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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

NetFlix.com Company History & Personal Review

9malls.com review of NetFlix.com

Rating: ***** 4 out of 5 stars

Web site: http://www.NetFlix.com

Review:

History of NetFlix.com:

If you would like to know more about NetFlix.com the company visit Wikipedia.org and type in NetFlix.com. NetFlix.com is the Internet's top online DVD rental service with 5 million subscribers and 65,000 titles. To give you an idea of how big NetFlix.com is… BlockBuster.com or BBI stock in quarter 2 2006 reported net income of $68.4 million. Revenues for second quarter 2006 were $1.32 billion. For NetFlix.com net income was $16.8 million and revenues for 2nd quarter were $239.4 million. The $239.4 million net revenue represented a 46% year-over-year growth. NetFlix.com isn't as big as Blockbuster judging by the numbers, but with a 46% growth increase they are coming on fast. NetFlix.com began operations in 1998.

Summary:

About 2 months ago I signed up for NetFlix.com through the web site SlickDeals.net. I noticed that they had (still have this offer) a sale going on where you could get a 14 day trial for free. OK, it wasn't 30 days which would make more sense, but 14 days of free movies is 14 days of free movies so I can't complain. I was amazed how fast the DVDs were shipped out to me. They arrived the very next day after ordering them. The fast shipping is due to NetFlix.com building a shipping center near the Seattle area. The DVDs stay local so there isn't any need to ship across country. You probably have an advantage, shipping speed wise, if you live in a large metropolitan area. I was planning on subscribing to NetFlix.com only for the free trial period, but I was surprised how much I liked it.

Positives:

It's way better than cable, close to being better than TIVO, better than HBO, Showtime, and traditional movie stores. It also beats cable because most of what's on cable TV may pass time, but really sucks. I'm thinking of shows like the Simple Life and Laguna Beach to name a few. NetFlix.com is almost better than TIVO, but not quite because TIVO can record current TV shows commercial free as opposed to old seasons. It's better than HBO and Showtime because if you're into movies these networks are expensive and seem to play a small set of movies weeks at a time. There isn't enough variety on most premium cable movie channels. It's better than a video store because there is way more variety and it's easier to search NetFlix.com for what you want to rent.

Negatives:

So now I'll get into the downside of NetFlix.com. I am currently singed up for the 3 DVD at a time plan for $17.99. Video stores charge around $4.00 per rental, that's about 5 DVDs a month for the same price as your NetFlix.com subscription. If you shop at a grocery store for your videos you can sometimes get DVDs for $2.00 per rental. That's 10 rentals per month for the same price as NetFlix.com. $20 doesn't sound like much for "unlimited rentals" but if you do the math that subscription is actually pretty expensive for your average 1-2 movies a week motion picture watcher. I'm one of those average people, I am simply too busy to watch more movies than that. The only reason I still subscribe to NetFlix.com is the selection. I can find TV shows, rare documentaries, and old movies that are rated and reviewed.

Conclusion:

The content and selection is why I stay a member of NetFlix.com. If you live for movies NetFlix.com is definitely for you.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ThinkGeek.com Review: "The Geekiest Store on Earth"

9malls.com review of ThinkGeek.com

Rating: **** 4 out of 5 stars

Web site: http://www.thinkgeek.com

Review: ThinkGeek.com is a site that caters to all the geeks among us. ThinkGeek.com is apart of the Open Source Technology Group. The OSTG (Open Source Technology Group) was founded in 1996. According to the site Wikipedia.org, “ThinkGeek was created in 1999 and was brought to fame after it was slashdotted (popular web site linking to a smaller one). ThinkGeek was then acquired by Andover.net, the owner of Slashdot, which was in turn acquired by VA Software.” Chances are if you use a computer on a frequent basis you might have some geek tendencies making ThinkGeek.com the site for you. When you arrive on the homepage the layout looks a lot like one part blog mixed with one part shopping mall. The site featured 12 items on their home page as of October 2006 with at lot of written content. Items ThinkGeek.com features are things you would never see in any Walmart or Target. Products are unique and one of a kind making them perfect for gifts or putting next to your computer desk in the office or at home. For example, one item on the home page is called “USB Mini Desktop Aquarium.” The USB Mini Desktop Aquarium at ThinkGeek.com plugs directly into your USB port on your computer which powers this mini aquarium. I don’t know about you, but that sounds awesome! There’s not practical reason one might have one of these especially when there’s already great fish tank aquarium computer screensaver software, but since I’ve never seen one of these it’s just cool and I need to get one. Once powered up the fish in this mini aquarium move and are illuminated compliments of a blue LED.

Some cool highlights of ThinkGeek.com and 9malls.com shows you how to save money at ThinkGeek.com:

ThinkGeek.com allows customers to post “action shots” where customers send in photographs featuring the Think Geek product. For example there is one action shot of a women posing for the camera while wearing the Think Geek T-Shirt “Geek is Sexy.”

OK, now on to how one saves money at ThinkGeek.com. You must visit the “clearance” section for deals. Since products they sell are rare, usually you won’t be able to find products even on eBay. If you do find the product of eBay it usually will be the same price or more than the one on ThinkGeek.com. Even in the clearance section there are a lot of cool, unique, products to choose from.