Kelly’s Will Rent-To-Own You This Wii For $948

(Photo: Blitzcat)

(Photo: Blitzcat)

Here’s a perfect example of what a ripoff rent-to-own or “lease-purchase” (to use the Kelly’s phrase) arrangements are to the consumer. This $250 Wii console can be yours for only $79 a month, and after 12 months, it’s yours to keep. By that time, you will have paid $948 for it. By comparison, if you charged it to a credit card with 18% interest, you could pay $23 a month and have it paid off after 12 months. Kelly’s offer will cost you $673 more than paying with the credit card.

From the Kelly’s website:

What distinguishes lease-purchase from a retail credit sale is that there is no interest charged to consumers, no credit is needed, and customers can return the merchandise at any time. This no-obligation, no-debt feature is the cornerstone of lease-purchase.

That’s right, if you decide you can’t make the payments after, say, three months, you can just give the Wii back and not worry about it anymore!

Or, you could stay the hell away from Kelly’s, Rent-A-Center, and similar places and just put $79 in an envelope for three months, then go buy the Wii with cash.

(Thanks to Matt!)

“Rent-A-Center More Like Ripoff Center”


Edit Your Comment

  1. NiGHTSSTUDiO says:

    Damn what a Wiipof

  2. Nashville says:

    Good luck finding one at retail.

  3. Tank says:

    “Or, you could stay the hell away from Kelly’s, Rent-A-Center, and similar places and just put $79 in an envelope for three months, then go buy the Wii with cash.”

    But what if i want it today?

  4. jomil91 says:

    yeah.. of course no interest charged, so that 79 $ you pay for after the next 9 months is?… f that!

  5. bravo369 says:

    Yes it is a ripoff but I have read enough stories over the last year or so that show people do not have a proper grasp of debt and credit terms. They also can’t do simple math. I’m sure if anyone actually falls for this, their reasoning will probably be that they don’t have $300 to spend RIGHT NOW but can make do for $80 a month. if many people go for this then all it shows is that there is an even greater need to teach people about debt and finances.

  6. MDSasquatch says:

    Here-in lies the problem; Wiis are almost impossible to find unless you want to be fleeced on ebay or Amazon.

    I have been looking for a Wii for about two weeks, B&M store don’t have them and online merchants sell out within minutes of updating their sites.

    I hope all the dickhead$ that are buying these things up and throwing them on ebay at a tremendous markup get stuck with every unit they have.

    This company is doing the same as all the other profiteers and should be avoided at all cost.

  7. Traveshamockery says:

    These places thrive off people bad at math, and those with no impulse control.

    And my state’s governor in Kentucky, believes that adding casino gambling will help to cure poverty…

  8. shadow735 says:

    stuff like this makes me laugh I remember when the playstation 3 firswt came out and people were buying it for $5,000+ on ebay. I almost pissed my pants laughing at these retards because if they just waited a few more months they could have saved themselves a nice wad of cash.
    Its all about supply and demand, sorry but I dont care how bad I want something I will be wanting for 6 months so I can wait and not have to fork over excessive cash for it.
    My only regret is I didnt wait in line to buy a few of those systems if I knew they would be going to 5k on ebay I would have bought them to sell.

  9. shadow735 says:

    @MDSasquatch: supply and demand, your calling them dickheads? Hell I would do the same if I could. If people are dumb enough to buy them for over inflated cost they are getting provided with a hard to find commodity, they are not getting ripped off. They are paying for the service that this person is providing so that they can buy the game system from them. If they dont want to pay that high price then they have to wait till supply starts to keep pace with demand
    Supply and demand is the name of the game , small supply results in high prices.

  10. James says:


    Don’t worry, you’ll find one. It took me about a month,but if you look hard enough…

    Anyways places like Kelly’s and Rent-A-Center should be avoided at all costs. How people keep falling for s**t for this is beyond me…

  11. MBPharmD says:

    @MDSasquatch: For 2 weeks? Come on! It took me 4 months but I got one, granted it was a package but it was from Costco, only added $100 to the base price and actually saved me $20 in the end. Try sites like and check out B&M places on Sunday mornings.

  12. gorckat says:

    Wasn’t there a Wii buying guide before the holidays? I recall the big thing being to cultivate a relationship with a store.

    If you’ve got to have one and have already picked out the peripherals you’ll be buying, why not buy that stuff now (maybe from two places, if you want that much) so they might be more inclined to hook you up?

  13. kris in seattle says:

    I actually work for an ad company and our main business is making flyers/circulars for all sorts of Rent-To-Own companies like this.

    The shitty shitty way these RTO companies do business…

    If you can avoid it, NEVER go into one of these places.

  14. Toof_75_75 says:


    My fiance was able to get me one around Thansgiving just by calling the local Walmart everyone once in a while and asking if they had any in stock and then going there to get one when they did.

  15. WhirlyBird says:

    @James: “How people keep falling for s**t for this is beyond me…”

    Remember, by definition, half of the population is of below-average intelligence.

  16. Ken says:

    the advertiser need to learn math

  17. GearheadGeek says:

    PT Barnum was right. I don’t think the majority of people “buying” a Wii from Kelly’s, but people who make a habit of handing over their money to such companies. If you were willing to pay 3x for the Wii you could just overpay for it from eBay for less.

    These are the same people who buy a car knowing only the monthly payment.

  18. GearheadGeek says:

    @GearheadGeek: durrr…. need to proofread more carefully. “I don’t think the majority of people “buying” a Wii from Kelly’s are ones who can’t find one at a more reasonable retail outlet, but…”

  19. PenguinBlue says:

    In their defense, the present value of those payments at 10% is a mere $898.59. It’s a steal!

  20. Parting says:

    If you want to ”rent” it for a month, it could be worth it:)

  21. trujunglist says:

    It only took me 2 months to get a Wii. I used the online Wii tracker things and bought one from Toys R Us. Just keep refreshing and you’ll eventually get one. It was a bundle, which sucks and is frowned upon by Nintendo, but a couple of the games were good and the others I’ve sold, given away, or am going to sell once I get around to it.
    Also, I’m not really sure where you live, but depending on your location, a Wii could actually be a 20 minute drive away. A lot of rural communities still have Wal-Mart, and a lot of the rural communities have people who are 1) not able to afford the Wii 2) don’t really play video games 3) are religious. For example, a friend of mine lived in Payson, AZ, a really small essentially entirely Mormon community. I told him how hard it was to find a Wii in San Diego and he said that they had like 5 Wiis at the Wal-Mart there at any given time because of the above reasons.

  22. The Bigger Unit says:

    Doesn’t beat the girl on “Judge Mathis” (hey, I’m on break) who cooly stated she is paying close to $2,500 for a PS3 from a rent-to-own joint. It is truly unbelievable how stupid people are.

  23. North of 49 says:

    we waited a year to get our wii. we looked at the price Easy Home had for wiis – best was 8$/week/104weeks vs 12$/week/104weeks and they wanted the first month up front as well as other fees. Do the math. We decided to save our money in a jar and when we had enough, go hunting. Took us about 11 months to get the money together and that month we got a Wii.

    Recently, Mr. No49 got a new job and he has to live with friends during the week. He decided to look at Easy Home for a laptop and walked out of the store laughing. They wanted 43$/week/104weeks/etc for a refurbished unit. Refurbished! Not even new to him which grossed us both out. We instead bought two laptops for 1/4 the price we would have paid in total. Two, completely new to us laptops.

    What I find hilarious is that this one “charming” fellow we know was boasting about how easy it was to use Easy Home. I snickered as I walked by while he boasted about his stuff and how easy the payments were and more. I’d rather have my home style be early kleptomania where things were free, Walmart or Ikea brand or from garage sales than pay those prices for junk that won’t even be guaranteed new to me. Even if it was early orange crate, it would be OUR orange crates. The stuff from Easy Home isn’t yours until you have paid it off.

    That same “charming” fellow also forgot to mention all the times I saw the Easy Home truck outside his door ready to repossess “his” possessions but couldn’t because no one was home. That’s why I held my tongue until I got inside and broke out into insane laughter. I’ll take my second hand stuff over his Easy Home way-to-expensive-for-what-its-worth any day.

    The only time I would ever use anything like Easy Home here is if we only needed it for a month or two, and even then, we would rather sleep on the floor than use them.

  24. nweaver says:

    To get a Wii from target, just check the sunday flyer at 5am. If a Wii is ADVERTISED, the local target is probably getting a shipment that day, so get yer butt over there. IF the weather is bad, the Wiis can stick around till midafternoon, but don’t count on it.

  25. Saboth says:

    I’ve seen rent-to-own companys selling rims now…can’t imagine what a set of $3,000 rims will cost in the end…10,000?

    And I just got a Wii from Amazon 2 weeks ago for $249. It’s not easy…have to use the Wii trackers and set up alerts for your phone and email, and be ready to move in about 3-5 minutes. They sell out online in 5 minutes. Only other option is to check daily with retailers like Gamestop and Walmart… yeah, I admit, ridiculous. Part of the shortage is caused by the Ebay racketeers buying out whole shipments so that no one else can get them.

  26. ekthesy says:


    That sort of thing needs to be taught in high schools. Maybe a semesterlong mandatory course for seniors: Managing Money 101. Talk about student loans and other debt, credit cards, bank accounts and other investment vehicles, interest rates, maybe a bit about how buying a home and mortgages work.

  27. coold8 says:

    My theory on instant gratification of purchases is simple, you can wait….. unless the price is less then 20% then what the product is actually selling for. Meaning, I bought a kindle for $500 instead of $400, but got it instantly, I did not feel bad, and understand that paying the $100 premium was because I wanted it now, similar to overnight shipping.

  28. SaraAB87 says:

    Most retail stores hoard their Wii’s in the back for ad dates. This is why you never see them on the shelves. Check sites like slickdeals for the ad listings ahead of time and then plan to get there about an hour before store opening. If its in the ad there will be at least probably 10 Wii’s waiting to be purchased. My uncle got one last week for my cousins and this is how he did it. There were only a few people there so everyone got one no problem.

  29. Hellblazer says:

    @WhirlyBird: And on top of that, “average intelligence” itself ain’t all that bright.

  30. rmz says:

    This is very similar to why people who take loans from CashCall are frighteningly stupid.

    Borrow $10,000, and pay back $256.26 a month for 120 months. That works out to $30,751.20. And that’s only at 29.26% APR — their delinquent rate is 99% in most states, I believe.


  31. vastrightwing says:

    Because I’m such a nice guy, I’ll lease you a Wii for only $19/month for 45 months and if a newer model comes out you want more, I’ll let you exchange it!

  32. Slusy says:

    The Wii shortages just provide an opportunity to save up the money for a Wii and buy one outright in three months (at $79/month) rather than pay $79/month for 12 months, though.

    Besides, there will be more games worth playing out for the Wii in three months than there are right now…

  33. mike says:

    @MDSasquatch: Dude, supply and demand! Those that have the money and really, *REALLY* want a Wii will pay out the nose for it. I know one guy paid $700 for a wii.


  34. m4ximusprim3 says:

    you can just go to [] and sign up for notifications- as soon as it comes up on a retailer site, you’ll get an email and can pounce.

    Thats how I got mine.

  35. PinkBox says:

    Why can’t the idiots just save $79 a month for three months, and THEN buy the Wii from another location? (if they could find any at another location, anyway.)

    I’ve never understood the mindset of buying something frivilous that you don’t have the money on hand for.

  36. Hawk07 says:

    Yeah, these places are shady as heck. I received a catalog from one of them, and all the prices were 20-50% higher than MSRP. It even plainly stated the prices (i.e. MS Xbox 360 Premium – $480 – Own it for XX per month).

  37. Laffy Daffy says:

    There is a loosely organized underground making life tough for the Wii resellers. Most of it is concentrated on craigslist, where they are cancelling the greediest posts. They’re also starting to move more on ebay, usually by either bidding up auctions or just dragging their heels and then not paying. I was invited to join after making some comments in a wii tracking forum but I declined. I don’t agree 100% with it, but I can kind of see the point.

  38. dripdrop says:

    There was a recent episode of Judge Judy where a woman was suing to get a PS3 back from her boyfriend. She had been renting it from one of these places for like $100 a month and she ended up paying over $2400 for it. My bf and I couldn’t believe anyone could be so stupid. It was clear the audience was shocked too.

  39. ezacharyk says:

    I am sorry to say I used to work for Colortyme. It sure sucked. I got real familiar with the pricing scheme. It was funny watching them use the credit card comparison. They would compare the rent to own price to the credit card price. They would not state what interest rate the credit card used. They would also show only making the minimum payments.

    In the end, the person using credit would pay 300-400 dollars more. But without all the information that means nothing. After all, if the person using credit payed the rental payments, they would pay off the item in half the rental time and pay less than half the total rental price.

  40. tequilajunction says:

    This might be a dumb question, but what exactly is the problem here? The company is clearly listing their price upfront and offering customers an out if they don’t want to finish the payments.

    Granted the final price is outrageous, but if somebody wants to advertise a Wii for $950, the only way they’re going to sell one is if somebody’s willing to buy it. It’s not like they’re overcharging for gas or heating oil – it’s a game machine.

  41. UpsetPanda says:

    @tequilajunction: It’s because there are stupid people in the world who would think this was a great idea because they can “lease” without actually “buying” the console. It’s the words in play here…rent implies no responsibility of ownership. It’s like how someone making $20,000 a year can lease a BMW and look really well off, but they’re not. Poor money management makes one a loser no matter how nice the toys are.

  42. Islandkiwi says:


    It’s because places like this take advantage of the poorest and least educated among us. People would rent to own furniture and electronics because they couldn’t afford the purchase price, but then the amount they made in payments ended up being several times over what the product was originally worth.

    To be honest, I thought this type of practice was illegal nowadays.

  43. MeOhMy says:

    Are the Wiis actually hard to get now? I started looking right after the new year and had one before January was out. I was even restricted to getting it from Best Buy b/c of a bunch of GCs I had. I told my friend what day/time/store I got mine. He called the following week at the same time and got one no problem.
    I figured at this point the supply was beginning to catch up.

  44. iamlost26 says:

    if anyone thinks this is a killer deal, i’ll rent mine out for $69/month for 12 months ;)

    i’m sure they figure that if they get even one taker, that’s an extra $1000!

  45. starrion says:


    you can’t teach common sense.

  46. KyleOrton says:

    Don’t even go in! It’s not like these deals are close and, after a bit of figuring, you realize it’s not a great deal.

    Shopping these stores even casually is like responding to “I’ll trade you a Diet Pepsi for half of your heart” with “Which half?”

  47. UpsetPanda says:

    I think one of my ex boyfriends’ family was a “rent to own” family…poor money management was one of the reasons he’s an ex, but in retrospect, I didn’t realize just how desperate some people must be to give into these scam companies, just to have the $100 DVD player.

  48. Citizen Snips says:

    I was just about to put that…glad i read down the page first.

    but in the spirit of competition:
    Ill rent anyone mine for $67.00 a month.

  49. weave says:

    If you can rent one of these for one month only it might not be a bad deal. Rent it for a month, play the hell out of it until you’re bored of it, then instead of sitting it in a closet collecting dust, turn it back in. $79 is cheaper than $250 in that scenario.

  50. riverstyxxx says:

    Why the hell are “Rent to Own” business so popular still if the prices are exhorbant?

  51. uricmu says:

    @shadow735: They are dickheads becase they are going and buying all the supplies early so that your average person has no chance of getting any. It’s not just about getting up early and braving the cold, it’s about having connections at the retailer so you could split the profits with your inside man in response for information that will help you scalp.

  52. mmr says:

    You could just buy a Wii on ebay for 400 dollars and pay with paypal, which in turn pulls money from your credit card. Then you can still make payments while avoiding the ass rape.

  53. ShadowFalls says:

    They are just taking advantage of the Wii short supply. Because of them snatching up the ones they are renting out at inflated prices, (not much different than ebay in retrospect) People couldn’t buy them at retail locations for a far better final cost.

  54. UpsetPanda says:

    @riverstyxxx: As InfiniTrent and Islandkiwi: have both said, these places take advantage of the pocket of people who aren’t the most educated, while being the most poor.

    I know some people who HAD TO HAVE a Wii and instead of waiting for a few months, or being vigilant and watching local stores, they bought one off Craig’s List for $600 + dollars. Basically, the effort of making some phone calls, watching Wii Tracker wasn’t worth it, so they spent a week’s pay. Some people have compulsion problems.

  55. MrEvil says:

    I hate the fact that I have to walk into Aaron’s all the time to fix their Dell rental PCs. The prices are grossly inflated compared to what you could get if you saved that amount of money up and in the future bought the computer straight-up.

  56. beddo says:

    Why do governments make interest on this scale illegal? I don’t think anyone should be allowed to charge more than 10% over the rate of inflation.

  57. rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

    I’ve been supplementing my income by buying a few here Mexico and when I go visit my folks back in New Mexico my kid cousin already has a couple of “buyers bidding for the goods”

    Once my folks made it into something like a finance class for the kids, made it like an auction and told them it would cost them to enter the bid an all that. The only money that was not returned was from the guy that won the auction. That was the most expensive Wii I’ve ever heard about.

  58. rubberkeyhole says:


    how do you like your kindle?

  59. visionep says:

    Not to rain on anyone’s crazy parade here, but doesn’t the picture look like it includes more than just the Wii?

    It looks like it is a Wii gaming system with an LG flatscreen TV.

    While rent-to-own is ridiculous; I think everyone commenting here as been taken for a ride.

  60. SaraAB87 says:

    The great thing about a Wii is if you bought one at launch you could have played the heck out of it (use a rental service for games), sold it for more than what you paid for it, and then you would have only been out 20-30$ for a month of rentals from the video store. In fact due to the fact that you would have been able to sell it for more than what you paid, you probably wouldn’t have lost any money at all. That is if your store had a decent amount of Wii rentals in stock. Its a little harder now to sell Wii’s since people mostly go for sealed ones and used ones fetch a little less. Given the fact that most of the games on the Wii get boring very fast, this would have been a very good idea. Most people I know that have a Wii don’t even turn it on after 2 months. The novelty just wears off so fast.

  61. blitzcat says:

    It does not include the flatscreen. The flatscreen is $159*24 months. So $3816. Full scan of the ad is here.

  62. goodkitty says:

    To play devil’s advocate, I’ve known several people who have used these kinds of places as a quick “no down payment” way to get a house full of furniture. I’ve watched also as a few of them decided to renege on their promises and either destroy said furniture before returning it, not paying for many months, or in too many instances, simply stealing it and disappearing. The rent-to-own shops might be the furniture equivalents of payday lenders, but they have the same massive problems with fraud as well.

    When you’re dirt-poor, you’ve had nothing and can’t see yourself every having anything, don’t underestimate the power of stepping into one of those places and seeing all the furniture and electronic gear set up so beautifully, wishing that was your home, and then seeing a price tag that somehow actually fits within your minimum-wage budget… It’s easy to say you won’t sell your soul for a couch, but then most of us here probably never had to use cardboard boxes and trash-soaked crates for furniture without the mental ease of being in college or simply knowing that someday things would be better because we came from something better.

  63. el_dusto says:

    I bought a TV at Aarons recently.

    It was a previously-leased 61″ HDTV, marked down from MSRP of 2699 to 1799. Total lease/purchase price would have been just over $5000….

    …were it not for the fine print. I’m not sure how it works at other rent-to-own money farms, but at Aarons, you get 90 days same as cash. My somewhat specious credit wouldn’t let me get a credit card with an offer like that, and here’s a sketchy lease showroom doing me a favor.

    Luckily, I have plenty of actual money these days. Two $900-ish payments later, the TV is mine free and clear, and I watch basketball in glorious HD while savoring the inner glow that only comes from getting a good deal from a ripoff artist.

  64. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    That’s amazing that they do that. Congrats. I don’t think they are necessarily rip-off artists. So long as they are open with their terms and don’t fool people, they are running a business. Granted, it’s one a lot of people don’t like, but then again, I don’t like stores that sell nothing but NY Yankees memorabilia. Doesn’t make them wrong.

  65. mammalpants says:

    as a kellys wii system owner, i am proud to say that they $950 is well worth it. We also purchased WiiPlay for $34/mo for 6 months and Resident Evil 4 for $56/mo for 12 months. sure, it ended up around 2K for 2 games and a system, but hello!!???! rent-to-own!! yeah!!! availability???!!! yeah!!! the best part is that my system had been previously rented, so it had a wonderful yellowy-nicotine finish that you cant find in stores. also, there was a mii already on it named “Whopperz Jr.”

  66. jhuang says:

    Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve searched for a Wii, but if you devote some good time into it it shouldn’t be too hard at all. When I got mine last year I only spent a week or two looking.. calling up all the local GameStops, etc. and using the Wii Tracker. I actually called and found one that my boss ended up getting right away, and got mine the wknd after at a different GameStop after waiting a couple of hours on a Sunday morning. Maybe I’m just lucky, but it seems ridiculous that people are waiting months and months and paying hundreds of dollars more to get one.

  67. BlazerUnit says:

    @The Bigger Unit: Judge Mathis, king of all judge shows. And the perfect cure for when your own self esteem runs low.

  68. BMRFILE says:

    It’s true that we need to start educating kids in school about buying on credit, or making payments by ways of taking out loans. Once they realize how much they’re being ripped off, we’ll become the most frugal country in the world.

    However, this payment plan for the Wii is simple math. If you can’t multiply $79 by 12 months, then there’s no help for you.

  69. Arrngrim says:

    I didn’t bother reading all the comments, but I’m sure this has been beaten to death like a dead horse:

    GOOD luck finding a Wii in a retail store!