Friday, July 13, 2007

Gamefly - How To Make Money With Game Rentals

GameFly is a United States online video game rental subscription service that specializes in providing games for game consoles and handheld game consoles.

Similar to the DVD rental subscription service Netflix, Gamefly sends games to subscribers via the United States Postal Service in re-mailable, pre-paid mailers. (Non-US residents are ineligible for the service, as GameFly does not ship overseas.)

The subscriber then can keep the games for as long as desired while paying the monthly fee, although the number of games is limited by the type of subscription plan chosen by the subscriber. Additionally, the user can create a queue, known as the "GameQ", of up to 50 games. Upon returning the game to a GameFly distribution center, GameFly automatically ships out the next game in the "GameQ", making the process cyclical for as long as the user is a subscriber and updates his or her "GameQ". Customers typically expect delivery of their requested games within 2-5 days of shipment. If the received game disc or cartridge is damaged or unplayable for some reason, or if the wrong game was received, the customer can return it for a replacement or have the next item in their rental queue sent instead.

Of all the online game rental services available, is probably one of the best. The two most important elements to consider when deciding if it's worth it to rent your games online through Gamefly are turn-around times (how long it takes you to receive your games from Gamefly), and selection.

* Turn-around time: Gamefly has decent turn-around time. While they are certainly slower than the DVD rental company Netflix, which pioneered this business model, they are fast enough to make it cost effective when compared to the prices at your local rental store. It takes 5 days to receive a new game after placing the old game in the mailbox for return to Gamefly. On the 2-game plan, you can keep each game for 5 days before sending it back and still play six games a month at $21.95. Renting locally, those same six would probably run about $42 dollars. That's assuming you don't come across a game you give up on after just ten minutes of play, or a game that you just can't give until 10 days down the road.

* Selection: Hands down, Gamefly has an excellent selection. Not only do they carry games for every major console system on the market today, including the handhelds like the GBA, Nintendo DS, and PSP, but they have nearly every game you could possibly want to play. Games become available either at or near launch, and while they maintain the right to delay sending certain games if the demand is too high, I've never encountered such a delay.

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