Aaron's Lease to Own - How to Buy a $1,300 Playstationpage 1 | page 2 | page 3
There is only one other nationwide player in the Rent-to-Own retail business, Aarons. God help you if you screw up your credit and are left to buy things here, because you'd get better prices in prison.
Aaron's is a nationwide chain of retail stores. There are about 1,800 stores across the U.S. and Canada. Their stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange: AAN. Sacramento has three Aaron's stores.
Aaron's is not rent-to-own, it is lease to own. Nearly everything they sell is leased with either 12, 18 or 24 monthly payments, and once the final payment is made, the item is owned by the leasee. This is a way for someone to buy furniture, electronics and appliances without having good credit. Aaron's doesn't even check your credit. Instead, they check with your job, your landlord and your friends to see if you are trustworthy enough to trust to actually make payments and not skip out of town.
To begin a lease, they will need phone numbers for your landlord, job and three (or four) personal references, who they will call.
This background-checking and risk taking is costly, so Aaron's charges a premium for their items. The products are marked up, they tack on a service charge and with the total lease cost, the eventual cost of ownership is jaw-dropping.
Aaron's is a small store, filled mostly with furniture. Appliances occupy one corner, electronics mostly fill another. There's a table for laptop computers, which may or may not actually have computers out. Detailed price cards stand on every item, including the artwork, lamps, vacuum cleaners and even clocks.
The Aaron's Price Tags
Leasing to own is a little more complicated than regular buying, and the price tags at Aaron's reflect that complexity. The ugly truth is all here, which is good for the careful consumer. As a general rule, the good news is shown in large numbers, the bad news is shown in small numbers. Rainbow font colors provided by partybingo.com.
This bed and frame is pretty cool, with a 32" television which rises up from the footboard. $224.99 is the monthly price, plus another 10% for "service". Aaron's knocked $6 off of the monthly price, because this bed is used. That's where the $131.99 in "savings" comes from at the bottom.
For $247/month I could lease a new Toyota Corolla. For $5,939 I could buy five beds and five 32" tvs.
ASP, the 10% Aaron's Service Charge
Just under the bold monthly price is the price including the ASP, Aaron's Service Plan. This 10% surcharge is added to every lease price. So, if the large, let's call it "Showcase Price" is $49.99, the real price is 49.99 plus another 4.99, for a total of $54.98 per month.
This charge is attributed to cover potential repairs, potential loaner equipment in the case of equipment failure, and delivery and relocation moves. In my opinion, it's bullshit.
ASP doesn't apply if you just buy an item outright for cash or with a credit card.