Technology rental websites allow consumers to try new gadgets before buying

Posted at 2:53 PM, Jan 04, 2017
Yijia Wang loves trying out the latest in high tech.  So she decided to shoot her best friend's wedding using a drone.
"I can get some very astonishing shots," she said. 
The only problem: Buying a drone can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.  Plus, she knew she wouldn't use it often.  
So Yijia found a gadget rental website where she could grab a drone for a month for under $100. 
"You just need to order the drone; it's delivered to you," she said.  
From drones and phones to cameras and computers, the idea of renting gadgets is catching on with consumers.
In some cases, you can rent-to-own.  
Bridget Carey is a tech expert with
"A lot of us maybe are tight on cash, or afraid to put down a lot of money for a gadget when things are changing all the time," she said. 
Yijia rented from a site called Grover.
But on sites like Lumoid, a 3-day rental for an iPad and camera kit cost $57, plus a $12 damage waiver.
A lot of identifying information was required to start, and a refundable deposit was required in case the items were trashed.  
The gadgets arrived on time, and, after using them, they were shipped back and the deposit was immediately refunded.  
"This makes a lot of sense for something that is several hundred dollars, but you're not sure you actually want to commit to it," Carey said.
But, Carey said, consumers need to be sure to read the fine print.
"Look at the policies, look at the fees. If there's any damages, or even a scratch, are you liable?"
Carey also said consumers should always wipe any personal information or images before returning a rental.
"You can't just trust the company to handle all of that for you when you return it.  You should take some responsibility."

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