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As Netflix ends its DVD rental service, Scarecrow steps in

Scarecrow Video's ad for its mail-based rental service.
Scarecrow Video

After a quarter of a century of mailing out DVD rentals to customers across the U.S., Netflix recently announced that it will be ending the service later this month.

While most Netflix customers are happy these days streaming their content from the company’s library of online offerings, there are still some folks using the long-running mail method involving physical media.

Convinced that there’s still a call for such a service, Scarecrow Video, the biggest movie and TV rental store in the U.S., has stepped up.

The 35-year-old Seattle-based business announced this week that it’s making its vast library of content available across the country as part of a mail-based rental service.

Once you’ve signed up online and been approved — a process that takes up to two business days — you can browse Scarecrow’s library or DVDs and Blu-ray discs and make your selections, ordering up to six titles each time.

Each shipment costs a$12, which includes return postage and needs to be returned within 14 days.

Scarecrow actually started its rent-by-mail service during the pandemic, according to the Seattle Times, testing it with 600 customers across 25 states. With Netflix recently announcing its intention to close its mail service, Scarecrow decided it was the right time to take its own service nationwide.

Scarecrow’s collection is bursting with an astonishing 145,000 titles. To put that in perspective, Netflix only offers around 14,000 titles globally. With that in mind, a good number of Netflix subscribers may find themselves signing up for Scarecrow as well so they can pick up the more obscure titles that they can’t find online.

Take note, however, while the vast majority of its titles are available for rent, excluded from the mail-based service are rare, out-of-print, and irreplaceable videos that require a security deposit; VHS and laserdisc formats; new releases (as they have a short rental period); and adult titles.

There are a few other places besides Scarecrow where you can still rent DVDs and Blu-rays., though their libraries aren’t as big.

Now, if you do decide to dabble once again in the world of physical media, then don’t forget one important thing: a machine to play it on. With that in mind, here’s some advice on the best Blu-ray players currently available.

Interested in learning more about Scarecrow’s mail-based rental service? Then head over to its website.

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Trevor Mogg
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