Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Find Cheap Movies

Consignment Shops Often Offer Great Deals on Movies – Photo of Growing Pains in Salisbury, NC

Enjoying a good movie does not have to cost a lot. As many are finding tighter and tighter budgets, finding inexpensive entertainment can be a welcome relief. Find a few simple and practical tips for saving money when looking for movies.

How to Find Inexpensive Movies for Home Viewing

Those interested in purchasing pre-owned movies for home use may find bargains in a variety of places, such as:
  • yard sales
  • flea markets
  • consignment shops
  • charity thrift stores, such as Goodwill and Salvation Army
  • discount sections of department stores such as Walmart
  • online web sites, like eBay and Craig's list
  • public library (may offer free check-outs, low-priced rentals for new releases, or sell older movies if they need the space)
  • stores that sell used videos
  • movie clubs (for those who wish to watch several movies each month)
Most used movies for sale have been out for a while, but some of those older movies have more appeal than newer releases. Keep in mind that older movies may be new movies to the kids. Those who still have a VCR player might pick up some especially good deals on VHS tapes. The downside to looking for used videos is that it may be somewhat of a game of chance and the buyer should beware. It may take some time to search through a huge selection of inexpensive videos that are in random order, but sometimes that search can really pay off with a great find.

Be a smart movie shopper!
  1. Ensure that you use a secure web site if purchasing online.
  2. Watch for shipping prices if ordering online.
  3. Check for high vendor ratings if applicable.
  4. Set a limit for bidding or choose one that has a set price if choosing an online auction site.
  5. Purchase in bulk or search for a "lot" of movies for some of the best deals.
  6. Check on return policies before buying, ensure that you have an original dated receipt, and make sure to watch the movie soon after purchase if the seller offers returns. 
  7. Look for movies in original packaging to avoid purchasing a bootleg copy.

How to Save Money at the Movie Theater
How to Find the Best Deals at the Movie Theater

Many movie theaters offer a lower price for a matinee, or early afternoon, showtime. Movie patrons might also find special offers for certain days of the week or may find coupons online or through special offers when buying other products. Group discounts, loyal customer deals, or discounts for purchasing tickets in bulk or during certain times of the year may be available.

Movie theaters may utilize social media to increase a loyal base of customers and may offer special discounts to those who subscribe to their page or might offer discounts to loyal customers or to those who purchase tickets online. Do a search for the name of the movie theater and check to see if they have their own site or blog.

Discount Movie Theaters Offer Deals for Those on a Budget

Some movie theaters cater to a cost-conscious market. They may offer movies that have run at the higher priced theaters for a few weeks for greatly discounted prices and typically offer a single price for all ages, such as a $2.00 theater. Many of these are older movie theaters offer lots of rich history and they may not be as crowded as the newer theaters. One of these older theaters posted one simple message on their sign during hot summer months: "We have air conditioning." Those who have lived in the South probably understand the great value of that advertising approach! Sometimes it doesn't really matter what movie is running when it is 100 degrees in the shade.

Some of these discount movie theaters also offer deals on snacks or may offer ice water for free. Some of you may be thinking that going to the movies should always include popcorn and a drink, but those extra expenses can really add up, especially if one has a large family. My kids would much rather go to more movies and have fewer snacks, so that's what we do. You might consider packing a special snack to enjoy after the show at a nearby park and turn the outing into more quality time together with the family.

Theaters may also offer a summer movie special in which you purchase a ticket for seeing matinee movies on a certain day(s) of the week throughout certain summer months at a discounted rate. These are often geared toward those who enjoy G-rated movies. Some of these specials may not be advertised, so it may be worth your while to contact the movie theater and inquire about any specials near the beginning of summer vacation from school.

Movie Rental Deals

Those who have limited space, travel a lot, or do not wish to acquire their own movies may wish to rent, rather than purchase, movies. Many programs are available with monthly rates or fees per movie, such as Redbox, Netflix, and Blockbuster online. Some programs offer delivery while others offer kiosks where movies are picked up and returned by the customer

Those who choose an online rental program might wish to check for:
  • a free trial
  • selection of movies and how they are organized
  • types of movies offered (DVD, blu-ray, etc.)
  • services offered, kiosk locations (if applicable) and price options
  • responsibilities of the customer and company – read the fine print
People might also consider purchasing video streaming. This enables people to watch a movie via the computer live or on demand.

Find more ideas for saving money by reading How to Find Free Movies.

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