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!)