How to Start a Movie-Rental Business

by Randal Thomas; Updated September 26, 2017
Start a Movie-Rental Business

At one time or another, you probably thought of starting your own business. One popular dream is starting a movie-rental business. Perhaps you didn't know what to pursue. Perhaps you didn't know how. If you love movies and don't mind hard work, you could support yourself doing something you love. Everyone loves movies, and everyone loves to rent them. Why not make a living renting your favorite movies?

Step 1

Obtain a license to rent movies. You must contact the Motion Picture Licensing Company at http://www.mplc.com to purchase a movie-rental license. If you rent movies without a license, movie producers could hold you liable for violating copyright laws.

Step 2

Contact a movie wholesaler. You must purchase videos in order to rent them. Wholesalers like JM Distribution or Movies 4 Wholesale offer DVDs at $3.00 per title. Unless you have a partnership with a movie wholesaler, you will spend too much money building your inventory.

Step 3

Set up a movie-rental website. You can gain customers by partnering with online video-rental companies that offer their affiliates custom sites. For instance, you can build your own movie-rental site on Amazon.com. Amazon offers the movies and the order forms your customers need. They also provide the code you can copy and paste into your website. You can customize the entire site to match your movie-rental business.

Step 4

Broaden your customer base. Many movie-rental locations offer more than just movies. Some offer downloadable songs or books on tape. You can offer music and audiobooks via Amazon.com's customized affiliate site.

Step 5

Purchase a DVD vending machine. As retail locations lose customers and go out of business, DVD vending machines gain popularity. DVD vending machines require no overhead and no staff. The only responsibility includes refilling them as necessary with new DVDs. Companies like Vendvision.com or Vending Machines Unlimited.com can sell you new or used DVD vending machines.

Step 6

Contact local retailers and ask them to host your DVD vending machine. This strategy works much the same way that gumball and candy vendors work. A retailer hosts the vending machine, and you, as independent operator, stock it with movies. You will have to pay a small rental fee for the space, but in a good location like a mall, the vending machine will pay for itself.

Step 7

Reinvest your earnings to broaden your vending-machine business. For instance, during the first year, your DVD vending machine might net you $3,000 profit. Use this money to purchase a second machine. Don't invest additional money. Simply let the existing machines pay for new ones. Figure out how many machines you need to make a comfortable living and gradually let the machines earn enough money to grow your business.

Step 8

Make sure you have enough startup capital. Building a library of 1,000 movies could cost $3,000. Website maintenance can cost $15 per month. A retail vending machine can cost $2,000 to $4,000. Total costs for the first year will run you approximately $7,000 to $8,000. Ongoing costs include retail leasing space for the machine that can run $100 to $200 per month depending on your lease agreement.

About the Author

Randal Thomas has been completing woodworking, gardening and DIY projects for over a quarter-century. A writer of career-related articles since 2003, Thomas received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. He has over 10 years in printing and publishing and is currently working on several independent writing projects.

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