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Video Game Rentals: Online Vs. Offline

If you rental video games on a regular basis, below is a comparision that may help you get more out of your rentals and save you money next time you decide to rent video games.


Some of the video stores I’ve rented games at charge anywhere from $5.95 and up for a rental period of usually 3 – 5 days. This is ok for someone that doesn’t rent too often. But if you like to play the game until you’ve finished it or you rent several games per month, this can get very expensive at a traditional video store.

Titles are limited in video rental stores. The video store may not have the specific game you are looking for or they only have one rental available. If it’s a popular game, you have to keep checking back to see if it has been returned. By the time you get it, its old news.

Late fees are another problem with traditional brick and mortar video stores. If can’t get to the video store on time, you get to pay their late fee. Some video stores don’t charge late fees and you can actually keep the game a little longer. However, if you keep the game beyond the date on your receipt your credit card is change for the full price of the game. If you decide to return it, you’ll get your money back and charged a re-stocking fee. Either way, they are getting a late fee out of you.

Get your games faster through a traditional brick and mortar video store. Simply drive to the store and get your games when you want them; if they’re available.


If you are a big time gamer and rent games all the time, online renting may be right for you.

Different rental companies online have different rental plans you can choose from; but it’s usually one or two games out at a time and you only have to pay the monthly charge. You can rent as many as you want during the month. If you get one you don’t like, simply return it and they will send you the next game in your queue.

Depending on where you live, turn around time for mailing can be slow. I once waited a whole week before I received my game in the mail. When you send a game back, you have to wait for the company to receive it, then you have to wait for them to send you another game.

Online queue management is great because you can add the games you want to your list and when they become available they will send them to you.

Online video rental sometimes has the availability problems as the offline stores. If a title is not available they will send you the next title in your queue.

No late fees with online video rentals. Keep the game as long as you’d like and you don’t have to buy it or pay any late fees. You only have to pay your monthly fee.

Overall, you should look at your rental habits and how much you are spending right now per month, as well as how much you play video games. It may be worth it for you to start renting them online if you’re a hard core gamer. If you decide to give online renting a try, I would suggest going with 2 games out at a time, this way you still have something to play while waiting on the mail.

However, if you only rent and play video games once in awhile, you may want to stick with the traditional brick and mortar video stores instead of paying a monthly fee.