Netflix is no longer just a DVD service -- it's practically a business model. There are now a handful of companies that offer services or products to rent through the mail. Like Netflix, when you send the rentals back, more is sent to your door. How quickly you send the shipment back is up to you.
Do you have a Legoholic living in your home? Supporting that habit can be pretty costly, with sets typically charging about 10 cents per Lego piece. For example, a 200-piece set costs about $20 and a 2,000-piece set costs about $200. A service called Pleygo allows Lego fans to choose from three tier levels of plans: $15 for sets with up to 250 pieces, $25 for sets up to 500 pieces and $39 for sets of up to 5,400 pieces (yes, they come that big). After picking your plan, you start building your set wishlist, and the first set usually arrives in a few days. When you are done playing with the set, send it back for the next one on your list. Each set is sanitized between uses, so you don't have to worry about germs. Plus, the service recognizes a few pieces might get lost and that is built into the cost of each plan. The selection of sets is constantly expanding. If there's a set that you decide you want to keep, you can purchase it for the retail price.
This service caters to the video game fanatic at home. Gamefly is video game rental service that stocks more than 8,000 game titles for pretty much any console you purchased in the past decade -- from Gameboy Advance to Playstation 4 and everything in between. Games for Xbox One and PS4 will be available when the consoles launch later this month, Gamefly assures users. The games range from arcade classics to the newest hits -- Call of Duty: Ghosts (released Nov. 4) is just as available as classics like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Service plans range from $16 per month for one game at a time to $23 per month for two games at a time. When games are returned, new selections are sent out. If you like a game, you can choose to keep it at a discounted price -- which makes the service an ideal way to try out games before buying.
This is for women who want to expand their closet without a major commitment. Le Tote is a fashion rental service that tailors its offerings to your specific taste and style. Or they give it their best shot based on a form you filled out with your size specifications and fashion preferences. The service costs $49 per month and sends customers "totes" filled with three garments and two accessories that fit your style profile. Accessories include jewelry, belts and scarves -- no purses here, ladies. Le Tote says it sends out designer labels, but is not specific about which designers are included. When a tote is sent back, a new tote is delivered. If you end up sold on an item, you buy it for the original retail price.
This one is for the guys -- a service geared toward accessorizing men. FreshNeck offers ties, bowties, cufflinks and pocket squares to jazz up any suit. There are three tiers of membership, from $20 to $55 per month, each of which include three items at a time and one reserved. The difference in the price levels is the brand of accessories available. While $20 gets you Brooks Brothers and Kenneth Cole, the $35 level offers designers like Hugo Boss and Burberry, and the $55 level offers the likes of Versace and Dolce and Gabbana. When you return you tie pack, another set of three will be sent out. If you like a a particular tie or bowtie or pocket square, you can buy it for 60% off the retail price. Best part? Don't worry about the dry cleaning. That's part of the service.
Ok, technically this is not a service conducted through the mail -- unless you count the electronic kind, but it is Netflix-like. This one is for the book nerd in your life. Scribd, the service known for its open-source document builders, has built a massive digital library of more than 50 million books. With an app that is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, Scribd provides access to as many books as you can consume for $9 per month. Availability changes constantly for the ebooks and there are limitations, but the selection quantity is vast. Top authors include Neil Gaiman, Sherman Alexie and Michael Crichton.
It's an interesting mix of services, and most of these offer a first-month-free option, so it doesn't hurt financially to try them out.