HIFI Ownership - Buying, leasing, buybacks

If only UK property renting was comparable to that in many European countries where renting is the norm - but ours isn’t, being a very much third class in comparison, if my understanding of other places is correct -perhaps because we have a national ownership mindset.

Interestingly my youngest son (mid 20s) doesn’t want a mortgage, instead has an expressed wish to save and buy. (I don’t think he’s really done his sums yet!) older son (late 20s) is hoping to get into the house purchase market soon. He dislikes the fact that if he rents it’ll cost much the same - and very possibly fund someone else’s purchase.(He’s thinking of buying and renting out a room to a friend.)

One of my honorary 30-something daughters bought a house on mortgage with her husband when she was still in late 20s. Her older sister, still early 30s, can’t afford to buy because she moved to outskirts of London, where her partner earns lots of money, but she doesn’t, and prices are silly she moved into a less desirable area.

So its certainly not all young people that are into renting out of preference to purchase, even if some are limited from buying by circumstances.

But I do get the impression that most young people want everything on a plate, and Now. In most case that don’t want to wait and save, nor do they want to, for example, accept hand-me-downs if they have a baby, nor secondhand furniture when the get a place of their own, nor stay in and entertain themselves preferring to go out for a meal or drink etc all the time - and that mentality limits funding for things like house purchase, whereas when I was young funding a property took precedence.

People talk today’s high house prices being a deterrent to purchase. They might be very high, compared to a few decades ago - but mortgage rates are very low compared to then, and have been for some time. I haven’t attempted to compare the financial realities, but the gap may not be as big as it at first seems…

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But could work for someone unsure of what equipment to invest in, by offering a means to live with something before committing?

Just get a low interest loan and buy the thing!

The leasing option would only be worth while in products where the technology is changing so fast you wouldn’t want to own it…

So certainly not relevant when it comes to Naim.


There isn’t a one fits all model, but in this instance the equipment you buy lets say interest free for £10k over 2 years, yes then you own it, firstly assumes 0% interest and once you exit the shop your £10k system is worth £5k if your lucky.

in the UK your £10 grand system is only worth £8,333 when you are still in the shop. You lose the other £1,667 in VAT.

In the States, it got competitive enough that the cellcos were charging 0% interest - just a spreading of the payments - to entice customers to be subscribers (at the extremely profitable base rate of the service).

That model has largely disappeared here at the top end of the service. I’ve only paid cash for phones for many years now. But there are still millions of customers who cannot afford to pay cash for a phone outright, and services to profit from them.

Being the broker means you need a system to recover goods for which the customer has stopped paying. And a market to re-sell such, obviously as used. And price into the system the cost of non-payers, late payers, etc. And the employees needed to manage it all.

Why would a hifi co want to get into that business? They wouldn’t. Nor would a dealer, who doesn’t have the capital to “park” in all that product. Parking capital in store display models is rough enough!

It’s quite rare with automobiles, which are much better goods for the leasing market. Volvo here offers “Car Subscription” where your payment includes the traditional lease, plus insurance, extra coverages (tire/wheel insurance). And every 12 months you can “trade up” to the newest model.

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