Why Buy When You Can Rent?

Consumers’ attitudes toward renting products, from furniture to tools to game systems, are shifting, and the practice is increasingly common, particularly among Millennials and Generation Z. And data from research firm Lab42 lays out the reasoning behind these decisions.

Looking at why consumers rent, respondents’ top reasons were testing products before purchase (57 percent), finding a temporary solution (55 percent), meeting a short-term need (52 percent), cost efficiency (43 percent) and convenience (42 percent). Six percent said they just don’t like to own things.

Most of these consumers (64 percent) are between the ages of 18 and 38 and are unmarried (65 percent). But 20 percent of those between the ages of 39 and 49 rent, along with 16 percent of consumers over 50.

What are they renting? Top categories in Lab42’s study were furniture (45 percent), gaming systems (37 percent), clothing (35 percent)—the No.1 reason to rent clothing, the study found, was to attend a formal event (77 percent)—tools (35 percent), jewelry and accessories (29 percent), technology (33 percent) and home appliances (29 percent).

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