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L.A.'s YBUY lets you try electronic gadgets before buying

July 05, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Los Angeles' YBUY start-up is getting a lot of users and a lot of investment money.
Los Angeles' YBUY start-up is getting a lot of users and a lot of investment… (YBUY )

A Los Angeles-based start-up called YBUY has received $1 million in funding for its try-before-you-buy service for gadgets.

For $24.95 a month, YBUY lets you try out devices before you choose to purchase them or not. After a month, you can either send the gizmo back for another to try or you can keep it and buy it with the $24.95 knocked off the price of the device.

"Wouldn’t it be great if consumers could test drive a new high-end electronic device before purchasing, just as they would a car?" a spokeswoman for the company said in an email.

At least one person thinks it would be great, and that's  Google's  Eric Schmidt. YBUY announced that the Google chairman was investing $1 million in the start-up Thursday, giving the company a nice push as it continues to grow.

As for how it works, YBUY is a service similar to Netflix because along with a monthly fee, the gadgets are delivered to you at your home, just like a Netflix movie is.

But if you go to YBUY's site right now, you won't be able to sign up right away. It has apparently reached its registration cap, so you'll have to wait.

That isn't all bad, though. It's at least a sign that the service is growing, so you won't be alone if you decide to try it out. In fact, TechCrunch reports that YBUY registered 2,000 people on Wednesday alone and has a list of 50,000 waiting to register.

A sample of the products YBUY currently lets users try out include the new iPad, Breville Barista Express, FitBit Ultra, iRobot Roomba, SodaStream, Dyson Hot Fan Heate and Keurig.

But YBUY also plans on launching another pay option for users soon. Company Chief Executive Stephen Svajian told TechCrunch that YBUY plans to launch the new option in the next few months, and that pay model will simply let users pay each time they get a product rather than be billed monthly.

The service sounds pretty cool, but if there was just some way that you could try before you buy YBUY, well, that would just be perfection.


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