YBUY Lets You Test Drive Gadgets With No Buying Obligation

As cool as that Dyson fan may be (no pun intended), is it really worth its price tag? Have you been humming and hawing over that new Fujifilm X10, but just can’t convince yourself to drop that kind of coin? A new site could help you with just those kinds of decisions. YBUY is subscription based service, and it effectively lets you rent hot new products for a month at a time with no obligation to buy them at the end of the trial period.

The way it works is that you’re on the hook for a $24.95 monthly subscription fee. With that fee, you can request one product from the catalog and it gets shipped to your door for free. You use that new gadget — be it a Keurig coffee maker, an iPad 2, or a Sous Vide Water Oven — for 30 days. After that, you can choose to ship it back (for free) or you can choose to buy it, less the $24.95 you’ve already paid. It sounds like decent enough of a concept, since YBUY can effectively rent out the same product again and again, only to sell it for (nearly) full price to the final consumer.

It’s such a compelling idea that YBUY recently received $750,000 in seed funding. This makes it sound like you’re not really buying new products, but it gives manufacturers “an easy-to-use sales channel… to offer refurbished products to consumers without the added cost of marketing and sales,” according to YBUY CEO Stephen Svajian. Some purchase prices are discounted, but items like the iPad 2 are still selling at full retail price.

Or, as one clever commenter mentioned, “For $50/yr you can get a Costco membership. Similar setup but you also get cheap gas!”

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