Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Bloomberg)   In a desperate bid for relevance, Blockbuster to begin selling mobile phones. In other news, Blockbuster still exists and no, you can't uninstall the app   (bloomberg.com) divider line 26
    More: Amusing, rental shop, MetroPCS Communications Inc., SoftBank, Sprint Nextel Corp., Viacom Inc., T-Mobile USA, major carriers, Charlie Ergen  
•       •       •

1097 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Dec 2012 at 11:34 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



26 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2012-12-06 09:45:04 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-12-06 10:55:03 AM  
Dammit Sybarite, you beat me to it.
 
2012-12-06 11:57:04 AM  
Came for Randy Marsh, leaving satisfied.
 
2012-12-06 12:43:20 PM  
One of the Blockbuster's on my route to work was advertising Boost Mobile on their sign, 3-4 months before the shiat started hitting the fan for the company. At the time I figured that was a pretty good sign the end was near.
 
2012-12-06 12:44:06 PM  
Why couldn't they die right along with Circuit City?
 
2012-12-06 12:56:17 PM  
I've never sold phones. Tell me, am I missing something in the market? There are roughly 100mm phones sold in the US per year, best figures I can find. Besides dedicated company stores and cellular vendors, there are Best Buys, Walmart/Target, RatShacks, and on the lower-end every gas station and major dollar store chain. Oh, and phones are exceedingly easy to sell online (I think 4 of the 5 I've had over the last 14 years were bought online).

Just looking at company/indies/BB/WM/TGT/RS (ignoring gas stations and dollar store prepaids), there is a cell-vendor per ~4000 people in my community. I don't think that's far off the national number (maybe?).

Assuming no online sales at all, those places are averaging... 3-4 phones a day? Can this possibly be right? How do these independent stripmall stores work? Do the carriers kick back that much? Are they just drug-laundering fronts?
 
2012-12-06 02:32:34 PM  

Lawnchair: I've never sold phones. Tell me, am I missing something in the market? There are roughly 100mm phones sold in the US per year, best figures I can find. Besides dedicated company stores and cellular vendors, there are Best Buys, Walmart/Target, RatShacks, and on the lower-end every gas station and major dollar store chain. Oh, and phones are exceedingly easy to sell online (I think 4 of the 5 I've had over the last 14 years were bought online).

Just looking at company/indies/BB/WM/TGT/RS (ignoring gas stations and dollar store prepaids), there is a cell-vendor per ~4000 people in my community. I don't think that's far off the national number (maybe?).

Assuming no online sales at all, those places are averaging... 3-4 phones a day? Can this possibly be right? How do these independent stripmall stores work? Do the carriers kick back that much? Are they just drug-laundering fronts?


I've wondered that myself. I wouldn't expect it to be absolutely imperative for the company-owned stores to turn a profit, because at the end of the day AT&T and Verizon are in the business of selling cell phone service, not selling the phones in and of themselves. So if their stores only turned a nominal profit or ran at a modest loss, I could see them just shrugging their shoulders and writing it off as a marketing expense incurred in the normal course of the business of selling mobile phone service.

But on the other hand, there seem to be way too many of the independent guys for them all to be fronts for the local ne'er-do-wells. It is mystifying - you'd think that every other person out there was buying a new phone every four months.
 
2012-12-06 02:44:04 PM  

Robo Beat: I've wondered that myself. I wouldn't expect it to be absolutely imperative for the company-owned stores to turn a profit, because at the end of the day AT&T and Verizon are in the business of selling cell phone service, not selling the phones in and of themselves. So if their stores only turned a nominal profit or ran at a modest loss, I could see them just shrugging their shoulders and writing it off as a marketing expense incurred in the normal course of the business of selling mobile phone service.

But on the other hand, there seem to be way too many of the independent guys for them all to be fronts for the local ne'er-do-wells. It is mystifying - you'd think that every other person out there was buying a new phone every four months.


They don't make their money off phone sales. Chargers, cases, and accessories, however, have tremendous profit margins. That's why many businesses are trying to take at least a small bite out of that industry's cookie.
 
2012-12-06 02:59:59 PM  

Lawnchair: ...Do the carriers kick back that much?


Yes.

You can easily get upwards of $75 for every service plan you sell. It's insane. And that also tells you how much of your monthly wireless bill is *pure profit* for your carrier (hint: about 90% of the bill is profit).

The marginal cost of providing a data/phone plan is almost zero. The wireless carriers can RAKE in the bucks once they have the network up and running.
 
2012-12-06 03:52:52 PM  
Subby, if you can't figure out how to uninstall the app, that's on you.
 
2012-12-06 05:28:54 PM  

stratagos: Subby, if you can't figure out how to uninstall the app, that's on you.


Not subby and I've never been able to uninstall it no matter what I do. Suggestions?
 
2012-12-06 06:02:15 PM  

Lawnchair: Are they just drug-laundering fronts?


Drug laundering? Is that how they get the pot extra clean?
 
2012-12-06 06:20:18 PM  
Ah, the Best Buy/Radio Shack path into slow obsolescence.
 
2012-12-06 06:21:31 PM  

Poundit Hardus: stratagos: Subby, if you can't figure out how to uninstall the app, that's on you.

Not subby and I've never been able to uninstall it no matter what I do. Suggestions?


You have to root the phone.
 
2012-12-06 06:36:09 PM  
I have always had a soft spot for the underdog. Sometimes, I forget about what a horrible company Blockbuster is and how many underdogs they killed, and almost feel sorry for them. Almost.
 
2012-12-06 06:45:20 PM  
Lawnchair: Are they just drug-laundering fronts?

No that's McDonalds. Just ask for the Extra-happy Meal.
 
2012-12-06 07:39:54 PM  
I've probably said this before, but Blockbuster is still alive if not well.

They offered me a free membership for a month earlier this year so I took them up on their offer fully intending to quit after a month.before I got charged anything.

It really wasn't a bad deal except as with Netflix their selection basically sucks. I could rent anything in the store and keep it for as long as I wanted with no late fees. I could go to the store anytime I wanted and pick out another disc free of charge even if I did that 20 times a day. It was only 5 traffic lights away (each way).

So I wandered around their store much as I wander around Netflix's interface trying to find something to watch. Ahhh.. Dexter. I had never seen that and people keep talking about it so I watched that. Somewhere around season 3 or 4 they were missing a disc. They have 2 other stores in town, but neither of them had that disc either. The closest copy was about 60 miles away. The guy behind the counter recommended an independent disc-renter downtown. I ended up torrenting those 3-4 episodes. I figured I was entitled to them anyway - Blockbuster was just too incompetent to keep them in stock.

Theoretically I could have been done with all the Dexter on disc within a week, but I just can't sit in front of my TV that long so I ended up paying for 2 months of Blockbuster at $14.95 (IIRC) a month. It wasn't really a bad price but I struggled to find other things to watch too. I'd pick up a movie hoping it would be good and look at it and not be sure if it was even worth my time. Sometimes I'd bring movies home and decide I wasn't in the mood and so I'd sit on it for a week until I finally watched it just so I could get something different.

And it seems like 90% of the discs in the store are new releases. I sometimes want to see old movies. I haven't even heard of most of the movies they have. A few times I'd take a movie to the counter and ask the manager if it was any good, but that's a crap shoot. He doesn't know my tastes. I'm better off with Netflix's computer algorithm (Our best guess is you'll rate this 2.5 stars).

Oh, and another thing, Blockbuster stocks VERY FEW Blu-Ray discs. Almost all of it is still DVD. DVD is good, but it makes me wonder why I made sure I got 1080p for my living room TV when most of the time it doesn't even make a difference.

He didn't even ask me why when I cancelled it.

As far as phones go - it's not that I'm happy with my current carrier, it's just that I hate all the rest even more and I don't even need a new phone. Mine is nearly 3 years old. The phone is fine. The service works. It's a littler expensive but I'm not on a contract and I don't need something else. When I decide I want a new phone I'll call up my current carrier or go to their store. I'm not going to go to Blockbuster.

But from what I saw during the 3 months I had a Blockbuster membership this year, their customers are parents with young kids followed by teenagers. Usually the kids are begging their parents to buy candy to go with the movie and often they do. I imagine that's a huge revenue stream just as it is in theaters.

Meh, I'm just rambling now. It's a dead business model and this is an act of desperation.
 
2012-12-06 08:09:55 PM  
If Dish / Blockbuster can enter the mobile phone market and actually compete, good. As long as it helps with price competition.
 
2012-12-06 08:19:34 PM  
 
2012-12-06 09:15:31 PM  

Poundit Hardus: stratagos: Subby, if you can't figure out how to uninstall the app, that's on you.

Not subby and I've never been able to uninstall it no matter what I do. Suggestions?


Root your phone, and then use this.

/my phone has no carrier bloatware on it
//also deleted Facebook app
 
2012-12-06 09:42:42 PM  
There are still BB locations open? Thought they all closed.
 
2012-12-06 09:51:21 PM  

jayhawk88: One of the Blockbuster's on my route to work was advertising Boost Mobile on their sign, 3-4 months before the shiat started hitting the fan for the company. At the time I figured that was a pretty good sign the end was near.


One near me started selling books a few weeks before it closed. That's when I knew its days were numbered.
 
2012-12-06 10:36:25 PM  
Ah Block Busters...I almost feel like finding one out of a sense of nostalgia.

I remember going through the movie boxes looking for box cover art that looked cool. Sadly I found that box cover art never really matched up with what I expected from the movie. I do recall coming across a soft core porn film with neil patrick harris called the main the attack or something like that and thinking how strange it was for NPH to be in such a movie.

I also remember taking care to physically mark the boxes of RPGs I rented with my pocket knife so when I played again I would select the correct box with my saved game on it.

Oh those were the days....Now get off my lawn you damned dirty teenagers.
 
2012-12-06 11:09:45 PM  
I remember riding my dinosaur down a glacier to rent VHS tapes and SNES/PS1 games at Blockbuster.
 
2012-12-06 11:37:02 PM  
This idea could revolutionize business in 2003!
 
2012-12-07 01:36:59 AM  

boogerwolf: There are still BB locations open? Thought they all closed.


850 left. Dish is trying to figure out what to do with them.
 
Displayed 26 of 26 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report