Rent Video Games? Online Rentals vs Storefront Rentals

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Storefront rentals had been to be the only dominating market for 12+ years now when you wanted to rent video games, ever since the conception of the VCR. Many businesses have taken their company online due to the fact that startup costs are remarkably lower compared to storefront costs and they can virtually expand their business to an entire nation or worldwide within a few short months. Why not expand the same concept for movies and game rentals? It was only a matter of time.

Depending on where you live and the geographics of that area, I can definitely say that this will cause a great influence on where you choose to rent video games. Many rental companies can be found within a few miles of your home, but others are found at distances that you may not want to particularly travel every time you need to return a game.

Fast and reliable service is a huge factor for most people living in the information age. Everything has to be now and fast these days. So lets look at a few factors that will help you make your decision a little easier. Convenience, games in stock, game formats, availability , pricing, and customer service are the general factors we take into consideration for any movie or game rental company. Lets look at each one:

CONVENIENCE- If you live in a rural location, then, online game rentals is without a doubt your best bet. To travel anymore than 8 miles out of your way to rent anything is more than most people have time for. Being able to receive your rentals at your doorstep, in the country, is a huge benefit to online game rentals.

If you live in more a a urban or suburban neighborhood, then locations of your nearest branch will determine this for you, but you can never truly beat games delivered to your front door everyday, even if you have one mile to travel. Being able to pickup your game in your pajamas or bath robe without getting dressed to go to your local store is laziness and convenience at its best. WINNER: ONLINE RENTALS!

GAMES IN STOCK – This can vary from store to store, but for the most part they are all about the same. Most larger stores (Hollywood Video and Blockbuster) can carry a stock of 50-100 games at a time. This number doesn’t even come close to the stock of games that are carried by online rental clubs. We are looking at 2000 games at the very lowest on up to 3500 + games at the high end of the table. You are also more likely to find more older and newer games available to rent at anytime. WINNER: ONLINE RENTALS!

AVAILABILITY- I’ve never really felt like I’ve had too much of a choice when it comes to renting at stores. It was more of a deduction of what was left to choose from at the time you made it there. When it comes to online rentals, you can practically play any game that you ever wanted to play at anytime. There, of coarse are a few games from time to time that you may have a short wait attached, but during those times, you will easily be able to choose another game from the thousands listed. Once that particular sought after game is available, you will know about it whenever you log into your account, instantly. WINNER: ONLINE RENTALS!

GAMES FORMATS- Even though I have always thought that having PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube games available was quite a selection at the local rental stores, I didn’t even know how good it could get until online rentals introduced their selection. Not only does online rentals contain the 3 major consoles, but they also have such portable game rentals as Game Boy Advance, PSP, and Nintendo DS. Many of the larger online stores are offering XBOX 360 and PS3 games as well for the next generation as soon as the consoles come out. WINNER: ONLINE RENTALS!

PRICING- Renting games has always been somewhat cheap ($5-$8), but it can definitely add up depending on your rental frequency. If you are renting more than 5-6 a month, on top of late fees, which is bound to happen from time to time, then you may be out-of-pocket sooner than expected. Online rentals make it easy for you. Rent X amount of games and keep them as long as you want for only X amount. Game prices fluctuate from game plan to plan, but these prices are still far more lower than you’ll ever find at your local store. Check out the pricing here. WINNER: ONLINE RENTALS!

CUSTOMER SERVICE- Waiting in lines and dealing with crowds and irritable employees to rent video games is enough to drive anyone mad. This in itself can make you not want to deal with your local rental store at any cost. On the other hand, online rentals do not have lines, crowded stores, or irritable employees to deal with, so that experience is eliminated altogether! Just select a movie from your browser and wait 1-3 business days for delivery and that’s it. If you ever have troubles or problems with receiving or returning games, email customer service and your inquiry will be returned within 24 hours. Some of these online rental companies even have phone support! WINNER: ONLINE RENTALS!

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