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Capitalise on the sharing economy. Rent anything and save big.

People like Shekhar are increasingly capitalising on the rise of the sharing economy. It’s not just house, but furniture, washing machines, TV, wedding jewellery, iPhones and pianos that are increasingly being taken on rent.

Shekhar had a resolution for 2020. He will lose extra kilos and get back in shape. Last time, when he joined a gymnasium, he paid a hefty membership fees.  He hardly visited it, however. 

This time, he didn’t want to take any chances. He decided to run instead on the treadmill at home. A state-of-the-art treadmill costs about Rs 75,000 and only Rs 1,800 a month on rent. He chose the latter.

People like Shekhar are increasingly capitalising on the rise of the sharing economy. It’s not just house, but furniture, washing machines, TV, wedding jewellery, iPhones and pianos that are increasingly being taken on rent. 

How does it work?

Several online portals offer household items on rent in the major metropolitan cities. You need to sign up with them and choose items on rent. From renting furniture to appliances, electronics, gadget and wedding clothes – choices are galore. 

You use the product by paying monthly rent and a deposit. The latter is fully refundable provided there is no damage to the product. 

There are certain things you need to check before signing up:

Check rentals


Are the rental charges too high? Do a due diligence by comparing the going market rates. Moreover, check if the product is in good condition and branded. Compare apples with apples. Some players offer full money-back guarantee if returned within a week. 

L-shaped 3-seater sofa costs about Rs 31,000 if you are buying outright and Rs 1,400 on rent. Back-of-the-envelope calculations show that in 22 months you end up paying amount equal to that of the cost of LED TV. 
 
Don’t miss the fine print
 
Moreover, you need to thoroughly go through the agreement. Unauthorised repair, theft, damage due to act of God (say floods) can cost a fortune in the form of penalty charges. So, check the clauses as regards refunding of deposits. Also check if they are extra charges for relocations and delivery.
 
Usually there is a minimum renting tenure of three months after which you have a choice to terminate the contract by giving a notice. 
 
Packages 
 
Packages might work in your favour. For instance, a 2BHK package containing four furniture items - 3-seater sofa, two single beds and 2-seater dining set – can be cheaper than doing it on a piece-meal basis. Similarly, check for deals for all appliances. 
 
Big ticket purchases are better taken on rent. It saves your capital. One-time usage? Again, it’s better to rent it out. Often, people spend a lot on designer bridal gowns and jewellery which hardly gets used again. You can flaunt it all without emptying your pocket by renting it out. Renting option also works out well if you are non-committal about usage of the product like in case of Shekhar.
 
Customer service
 
Customers sometimes complain about not receiving the furniture despite paying up. Some others have issues with call centre not picking up the phone. Read the customer reviews on the internet before signing up with a player. 
 
When to go
 
Big ticket purchases are better taken on rent. It saves your capital. One-time usage? Again, it’s better to rent it out. Often, people spend a lot on designer bridal gowns and jewellery which hardly gets used again. You can flaunt it all without emptying your pocket by renting it out. Renting option also works out well if you are non-committal about usage of the product like in case of Shekhar. 
 
Often, people keep changing cities for jobs. For them, renting things works wonders. It gives them the freedom to move in suitcases without worries of selling or moving items frequently. 
 
Early Saving
 
A millennial working away from home can rent household items rather than spending lakh of rupees in purchasing them. It not only makes it affordable but also gives him the leeway to start saving for his financial goals right away. 
 
Takeaway
 
Renting is lighter on the pocket, especially if you have a short-term orientation or want to remain non-committal. It can release capital to start saving for your financial goals right away.
 

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