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setting-pricesSeveral commenters on this site have claimed recently that Redbox kiosks in their areas have been charging more than $1 per night for rentals. The kiosk vendor confirmed yesterday that it is currently testing two different pricing models, one in Albuquerque, New Mexico and one in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Kiosks in Albuquerque are charging $1.50 per night, and Harrisburg machines are charging $2 for the first night, with the customary $1 per night charge for additional nights. The higher test prices are for both new releases and catalog titles in both areas.

These tests support Coinstar CEO Paul Davis’ comments last month that at least some Redbox kiosks had software installed that would allow variable pricing.

Our old friend, Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Eric Wold, feels that even if higher rental prices became permanent, Redbox would not lose many customers.

“I still believe consumers will view the value and convenience of Redbox for the immediate gratification of a DVD rental as superior to the other rental options out there. . . Personally, I’m a little concerned about the negative impact to the ‘ per day’ marketing message that is now so widely associated with the Redbox brand.
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. . However, if Redbox is able to push through a higher price point without negatively impacting the brand or traffic/usage to any great degree, then the positive benefit to margins could be substantial.
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Wold also feels that if they are successful, higher pricing models may be just the sort of compromise studios are looking for in their battle with Redbox. Either way, Wold thinks that higher prices would have a positive effect for Redbox because they would help offset the increased costs incurred by the company when it acquires titles from retail channels.

Is this limited, higher pricing test going to come and go without lasting effect, or is this the beginning of the end for $1 per night Redbox rentals? If higher prices become the norm at kiosks nationwide, will it affect your Redbox habits? Let us know in the comments.

[via Home Media Magazine]

140 Responses to “Redbox Begins Testing Higher Rental Prices”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jason [visitor]

    ditto what everybody else says, if Redbox raises prices, Netflix almost certainly becomes the more attractive audience. We love you Redbox, but not as much as you might think. If the prices go up, we go away.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tiffany [visitor]

    I just went to the Redbox and was going to rent the new release UP! untill I saw that it is now $2. I walked away. The great thing about Redbox was that it was only $1 a night, now that the price is going up, I’m not renting anymore, unless it comes back down. A lot of people are having financhial problems, and you’re gonna up the price on us? Ridiculous!

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    DFP [visitor]

    My wife just called me to tell me she was going to rent a movie on the way home but it was $2 now! I told her well, I will look into it but if they have raised the prices we will go to Netflix. Like others have said, if you figure that you have the DVD for 2 nights you end up paying $3 for it now…well you do that more than twice a month and you have paid for a Netflix. Plus I HATE waiting in line at Redbox while some teeniebopper and her little boyfriend snuggle up in front of the screen and read thru the description of EVERY movie before finally deciding to rent them ALL.

  4. Member [Join Now]

    That’s BS. Next they’ll do away with free rentals. If the price is up in your area walk away or else this will be permanent at all redboxes. I like redbox but not enough to pay 2 bucks. Id rather go to a real video store if the prices go up for the same reason that DFP mentioned.

  5. Member [Join Now]
    Mommyowie [mommyowie]

    I wholeheartedly agree with the majority. I recently began getting movies from Redbox, it took me awhile to feel safe using them, and have rented quite a few. But now that the prices have gone up, my kids and I have rented fewer. It makes me wonder what the owners were thinking. I mean, we customers have used their service because of the convenience sure, but mainly because of the cheap price, but now that they have given us this second, more scrutinizing look, it does make more sense price wise to use a service like Netflix. I mean, add it up, even at the old Redbox $1/night price, the Netflix 8.99/month is worth having to wait for the mail.

  6. Member [Join Now]
    Mommyowie [mommyowie]

    By the way, to “deer22”, the way it looks, they have already done away with their free rentals. I have only received one from them and they said it was going to be a monthly thing….and that was over two months ago. Hmmmm…. I guess it was just a tease??

    • Member [Join Now]

      seems they are not even given them away for movies that dont work… had a movie that froze last week .. emailed them and never heard a thing back

      • Member [Join Now]
        Mommyowie [mommyowie]

        Ho hum, I guess nothing lasts forever or is as good as it seems. Cliche but true.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Robert S. [visitor]

        If you have a DVD that freezes, call them up. I rented a movie about 3 weeks ago and it had a huge gash on the back that made it freeze and quit playing after the first 20 mins. I phoned the redbox toll free number and got 2 codes for free rentals. I’ve used one and I’m waiting for Redbox to get some good selections again before using the other one. 2 weeks of boring releases at redbox….

        BTW, i looked at the redbox in my Albuquerque store on Thursday when I did my weekly shopping – the signage say $1.50 now. I saw 30 movies were rented that night so it doesn’t appear – at least initially – that the extra 50 cents is making much of a dent in rentals.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          rb [visitor]

          How do you know the total number of movies rented from a specific kiosk? Is there somewhere on the kiosk that said 30 movies/dvds were rented out so far that day/night? Just asking because I’d be interested to know how many dvds are rented daily at my local Redbox kiosks.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        moxie [visitor]

        Now on this point, I must give kudos to redbox. I got a defective dvd, e-mailed them, and the very next day had a reply and instructions as to returning the dvd. If I recall correctly, redbox also gave me a free coupon. I thought that was very good customer service.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dean [visitor]

    Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Eric Wold, feels that even if higher rental prices became permanent, Redbox would not lose many customers.

    Guess again!

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    TOd [visitor]

    I live in Harrisburg and haven’t rented a movie since the price increase. I used to rent 2 a week but now I will be looking into a Netfix account. The reason that I was willing to stand in line for a greasy fingerprinted, scratched up dvd was because it was just a BUCK>>>

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    tuna [visitor]

    Here in my village we have DVD play , movie cube , and red box so we are lucky that red box will not be able to raise their price and maybe a bb kiosks to a dollar tree store here in central cali

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    moxie [visitor]

    $1.00 a nite was working well with this retired person! If the price increases, count me out! I’ll make selections from my kids’ Netflix subscription. Adios.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rab [visitor]

    My wife wanted a movie from Redbox but walked away when she noticed the higer price in Albuquerque. I don’t know if we will rent anymore if the prices stay above $1. It is a hassle to sometimes get scratched DVDs, have to wait in line for others to rent. I do expect we will rent less, borrow more DVDs from the library and friends. One suggestion I passed on to redbox was to have a return slot that can be used while others are browsing or renting.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    Turbolover22 [visitor]

    When they stopped giving out free codes, they stopped getting ANY money from me.

    I would take my free code and get a movie for the whole family. Then I would use the card and get a movie for myself that the rest of the family had no desire to watch.

    Without the free code I really had no reason to go to redbox. They stopped getting my one rental and any late fees. We usually forgot at least one day to return either movie. So they started missing out on about $3 from me.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    Valleybo [visitor]

    I just walked from a redbox. I’m in Albuquerque and the 1.50 price pissed me off. I might as well just rent from netflix for that. Going to the grocery store two days in a row is more inconvienient anyhow, and Netflix has such a bigger inventory. I used it for a while but canceled because I kept getting scratched DVD’s from… now I may just go back though.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    steve ray [visitor]

    I have netflix and they have a distribution here locally (Albuquerque). I get a turnaround of one day. Got Star Trek today on the day of release. So, when I went to a grocery store to find the price had raised by 50 per cent to $1.50, I walked away. I am done with Redbox. Their DVDs are always dirty and apparently handled roughly–not so with Netflix. They come clean and ready for use.
    Good riddance Red Box…you are usually behind in the release date anyway.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Reed Hastings [visitor]

      Let the truth be told. Netflix actually buys some of their dvds from Redbox after Redbox has rented them for a few weeks. Its a great situation it saves Netflix a lot of money by not having to stock up on new releases during the first week. All of the Netflix suckers naively believe they should wait for all the popular movies.

      And here’s the best joke. Netflix users can get most of the old movies for free on the internet or from their library.

      HAHAHAHAHAHA….all the way to the bank!

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Greg [visitor]

    I’d pay it, if it meant the difference between having the big studios on board or not.

    I’m a redbox fan, but I’m already bored with my selection options and wishing the Blockbuster hadn’t left my neighborhood. Plenty of great obscure movies there for $2. Of the aprox. 300 titles my local box holds, usually about 25% are rented. That leaves me with just over 200 titles to choose from. I find myself excited that it’s Tuesday, just for the chance of a new title.

    Great idea, but RedBox days are numbered with true in-home on-demand in the near future.

  16. Member [Join Now]
    djjojo1 [debra]

    people need to stick together. that’s why the world is running over Americans its ok to raise gas prices, credit card interest etc… if people would say hey were not going to go here or buy here then things would change. why rein a good treat of getting to see movies for $1. come on were in hard times someone needs to not be greedy.

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ritchie Rich [visitor]

    $2 only works for the hottest movies. $1 works for the crap stuff they have that’s old. $1.25 works for everything else.

    Seems pretty simple to me. Looks like Redbox is ditching the dollar menu and pricing their product according to demand.

    Better rent The Hangover before they raise prices!