Peerflix has gone out of business; we've left our final review up as it was for posterity.
Peerflix is not a rental company, it's a DVD trading company; some people love the system, others don't--it certainly is different, and too complex a system for our liking.
The site had brief popularity as a "Web 2.0/social networking of Netflix, and briefly reached a million visitors per month in early 2007. However, the site swiftly plummeted twentyfold to perhaps 50,000 visitors per month by late 2007--a liability for a trading system that requires many members.
Unlike normal rental, you put some personal DVDs up that you don't want any more (seen many times, old, whatever) and in return get new DVDs , which belong to you. You can then continue to trade those DVDs, or keep them as you wish. Peerflix only charges $.99 per disc received.
In theory, this is a great idea, but then the problems come in implementation. Of course problems are availability and lack of people willing to trade new releases. You also really need to put up a good number of DVDs you don't anymore--though the longer you stay a member the more benefit you'll get from this outlay from additional rentals.
There are considerable drawbacks, as this is more time-consuming than regular DVD rental and Peerflix does not provide envelopes. You can print and fold a mailer from their site, but you still need to provide postage for the DVD and case. The site is clearly evolving with experience, for instance recently eliminating the Peerbux system and using real money for trade values. This means that if you're out of DVDs to trade, you can always purchase them as well.
The actual browsing system is on par with those on regular dvd rental sites, with 14 genres. Title data includes actors, director, genre--all hyperlinked, as well as theatrical release date, synopsis, critic comments from New York Times, USA Today, etc., as well as member reviews.
Peerflix was founded in 2004 by Billy McNair and Danny Robinson, longtime friends and business partners, because Billy wanted to get his hands on Danny’s collection of children’s DVDs. Membership grew quickly, and Peerflix became the premier DVD trading site after the site redesign in September 2005.
Prices: As described above, this is mainly a trading system, and there is also a charge of $.99 per disc received.