Five motivations for consumers to obtain rent-to-own products are the immediate access, the ability to avoid long-term commitments, the desire to purchase these items that may otherwise be unattainable, to fulfill a short-term need, and the appeal of additional services offered with these types of transactions.
- The biggest appeal of rent-to-own transactions is that they provide immediate access to a product.
- Many times, for the lower-income consumers that makeup the majority of rent-to-own customers, obtaining these expensive items immediately is unattainable via other methods.
No Long-Term Commitment
- Rent-to-own purchases offer the ability to avoid long-term commitments.
- The ability to avoid long-term commitments is a motivating factor for low-income families because their income is not steady and therefore, by avoiding long-term commitment, they can avoid defaulting or being unable to make their payments. With rent-to-own products, if their income changes, they can simply return the product.
Desire to Purchase
- Most consumers (70%) who entered into rent-to-own contracts ended up purchasing the items, indicating that the desire to purchase these items is a motivating factor.
- Low-income consumers may feel more comfortable purchasing the items via rent-to-own contracts rather than saving up the money as they may fear that saving a large sum of cash could disqualify them from public benefits, or they may have trouble saving the money because any money they do save gets utilized for other unexpected expenses.
Short Term Need
- Consumers may use rent-to-own products to fulfill a short-term need or to experience the product before committing to purchase.
- For example, consumers who must often move, like college students or military personnel, may use rent-to-own items for a time and then return them, to avoid the hassle of moving items. Some parents may use rent-to-own musical instruments for their children so they can see if their children like the instrument before purchasing.