binfuls of Netflix DVDs with no movie artwork, just plain red covers with a typed white label stating themovie’s vital statistics and a brief synopsis. At the bottom is the Netflix logo with the words: “This feature is brought to you buyNetflix.”

Michael Baer, purchasing manager for Netflix.com, says the practice of selling off some of its overstock is a relatively new one for thecompany and is still in the test phase. Upwards of 90,000 Netflix DVDs went to Wherehouse.

Wherehouse is selling the DVDs for $12.99 each or two for $20, which Brian Hodge, director of used business for Wherehouse, says is a lower-than-usual price for used DVDs.

“Netflix brought us an opportunity to purchase a large amount of very good titles,” Hodge says. “The only negative was that they didn’t have artwork, but these DVDs still are a great deal for our customers.”

Sale titles include ‘A’ movies like End of Days, Eyes Wide Shut, DoubleJeopardy and Big Daddy, as well as special edition DVDs like Jaws and The Sixth Sense.

A portion of Netflix DVDs landed at each of the more than 400 Wherehouse locations that carry used product, Hodge says.

Netflix’s Baer says the main reason the company is not selling off catalog stock on its own site is shipping issues.

“It’s not logistically as manageable to sell DVDs on our site as it is to just run the rental side,” he says.

Baer says the company is not selling any of the DVDs it gets through any of the company’s studio revenue-sharing deals.

Half.com, the eBay-owned site where viewers can buy and sell DVDs, has also picked up some of Netflix’s overage, Baer says. There’s also a linkon Half.com offering a free Netflix trial.

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