A recent question from a reader:
I have a question for you about un-hoarding movies. We have two tubs full of movies taking up space.
We rarely have time to watch movies these days, and if we do it is usually through Netflix or Redbox. But it feels wasteful to me to get rid of all the DVDs we have. Because what-if, one day, all I want to do is watch Shallow Hal or have a House marathon and I gave those DVDs away??
With Netflix and RedBox and whatnot, should we keep all these things? What is your criteria for getting rid of movies?
Movies, good question. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember what prompted us to acquire a movie collection in the first place.
The early 70’s: The only choices were the television or the theater. Did you miss seeing a movie? Too bad, you had to wait until it came back to theaters.
The 80’s: You could record Cosby or Family Ties on your VCR. Blockbuster first opened its doors in 1985. Families everywhere are amazed at the wonder of fast-forwarding.
The 90’s: Going to the store to rent a VHS movie was what you and your friends did on the weekend. You hoped they had the latest release you wanted to see on the shelf, otherwise you’d end up renting Overboard again. Know someone who works at the movie store part-time? Score! Maybe they can get you some free movie rental coupons.
The 2000’s: Who wants to rewind? Let’s start a DVD collection instead. We’re so current with our new technology and flip cell phones. Movie purchases are more affordable; buying a DVD is about the same cost as renting a movie a couple of times, without the late fees and wondering if they have what you want in stock. Plus you can loan it to your friends. Win!
The 2010’s: Movies are plentiful now. Here we are with streaming internet, $1 movie rentals at Redbox, free content on YouTube, cheap Netflix subscriptions, and more choices than we could ever watch. As technology changes, I think the concept of the home movie library will change, and DVDs will go the way of the cassette tape.
So no, I don’t think it is wasteful to give away old DVDs. The money has already been spent. Any media or technology has current value, not intrinsic value. They aren’t investments for the future.
Are you thinking of selling your movies? Don’t wait too long — your collection of DVDs probably has more value now than it will a year from now.
And that being said, I do keep the movies on DVDs that you see above, our favorites and kid flicks from when we traveled overseas and other times we couldn’t rely on the internet, but I don’t need to buy more because there are so many other options.