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Renting Up

Almost two years ago, Linda Tischler wrote up about the trading up phenom: people putting a premium on new luxuries. Now there’s a new wrinkle on aspirational consumerism: renting up.

Wall Street Journal writer Nick Wingfield takes a center-column look at what I’d like to dub speculative renting. (Subscription required.) Increasingly, people are making short-term purchases to satisfy lifestyle desires — often divesting the purchase at a profit.

One example features a fellow who rented a handheld video game for the weekend, uploading photos of it for a Ebay auction even before he began his trip. At the end of the auction, he sold the device, making money on the deal.

In the past, we’ve considered products as services and reducing manufacturing waste. What new opportunities might be afforded by a “buy to flip” approach?

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