If there is one product category that is arguably crying out for a bit of so-called collaborative consumption, it’s the latest gadgets. If only to slow down the rate of landfill or save us from the time-consuming and painful process of ‘recycling’ last year’s tech purchases on eBay.
Enter German startup ByeBuy. The Seedcamp-backed company is bringing a pay-as-you-go model to gadget consumption, meaning that you never actually need to own the latest tech products in order to have access to them on an on-demand basis.
“We believe that linear consumption patterns are outdated and it’s time to introduce a pay-as-you-go system in particular for the newest tech products,” says founder and CEO Michael Cassau, who was previously at Goldman Sachs and Rocket Internet.
“A considerable amount of our energy is spent on buying and selling, even on time-limited items, just because until now we don’t know how to do it better. We think it’s time to challenge this old assumption and explore alternatives that allow us to express ourselves easier. That’s why we are introducing ByeBuy. An easy and quick way for time-limited consumption that fits exactly with your needs.”
Just as you don’t have to own a car to drive one, and you don’t have to own music to listen, why do you need to own the latest tech product to use it? “We offer people the opportunity to enjoy their favourite items on a fully flexible pay-as-you-go basis and remove the high implicit and explicit cost of accessing cool products,” he adds.
Available first to customers in Germany and the U.K., the initial lineup of available tech products for rental will include the Xbox One (£39.90 per month), Apple Watch (from £34.90 per month), and the Parrot Bebop Drone (£79.90 per month). ByeBuy also says there will be no up-front payments and no minimum contract periods.
In terms of competitors, Cassau says there is no direct competition since the startup is introducing a new consumption model. However, eBay can be considered an indirect rival where an “unnecessarily large amount of transactions” are currently conducted on the auction site as consumers look to turn around their no-longer wanted gadgets. “Or they simply leave their old tech in the closet,” he says.