Who is buying new release DVDs at Blockbuster? Not me.

I’d like to take an informal poll. Does anyone take Blockbuster up on their $5 pre-pay offer for new release DVDs? I was in a Blockbuster store the other day and the guy behind the counter tried selling me on a $5 pre-pay for the upcoming release of the new Dark Knight DVD. I say he tried selling me because I wasn’t buying.

The $5 pre-pay supposedly guarantees you a copy of the DVD when it releases. The problem is the actual price of the DVD at Blockbuster is $19.99. I know this because I asked. In my world, that means the amount of money I still owe Blockbuster to receive the DVD is $14.99, about the same price I could purchase the DVD without a $5 pre-pay at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com or any other big box retail store.

Your bonus features are the same as my bonus features

Funny thing too. After the Blockbuster employee noticed the look of shock on my face when he mentioned the $19.99 price tag, he tried striking up a casual conversation about how cool the bonus features on the DVD will be. I had to bite my lip not to say, “Yeah, the same bonus features that will be on the same DVD down the street for $5 cheaper.”

So, if it’s not low price and it’s not bonus features only available on Blockbuster’s copy of the DVD, what’s left? I guess it’s the guarantee that I get my own copy on release day. But I can’t think of a single time where I was turned away from a Best Buy on new release Tuesday because they ran out of inventory of a new release DVD. Not one.

And besides, if the DVD was really that important to me anyway, I would have pre-ordered it on Amazon.com weeks ago.