Gadget Advisor
Cutting Through the Cutting Edge

Best Buy to Rent Gadgets for a Trial Period

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We’ve all been there. We hear about this great product, do some online research, read reviews and make up our mind to go out and get it. Only it really isn’t what we expected, or it doesn’t suit our needs, or we later find a better version of the same item. It’s frustrating not to get what we expected and even more so when the item can’t be returned or we have to pay for ‘restocking fees’.

Best Buy has found a solution to this problem. Wanting to keep its customers happy and reuse returned items that couldn’t be sold in store, they decided to let would-be buyers rent open boxed returned items so that they can spend some time familiarizing themselves with gadgets before committing to buying them. This is a genius idea that benefits both the big box electronics store and its customers, and it gets better.

Best Buy has partnered up with Lumoid, a gadget rental startup through which customers will be able to rent Best Buy items once their system is in place. A button will be added to the electronics store’s website, redirecting people interested in renting something to Lumoid’s site. These items include anything from fancy cameras to speakers and even wearables. Unfortunately, drones will not be on the list of items available for rent. The sweet part of the deal for customers is that Lumoid will credit them with the equivalent of 20 percent of the item price in Lumoid credits that can be used toward the eventual purchase of the rented item. According to Lumoid’s founder, Aarthi Ramamurthy, wearables are more often bought after being rented than any other item, with one out of three renters deciding to move from renting to buying.

There is no set date for the renting system to be in place, but we are looking forward for it to be launched. It may even be a good way for customers to use items they only need temporarily – but that would depend on rent rates as well as on how long renters get to keep the items for. Still, a very smart business move on Best Buy’s part, and certainly a great opportunity for the rental startup.

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