Someone Is Selling Tens of Thousands of Movies For $1 Million on eBay

If you want to instantly own enough movies to open your own video store, you can, thanks to a massive eBay auction featuring thousands of DVDs, Blu-rays, VHS, and more. Unfortunately, you'll need quite a bit of extra money to do it; the auction (which offers more than 20,000 movies including box sets, rarities, and more) has an asking price of $1 million. While that might not seem like a terrible start-up cost if you really are launching your own video-rental place, and the convenience of getting everything in one place is hard to beat, it's probably outside of the price range of most casual collectors and fans. You can check it out here.

In fact, when you break down the price of the movies, dividing the Buy It Now asking price of $1 million by the 20,319 movies up for grabs, the amount comes out to just shy of $50 a piece, meaning that unless some of the rare and out of print movies in the list weigh in at a pretty hefty price tag (possible but not necessarily likely), the pricetag for this collection weighs in at something closer to early '80s pricing than anything after it. Of course, they also come with free shipping -- which, when you consider that there is probably a few truckloads of movies pictured, is a pretty significant savings.

Those old enough to remember will recall that back then, basically every pre-recorded tape cost an arm and a leg. In 1987, a massive marketing campaign, paired with a Pepsi ad to help Paramount turn a bigger profit, made Top Gun the first major blockbuster to be released on VHS at a retail-friendly $19.99 price tag. While that's still a pretty stiff price tag in 1987 dollars (per the Inflation Calculator website, it would equate to about $45 now), it was significantly less than the $89.99 being asked for similar hit movies like The Karate Kid Part II at the time. It's almost ironic how close that inflation-adjusted $44 is to the $49 of the "world's largest collection" currently on eBay.

There is clearly still some not-insignificant consumer demand for physical media; recently, Netflix broke down why almost 3 million of their customers still get DVDs delivered by mail.

As Netflix focuses more on original content, and companies like Disney and Warner Bros. invest in their own streaming platforms, DVD rentals may be a more significant part of the Netflix experience than many users believe, since some of the most popular things on Netflix belong to others who can theoretically change their agreements. Just recently there was a "scare" where Netflix almost lost Friends before re-signing a massive deal to keep it...for now. The lack of licensing issues also means that virtually every movie that has had a mainstream DVD release is still available on the site. That is about 100,000 titles available for DVD rental from Netflix, as opposed to around 6,000 titles to stream.

There is also a quality-of-experience component to the choice: Netflix lacks the variety and curation of traditional video stores, which not only carried a little of everything (as opposed to just what they could get through licensing deals) but were stocked by employees who could develop relationships, and have conversations, with customers to make it easier to make customized recommendations. The Netflix and Amazon algorithms can be effective, but it is difficult, especailly when the "obvious" choice might be something that is not available on the service in question. That, in some ways, makes reverting to physical media -- either via Netflix, the 700 Family Video locations still left in the United States, or some other means -- the closest thing the audience has to having everything they want in one place.

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