If you can muster a bit of personal initiative, here is a nice way to borrow DVDs which are otherwise not available from the library. Yes, of course you can buy them or swap for them, but this method is generally faster.

What you need to do is to start a co-op with your friends. Trent at the simple dollar recently talked about starting a bulk buying co-op for groceries. I think it is a good idea except that I bet that the IRS gets really interested once a profit shows up somewhere. Of course that leaves all the work on one person and when that happens things usually breaks down unless family ties or similar ties are involved.

For a DVD co-op the benefit/work is mutually distributed. What you do is to make a list of all your DVDs, present the idea to your friends, and have them make similar lists, so you can borrow from each other.

Some observations:

  1. Make sure that everybody in the co-op has the same attitude towards taking care of things. There are two kinds of people. Those with pristine scratch-less DVDs and those that like to store their DVDs in their gravel bags judging by the scratched looks of the DVDs. I don’t know why they don’t take care of their DVDs, nor do I know why they own bags of gravel. I guess they are just weird!
  2. Accidents happen. Make sure that you are not to blame. Once I borrowed a DVD and when I opened the case the DVD was broken. I was sure that I had not dropped, hit, shot, strangled, choked, or otherwise done anything to the case that would cause this. The guy I had borrowed it from said he had had it sitting in his trunk for a while (don’t ask). Now who was to blame? So always check all DVDs before you take them home.
  3. Some people just like paying to watch movies. “Oh, we only pay $1 at redbox”, they say as a way of showing off their wealth. There is little you can do about that. They might let you borrow their DVDs but they usually don’t want to borrow yours and they never get around to making a list.

Other than that the DVD co-op is a great idea, because friends are usually interested in the same kind of movies and TV shows.

Originally posted 2008-08-26 07:24:44.