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.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE DVDNOW VENDING OPPORTUNITY?
PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com


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

  • November 12, 2013 at 11:15 pm
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    I have a Kiosk for sale , $3000 [redacted]

  • November 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm
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    This company also owns a franchise opportunity called Tapsnap. According to them, the future of photo booths. I was looking into that and researched they also own DVD Now, so after reading the comments I’m hesitant on pursuing. Anyone have any thoughts or advice to share?

  • December 24, 2013 at 1:17 am
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    you have to have gotten in early and purchased all used kiosk to make it. Our company owns 20 plus and we make a profit. More you own the more you will make.

  • December 31, 2013 at 8:04 pm
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    SID
    I appreciate your info. I’m wondering if there’s away to have contact so that I might ask some more questions.

  • January 8, 2014 at 5:04 pm
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    I have a lot to say in regards to DVDNow the Company. Stay Away! Here is why…1)They are never truthful with you(i can give examples that should be posted on this website) 2)They are a Company in another Country(legal actions are hard to come by) 3)They will not and have not(to my knowledge) disclose of how many owner operators are in the US(information you would love to hear prior to moving forward with a purchase from DVDNow) 4) 5) 6) 7) …on and on and on. A lawsuit must be filled against them for the international criminal intents that they have induced on the Americans buying into there brand of product.

  • January 9, 2014 at 12:19 am
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    I got into the business in 2008, and I own 2 S110 machines. Initially I really thought I was onto the next best thing only to realize after 2 years of spending so much money that I had to opt to go out of business and out the machines in storage which means I’m still losing money! Getting into this business was a nightmare, I’m still paying off these machines that are in storage! I moved locations so many times just to trying to find better locations! I live in DC and our market has been flooded with Redbox for years! Heck, I even go to the Redbox forovie rentals nowadays! :-) I could never sell advertising or really even rentals! I could go on and on! If anybody thinks they can beat the odds and want to buy S110 model please contact me I will make you and offer you can’t refuse! I’m tempted to get these machines scraped for metal!

  • January 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm
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    Jaime I would be interested in your two 110 kiosks before you take them for scrap. I can pick up as soon as you would like. [redacted] Thanks, Troy

  • January 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm
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    I was in the Home Video Business for 25+ years, and worked on DVD vending
    projects with Blockbuster (US &International), and Redbox. DVD NOW began in Florida many years ago. Back in the early to mid-2000’s they had this “get rich quick” scheme going, and ripped off lots of people.
    That company was eventually relocated to Canada, where they avoid those pesky US laws… The probelm with this model is:
    Cost of overhead -including purchasing product and the actual kiosks is way too high.
    DVDNOW leaves it to you to “find” your locations, so unless you live in some remote part of the US with NO REDBOX, WALMARTS, or C-Stores chains, you’ll likely never make a dime.
    This model requires you own-operate probably 10 units before you can cash flow and make a decent salary.
    The parent company rolled out a photo booth franchisee- these are pretty common in most parts of the US also, so i’d stay away from that model as well.

  • January 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm
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    I got into this biz 2 years ago with 8 machines. 7 s100’s and 4 S-250s. The market is flooded with these machines now. You can get them used for as little as $1000 for 7 S100’s now as I recently saw on Craigslist.
    Locations are very difficult to find. As most have been taken by RedBox or DVDxpress. If you do find a decent location DVDnow has flooded most of the areas with their own machines so it has become a cut-throat market. As is the case in my state. I have had 2 locations taken from me by other DVDNow machine owners. After being told by DvdNow that would not happen because I was the only one in my area they were selling to.
    If you haven’t purchased one of their $25K machines and you try to purchase a used machine for your business be ready for some VERY high transfer fees. 2 years ago I had used machines transferred for $1000 each. Now the transfer fees are $3000 per used machine. And if the machine you are selling isn’t paid off yet, forget about selling it. They won’t allow it. That’s why so many owner operators are stuck with nearly new machines in their garages.
    Tech support is awful. I have spent many many hours on hold over the past 2 years. And nothing, and I mean nothing is EVER their fault. Its ALWAYS operator error. Even when its not.
    I also believe I was sold used machines by them claiming they were new. Here’s what I experienced:
    I had a hard drive die on me,11 months after a purchase of a new machine. The tech guy told me there’s no way that machine is still under warranty that serial number is at least 2 years old.
    Turns out he was right. When I pulled out the hard drive to replace it. the MFG date was 10/2010. 2.5 years before the machine was delivered to me as new. But of course as mentioned above. They are a Canadian company so good luck with any legal recourse.
    At one point I had 11 machines in service at as many as 25 different locations (if it didn’t perform after 3-6 months I pulled it). As of this writing I have 3 still in service. I am only using the business now as a tax write off.
    Inventory is your biggest expense. Wholesale cost for a new release is only $1-$2 less than what you would pay at wal-mart. And in some cases you can actually get them cheaper at wal-mart. Which is sad because wal-mart uses the exact same distributor.
    Thanks to RedBox, Disney and Warner have set numerous restrictions against Kiosk owners. NONE of the movies you order from them have special features because they are “rental Only” movies that cost exactly the same as the Non ‘rental only’
    For those that have machines sitting in their garages still I’d say this. DVDNow has recently tripled the costs of parts for their machines. So find you local DVDNow blog and part your machines out. That seems to be the best way I have found to make any of your money back at this point. Thats what I did with my S100’s.
    If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t.
    Hopefully my experience will be informative enough that you won’t either.
    Good luck.

  • January 29, 2014 at 9:30 am
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    I got three kids 15,10 ,3 all boys and I’m 37 I got lucky been in the business for 6 months and the locations I have are great . One is a 24hr laundry Matt . The other is only cause I got in a residential complex that I grew up in . I’ve been beating Redbox cause ppl don’t want to go out in the cold.They can come down in their slippers or PJ’s even in the summer time. Here’s my profit guys sixteen apts on each floor and there’s 33 floors . The whole complex has 65 buildings and 25 town houses. All I have is 4 kiosks might buy more. Redbox is $1.50 I am a quarter cheaper. Did get a letter from redbox to stop but the complex voted to keep me in the buildings. You got to promote your stuff 110% everyday . I’m a wrestling promoter and work at gamestop. If anyone have any questions you can reach me at my email [redacted]. Always happy to help out . Dennis

  • February 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm
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    I am a nineteen year old college student and was considering getting a kiosk to put on my college campus, i will get the yes or no answer from the president Tuesday morning. i would love to get more info rather i should do this or not, and if so, how i should go about doing it. if any of you have any advice for me, please email me at [redacted] i’d also love to speak with you about the matter Dennis

  • February 11, 2014 at 12:24 am
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    Dennis, if your interested I have an S250 with side panels that is less than a year old and fully paid off that I’d be willing to sell.

  • February 24, 2014 at 2:57 am
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    Hey, I’m interested in buying used DVD kiosk. Please email me if you have one for sale

  • March 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm
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    Michelle what are you asking for your 250 kiosk

  • March 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm
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    I have 2 used kiosks. a s250 and a s110. located in Oklahoma. email me if interested. [contact unhappyfranchisee[at]gmail.com if interested]

  • March 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm
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    Hi guys – You can call me information about how to go about acquiring some used equipment. I have a thought and some cash to try the thought out. I just need a machine for 15 in Oregon to see if I have the right game plan.

  • March 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm
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    This is NOT a franchise! People, you need to have some business sense that DVDnow is not going to do everything for you, which gives you the freedom to run the business the way YOU want to. One reason my husband and I got invovled.

    We went to Canada to check these folks out and I can say how pleasantly surprised I was that everyone was very down to earth and not interested in pushing us into anything. Just wonderful people and I can say that from first hand experience, not like the nay sayers on here.

    The business isn’t for everyone. We were told everything up front. We did our reseach instead of wanting someone to change our diapers. We’ve been in this business for 5 years and just bought three more machines at the end of last year. Does that tell anyone anything? (There are people on this post who will glady buy your old machines, because they DO MAKE MONEY). When the idiots in charge of this country ruined our economy once again, we were grateful to have this business to fall back on. We lost our jobs in construction and have been living on our DVD business income ever since.

    No, it will not last forever. Yes, you need to have some balls to have your own business. Yes, you take some risks when you invest. Yes, you need to find ways to cut costs and streamline things for your needs. This is called freedom. If you can’t handle it, maybe you need a franchise-which even then, you are not guranteed anything. DVDnow has always been a great support to us. I believe their new franchise is their way of weeding out the whiners out there who don’t want to take personal responsibility for themselves and want to blame everyone for their own failures (sounds like Obama voters). Like anything else, someone tries to offer an awesome and inexpensive way to earn a living and whiners have to smudge their reputation.

    Well, take this post for what it’s worth… FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE! Not some whiner who blames their failures on everyone else. Or can’t comprehend the paperwork they sign when it state the rules and that there are no guarantees, etc. DVDnow goes far and beyond supplying people with information and getting started. It’s up to YOU to go beyond that.

    I won’t post our website or info, as I don’t want one of these whiners to interfere with my business.

  • March 22, 2014 at 1:23 am
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    I want a good condition dvd now, sendme information plis, if some vary sell one for chip and good condition, thanks. Im here in Phoenix arizona.

  • March 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm
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    im i interested in any used s250 machines. please contact me so we can both be happier we have only been at this for about a year have two machines and will say have received some really great help from dvdnow nut even better help from other owners

  • April 15, 2014 at 5:05 am
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    Ive always believed truck stops were a untapped location……also rest stops……truckers love movies

  • April 21, 2014 at 11:47 am
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    I have an S250 with side panels for sale in KS.

  • April 28, 2014 at 10:38 am
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    If you’re looking to buy some kiosks I have 5 plus everything else you need to get started (battery backups, monitors and brackets, ect) for sale in TX. Contact me for more info

  • April 28, 2014 at 11:21 am
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    If anyone is interested in advertising their DVD kiosks for sale on this site, email ADMIN at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com

  • May 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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    I have (2) S100 and (1) S250 for sale. Make me an offer

  • May 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm
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    Looking for low cost DVD.
    DC seller still offering sale?
    Do you have to operate with a Merchant account?

  • May 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm
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    I have a 250 for sale. Excellent condition and full of current movies. Located in Ashland Kentucky. Make offer!

  • May 28, 2014 at 10:21 am
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    Looking to buy some DVD Kiosks if someone has one for sale please e-mail me

  • May 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm
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    Kevin Gray if you are near Kentucky, call me [redacted].

  • June 17, 2014 at 1:51 am
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    If anyone is selling your DVD now kiosk contact me [redacted]

    ADMIN note: If anyone would like to advertise their machines/machines wanted, contact me at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com. Thanks.

  • July 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm
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    I have two DVDNow S250 machinesthat I would like to sell. Business was not bad in Massachusetts however I moved to Phoenix AZ. and currently my machines are in storage. I am not planning to place them anywhere at this time.

    Before I look at scrapping these machines, I will accept any reasonable offer. for one or both machines. Both are only 2 years old and in perfect working condition.

    You can email me at me at [redacted]

    Editor’s Note: If anyone would like to advertise machines for sale, please email ADMIN at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com. Otherwise we don’t allow personal contact info to be disclosed in comments. Thanks. ADMIN

  • August 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm
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    new and thinking about investing, but need advice should I or not invest in DVD Now. thanks

  • August 21, 2014 at 1:19 am
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    Been in the business for 3 years, did well, but looking to sell an S250 with full inventory. TV mounted on top that can run ads for surrounding businesses. Excellent location in Chicago! please email me if interested.

  • September 1, 2014 at 10:35 am
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    I have DVD NOW KIOSK for sale. Have one S250 and 5 S110. Only serious offers please. The S250 is a year old.

  • September 10, 2014 at 12:42 am
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    Hello friends ,I been reading this all along because Im gonna start buying this machines soon for a project that no one have touched yet. I wont release it here of what is about but is a market that has not been touched. Soon ill be posting how many machines Im gonna be buying. I wont pay more than 4000 for the S250’S. I COULD SHARE MY IDEA IN ANOTHER STATE THAT IS NOT FLORIDA BUT WE WILL HAVE TO TALK BUSINESS. A MARKET THAT HAS NOT BEEN TOCUHED.

  • October 10, 2014 at 12:38 am
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    I AM A FINANCIAL PLANNER AND SINGLE MOTHER IN LAS VEGAS, AND WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ANOTHER FORM OF INCOME, NOT COMMISSION BASED. AFTER READING ALL THESE COMMENTS, I AM VERY CONCERNED, AS I WAS EXCITED. I LOOKED INTO THIS BUSINESS LAST YEAR, AND THE COST OF THESE MACHINES NEW, HAVE DOUBLED….$20,000 IS FOR WHAT BESIDES JUST THE MACHINE? IS THERE ANYONE IN LAS VEGAS, NV AREA WHO HAVE TRIED THIS BUSINESS? SUCCESSFUL?

  • October 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm
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    I Wanted to know how much it would cost, to have someone make me software for my dvd kiosk? I seen websites that make them online. I bought the kiosk from ebay, and I don’t like the dvdnow software. Does all dvd software take a % of what you make, and how much of a % does dvdnow get? I never wanted to use them, but I just got the software, but must pay 3,000 to use it, so I don’t. how does this work? Thanks. PS, I have a spot, and I don’t have to pay nothing :) it is a mini mart and no Redbox any place around.

  • October 16, 2014 at 5:30 pm
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    I am 64 years old. I was in the high tech computer communication industry for nearly 30 years and successful. I semi retired early and wanted a business that I could run by myself. After speaking with several owners (happy ones chosen by DVDnow Kiosks), I thought this was for me. I have three units installed by January 2013.

    I had several service issues requiring that I replace a processor and a couple of hard drives. Being under warranty I will say they sent me the parts needed at no charge. It is not a simple task to change a processor. I also suggest that if you are moving a kiosk to a new location, remove the hard drive first and reinstall after the unit is in place. Maybe you can afford a high end mover that will handle it with extra care, but I could not afford it. In year one I moved 1 kiosk twice and another once because of lack of business. Too many Redbox machines already in convenient locations. Also, a 950 joules surge protector is not strong enough at least here in Florida. I moved up to 3750 joules surge protectors and have weathered many thunder storms and electrical spikes and outages since.

    I want to sell my kiosks. If any one is interested contact me through email or call [Redacted]. They are all the latest generation machines.

    One issue I have that I wonder how you all handle it is theft. I was told by notable owners to use a low pre auth and a term of 12 to 14 days. I have had many movies rented and never returned and the sale declined by the bank issuing the card. There is no way to get any recourse or support from anyone including DVDNow Kiosks. I could charge $15 pre auths and have a 6 day billing cycle and that would not ensure that I get paid. Don’t bank on it. And who is going to charge $15 to their card to rent a movie for one night? It may stop the the actual thieves but it would most likely kill your business. I was not informed in the presale cycle of this theft issue.

    I like the people in the locations I have but in reality I should move all of them again. I will not. I am done. I own my kiosks so I will leave them running for now while I look for a buyer or buyers.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    P.S. I can tell more tales just ask. Send me an email or call.

  • October 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm
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    Who says my statement is awaiting modification? I thought this was a speak you mind owners blog.

    Mike

    Mike: Once your first comment is approved, future comments show up immediately. This is to prevent comment spam.

    One of our few rules is that personal contact information is not allowed in the comments. Feel free to have conversations here, publicly, so all can benefit.

    Thanks,

    ADMIN

  • October 21, 2014 at 7:18 pm
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    I like many on this blog have 2 110 Kiosks that are sitting in my garage
    while my wife and I continue to pay for them. I believe that there is still opportunity
    but we have lost the dream. Considering scrap metal, any interested parties we will sell cheap, the constant reminder is very hard. Contact [redacted]

  • December 14, 2014 at 10:08 pm
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    I am in mo and was intrested in purchasing a used rental kiosk if anyone close has used one please contact me at [redacted]

  • December 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm
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    I have one S250 that I’m willing to sell.

  • January 27, 2015 at 6:37 pm
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    Hello all,
    I have 8 dvd now kiosks for sale. # are currently producing in locations around Austin and I can get you in more stores in Austin if you are interested in doing the leg work.
    We are willing to sell the entire buisness name, model, locations, machines and inventory.
    Please let me know if you are interested.
    Thanks, Craig

  • February 16, 2015 at 1:01 am
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    Redbox just went tits up in Canada…out of business. That said, the demand is there for dvd kiosks, just maybe not up to the numbers Red Box was seeing. They seem to have wanted the machines to output as much as in the USA but Canada has a smaller demographic. Anyhoo, I am totally open to putting kiosks in the stores and locations in Western Canada. I know where they were and I know they were busy. If anyone here wants to rent me machines, lets talk. I don’t want to buy any machines, but I will rent them and maintain them. I have a pickup truck, knowledge of dvd distributors in Western Canada and the know how to make this work! Please email me, Ryan, at [redacted] if you are interested. Thanks!

  • February 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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    Admin: How do I contact the people that have machines for sale if their contact info is redacted?

  • February 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm
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    If enough people are interested I’d consider setting up a classified page for buyers and sellers of used DVD machines with basically their location, machines available or sought and how to get in touch with them. I’m thinking $99 for three months (for individuals. Companies might be different)? Anyone interested?

    You can email me at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com

    ADMIN

  • March 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    Is there anyone that knows how to bypass the software or reprogram the hard drive so I can use my personal computer to get the reports and put trailers in to play? Not having $3,000 to be hooked into their web site makes for a dead dvd machine.

  • April 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm
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    My business partner and I started our DVD Now business in 2008 and have done great. Even with Redbox’s supermarket takeover in the US. Unfortunately, he is now a full time pilot and I’m on the road as a Advertising/Marketing Sales man for an established Fortune 500 company. We have sold 11 of our 12 machines and have 1 left to go. If anyone has an interest, we are going to sell it CHEAP.

    You can contact me at [redacted] and we’ll trade contact info and take it from there. This is a great business if you have multiple machines. 1 will not cut it so I would hope that the person interested is a current DVD Now owner.

    I look forward to your response!!!

    John

  • April 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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    Hello,

    We have 10 outdoor kiosk with 10 illuminated side panels. Our company just purchased by another smaller company and we are selling these unit off.

    Price 50K (or best offer) for the 10 Kiosks and 10 side Panels. We will pack them but you will be required to handle the shipping from Washington DC to your location.

    The sale of these kiosks are “As Is”. They are fully operational today and still in service at existing locations.

    If you are interested please send me an email at [redacted]

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