I love new consumer tech. I love learning about it, reading reviews on it, and of course, peeling the plastic off. The one thing I don’t love? The prices. I always want to run to the store (or Amazon) to get my hands on whatever shiny new thing was just released, but one look at my bank account stops me.
Enter Expese. Weird name? Maybe. Great business idea? Absolutely. Expese (EXPEriencing with eaSE) lets you rent new tech for a low weekly (or monthly subscription) price. You can try it out for a week, and either return it for something new, or keep it forever! Because who wants to pay hundreds of dollars for something they might end up hating in a few days anyway?! Expese’s catalog includes 216 products from almost every sector of consumer tech, from smartphones to home assistants to drones to cameras! (And yes, they have a BlackBerry KEY2 which I HIGHLY recommend trying!) As new products pop up in the market what seems like everyday, Expese is also constantly updating their selection of tech available to rent.
The process of renting was incredibly easy. I signed up for the monthly subscription (knowing I would want to test out lots of products) and made a “wish list” of what tech I want to try out, including phones, drones, even a Roomba! After creating my list, Expese automatically sends out the first available item to you. I put the Fossil Q Venture Gen 3 on the top of my list, and received it 3 days after setting everything up! To return it, you use the provided return label, drop it off at the post office, and wait for your next product to arrive! The whole process is incredibly easy, and so much more affordable than buying a product outright. The best part? You can get your first month FREE by signing up with the code “expesewithlauren”. So there’s no risk and no reason not to sign up!
I had the opportunity to speak with the founder of the company, Akash Modi, about how the company got started, the best products to rent without owning, and what’s next for Expese!
What was the inspiration behind starting Expese?
“With over ten years of experience in sales, marketing, product building, business development, and entrepreneurship, I started a company called TAB USA in 2015. Our goal with the company is to help small & new manufacturers who designed and manufactured excellent tech products, but because they lacked brand recognition and marketing, they often failed to capture the market’s attention.
However, after two years in a brick and mortar store, it failed to take off as we had hoped. What did I learn from TAB USA? Most tech enthusiasts can’t justify buying a new tech product after they’ve had a few bad buying experiences. (How often have you quickly lost interest after buying a tech product you were so excited about?)
So I decided to solve this problem, which resulted in a new startup called Expese.com (formerly tabcoinclub.com). Our goal with Expese is to solve the problem of gadget disappointment that every tech enthusiasts have felt. Expese is a community for those tech enthusiasts, who like to experience all the latest and greatest tech products and would love to stay on top of the technology.”
How do you decide which tech to acquire next?
“We go by the market trend and we use data learning to see which tech product is hot in the market. Also, our users often recommend us a product that they wish to try. Which help us make a better decision.”
What is the difference between weekly and subscription rentals?
“Expese subscription ($20/month) allow our users to try unlimited tech products (one at a time) in the comfort of its home for up to 7 days. Which also includes free shipping both ways and free accidental damage coverage.
But let say, a user wants to keep the product past that 7-day trial period, they can do so with our weekly Extended Rental Program (weekly ERP). Where you pay an additional rental fee to keep the product past the trial period and after renting an item for 25 consecutive weeks you have an option to buy a product for $1. But let say if you change your mind or you no longer need a product you can return the product to us at any time within those 25 weeks. And while renting this product under weekly ERP, you also get a chance to try other products from your list.
To learn more about ERP you can visit our FAQ page.”
How do you hope people use Expese to get the most from it?
“Expese is service is design for the tech enthusiasts, who love to stay on top of technology but don’t want to break a bank in the process of doing that. We invite all the tech enthusiasts to be a part of our community where they can get their hands on latest and greatest tech products with an option to rent-to-own and with the flexibility to return an item to us at any time within those 25 weeks. Our goal is to make technology accessible and affordable to everyone.”
What is your current favorite piece (or type) of tech?
“I love smartphones and smartwatches, and I am currently using Note 9 with Galaxy Watch and love it. However, I change my phone and a wearable device every month as I am a phone enthusiast.”
What product do you love to rent without owning?
“Drones, DSLR Cameras, and VR are the top three categories that I would only rent them. Because you will not fly drone every day, same with DSLR cameras, I only need for the special occasion and VR is the fast-growing industry and still underdeveloped. Therefore, I will continue to rent it until I find the one that will give me long-term value.”
What is the next goal for Expese?
“Our Goal at Expese to have more than 10K subscribers by the end of 2019. And It’s only possible with the help of tech enthusiasts like yourself!”
You can find out more about Expese and sign up for the rental program yourself at expese.com, and don’t forget to use code “expesewithlauren” for a free month!