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National electronics store now lets you "rent before you buy"

National electronics store now lets you "rent before you buy"
© Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime.com

Amazon is an online retail behemoth. It's the most successful e-commerce site in the U.S. with an estimated net revenue in 2016 of nearly $136 billion. Impressive!

Online retailers have become so successful over the years that they are putting a strain on brick-and-mortar retail sales. One of the most popular U.S. consumer electronic stores is trying to fight back with a new way of bringing customers back through its doors.

How you can now try-before-you-buy tech items

We're talking about the retail giant Best Buy. Even though the company has had sustained success through the online retail era, it is making a concerted effort to draw in more business.

The company is partnering with the website Lumoid. Soon, you will be able to click a button next to an item you're interested in on Best Buy's site that takes you to Lumoid. There, you are able to try-before-you-buy gadgets to see if it's something that you actually want to own.

You will be able to rent wearable items such as the Apple Watch and different Fitbit activity bands. There are also cameras and photography equipment available for rent as well as high-end audio devices like headphones and home audio systems.

The partnership allows Best Buy to rent out some of its "open box" items that it typically sells at a lower cost. The company will make more money this way on returned items.

It's also a way for Best Buy to try and lure customers away from online retailers by giving them the chance to try a product before buying it. This service is not available with online retailers as of yet.

On the Lumoid site, you can rent an Apple Watch for $50 for one week. Users will receive 20 percent of the rental costs in Lumoid credits that can be used toward purchasing the item if you choose to do so.

As you know, if you buy an item at a retail location and return it, there's a good chance you will have to pay a restocking fee. Renting the gadget before buying it lets you know if you want to own it and avoid any restocking fees if you decide that it's not for you.

What do you think? Would you like to rent a gadget before buying it? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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