Insider's Guide to Furniture & the Home Furnishings Industry

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Why do people rent furniture? Is it any good?

There are two very different types of Furniture Rental -- Rent to Own, and Rent-to-Rent.

You are probably thinking of Rent-to-Own which is far larger in terms of the number of locations. There are nearly 10,000 RTO locations throughout the U.S.


Rent-to-Own is primarily a retail lease/purchase operation. It targets consumers who do not have good credit or who have no credit history and little cash.

Rent-to-own has one primary benefit. It allows consumers to own furniture that is newer and more expensive than they could otherwise afford or finance. No cash down or credit check is required.

The dis-advantage is extremely high interest rates than can run as high as 300%. Rent-to-own franchises try to price their furniture so that they can make back the cost of the furniture in 6-15 months.

After that everything is pure profit, as is anything they can get from selling off the used furniture if it is returned or repossessed.

Rent-to-Own stores sell inexpensive furniture that can be paid off in just a few "manageable" monthly payments .

Rent-to-Rent furniture stores service more affluent customers with a temporary need for furnishings. Rent-to-rent is true rental, not a means to purchase.

Furniture is leased for a specific term and returned to the rental company at the end of that term. Furniture rental agreements are usually for a term of three months to three years.

The furniture pieces offered in rent-to-rent are usually of higher quality than those used in rent-to-own.

Rent-to-rent customers are less price conscious. They are often higher income individuals on a temporary work assignment.

In the U.S. a small number of national/regional companies dominates the rent-to-rent furniture industry. The largest of these are Cort, Brook Rentals and AFR Furniture Rental.


Individual metropolitan areas and regions may be served by several much smaller local companies.

A list of some of these is available at Furniture Rental & Leasing in Yellow Pages by SuperPages.

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