DVDNOW DVD Vending Kiosks: Scam or No Scam?

DVDNow offers a DVD rental business vending opportunity.  While their website does not disclose the required investment (unless you fill out their form), franchise and business opportunity ads state that $20,000 cash is required.

Do you have any experience with the DVDNow kiosk vending or similar business opportunity?  Please share a comment below.

Also read: DVD Vending Kiosks at Fire Sale Prices (Don’t Buy New!)

DVDNow DVD Rental Kiosks:  The Dream.

Here’s the dream scenario that DVDNow is conjuring:  That there is an $8 billion rental market for new release movies.  You can “skim the cream off that $8 billion market”

From the DVDNow website:

“Imagine owning a chain of fully automated DVD rental machines without the overhead or hassles of a big staff or a several thousand square foot storefront. Did you know that almost 90% of revenue in the $8 billion DVD rental industry is generated through the rental of new releases. Now imagine that you can skim the cream off that $8 billion dollars without investing hundreds of thousands in a brick and mortar store, franchise licenses, and all of the time, overhead and management hassles that come with starting and running such a business. DVDNow is proud to introduce the most innovative way to skim the cream off that $8 billion market – an automated DVD rental kiosk that is open 24 hours a day, has a footprint of only 5 square feet, requires no staff, and rents nothing but profitable new releases.”

DVDNow DVD Rental Vending: The Pitch.

DVDNowHere’s the basic pitch:  There is a window of opportunity in an $8 billion market that will soon be gone if you don’t act now.  DVDNow will assist you in getting top locations for your machines (which are abundant).  You will get the training and support you need to run a profitable business that can be managed remotely via the Internet.

From the DVDNow website:

With the limited number of DVD rental kiosks in operation we are at a point in this industry that will never occur again. The massive demand from consumers, and the unprecedented availability of top locations, are just two of the reasons why experts are uniformly endorsing DVD rental kiosks.

  • DVDNow offers a truly scalable business, allowing you to build from just a few locations to a large network of rental kiosks
  • We can offer assistance in selecting and securing great locations
  • Our training and support staff will teach you what you need to know to run a profitable business
  • Our industry leading remote monitoring application allows your entire business to be managed remotely from any computer with Internet access

DVDNow Vending Complaints & Red Flags

On the BizBuySell Answers website, commenter Robert Wallace wrote:

I owned 2 of these kiosks… I truly believe that it is a bad business to get into.. the hidden costs that are not discussed at the sales orientation amount to about 25% of the operating costs of these kiosks, irregardless of their location.. plus technology has flat passed it up.. it was a good Buseness model in Europe 6-7 years ago but now Bit Torrents, Free Movies by Hulu and others, Netflix has become so cheap, not to mention the biggest competitor in the Industry is privately owned, REDBOX.. they are everywhere and they rent for $1.00.. the average cost of the dvd’s you buy will be about $17, possibly more.. and the buyback program for wholesale DVD’s is not good, get exact info on that beforehand.. just check out how many are desperate to sell their kiosks, it’s unbelievable.. I gave up last year and chalked it up as experience and a loss…

Wallace warns of hidden fees & costs, and mechanical problems:

You must use their software and their technical assistance.. they charge for that tech assist, they charge for all rfid’s, they charge for all parts .. The Kiosks are made in China … they are great when they work but they are a nightmare when they don’t and your phone will be ringing off the hook because there is noone there at your kiosk.. people will rip you off left and right… you will either be chasing money or trying to find the dvd’s they stole.. the credit card companies that process your transactions are outright THIEVES… all the costs will never be explained to you… the owner of the company LIED to me .. I was told I had to buy two kiosks… thats $35,000 US plus shipping…. come to find out from other owners that they didn’t have to buy 2… Do Not get involved in this Business…

Jason Miller cautions that DVD vending could soon be obsolete:

DVDs are going the way of the dinasaur. Right now you can order the most recent movie releases “on demand” from cable/satelite right from your couch. I’d expect the number of movies that one can access at home will continue to grow exponentially… In my opinion, the business model is not great, and the only people who make money are the ones who sell the machines.

UnhappyFranchisee.com does not have firsthand experience with the DVDNow vending business opportunity, but we always urge extra caution when dealing with a vending opportunity, especially one that promises vending machine placement services.  Vending machine locators are notorious for making big promises, demanding cash upfront, and then not delivering as promised.  As Always, Caveat Emptor.


Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

133 thoughts on “DVDNOW DVD Vending Kiosks: Scam or No Scam?

  • May 7, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Hi, there we have two kiosks for sale in northern GA (Gainesville) if anyone is interested. We’d like to sell them at $10k each (inventory included at least $2k worth).

    We can be reached at [redacted].

    Thank you,


    Kay: We are accepting advertising for an inexpensive classified ad page for DVD Kiosks. Please contact me at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com. Thanks! ADMIN

  • June 16, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I will likw to buy some kiosks so any body selling please email me [redacted]

  • June 16, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I will likw to buy some kiosks so any body selling please email me

  • June 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I have on S250 kiosk that I’m interested in selling. Please email if you’d like more information. Price negotiable. I’m moving and can’t keep up with the stocking of current location.

  • June 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I have on S250 kiosk that I’m interested in selling. Please email if you’d like more information. Price negotiable. I’m moving and can’t keep up with the stocking of current location.

  • July 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I own 55 units. It is not an easy business, but it is certainly possible.

    Your biggest expense will be your stock of new movies. That will also be your primary source of revenue. Old movies are an afterthought, often rented only when there is a rent 1 get 1 free coupon involved.

    Your second and third biggest expenses will be your kiosk operating software and your credit card fees. Your credit card fees can be anywhere from 2-3% to 9-10%. I have had both plans and I prefer the 2-3% plan. There will be people that say it is not possible, You will find a few that say that it is, and I am one of them. Your software is next. I couldn’t get the changes that I wanted made to the DVDNow software so I “focusintense”‘d. (Might google that.) This will make things a lot easier and will get you in line for the lower card rates.


  • July 16, 2015 at 11:48 am

    to amanda im interested, price inventory , transfer fee, and your location, does it come with tv can i use my own distributers

  • July 19, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I’m looking to buy a kiosk at the end of the year. I have some questions before though.

    Ryan: Go ahead and ask your questions here or email me at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com – ADMIN

  • July 19, 2015 at 12:40 am

    I’m currently looking to talk to someone that’s been in this business for awhile. I’m looking to bring some to Japan.

  • July 19, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Are you looking to sell your DVD vending machine or machines?
    Or are you looking to buy new or used DVD vending kiosks at a discount price?

    This site is #1 in Google for the term “DVD Kiosks for Sale.” Because of the continuous requests from you who want to buy or sell machines, I’m setting up an inexpensive classified ad page with ads starting as low as $99 for three months for buyers and $125 for 3 months for sellers.

    You can sign up here in the advertising section: http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/support-franchise-fairness/ or email me with questions at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.



  • July 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Kenneth- price is negotiable, I’m asking $3000. There is a transfer fee that DVD Now corporate charges of $3000 if you use their Connections software. This machine will come with 100 DVD’s, including new releases, and with 2 side advertising panels. I will also provide the tv and mount that sits on top of the machine. You do not have to use DVD Now, but I don’t know enough about the programming to use other providers. You will also need the merchant processing company (you can use anyone you want). Please email me direct at [redacted] for more info. Thank you!

    Amanda: We are accepting advertising for an inexpensive classified ad page for DVD Kiosks. Please contact me at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com. Thanks! ADMIN

  • July 20, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I have an s250 fully stocked and ready to go. I paid 8500 plus the 3000 set up fee for dvdnow. id like to sell it for 5000. my number is [redacted] I only have to machine. no tv or side panels but it works fine. I have all current new releases. im in the dallas ft worth area. you must come and get it.

  • July 22, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Craig Cummings has 8 DVD kiosks for sale in Austin, TX

    (8) DVDKiosks FOR SALE (NEW S250/USED S110)
    Seller name: Craig Cummings
    Location: 7801 N. Lamar, Suite C-47 Austin, Texas 78752
    Description: 5 (purchased new) S250s and 3 (purchased used) S110s TV Monitors included on four of the S250 kiosks as well as artwork display panels on all 250’s and 110’s All with updated inventory. Seller wraps for shipping. Buyer provides shipping or picks up.
    Asking Price: $8k/each for S250’s and $3k/each for 110’s
    Contact information: esr0128@msn.com

    If you’re interested in posting DVD kiosks you have for sale, email us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com. Thanks. ADMIN

  • September 3, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I have a 250S that is about three years old but in excellent working condition. Make me an offer!

  • September 30, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I have a unit that was being left out on the sidewalk because it was abandoned by the franchisee. Please contact me for details. Thanks

  • October 29, 2015 at 4:58 am

    i am looking for a service manual for my dvd kiosk was given one but I cant even l\fault find the problems

    please can anyone help

  • October 31, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I have a DVD Now kiosk for sale. It was used for one season inside a mall. Now in storage, have no stock, or TV that he used on top. Machine was operational when removed from mall. Please give me an offer, like to get it out of my garage, Thanks

  • November 7, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I am looking to purchase DVD vending machines…kiosk..etc.

    Please contact me with what you have.


  • December 3, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I have 10 DVD Machine that need software can anybody help me with that

  • December 3, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I was just checking around the internet for anything on DVD kiosks now, because I was about to jump in head first. Now, I’m very disappointed. I really thought I found my dream. I can’t believe you have trouble getting paid by the credit cards, and then the expense for breakdowns, forget it. I don’t need the headaches. Thanks you all!

  • December 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I have 2 DVDs now kiosks for sale in McDonough, GA. $1000 each or best offer.

  • February 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I am looking to purchase a DVDNOW S250 at a low cost.

  • February 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    been trying to have dvdnow help with sretup and a software upgrade seems they are not interested if u didnt buy them new sorry dvdnow didnt know it was buy from us or else anyone know of any other software companies that might support pls help and thanks in advance there are alot of good people out there god bless!!!

  • February 24, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I have 2 S250 kiosks for sale. Please call or email me if interested. [redacted]

  • July 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    I own few gas stations in East LA. I have been trying to contact Redbox franchise to get DVD kiosks for my business. They haven’t even replied to my request. I am assuming they are too going out of business. If they give a chance to small business owners like us, they might hold on to their business for longer. It is a win-win situation for both of us.

  • August 13, 2016 at 4:12 am

    I’d been saving up for a while to get involved in this business of DVD kiosk vending, but now that I have the money, I came to the realization that DVDs are now considered a dead media! The 99 cent stores are selling DVDs that came out 3-5 years ago for..99 cents. Dollar tree, family dollar, National wholesale liquidators, and other bargain bin oriented spots are too. you can purchase all for under 2 bucks! Ebay sellers are now selling DVDs in lots to get rid of them, amazon for like a freakin’ penny!! You can rent them at your local library for free..Who would want to take a ” trip” to rent/pay for the night? Too many people streaming movies and music these days. This franchise can now only be successful if you are in a third world country where it’s hard for internet to be accessible (internet killed the DVD)

  • August 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Does anyone know of an alternative software company that you can set up and run the machines through?? I found focusintense and someone told me cereson, but I have emailed both and not received a response. We could make these profitable if someone comes up with a cheaper software. dvdnow is ripping people off charging way more than they pay for the parts, machines and software. These machines are not as popular as they once were and they are squeezing as much as they can now.

  • October 13, 2016 at 6:23 am


    I cannot even get mine to work, theb found out that this THIEF in Vancouver, BC wanted $5,000 for the license so it would operate.

    I actually flew there to their “office”. There is no office.

    Yeah, I have two brand new machines I bought for $17,500.

    Give me an offer.

  • December 20, 2016 at 4:05 am

    I own two brand new S250 DVD NOW kiosks. They worked great for about a year. Then, all of a sudden the person that I was paying my license fee to decided to retire and told me I had to pay my $50.00 per month, per machine fee to would be DVD NOW, located in Vancouver Canada.
    I called them and reached this guy and he told me he would do it, “For TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS”, AND LAUGHED.
    I thought he was joking and he said “Okay, $5,000 for each machine”. I told him I had been paying $50.00 per month, and no way would I pay $5 K per month. He said ver batim “What are you going to do then?” He then gave me his cell phone number and hung up.
    I called him the next day and asked him if he were serious. And he told me “You Americans, you always want something for nothing.” What else are you going to do?
    I told him I was going to drive up to Vancouver and beat his ass. And about a month later I did. His address is that of a nice office building so I went in and went to their supposed office and low and behold, the lady in the next office said, “Yes, there have been quite a few people here looking for them and they have never been here”.
    So a scam? To say the least. And then there is a company called Cereson out of China. Nice people that have contracted with DVD NOW to do their technical work. Except that I bought from DVD NOW, and they have their own technical people. Cereson can license also, but they seem to be afraid and in their “Chinese accent they say “Oh no…DVD NOW is company you must call–they your company”. I tell them what they are doing and they just don’t care.
    I would hope the guy that runs DVD NOW reads this because I would like to talk to him face to face. A guy that wrote earlier said they moved to another country to escape pesky American laws, SPOT ON BUDDY!
    Scam—stay away!

  • September 28, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    I have to add to this list. We bought 3 machines and its been nothing but challenges. if anyone wants details just post here.. we are actively searching for any alternatives then dealing with these people.

  • March 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

    For sale 25 x S100 machines for sale. Pick up in Donegal Pa after May 15th. Make me a offer now and i will be pulling them out of locations the first 2 weeks of may. All movies have been sold already. Send me a bid and I will send you a answer. Thanks

  • March 30, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Has anyone solved the software problem that makes these machines any better than a boat anchor? I have an application for the machines into a specialty market but I understand the software is the problem.

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