After September 29th, Netflix will no longer rent DVDs by mail and will be winding down that part of its business altogether. Most people might be surprised that the streaming giant is still even renting DVDs, but if you’re one of its subscribers who’ll be sad to see the service go, there’s now another rent-by-mail option you can use anywhere you are in the US. Scarecrow, the largest independent video store in the US, has launched its own rent-by-mail service that will send DVDs and Blu-ray discs straight to your door.
The store first piloted the service back in 2019 before it started working on making its library available to people across the country during the pandemic. As The Seattle Times reports, it launched a campaign in 2021 to raise funds for an overhaul of its aging website, making it more searchable and giving it a more modern look. Now, Scarecrow’s rent-by-mail website is live, with step-by-step instructions on how to avail of the service and a searchable library divided by genres.
To be able to rent from Scarecrow, you’ll need to sign up for an account, which will have to be verified and approved by a staff member. After that, you can start adding DVDs to your cart. Titles are priced individually, but shipping will cost you $12 for up to six discs. That’s discs, not titles, which means if one movie has six discs, you can’t add more to the same shipment. The rental window is 14 days, including shipping, after that you can either renew by phone or pay late fees.
Scarecrow has 140,000 titles in its collection — comparably, Netflix has around 5,000 titles in its US catalog, according to CordCutting — most of which you can rent by mail. There are exceptions, however, including rare and out of print videos that require a security deposit, newly released movies and adult titles. It also doesn’t mail VHS tapes and laser discs, so you’ll have to go elsewhere for those formats.