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Renting Consumer Products A New Trend

Turning Art

Turning Art allows customers to rent artwork for $10 a month. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Rent or buy? That’s usually a question we ask ourselves when we’re thinking about where to live. Now it’s a question that’s coming up more often with all kinds of consumer products that we used to buy. CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports.

Todd Saunders hangs a brand new work of art in his kitchen, but just for the time being.

“I’m kind of outgrowing college posters and what not, and I appreciate some scenic photographs,” said Saunders.

So just like Netflix, Saunders has created a list of artwork he wants to have shipped to his house by a company called Turning Art.

Starting at about $10 a month, you can get a new print every three months.

Jason Gracilieri with TurningArt.com said, “We allow customers to explore and rotate artwork in their home.”

Renting instead of buying seems to be the trend.

There’s “Rent The Runway” if you need a party dress for a few days. You can also get the matching purse on loan, or a fancy piece of jewelry that would otherwise be outside your budget.

And of course, you could always get to that party in a Zipcar.

Financial advisor Dana Levit says go ahead and rent as long as it’s cost-efficient.

“It comes down to, are these short-term assets or are these long-term assets?” said Levit. “I would rent for the trendy items, I would buy for the things that are longer term that actually really do have a residual value.”
Turning Art has actually created a different type business model than other sites. You build equity as you rent the print, making it easier to buy the painting later on, if you decide you like it.

“Every dollar you spend during that plan actually earns credit toward buying an original work of art,” Gracilieri said.

There are some other items you should probably always buy if you can. One, in particular, is furniture. If you rent to own, by the time you own it, you’ve often paid 100 to 200 percent more than it’s worth.

Turning Art has about 320 original paintings in their cyber gallery. For more information, click here.