Do you know how many goods and services are available for rental?

Posted: 1.12.15
Category: AFR Residential

As appeared in the New York Real Estate Journal

Ron LanzoRon Lanzo
AFR Furniture Rental

Since authoring my initial article on “Did You Know that you could Rent…” for this publication, I have usually been asked the question, “who rents office furniture?” One of my favorite responses has always been the same kind of person who chooses to lease a car rather than purchase one. And so I continue to look for what can be rented as an alternative to outright purchase. In a prior article, I did mention that a new start up company, called “Rent the Runway” was off to the races with a great idea that made high end couture fashion available to the masses! This company that has enjoyed spectacular growth recently opened a retail rental location in Las Vegas, and they are now renting wedding dresses and bridal gowns! Some quick math on the obvious advantage or benefit of renting versus buying is that a $7,000 wedding gown can be rented for your special day for only $1,000! Now that extra savings can go to the honeymoon or the down payment on your first love nest!
Why make an investment in a furniture acquisition when you can get your business opened and operational by using rental furniture? By renting your furnishings requirements initially a business can conserve capital by only paying a small fixed monthly rental rate, instead of making a large investment. There may also be other tax benefits as well since the rental costs are charged as an expense against revenues instead of amortizing these over 60 months. We recommend you check with your chief financial officer or certified public accountant, but do look into the option of renting it just might save you a lot of money! If you should find that your company is in need of some interim furnishings, you may very well wish to consider rental as a solution.

Now I know that you are all familiar with the LEGO collection, and how popular these colorful plastic building blocks have become for both children and adults! In fact, adults can’t help but remembering the Erector Set, as their preferred building toy back many decades ago when they were young. LEGO’s are so popular that they just opened up an anchor retail store on the corner of Fifth Ave. (200 5th) and 23rd St., right here in Manhattan! A LEGO set can be very expensive. Well, if it’s not within your budget or you like to build new ones each time, then guess what now is also available as a rental. If you said LEGO, then you are absolutely correct! The company is called PLEY, and their website is www.pley.com.

Your first LEGO set is free, and they offer a monthly minimum plan that starts at just $15 per month. As soon as you’re done playing with your rental, or you want to move on to another set, simply send it back to them in a prepaid mailing package! And the postage is paid in both directions! Should you or your children loose a piece, they won’t charge you to any replacement charge. If you were worried about germs or you have a Donald Trump phobia, then have no fear since they clean all the pieces before they repackage them for the next clients’ shipment! They currently have 250 sets, and new sets are added monthly. In fact, the company is doing so well that it has recently received an infusion of capital and is considering an IPO or Initial Public Offering.

Both of these companies have attracted some serious venture capital interest, with Rent the Runway being part to the Bain Capital Ventures and two other large private equity firms, while PLEY has secured around $6.75 million led by Allegro Venture Partners. When this kind of equity capital money starts flowing into a deal, there should be very little doubt about the viability of a business model! This brings me to one of the reasons many companies consider renting rather than an outright purchase, so that they can test the viability of the business model. Why make an investment in a furniture acquisition when you can get your business opened and operational by using rental furniture? By renting your furnishings requirements initially a business can conserve capital by only paying a small fixed monthly rental rate, instead of making a large investment. There may also be other tax benefits as well since the rental costs are charged as an expense against revenues instead of amortizing these over 60 months. We recommend you check with your chief financial officer or certified public accountant, but do look into the option of renting it just might save you a lot of money!

If you should find that your company is in need of some interim furnishings, you may very well wish to consider rental as a solution. You’ll find many advantages to renting including the ability to return the product hassle free when you no longer require the product.

Ron Lanzo is the commercial account executive for AFR Furniture Rental, New York, N.Y.