Devil's Advocate 

Rent Your Furniture

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

Here’s a topic you don’t see being covered every day – renting furniture. Renting furniture is often regarded as a bad idea, and for most situations I have to agree, it’s not a good idea. There are, however, some instances where renting isn’t as bad as you think.

The biggest strike against renting furniture is that it’s expensive. After doing some quick research online at Cort (it gave me the DC rates), you can rent a nice queen bedroom set for under $200 a month. A comparable bedroom set from a department store would be around $2,000. So you’re paying a significant premium when it comes to renting furniture. I don’t think anyone would dispute that the biggest strike against renting furniture is cost.

So why would I advocate renting furniture? Sometimes the situation requires it.

Short Term Living

If you aren’t going to be living long term in an area, renting furniture can reduce a lot of the hassle. Furniture rental stores will return you furniture for as little as 3 months (most quotes are for a 6 month rental). At three months, it’s a lot easier to rent a queen bedroom set for $600. You don’t want to buy a $2,000 set and try to sell it in 3-6 months because you probably won’t get $1,400 for it.

You Don’t Have To Move It

When you rent furniture, the rental company will deliver and pick up the furniture. If you’ve ever moved, the biggest pains (besides a million boxes of kitchen goods) in a move involve the furniture. It’s big, it’s bulky, you’re always afraid you’ll mash it up against a wall and damage it. When you rent, you take that headache out (for a price!) but sometimes it’s nice to avoid some of the headache especially if you’re crunched for time and have a lot of things to take care of.

Complete Your Needs

Finally, sometimes you just need one or two more items to satisfy your furniture needs and you don’t want to pay out the up front cost to get the items. Renting can solve your problems by getting you a few items, at a monthly rate, that you can return once you’re done with them. Perhaps you use this strategy to get the couches or the bed frames, spending the money on smaller, cheaper, items that are easier to move or store if you need to (like end tables and coffee tables).

Remember, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You can always buy some items and rent other items as you see fit.

What are your thoughts on renting furniture?

{ 5 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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5 Responses to “Rent Your Furniture”

  1. The interest and principle you pay to rent furniture is NEVER worth the cost. If you can’t buy it outright, don’t rent it and don’t put it on a credit card. Event rentals are a different thing, but please NEVER rent furniture for your home!

  2. Doug says:

    I have to agree with MoneyforCollegePro. My sister does the rent-to-own deal. She has gone through at least 3 living room sets in the time that my wife and I have had the same one we bought 5 years ago. Our set was about $2000 and my sister has probably spent over $6000. It just doesn’t seem to add up financially. Even if you return it after 6 months, you’ve spend $1200+ and still need new furniture.

  3. Martha says:

    Exchange students have been the biggest user of rental furniture that I’ve known. If you are only going to live in an area for 1 yr – 6 months you can get much nicer furniture for the amount of money that you would spend for just one year’s worth of use. This is especially true if you won’t be able to sell it when you move (very common to only get 25 – 50% of what you paid for it).

  4. freeby50 says:

    I think renting furniture can feasibly be a good choice if and only if you’re in a short term living situation like a 3 month temp job out of town or something like that. However you do have to be careful about who you rent from. Some of the rent to own types of places really over charge people and basically pray on people who want nice stuff fast but have horrible credit. Never buy/rent from those companies. You want to find a legitimate furniture rental company that deals more with corporate housing and stuff like that. THey are much more practical. But again I think it probably only works out for very short periods like a 2-3 month timeframe.

  5. Been There says:

    Anyone who has ever tried to rent furniture for N months knows that they rental companies take the full retail price of the furniture, divide by N and that’s the monthly rent. So if you want $600 worth of furniture for 6 months, they charge $100 per month. So you save nothing.

    But if you want to keep it for 6 months longer, they will be happy to oblige — at $100 per month. So now you’ve paid double, you’ve only had it a year, and it still isn’t yours!

    Never rent furniture. There isn’t any scenario where it makes sense for you. Buy it, use it, and when you are ready to let it go, list it for a ridiculously cheap price and someone will always be happy to pick it up and take it away.

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