Best Buy will soon let you try-before-you-buy with rentals

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,530   +122
Staff member

Amazon has decimated brick-and-mortar retailers over the years through a combination of convenience, fast and affordable shipping, competitive pricing and until just recently, a sales tax loophole.

Companies that haven’t been driven out of business entirely are pulling out all the stops in an effort to remain relevant. Best Buy and its latest initiative is a perfect example of this.

Through a partnership with San Francisco-based start-up Lumoid, Best Buy later this month will launch a try-before-you-buy program on its website for select electronics including wearables, cameras and audio equipment. Some products, like drones, aren’t part of the program.

Lumoid tells Recode that Best Buy will supply them with “open box” items – products that Best Buy customers have purchased then return (and thus, can’t be resold as new at full price) – for rental purposes. Shoppers can end up buying the item they’ve rented at a discounted price or even request a new version through Lumoid.

Customers will get 20 percent of the rental price back in Lumoid credits, the site said.

It’s a curious partnership on a number of levels but it’s unclear if it’ll resonate with consumers and become a differentiator for Best Buy. Should it prove successful, however, you can all buy guarantee that Amazon and others will follow suit with their own takes on the rental model.

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texasrattler

Posts: 972   +425
Almost no reason for it not to work. Maybe need a tlc from PR, just ask Samsung lol

Best Buy already does this in most if not all their stores. Yes, some stores may be better at it than others.
Plus their warranty lets you buy most items and return them within 2 weeks. Just be careful as I did say most and BB has a new policy on some items that will now require a restocking fee, I think it's 15% but not 100% on that.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,187   +3,373
Best Buy already does this in most if not all their stores.
A quick search backs up what I already thought: Best Buy has never offered rentals on anything except movies, and that was ages ago.

Plus their warranty lets you buy most items and return them within 2 weeks. Just be careful as I did say most and BB has a new policy on some items that will now require a restocking fee, I think it's 15% but not 100% on that.
We should all be very concerned about this business model. If it catches on you can probably bid farewell to normal return policies..you will ALWAYS be paying a restock fee, just like you do at the jokefest known as Office Depot. You have to hand it to BB for adopting the idea of letting people rent stuff they can't possibly afford in order to look impressive - kind of like renting a Ferrari or a Rolex. Unfortunately, it won't pay off because Amazon will always undercut just enough to get the business, and they'll soon have retail locations in many of the biggest shopping districts. The bottom line is that companies that have a large number of physical stores to support will never be able to compete with mostly-online retailers.
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 972   +425
A quick search backs up what I already thought: Best Buy has never offered rentals on anything except movies, and that was ages ago.



We should all be very concerned about this business model. If it catches on you can probably bid farewell to normal return policies..you will ALWAYS be paying a restock fee, just like you do at the jokefest known as Office Depot. You have to hand it to BB for adopting the idea of letting people rent stuff they can't possibly afford in order to look impressive - kind of like renting a Ferrari or a Rolex. Unfortunately, it won't pay off because Amazon will always undercut just enough to get the business, and they'll soon have retail locations in many of the biggest shopping districts. The bottom line is that companies that have a large number of physical stores to support will never be able to compete with mostly-online retailers.
I was never referring to the rentals, I was referring to how you could try before you buy. I guess I should have made that clearer. It's why they have the 2 week return policy for any reason. But they have now included restocking fees or I should say brought back. Personally I would have never took it away, online stores never did they still use restocking fees for items.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,402   +5,849
You know, they actually tried this when they first opened, but if you tried to return the merchandise you got a terrific argument and a hefty "restock fee" ..... guess now that all the victims have grown up they'll try it with a new crop of kids ......
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 972   +425
You know, they actually tried this when they first opened, but if you tried to return the merchandise you got a terrific argument and a hefty "restock fee" ..... guess now that all the victims have grown up they'll try it with a new crop of kids ......
It was mainly done with TVs due to ppl returning them after the Super Bowl.
The amount has only been 20%. That can be a high amount depending on the product. Don't buy product you don't intend on keeping.
Restocking fees went away from most items years ago but online stores didn't stop and ppl live with those. Now they are back due to ppl once again buying product they shouldn't buy or couldn't afford to begin with.
 
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MonkeyBoyX8000

Posts: 22   +4
Best buy wants to be more than just a show room, which is a smart move. I've started going back to Best buy mostly because of their price match program. And I've sometimes scored big on their price matching, often times prices lower than Amazon, newegg or B&H. You have to show them a competitors(not a third party) price but they also have their own in-house checking system that is not available to the public. Ask them to look up the item prices on their database, they'll do it if you're nice.