Netflix: Not Just For Movies

By Trilby Goouch
Blogs Editor

Most of you are likely familiar with Netflix, the popular movie rental website that offers a range of movie titles for a monthly fee of less than $10. This online-rental platform is gaining momentum, and now many products, ranging from nail polish to video games, are coming out with services that allow consumers to acquire products for a fraction of the cost. As a student, these services save money and serve as an efficient way to experience items without a long-term purchase commitment. Most of these services are restricted to U.S customers only; however it's only a matter of time before Canada gains access to these unique resources as well. Here are a few Netflix-style rental resources I came across.

Lacquerous: An online “rent-a-polish” service in which U.S customers pay $18 to rent 3 nail polish colours (from a selection of 70 shades) for a month- long period. Developed based on the idea of “collective consumption”, customers are given the opportunity to use designer polishes in the comfort of their own home without shelling out the standard $10-$15 per bottle or paying for a manicure at a salon. The creators inspect bottles upon their return and are in the process of coming up with the best solution to ensure nail polishes get returned in a timely fashion.

Rent A Runway: The mail order service provides U.S customers with rental designer pieces for 1/10 of the cost of their retail price, with brands ranging from Diane Von Furstenberg, Hervé Léger and Proenza Schouler. Dresses are shipped to the customer’s door and loaned for a four-day period, after which they are returned in a prepaid mail envelope with optional $5 damage insurance. The service is invitation only, which promotes it as a trustworthy, ‘elite’ service. Designers benefit from the service too; if customers like their purchase, they are more likely to go out and invest in the piece.

Freshneck: A men’s accessory service where U.S customers can rent bowties, neckties, pocket squares, cufflinks and more. The customer pays a monthly fee (ranging from $15-$55 depending on the membership), and has access to three rental items per month. Membership levels give access to different brands, with the platinum membership providing the most selection. Items are received in one-three business days, and returned in a prepaid envelope. The service also offers a ‘gift it’ feature, as well as a cool website.

Bookswim: A book rental service that provides U.S customers with the option of creating a reading list of book titles that are shipped directly. The service advertises no late fees or due dates, and new books are shipped once read books are returned via a prepaid envelope in four-eight days. Customers can rent as many books as they choose for various monthly fees; for $23.95/month customers can rent three books, or for avid readers $59.95/month will get you 11 titles at a time.

Rental Textbooks: A service offered at Queen's through The Campus Bookstore that allows students to rent textbooks for a 125 day period for a low price (most range from $50-$70). Textbooks are shipped to students’ addresses and can be returned to The Campus Bookstore. Keep in mind that rental books are in gently used condition and don’t include CD-ROMS or access codes.

Game Access: A rental service that provides over 3,000 consol and handheld titles available for rent that are accessible through a monthly fee. Games are compatible with Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U, Wii, and 3DS, as well as older systems. A one-game plan costs $17.95/mo, while a four-game plan costs $39.95/mo. The service boasts no late fees, and offers the ability to reserve titles or increase return times for a low fee. It's also available in Canada!

What are some products you’d like to see rentable? Let us know in a comment below.

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