TV Answer Man
Does a Redbox Kiosk Work?
Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2013) -
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Q. I read
your story today about how disc rentals are still doing well,
particularly the Redbox kiosk. I'm not very familiar with the
kiosk -- how does it work and how can I find out where's the
closest one to me? -- Roger, Boston, Massachusetts.
The Redbox kiosk looks basically like a
soda vending machine and can be found in more than 34,000
locations across the country. The machine is quite easy to find
once you go to one of the locations because of its bright red
The machine carries from one to a couple dozen copies of each
movie advertised in the box. But not every box has every movie
available from Redbox; for example, you might find the Blu-ray
edition of Skyfall in one Redbox kiosk but not in the one a mile
up the street.
To find out which movies each kiosk currently
has, you can download an app on your smart phone or iPad that
gives you an up-to-date inventory. I've used it and it's very
helpful. You can also check your local kiosk's inventory by
using Redbox's web site and clicking on a movie that you want to
rent. The site will tell you which kiosks have it in stock.
And to find out where the closest Redbox kiosk is to you, click
Now, what's the price, you ask? To rent a DVD overnight, the
cost is $1.27, which includes tax. To rent a Blu-ray movie, the
cost is $1.59, which includes tax. (The tax might vary slightly
based on where you live.)
You have until 9 p.m. the day
after you rent the movie to return it. If you don't return it by
then, you will be charged for another day's rental for each day
the movie is out. (Note: You can return it to any Redbox
kiosk in the United States, not just the one where you rented
You are eligible to rent three different movies the first time
you use a Redbox kiosk; after you've used it once, you can rent
five different movies at a time.
You pay for the movie by using a credit card. But you can also
go online at Redbox.com, set up an account and reserve your
movie online. Then, when you go to the kiosk, you will touch the
button that says, 'Reservation Pickup.' After that, you swipe
the card you used to make the reservation and pick up your disc.
Of course, as you probably know, Redbox now also offers Redbox
Instant, which provides both unlimited streaming and four disc
rentals a month for $8; it's $9 if you want Blu-ray discs. And
the first 30 days are free.
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