I've been a horror movie fan for a long time; around 20 years or more. I've also been collecting DVD's, of varying genres, for around 10 years. (And VHS for a long-ass time before that.) With that being said, I like to think that I know a bit about this crazy hobby that we all share. So, today, as I was watching Creepshow, a thought came to me; why not share what I know? Not just about horror in general, but about collecting horror films on DVD.... and that was the genesis of this article/column.
Today, I'm going give you a few tips on how, and where, to find cheap horror DVD's.
Where to buy:
- eBay & Amazon - This one is a no-brainer. There are millions of people on eBay/Amazon who sell a variety of items, some at almost a fraction of their normal prices. Be wary, however, because there's always the possibility of getting ripped off.
- DeepDiscount.com - A great online retailer that sells DVD's for less than retail price. The bulk of my DVD purchases are from here.
- The Bargain Bin - Department stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, and Big Lots all feature a section with discount-priced DVD's. The best time of the year to find horror DVD's in the bargain bin is from September-October (prior to Halloween). I've found/seen such gems as Child's Play, Pumpkinhead, and the Friday The 13th films for around $5 a pop.
- Flea Markets and Garage Sales - Believe it or not, I've found a few DVD's, randomly, at garage sales. Don't expect to find any rare titles, but expect to pay next to nothing for whatever you do find. The only downside may be that the DVD itself will probably not be in the best shape. (i.e., damaged packaging, scratches on the disc.)
- Used DVD Retailers - A good portion of my DVD collection has come from places like RePlay Games, Blockbuster, and other places that buy/sell/trade used DVD's. Surprisingly, I've also found a fair amount of rare and out-of-print DVD's at places such as this; The unrated (Canadian) version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (with the original poster art on the cover), Madman, and Cannibal Holocaust are a few examples. The downside to finding DVD's at places like this is that, not unlike garage sales and flea markets, the DVD's might not be in the best shape. However, I must say, that I've only encountered one used DVD that didn't work properly.
- Take Advantage of Discounts/Sales/Coupons - Many online DVD retailers will, from time to time, have a weekly sale, or offer coupons. DeepDiscount.com always has some sort of 20% off sale going on. (Plus, they give you a 10% off your next purchase every time you order.) Many used DVD retailers often have special sales and/or discounts. My local RePlay Games recently had a sale where all of their used DVD's were 50% off. Most of their used DVD's range from $5-$10 anyway so, coupled with the 50% discount, I really cleaned up.
- If There's Only One Left, BUY IT - This applies, especially, to rare DVD's. If there's only one left, chances are, it won't be there the next time you visit.
- Don't Judge A DVD By Its Cover - This applies to used DVD's. If the case is damaged, have no fear; most of the time, a damaged case doesn't necessarily mean that the disc is damaged and, look at it this way, a case can be replaced.
- What You SEE Isn't Always What You GET - This also applies to used DVD's. Most of the time, used DVD retailers keep the discs and the cases separated. Much like a rental place, the discs are kept near the register and the cases are, of course, on the shelf. This is done to keep thieves at bay. While it's a good security measure, sometimes things can get fucked up. A good example of this is if the store has both widescreen and fullscreen versions of the DVD you're buying. Make sure to tell the clerk, at the register, which version you want. Just because the case says 'widescreen,' doesn't mean that's what you'll get. A lot of the time, clerks are careless and will give you the wrong version.
Now, with your new found knowledge, you're ready to go out and buy some horror DVD's without putting such a huge dent in your wallet. Happy hunting!