The DVD swapping service Peerflix is closing, according to an e-mail sent to users this evening. The service enabled its members to request DVDs from other members. It let users print prepaid fold-it-yourself mailing containers on 8x11-inch paper, and charged a fee for each swap.
I used the service for a while and found it a better bargain than Netflix. However, it was never a reliable way to get a DVD quickly (although even Netflix has had problems). Instead of getting more reliable as its user base grew, the service got less and less reliable, most likely as users stopped participating in it. I have had some titles in my "I want" queue for more than a year. At least there were no recurring subscription fees.
Users who still have money stored in their Peerflix account have until April 30th to request a cash-out check, but, annoyingly, the old terms of service regarding cash-outs apply: there's a $10 charge to get your money out. Unclaimed stored value will be forfeited.
The company will stay open to run the Peerflix Media Network, an online advertising network focused on movie watchers.
In 2005, Daniel Terdiman called the service "compelling and problematic."
See also: SwapTree, SwapThing, BookMooch.
The e-mail that went out to subscribers follows:
Dear Peerflix Member,
Effective April 23, 2008 Peerflix is discontinuing the Marketplace and DVD buy/sell/trade portions of Peerflix.com. While the Peerflix.com web site will be available beyond April 23, 2008, you will no longer be able to buy, sell, send or receive DVDs on Peerflix as of that date. While we have made considerable investments in our marketplace platform over the past four years, unfortunately the escalating costs of operating the marketplace do not make that business viable at this juncture. As we move out of the DVD marketplace business, we are focusing our energy and resources on building the Peerflix Media Network which is now the web's fastest growing vertical movie network.
The Peersafe Protection Program will also be terminating effective April 23, 2008 meaning that you will no longer be able to make any Peersafe claims starting April 23, 2008. So, if you have DVDs that you have been holding on to but were planning to send at some point, now's the time! If your Trade Cash account balance is greater than $10 and you would like to cash out your remaining Trade Cash balance, you must do so before April 30, 2008. To request a cash out of your Trade Cash, please log in to Peerflix.com and click "My Account" in the upper right corner, then click the "My Cash" tab and then click on the "Request Cashout" button and follow the indicated steps. As of April 30, 2008 you will no longer be able to request any Trade Cash payments from Peerflix and your Trade Cash will immediately expire and be forfeited. All cash out requests remain subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Peerflix Service Policies and will be charged a $10 processing fee.
In addition to Peerflix.com, please also check out our other movie related web properties TheMovieBlog and Peliki.com.
The Peerflix Team