Customize your experience by selecting your role:
Owner, Property Manager, or Traveler
Do you have videos for your guests? How do you decide what to get? How many do you lose? Recently a guest suggested we may want to get some more recent DVDs for use with our players. We had a big collection of VHS tapes and now have a modest number of DVDs, but are wondering how many to have on hand. In the past, we didn't worry too much about supplying a lot of new movies because there was a rental place in our neighborhood business district, but it just closed and the only one now is 7 miles away in the main town.
Expect that most people bring their own music and we have iPod docks, etc. Also expect that some movies will disappear - one reason we have not upgraded to blueray!
We must have 50 DVDs in our place. I know a few have disappeared, but you can get them so inexpensively these days. Most we pulled from our own collection; like movies our kids have outgrown, older movies, movies we just don't care to watch again. Others we bought to watch ourselves while we were there with the intent to leave them. Sure, you can rent a DVD for $1, but you can buy one for $5 and leave it for your guests to enjoy. We have gotten several comments about our collection.
The $3 and $5 bins at Walmart are amazing. Often they have movies less than 3 years old, and a number of blockbusters too.
For us it's a family affair:
"Wow - I wanted to see this in the theater"
"Was Dr. Doolittle 2 as bad as the first Dr. Doolittle?
"No, I told you last time, Dusk to Dawn is NOT appropriate for the rental house!"
Comedies go over the best, by far, with light adventure movies a close second (think Italian Job)
Lots and lots of kids movies, especially the Pixar stuff. We try to stay away from the commercialized stuff that are Saturday Morning cartoon extensions. We don't want to put moms and dads in the awkward position of enticing thei kids to pester them about buying new toys.
Hehe I'm pretty sure it's "From dusk Till Dawn" but close enough .
I just buy for the most part age appropriate movies, it doesn't need to be overly complicated, it's just movies afterall. We actually have a blueray player at home and a lot of movies you can buy the blueray version and they give you a DVD version as well that I just end up sticking at the vacation rentals. Haven't lost a movie yet, actually, I've ended up with a few new movies and games from people leaving them there.
Also there is an xbox360 there so it is a possibility that they could just watch netflix movies if they have an account already. If you're real worried about losing DVD's you could pay for a Roku which is similar to netflix, that way they can just pick from what I've been told is thousands of movies and tv shows.. and this way you dont have to worry about phsyically losing anything.
Since our vacation rental is right next door to our house, we just put our own collection over there. I also tend to scour to Wal-Mart $5 bin and sometimes you get really great finds there. I just picked up a copy of "The Italian Job" and "I Am Legend" in that bin . I also have received compliments on my DVD collection and I have yet to lose a movie. If you can swing it, get some movies that are a collection - we have a few that people really enjoy and we enjoy ourselves. We have the entire "Lord of the Rings", "Star Wars", "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "The Mummy" collections as well as a wide variety of popular movies. We even have some that are of 'local' interest - i.e. "The Last of the Mohicans" was filmed here in western North Carolina and "Cold Mountain", while not filmed here, is set here in western North Carolina. When "The Hunger Games" comes out, I'll probably get a copy of that too . Putting a gaming or streaming console in your rental is also a good idea for streaming movies, though sometimes the choices of movies are not that great, but you can stream popular TV shows.
Thanks for all the helpful input. It's very interesting that you don't lose the DVDs. We had (and actually still have) a huge collection of VHS tapes which people really enjoyed. And we still have a VCR. But time marches on and we need more DVDs. Plus, no one ever rewinds!
Perhaps the way to go, as most of you suggest, is to look through our collection for ones we don't want (The Scorpion King - really?!) and try to find bargains on newer and desirable titles. Especially family-friendly. Any other places you find great deals? We did look through the $4 bin at Best Buy and got several - Pirates of the Caribbean series and Captain Ron: Obvious choices for our location!
And what about CDs? Do you have those too? We do but no way could we keep up with newer music and we wouldn't know what to get anyway. Our collection is Classical, Jazz, Island-themed, Broadway shows, Putamaya and New Age. Jimmy Buffet and Frank Sinatra very well-represented.
Love to hear what you have.
I don't have any cd's at all at my places, just an Ipod docking station to the surround sound, I dunno maybe I'm just to new agey but when I actually see someone walk around with a walkman or have cd's in their car I think of how quaint it is... it's pretty rare these days for people not to have an ipod or some sort of media based electronic device. So it's funny seeing walkmans and cd's.
We have been building our collection of DVD's the same as others mentioned here, some from our own collection, some from Walmart and Best Buys. I also go to Ollie's and check fairly often. Since our rental is in South Carolina/Charleston area, we have several local historical fiction Civil War type movies.
No music CD's since tastes vary so greatly plus we have satellite TV which includes music stations. We do have an i-pod dock as well.
I have a dvd and vhs collection for our guests. We do not have a cd collection although we have a multi disc player. We have an iPod docking station with speakers.
The majority of our guests are families, of all types and ages: some with young children, some with teens, adult children travelling with their parents and the grandchildren, two siblings with their families . . the combinations are endless in a house that sleeps 8 - 10..
I transferred my children's vhs favorites (Sesame Street, Disney, Pixar, etc) to the vacation house as they grew out of them (they are in their early twenties now - time for Disney, with a few exceptions, to go!). The Sesame Street videos are amongst the most used and most appreciated by parents.
I have tried to appeal to all in our media collection. I have a selection of comedy, adventure, classics, musicals, and adult dramas. I also have a collection of movies set in the local area and region, ranging from literary classics to modern crime films.
I purchase my dvds on amazon. I have a prime membership which provides free two day shipping of nearly all dvds, including many sold in the amazon marketplace at very low prices. The prime membership is $79 per year. and an amazing deal if you shop amazon (I am not affiliated with amazon, I like the pricing, selection, and convenience).
Dvds in the marketplace can be as low as $3 - $5, including shipping. Some are new. There is a regular stream of people unloading slightly used (very good to like new condition) dvds at exceptional prices. I keep track of what I want to purchase in my shopping cart and periodically go through it to find bargains as sellers list new items constantly. I just purchased Chicago (like new) for $3.09 (including shipping).
I often buy used dvds for my family's use. They work just like the new ones at a fraction of the price.
EDITED to include:
Our collection numbers 100+ movies (dvd and vhs).
I know from experience with my own children that it can't hurt to have lots of good choices for children. It's better to keep childreni in front of the tv than running up and down the stairs, looking for somethiing to keep themselves occupied on a rainy day. Board games, puzzles, playing cards and other pursuits are good, but movies are best. I expect video games are also good for rainy days; we do not have a video game system at present.
I'm also a prime member on Amazon. It's great. You get everything in two days and don't pay anything for shipping. Note that some items are not prime eligible, but that's not many, and I believe it's items that are sold by companies other than Amazon.
I negleted to answer these questions stjvilla:
We have not had any dvds taken from our collection. As someone else noted, we have had a few left behind by guests.
I base my selections on my own personal taste, the 1,000 best movies ever made according to the NYT, family member recommendations, and media reviews.
We are avid film fans. There are always movies on loan from our local library coming in and out of the house. We usually borrow before buying, unless it's a film we have seen at the theatre.
I realized that I forgot to answer the stolen question too.
None have ever been stolen, although it's not unusual to find them in the wrong cases, or even sitting out unprotected on a counter or table when we come back. And since we also have PS2 console with lots of games, we often find movies in game cases. I'm sure it's one of those "Oh shoot - we forgot to put the DVD's away last night and it's time to go. Just put them in there anywhere - we have to hit the road NOW!"
We've also come across a few DVD's that people brought themselves and left in the player after they leave. Which brings me to my biggest nightmare, and the reason why I always check the DVD players and PS2 consoles whe we come in to clean. With the mix of all guy groups, all gal groups, and family groups, I am deathly afraid of getting a phone call from a family that finds an "adult" dvd in a player.
So far I haven't come across any in our dvd players while cleaning, but I'm quite sure some of the all guy (and all gal!) groups have had adult flicks based on other stuff we've found left behind after they check out. To each his own I say. But I'm just dreading the day I miss something awful in a player right before a family rents the house.
Funny you mention this issue - years ago we took our son and 4 of his friends, 16 & 17 years old, to St. John. (Yes, what were we thinking?!) We rented a large house and that first night went to bed well before the guys. When we all got up the next morning, they told us that some of the tapes did not contain the movie on the cover - they were soft porn! Of course they watched one. We laugh about it now but we were not too amused at the time and told the rental management about it. And yes, they belonged to the owner.
Just keep looking in the players after each guest!
We also have had compliments for keeping a pretty updated collection of DVD's. We also chose to keep a 3D HDTV so guest have about 8 3D movies to choose from and again got several remarks for doing so.
What about offering Netflix instead? It's just $8 a month, and offers thousands of up-to-date options rather than just a few. The cool thing is you can offer it at your rental, plus use it personally on your laptop or tablet, so it's a great value. Never have to worry about DVDs disappearing either...
I hesitate to do Netflix because our internet provider has a limit on bandwidth use per month. With smartphones, tablets and laptops, and multiple families (we have a 6 bedroom house), there is a lot of internet use. If I have a Netflix account that will significantly increase and we might end up paying some pretty high internet fees. Just something to think about.
I wouldn't recommend Netflix. The shows & movies available on line are outdated. FYE & Best Buy sell used DVDs at great prices. I think some pawn shops also sell used DVDs.
I've never had any DVDs taken-just cases mixed up.
I have Netflix at home and love it (I'm currently watching Madmen, which I missed the first time around) and have been wondering about setting it up at my VR. But I worry about having a complex video setup, having to write out explanations of how to switch between the blu-ray and DVR, getting late night calls when the guests can't figure it out, and having to check that everything is set back to TV at changeover. Have any of you actually set up Netflix at your VR and do you have any trouble with guests getting confused?
Carol, we have netflix and some of our guests love it! We have bought bluray players that have a netflix button on the remote. Guests who know what netflix is, use it, others don't. Rarely get questions about it. I do get questions from guests (usually older) about how to switch between TV and DVD mode (I then direct them to push the input button a couple times to get it back into TV mode from DVD mode). Just make sure your internet connection is fast enough (if you have just a 'hospitality' package, it may be too slow).
We have Netflix at our VR. So far no questions about how to access, but two positive mentions in reviews. We have only a handful of kids DVDs. There is a Red Box close by and between Netflix, Blu-Ray player and Red Box, everyone has been very happy. We considered creating a DVD collection, but really don't see the need. DVDs are going the way of CDs.
I think smart TVs and netflix/amazon instant video is a great way to go. These TVs have come down in price a lot, and allow guests the flexibility of having movie channels, without the ongoing monthly cost. Since I hope all of your rentals have wifi, a smart TV with netflix is a great way to go!
Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals
in addition to Netflix we do have some DVDs in the condo. When we see $5 movies we want to see on sale, we pick them up, watch them, then put them in the condos (and write it off as an expense). It's a win-win.
I bought a Samsung Smart TV and market the fact that guests can login to their Netflix or Hulu accounts or even their iTunes account to order movies. I really don't want a bunch of old DVDs to keep track of.
I think that Netflix et al is the way to go. Our problem is that because our condo is what is in an "almost third world" country, it is not available. So, we are stuck with the antiquated technology of DVDs, and we also have "Showtime" which is much less expensive than HBO.
Most came from EBay. Search for <DVD lot>, and you can average around two to three dollars per disc delivered.. They will be a little old, but guests appreciate them because they will watch movies that they missed. At two to three dollars a disc, don't even think of keeping track of them. Our instructions are: "If you just have to have one of the DVDs, just take it home with you".