Best Buy Adds Equipment Rental Program

Best Buy Adds Equipment Rental Program

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Richfield, MN—Best Buy has initiated a try-before-you-buy, equipment rental program for consumer electronics. The devices include cameras, audio equipment and fitness trackers.

Best Buy will start advertising short-term rentals on its website, the company recently told Recode. The big-box retailer is working with San Francisco-based start-up Lumoid on the rental program.
The new try-before-you-buy option will be promoted on BestBuy.com. Interested customers will be sent to Lumoid’s website to make the rental arrangements. Consumers who take advantage of the rental program will earn about 20% of the rental price back in Lumoid credits. Those credits can then be used to buy the rented equipment.

In addition, customers who chose to buy after renting the equipment can buy the item for a discounted price, since it’s an open-box item and may have been rented out to others. They may also opt to purchase a new one through Lumoid.

“For Best Buy, the partnership could evolve into a way to wring more dollars out of so-called “open box” items—these are goods that a Best Buy customer has bought but then returned so they can’t be resold at full price. Best Buy is providing these goods to Lumoid to rent out,” noted Recode.

“Perhaps more importantly, the offering could also help the $39 billion retailer develop a connection with customers earlier in the buying process—perhaps increasing the odds that they will turn to Best Buy over a competitor like Amazon when they are ready to buy.”

Renters to Purchasers?

Recode added, when it comes to turning the renters into actual purchasers, Lumoid does best in the wearable category. Aarthi Ramamurthy, Lumoid’s founder and CEO, told Recode one in three renters go on to purchase the wearable. He also noted that “some Lumoid customers rent cameras for a specific occasion and are not looking to buy them from the start.” bestbuy.com

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