Suncoast - The Store For Movie Lovers
Apr 23, 2002 (Updated Jun 5, 2010)
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Suncoast, also known as Suncoast Video, is not known for their low prices, selection yes, but low prices – uhhhh no. A majority of the time they are located inside malls, shopping plazas or gallerias – which means high rent, high utilities and high prices. This also means that every so often they try to purge the stores of items that just aren’t selling. Enter Freak369 with her ex-husbands credit card, Replay membership card and a whole lot of movies on a DVD wish list that grows a little with each passing day.
The online version of Suncoast is a little more tolerable than the brick and mortar stores. I don’t have to deal with boxes in the aisles, snotty underpaid employees and the brainless drones that insist on asking the question “Do you have that movie with that guy that was in that movie with that chick from Terminator?”. No, you’ll get none of that free entertainment at the website – but you will get the chance to read about upcoming movie releases, DVD enhancements, various lines of toys they sell and the endless line of clothing they sell at slightly inflated prices.
Suncoast deals mainly with films. DVD, VHS and special order items seem to be their stronghold. From the online site you can pre-order the much anticipated August 6th release of the DVD 2 pack, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for only $22.95. That’s a pretty good price and shipping for this is set you back a measly $ 3.79. No lines, no waiting, no hassle.
I’ve ordered several DVD’s from Suncoast and they arrived within five days, packed so perfectly that it was a shame to open the box and the contents were immaculate [no dust, rips on plastic etc]. While you may miss out on some of the clearance items that the physical stores have from time to time, this sure beats standing in line to pick up a reserved copy or a film or battling the droves of brain dead shoppers during the holiday season.
While the physical Suncoast stores only have a handful of titles, the website has thousands – literally. Conjoined with the Sam Goody site, this allows you one stop shopping incase you want to order the film Clerks on DVD and pick up the soundtrack at the same time. Prices range from $ 4.99 to $ 18.99 for the run of the mill stuff with new releases ranging from $ 12.99 - $ 16.99. You can also take advantage of the advanced order program and reserve a copy of an unreleased CD and have it shipped to you midnight of the release date. Sure you might not get it that day but you won’t have to drive around looking for it. The music genres are a little limited and range from children’s to rock to soundtracks – so if you are looking for the Pearl Jam World Tour 1994 Limited Edition – I can pretty much say that this site won’t carry it.
I have only ordered a few toys online mainly because anything that I am looking to purchase is fragile [glass, ceramic or delicate plastics] and we all know how some delivery services love to toss boxes around. The online site has a lot more items – that’s just a simple fact. Anything from Barbie temporary tattoos to Bob The Builder backpacks can be found in the toy section. When I was looking for the complete Simpson’s [Homer, not O.J.] figure collection, Suncoast was the only online vendor that carried them. The prices are comparable to Toys R Us and occasionally I have come across items that were on sale at the website that were still regularly priced at the physical store.
I am a sucker for novelty items so when I came across the Nightmare Before Christmas phone I had to have it. The website doesn’t offer such items but they will locate the closest store that does carry it. The video game selections are average and the prices are comparable to most stores that sell games with the exception of Wal-Mart. The site also offers computer games and educational software from time to time but you have to check on a regular basis to catch these items. Make sure that these purchases [software, video games] are going to be put to good use, once they are opened they are not returnable unless they are defective.
The Replay Club
If you are a Replay member, you know the details of the club. For those unfamiliar, here is the Reader’s Digest version. The Replay Club costs $7.95 per year or $14.95 for two years. With this membership you earn points for each and every purchase you make at Suncoast, Sam Goody, Media Play and On Cue. Don’t balk at the membership fee, if you purchase the one-year membership you are sent a gift certificate for $5.00 and a $10.00 gift certificate for the two-year membership – plus you get 5,000 bonus points if you renew or join for two years. Not bad huh?
You earn 50 points for every dollar you spend on software, computer games, electronics, video games and posters. You earn 100 points for every dollar you spend on movies [DVD and VHS], music, books, toys and collectable items. You also receive points for purchasing gift certificates, placing a deposit on a soon to be released film
You receive a Request magazine every six to eight weeks that updates your spending activity, contains your earned gift certificates and alerts you to Bonus Point events. Some new releases can earn you an extra 2,000 – 5,000 points. This month the Replay days were April 19, 20 and 21 – so any purchase you made on those three days would net you triple points. You can maximize this by purchasing any of the Editor’s Picks for another 2,000 points!
From the online site you can check your Replay account, see your most recent purchases, find out how many points you need to earn your next gift certificate and any member updates. This portion of the site is very easy to use and is presented in a way that even a stoned monkey can navigate it with the slightest of ease.
The Replay program is one of the things that keep both the physical as well as the online store a little ahead of the competition. Some people aren’t too thrilled when they hear a membership is $ 7.95 but when they are told that they will get a $ 5.00 gift certificate in the mail – it softens the blow.
Any information your provide for membership, online orders, gift certificates or when you enter a contest is not sold to any other parties. I have been a member of the Replay club for almost five years now and have not received one piece of junk mail as a result of being a member or providing information. Curious to know how I can be 100% sure of that statement? When I joined the Replay club I used “Z” as my middle initial and so far I have not received any junk mail addressed in this fashion. My Request magazine is the only piece of mail I receive with the middle letter “Z”
Suncoast is also a VeriSign Secure Site – which means that your information is sent to Suncoast in an encrypted manner. While no site is 100% safe from hackers and those looking to get your personal information and credit card numbers, this is a little added security for your protection.
You can return any purchase within 30 days of its arrival. Any item that is not defective or damaged must still be factory sealed in order to receive a refund. All returned items are credited within one day of its delivery to the return facility. No return authorization is required but it is highly suggested that you insure your package or use delivery confirmation.
When I had some trouble at a Suncoast Video store, I called the toll free number and made a complaint. If I am a member in good standing I shouldn’t be treated like I am a potential thief and followed around the store because of the way I am dressed [denim overalls, baseball cap and Ozzy t-shirt]. I explained the situation to the representative and she insured me that this would complaint would be forwarded to the correct department. Less than 24 hours later I received a phone call from the district manager and told that the correct number of point would be added to my account along with 10,000 extra points as a gift for contacting them. I received a letter a week later informing me that the situation had been addressed and the manager of the store would be contacting me to apologize about the ‘incident’.
I’ve only had to call the membership service department three times and each time my call was answered within a few minutes and any issues were taken care of within the phone call.
Replay Customer Service
P.O. Box 547
Wayzata, MN 55391-0547
 Replay1 [toll free]
Customer Service Hours
Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. to midnight Central Standard Time
Sunday 8 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Central Standard Time
The Bottom Line
In the heyday of online reward programs, I would cash out my accounts for Suncoast gift cards about half the time. It was only after a nasty run in with a store employee that I started using the online site more and more often. Since I am a member of the Replay club, the site is invaluable for me to double check triple point days, sales, new releases, see the in-store sales flyer [with the Adobe reader] and peek at my online account.
I won’t lie and say that Suncoast has the best prices, because that just isn’t true. But they offer me a nice selection of new videos, safe and secure ordering, fast delivery and guaranteed satisfaction. One more advantage of ordering online and using the website is the overstock items that are regularly placed on sale. I recently purchased a DVD of Suicide Kings for $ 14.99 but if I would have checked the site first I could have picked it up for $ 8.99. Same thing for Dr. Giggles, Breast Buy [my term for the doltish Best Buy, review forthcoming] had it for $13.99 and Suncoast had it for $ 8.99 [DVD]
So, if you are looking for older films or something that’s not all that popular, you might have some luck finding it at a very reasonable price at Suncoast. So far I’ve been more than happy with my selections, purchases and customer service inquiries. And let’s face it, not many places are willing to even stock Dr. Giggles, let alone have it at a clearance price :]
As always, thanks for the visit!
^V^ Freak ^V^
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What product did you purchase or try to purchase? movies, toys, gift cards
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