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New Service Lets Users Try Apple's New IPad For 30 Days Before Buying 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-it-a-spin dept.
zacharye writes "A new subscription service allows potential gadget owners to test out new devices like Apple's new iPad tablet before committing to a purchase. YBUY, which bills itself as a try-before-you-buy online subscription service, charges users a flat monthly fee of $24.95 for access to a wide range of consumer electronics as well as home and kitchen gadgets. Users can choose one device at a time from YBUY's catalog and trial the gadget for up to 30 days before returning it. Beginning in April, the company's inventory will also include Apple's new iPad."
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New Service Lets Users Try Apple's New IPad For 30 Days Before Buying

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  • At face value, this sounds pretty slick. Kinda like Netflix for blinkie things. I do hope their 'completely sanitized' procedure actually works, though. The last thing I would want is to rent a tablet then find somebody's snooping my email.

    • by mhajicek (1582795)
      "But we never received your returned item. You owe us $600."
      • Shock! Horror! And... a good way for their business to dry up in a hurry.

        Incidentally, if you lose your cable box you'll be out $500, too.

      • by Cormacus (976625)
        UPS package tracking FTW
      • by rhook (943951)

        I'm sure they pay for return postage and insure it. And the tracking number proves you sent it back.

    • Re:At face value... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:11PM (#39370975)

      It sounds more like people will rent things for vacations and flights who have no interest in actually buying the things.

    • Wipe the device before you send it back. It's not hard to do.

      • It depends on the device, it depends on the customer, and it depends on the company who claims they'll be sanitizing it.

  • Just like any other drug.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pankkake (877909)

      Except in that case most people will realize they don't have an use for one.
      At least that's my experience of iPad users. Past the "it's so cool" period, they pretty much only use it in the toilet.
      I don't think Apple will like this.

      • by rhook (943951)

        And yet they still buy each new model at release.

      • At least that's my experience of iPad users. Past the "it's so cool" period, they pretty much only use it in the toilet.

        Not my experience. Gave my wife an iPad last Christmas . Nearly three months on I'm amazed how much she still uses the thing - Scrolling through photo albums, epicurious recipes when cooking, watching TV shows, playing games with our kids, Facebook - On and on. In our house it's a total multipurpose device - Every week she's using it in some new, nifty neat way.

      • by billcopc (196330)

        For me, that's exactly how it played out. I'm a programmer, I need a beast of a machine with a good keyboard and tons of display real estate. The only time I ever use the tablet is for playing Angry Birds on the crapper.

        For my wife though, the tablet is her new PC. She uses it almost exclusively, because it does 99% of what she needs from a computer: surf the web, play dinky little games, read email, stream youtube. The other 1% is when she needs to edit a real word doc or print something for work.

        Thing

      • by sco08y (615665)

        Except in that case most people will realize they don't have an use for one.
        At least that's my experience of iPad users. Past the "it's so cool" period, they pretty much only use it in the toilet.
        I don't think Apple will like this.

        Yup, definitely on the shitter, plus on the train, or when I'm waiting for someone. Getting half and hour back here or there adds up.

      • That's not my experience with iPad users. It got to be pretty weird how many of my friends (going back to the original iPad) have raved, and continue to rave, about how much they use theirs. Many now have 2 or 3 in their house. I can't tell you how many of my friends, business associates and other acquaintances have said to me: "Buy one! You'll love it!" I finally broke down and bought one of the new ones (which is supposed to arrive today). I took what my friends say and have said, I wrote out where and wh
    • by tomhath (637240)

      Yes, but 30 days means people either:

      A) Are still on the honeymoon and think it will be useful to them

      B) Set it aside after a few days and decided to return it "later"

  • I would hope that this company will have a decent amount of iPads listed as "used" at a reduced price. At lot of things can happen to an electronic gadget in 30 days, especially if the person doesn't have to worry about not being able to return it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    There is no article to discuss, it just goes to a quote of a giant press release. This is spam.

    • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:12PM (#39370987)

      I tagged "slashvertisement"

    • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:12PM (#39370989)
      It's a shameless plug, but it's also an interesting service that many geeks would probably be quite interested in.
  • by rwade (131726) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:13PM (#39371005)

    From the Terms of Service [ybuy.com]:

    6. Delivery Confirmation

    Because many instances may occur at your delivery address that is beyond our control, you agree that any delivery confirmation provided by the carrier is deemed sufficient proof of delivery to the card holder, even without a signature.

    So let's say that UPS claims to deliver it to you but takes no signature -- and the box promptly walks away. From the language above, it sounds like you have the responsibility to hassle with UPS for an insurance claim.

    And on the Chargeback Policy in case you decide that it wasn't your fault that a device didn't exactly isn't on your doorstep when you get home:

    7. Chargeback Policy

    All references to a “chargeback” refer to a reversal of a credit/debit card charge placed on www.ybuy.com. There is no reason for a chargeback to ever be filed. If a credit is due, simply contact us and we will gladly issue it. Unnecessary chargebacks are theft and can be prosecuted. If you feel that your credit/debit card was used fraudulently on www.ybuy.com, please contact us for immediate resolution at support@ybuy.com.

    YOU AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT CHARGEBACK ANY AMOUNTS CHARGED TO YOUR CREDIT/DEBIT CARD ON THIS SITE. IF YOU CHARGEBACK A CREDIT/DEBIT CARD CHARGE FOR A PAYMENT INITIATED BY YOU, YOU AGREE THAT THIS SITE MAY RECOVER THE AMOUNT OF THE CHARGEBACK IN ADDITION TO $ BY ANY MEANS DEMED NECESSARY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO RECHARGING YOUR CREDIT/DEBIT CARD OR HAVING THE AMOUNT RECOVERED BY A COLLECTION AGENCY.

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:31PM (#39371197) Journal

      You can put anything you want into terms and conditions. If it violates their service agreement with the CC processing service (which it is practically guaranteed to), it will be null and void. Credit card companies value your revenue stream more than they value the vendors. It's very hard to run a service without being able to accept MC/Visa/Amex - and if they really use this tactic, and the CC companies get an earful from several customers, it's likely to put them out of business.

      Yes, you might have to fight with UPS or Fedex or USPS about the delivery - but often (again) you can cry foul to the CC company, and they'll refund your money and take it up with the carriers insurance. For the big carriers, it's cheaper to pay the occasional claim and save the 1-1.5 minutes of downtime getting a signature. You'll notice that tomorrow, none of the carriers will leave the iPads without a signature in any place that's even remotely dicey. Dell boxes tend to get the same careful treatment. These guys track cost/benefit very carefully.

      • by causality (777677)

        You can put anything you want into terms and conditions. If it violates their service agreement with the CC processing service (which it is practically guaranteed to), it will be null and void. Credit card companies value your revenue stream more than they value the vendors.

        I just wouldn't do business with these "fine people" in the first place.

        Reading their ToS it occurred to me. Honest businessmen wake up every morning, in a cold sweat, trembling, saying "man, today's the day, I can feel it in my bones! A satisfied customer I haven't wronged in any way is going to seek justice against me, I just know it! They'll probably do it with a chargeback. How EVIL! Damn, I gotta protect myself!" Oh wait, no they don't. Honest businessmen don't do that at all, come to think o

      • Hope they do not take Amax because there is no way that will stand up to them. You can return anything physical for a full refund period. Anything intangible you can say you do not want. It's heavy handed and some people abuse it but there is no opting out of it.

    • And considering how UPS and other deliverers usually either toss them over the wall if nobody's home or simply hands it to a neighbor (at least in my country), I guess that will happen more than just occasionally.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      "There is no reason for a chargeback to ever be filed" and "YOU AGREE THAT THIS SITE MAY RECOVER THE AMOUNT OF THE CHARGEBACK IN ADDITION TO $ BY ANY MEANS DEMED NECESSARY" (sic)

      Pretty sure that statement's in breach of their merchant agreement. At least it would be for me. Sounds like they found their lawyer at the bottom of the foreign owner's family.

      • by thsths (31372)

        > "There is no reason for a chargeback to ever be filed"

        That's also more of a statement than a contractual term, and a wrong one at that. It is like saying "We never make any errors." IANAL, but I would not expect it to stand in court if they rely on it.

    • by causality (777677)
      That's an incredibly asinine ToS.

      There is no reason for a chargeback to ever be filed. If a credit is due, simply contact us and we will gladly issue it.

      In other words ... "trust us! we never make mistakes and we always act on good faith, that's why we demand that you surrender the usual means of recourse in the event that we grossly fail you..." Yeah, that's what honest people always require.

      Unnecessary chargebacks are theft and can be prosecuted.

      If chargebacks and the private arbitration that could result are theft, then a legal suit in a real court must be robbery! Yes, as everyone knows, honest businesses always threaten their customers up-front, without reason or provocat

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:23PM (#39371085) Journal

    Its the final nail in brick and mortar retails coffin. There will be no reasons to even visit the local shop to have a look at something you are going to order on New Egg or Amazon later. Retail at least could hope that might stop in to see the new IPad and leave with something else that just had to have on impulse, now habitual online shoppers will have no reason to set foot in a local store. The can just try out $ITEM in the own home.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:38PM (#39371247)

      Its the final nail in brick and mortar retails coffin.

      I dunno, it doesn't really affect the one compelling advantage of brick and mortar retail -- walk in, walk out with the product today.

      There will be no reasons to even visit the local shop to have a look at something you are going to order on New Egg or Amazon later.

      People doing that (unless they change their mind and buy at the store) are a burden, not a benefit, to brick and mortar stores.

      Plus, the main browsing advantage of brick and mortar stores isn't browsing a single chosen item before buying it, its side-by-side comparison of competing items.

      Plus, compared to the ToS posted for YBUY, in-store browsing (even if you are unusually prone to impulse buying under those circumstances) involves less financial risk than YBUY's delivery liability and chargeback-recovery policies.

      • Plus, the main browsing advantage of brick and mortar stores isn't browsing a single chosen item before buying it, its side-by-side comparison of competing items.

        I'd argue that's actually the main benefit of online shopping. They provide way more details about the item than a tiny postcard in front of a shelf. Comparison shopping is a main driver for cheap online prices as well.

    • rent a center can say we do the same with no shipping or we use own own trucks and crew

    • by billcopc (196330)

      Brick and mortar still wins at "pay now, get it now". There's nothing that annoys me more in this world than women, but my second greatest annoyance is slow/costly shipping for online purchases. If I can drive/bus/taxi to a store 10 minutes away, get my gadget, and get home an hour later vs ordering online, paying $75 in shipping, waiting four days and having to stay home all day because no big name couriers work after 5 pm... yeah, I'm going to the store, saving my money and my time. Even if the reta

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:25PM (#39371119)

    Apple Retail Stores have a 14-day, no restocking fee, no-questions-asked-as-long-as-it's-not-damaged return policy on iPads. (And Macs, and iPods, and purchased-outfit iPhones, and pretty much anything that's not software...)

    Just buy one at an Apple Store, and return it if you don't like it.

    (Posting AC because I'm a Genius.)

  • Of course the headline shouts about Apple, when the main point is that the company allows renting a range of devices. Haters and fan boys rejoice... oops never mind.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:39PM (#39371263) Journal

    I'm a bit baffled - $25, less packaging and shipping, on a $500 item (even at wholesale, say $400) means a payback period of no less than 24 months. That's probably longer than the expected lifecycle of a device like this. How many people would be interested in trialing a original iPad?

    On the flip side, do you really buy enough stuff to justify $300/year? Especially when you can't get 2-3 similar items to play with side by side (Transformer, iPad, and Note; or three digital cameras like the Lumix TZ20, Sony HX30v, and the Canon SX 260HS).

    And then there's the whole - pay retail for a returned and worn product part. I'm sure there's a marketing case for this, but clearly I'm not the demographic!

    • Probably they aren't paying the $500 retail price that we do. Either they have some kind of agreement or even the very first recipient of a product gets a refurbed item

      • I doubt there's much markup for retail stores selling iPads. Most likely stores will sell iPad units because of all the money they make on 3rd party accessories and other impulse purchases. However, Apple products to tend to retain one of the highest used resell value out there. So that at least might work in their favor to entice the whole try-before-you-buy thing.

        • The resale may be what they plan on using to make up the difference. A well refurbed Apple item will fetch 70% or more of the retail value after a year as the new ones come out. They might be able to flip a lot of these tablets for $300 (for the $500 model, next year's $400 model) around launch time, which means that if they cost $420 wholesale (probably higher at launch, who knows) and they can sell them for $300, less about a 5% return rate and shipping costs of $10, for $275 net. To them, 12 months onl

          • That's a pretty good rough breakdown. Makes me wonder if they'll start pulling a "BlockBuster" or some such. The real profit will be in late fees (no automated billing, just must renew manually each month online) and returned damage fees.

    • I'm a bit baffled - $25, less packaging and shipping, on a $500 item (even at wholesale, say $400) means a payback period of no less than 24 months.

      The $25 subscription fee doesn't cover the purchase price of the device. It only covers the trial of it (and potentially the trial of other devices). If you decide to keep your iPad after one month, then you would buy it at their full listed price (with no discounts).

      Also, it's a subscription fee, so after you've tried out the iPad and a couple of other gadgets after a couple of months, they intend to keep on charging you that $25 a month even if you don't order any other new items.

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Surely the point is if an ipad costs the $500 and they can only loan it to one person at a time who pays them $25/month. Then it will take 20 months for them to break even on buying that ipad. Since there's shipping/etc ballpark it at 2 years.

        Of course loss leading is harldly a new strategy.

    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      Of course they are losing money on the iPad. It's a product that will get people to sign up for their service. It's like that 1 good song on a CD album. Or that $50 HD on sale today only on an ad flyer for Best Buy -- while everything else is regular price.

      And so far, I would say their going pretty good. They got an article on slashdot. And now I know they exist. +1 for brand recognition.

    • by Gen-GNU (36980)

      At end of product life cycle (when a new, shinier iPad comes out, for example), old stock could be offloaded through places like Amazon, which already provides for selling of used electronics. This business plan is very similar to what car rental agencies have used for quite a while.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      You're ignoring the fact that they will resell the item as a refurb, recouping a significant chunk of the purchase price. I still see private individuals selling the original iPad for $400 - good old Apple resale value hilarity. I doubt YBUY is worried about this stuff. Any cash they earn by renting them out is gravy on top of the eventual resale, and it's quite likely they've negotiated a volume discount with Apple.

      • by rgbrenner (317308)

        What discount would Apple give them? They have _maybe_ 100 of these (probably a lot less). That's not a volume purchase. And there are some people that would have purchased iPads, but decided to rent them instead, and decided they didn't like it.

        I really don't see what the upside is for Apple to negotiate with them.

        • by billcopc (196330)

          Tons of people buy iPads, change their minds, then resell them in the used market. That "hurts" Apple more than a rental.

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      Your baffled? I am completely baffled how this even became a story, these rental/try before you buy services have existed for decades now, what suddenly makes them newsworthy?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:43PM (#39371307)

    In my country (as well as most of Europe that I'm aware of) you have the right to return what you buy online within 14 days without questions asked. By law. Some companies already extended this, knowing that people will either return it right away anyway or keep it anyway, so 30 days no-fee returns are pretty common already.

    So... well, maybe a nifty idea but I fail to see the news.

    Ohhh, slashvertising... never mind, silly me, living in the past when /. was about news and not ads.

    • Not exactly the same, but I got burned by E-Bay-ing something with PayPal. I was selling a used NEC MobilePro which was basically the precursor to the netbook running WinCE. Not cheap. Anyways, the buyer returned it on the 29th day stating it wasn't what he thought it was and that the sell was based on false advertising. That was a lie! He never e-mailed me to complain or work the deal out. Instead, it came back pre-loaded with a bunch of project data indicating a deadline a week before shipping it back to

  • You won't be able to get a warrant to get it back!

"Out of register space (ugh)" -- vi

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