Lease life to the fullest

By He Jianwei (Beijing Today)
Updated: 2008-05-16 09:43

Many young adults in China prefer to rent luxury products rather than buy them. While purchasing a race car may be beyond the reach of their 9-to-5 paychecks, rental gives them a way to consume and enjoy. Their rented pets provide a few weeks of fun before being shuffled off to the next client. The upsurge in rentals is changing Chinese patterns of consumption.

They are ordinary office workers in China. They are not rich, but they drive Bentley cars and wear Gucci fashion. They rent famous products, but never purchase, as a way to realize dreams.

Rip up the road in a rented race car

"I love cars and my dream is to drive all famous race car brands," Jason Han, 26, a programmer in an IT company, said. As a child, Han was familiar with different models. He started to collect model kits of cars as a middle school student, but the plastic pieces could hardly satisfy. He began leasing race cars last year, and has had fun ever since.

Han has driven a BMW Z series, a Porsche and a Bentley, "but my biggest dream is to drive a Lamborghni," he said. He only saw a Lamborghini in magazines and he knew it was out of his reach. "There are few Lamborghini drivers in Beijing. If I’m lucky enough to see the car, I will be content just to touch it," said.

Three months ago, Han’s dream came true. "One of my friends told me his friend had a Lamborghini and we could go to his house to see it," he said. Han gave the friend 3,000 yuan to rent it for a day. "The sound of the engine still rings in my ears",he said.

Rent a professional bridesmaid

Scarlet Tian, 30, a manager in an advertising company, was worried about filling the bridesmaid positions at her wedding ceremony earlier this year.

"All my best friends are married. If I find a younger bridesmaid, she will make me look old. When I heard some companies rent bridesmaids, it was a big relief," she said. The rented bridesmaid was professional, she said. "She knew the whole schedule and wedding etiquette. She remind me when I had to say something and when it was time for a photo," she said. Tian's rented bridesmaid cost 600 yuan. "It was a reasonab price to help me deal with a big problem during my wedding", she said.

Rented a plants green forever

Christie Chen, 25, a newspaper editor, loves to buy potted plants, but most die after a few weeks.

She didn't know plants could be rented from her newsroom. "In my newsroom, if the plant doesn't grow well, someone will replace it with a new one," she said. She searched for the service online and found several plant renters. "I can have various plants in my house at 40 yuan per pot per month. The workers will come to my house every week to check on the plant. If the plant ends up sick, the worker will change it out for another". she said.

Top rentals

On the Internet, the following items are the most rented by Chinese people.

Pets

You may want to keep a pet, but the reality of the situation is you also must have enough time to care for it. If you do not have time and still desire a pet, you can rent one on the weekend. The cheapest pet rentals run 20 yuan per day.

Potted plants and flowers

If you are not confident about keeping potted plants and flowers, you can rent some. The agency will ensure they are always green and flowering.

Handbags

Women always love to buy handbags and different ones to match different clothes. The famous brand handbags are expensive. To rent a handbag is a wise choice.

Luxury cars

Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Bentley top the wish lists of most of men. If you cannot buy one, rent it for a day.

Chefs

If you love to have parties in your home and you are not good at cooking, you can rent a chef from a hotel.

Groomsmen and bridesmaids

When the one-child generation starts to marry, finding groomsmen or bridesmaids could be a tough task. Just rent them.

Formal dress

There is no reason to buy formal clothes if you will not wear it to work. However, if a death or wedding is around the corner and you are in a pinch, just rent a dress or suit: it will be much cheaper.

Membership cards

A membership card for a gym usually costs thousands of yuan a year. Even if you can afford it, you may not have enough time to get your money’s worth. It is a better idea to rent a card when you decide to hit the spa. Card rentals come as cheap as 10 yuan per day.

Jewelry

Jewelry is precious, but not precious enough to be worth bringing budget battles into a newlywed home. For a small fee, you can rent priceless jewelry.

Beijing Today



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