It has always amazed me that people have fallen into the trap offered through the “Rent to Own” TV advertisements. I know that advertisers attempt to present their products as a cheaper alternative to purchasing the same product, from an appliance store, but some consumers may not realize that this is a weekly fee (for basically borrowed merchandise), not a rotating credit fee, that is only billed once a month. In actuality, it is really only an incentive to those whose credit is less than stellar — meaning that they can’t get credit to purchase an item outright. However, I can’t help but wonder how anyone can be duped into paying $25 a week to rent a clothes dryer, when the machine being advertised could be purchased for about $400 or less at many appliance stores. This concept is not only a problem with this site, however, since even the new CEO of Radio Shack stated just last week that he was surprised that Radio Shack is still in business; the electronics retailer isn’t offering anything that can’t be found at the same price or cheaper at alternative locations.
However, I am not one to knock success. So when I heard about ybuy, I wanted to see for myself if it was using the same ploy as the Rent to Own business or just what its gimmick was.
In my research, I discovered that ybuy has a unique marketing plan that allows you to rent or try out a product prior to purchasing it. The cost for the 30-day trial period is approximately $24.95 a month, after which you determine if you wish to keep the product or return it. This fee is actually relatively low when you understand that this fee includes the cost of shipping and handling (both ways), so you don’t end up with any unexpected surprises.
When your trial period ends, you are then free to purchase the product and have the trial fee of $24.95 applied to the retail purchase price of the product or to return the product and forfeit the trial fee. The advantage of this system is that you get to try products before you buy them only to find out that they don’t meet your needs.
So is this a good deal?
It all depends on if you have thoroughly researched the product you are looking for and are now in the process of narrowing down your selection to the one you wish you to purchase. As an example, on its website this month, ybuy is offering the Apple iPad 2 for $399 and the new Apple iPad for $499, which echoes the retail pricing that Apple and other retailers charge for these products.
So I guess my first question is this: Why wouldn’t I just buy the Apple iPad directly from Apple, then return it to Apple if I didn’t like it? I am sure that the return shipping must be less than $24.95.
What are the advantages of using ybuy?
- You get to try a variety of different products for 30 days.
- In this manner, you can avoid the restocking fees that some companies may charge.
- You can eliminate buyer’s remorse for purchases that you later learn either don’t meet your needs or that you really can’t afford.
- You can play with the latest and greatest toys for a very reasonable price.
- You also avoid customer service personnel who may be reluctant to accept your return.
In addition to Apple iPads, here are some of the other items being offered by ybuy:
- Taylor made driver
- Roomba vacuum cleaner
- Jawbone Jawbox
- Vitamix blender
- Fuji camera
- Fidelio wireless speakers
- iConvert scanner for the iPad
- Keurig coffee maker
- Xbox 360 Console + Kinect
- WiFi Body Scale | Withings
- The Smart Grill | Breville
- StressEraser Portable Biofeedback Device
- Stamina InStride Cycle
- Slow Cooker with EasySear | Breville
These are just a few of the many items being offered, on a free 30-day trial basis, for the low fee of just $24.95 a month.
However, like with everything, there is always another side to every issue. In this case, ybuy’s issue — or should I say hurdle — is that you cannot just join ybuy. It is by invitation only. You need to submit your email address, then wait for an invite to come join. This method was chosen to protect existing members by monitoring available inventory amounts so that every advertised unit is available.
So is ybuy for everyone?
No, I don’t believe it is, since I don’t think that a lot of consumers will want to pay $24.95 to try a product. However, I definitely see value in the site for myself, and have submitted my own request to join. I am currently waiting for my invitation and will be willing pay the fee in order to play with the latest and greatest toys.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Mandy_Jansen