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Best Buy Wants You to Try Gadgets Before You Buy Them

June 13, 2017, 6:13 PM UTC
Best Buy Second Quarter Profit Drops 91 Percent
Photograph by Spencer Platt — Getty Images

Best Buy has a new method for attracting customers: try before you buy.

For certain products, Best Buy customers can now rent items before purchasing them. The retailer is partnering with Lumoid, a San Francisco-based startup, to pull off the new effort, which will debut later this month, ReCode reports. Customers can visit, where they can enter a try-before-you-buy section with items like cameras, audio equipment, fitness trackers — even Apple Watches. When they select a product, they will be sent to Lumoid’s website to complete the order.

An example includes renting an Apple Watch for $50 for a week. Customers could then earn 20% of the rental price back in store credit to Lumoid, and can also use that credit to buy the item if they choose to do so, ReCode reports. It is unclear how the rental price will change for different items.

The new effort — which exists entirely online — has been seen as a way for Best Buy to bolster its online presence as e-commerce continues to dominate retail. Online giants like Amazon have not launched similar services — yet.

“Customers are not walking into physical stores for discovery, Aarthi Ramamurthy, Lumoid’s founder and CEO, told ReCode. “They already know what they want and they just go in to get it.”

A representative from Best Buy did not immediately respond to request for comment.