Dec 21, 2015 08:57 AM EST
The San Francisco startup, Lumoid, offers the consumers an opportunity to test the latest gadgets including digital cameras, wearable technologies, drones, as well as audio devices for small rental fees. It also offers try-to-buy option, which the consumers can buy the gadgets they test with 30 percent post rental purchase discount.
Lumoid was founded in 2013 by a former Microsoft Product Manager and Netflix Product Manager. The company started with renting digital cameras and other photography devices and branched to drones in 2014.
In January 2015, Lumoid started renting wearable technologies, including Apple Watch. According to Forbes, Apple Watch has been showing great traffic on Lumoid's site. The company's founder Aarthi Ramamurthy said that the company has just now cleared the wait list of 600 people who wanted Apple Watch for rent.
Lumoid has about 45 different wearable gadgets now on the site. The company's founder and CEO said that there is at least one new wearable every week on the Lumoid's site and there are so many sometimes, especially in the holiday seasons.
Last month, Lumoid expanded its rental services to audio brands. The company now has offerings that include more than 50 audio products including headphones from Audio Technica, Beats, Bose, Sony and Sennheiser.
Aarthi Ramamurthy told CNBC that audio is the potential area for the business. She said that lots of people would like to test drive audio devices, especially when it comes to headphones.
Ramamurthy said that the company works directly with the manufacturers to get the latest audio units. Lumoid's staffs also get fully trained by the manufacturers on how to set up and troubleshoot the installation of devices.
Lumoid's audio branch offers three categories, according to TechHive. The first category is the home audio, which focuses on in-home speaker systems. The second is portable audio, including portable Bluetooth and wireless speakers. The third is personal audio, which features headphones.
Lumoid's data showed that the most popular audio devices among pre-Christmas shoppers include a $2,000 Devialet Phantom wireless speaker, the Master & Dinamic headsets that retail for $399, and the Beats wireless speaker.
The customers can test the latest gadgets on Lumoid for $8 to $18 a day plus shipping. There is also an offer to test three selected devices over two week period for just $30. If the customers want to keep the tested products, Lumoid credits 30 percent of the rental cost for the past year toward the purchase price.
The company has seen a boost in traffic since it launched the audio branch, but the CEO said it might be attributed to the holiday season in November and December.
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