For a flat monthly fee of $24.95, online try-before-you-buy electronics site Ybuy will let you get your hands on the latest technology for 30 days without having to commit to its full purchase price.
You select one device at a time to test from an extensive catalog of everything from consumer electronics to gadgets for your home and kitchen. If the product doesn't fit in with your workflow or lifestyle, simply return it to Ybuy and get the next gadget in your queue. It's kind of like Netflix for electronics.
"For most consumers, when it comes to electronics or products for the home, the idea is that they want to test the product out first," said Ybuy CEO Stephen Svajian.
Svajian added that many consumers will wait in line for hours, especially for a device like the new iPad, and feel pressure once they get in the store to quickly make a purchase. That could lead to buyer's remorse and a significant financial loss if you want to return the device later because of restocking fees.
"And at the end of the day, you may only get 5 or 10 minutes with a device that hundreds of other people have had their mitts on. I don't know about you, but I've never seen someone wipe down an iPad after they use it. This can make for a pretty gross and stressful shopping experience."
Ybuy is attempting to curb the negative side of shopping by giving its members the opportunity to try out their favorite tech gadgets without waiting in lines or navigating overcrowded and possibly unclean stores. Ybuy offers both new and factory refurbished products certified by the manufacturer. All returned products are sanitized and refurbished before being sent to another customer.
While Apple only offers a 14-day return policy for the new iPad, Ybuy gives its members a full 30 days with no restocking fees assessed. If you want to buy the product, simply pay for it.
Though Ybuy's ultimate goal is to be a replacement for brick-and-mortar stores, the single-product nature and delay in adding gadgets to its catalog could slow the site down. For example, the new iPad won't be available until April 1 at the earliest, and only if you sign up today.
You can request a membership invite and get on the new iPad waiting list at Ybuy's home page. Is a $24.95 membership fee worth the convenience of being able to try the latest tech gear for 30 days? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!