May 23, 2019

The Precariousness of Millennial Life

“When I moved into my current apartment last summer, I had to figure out how to rearrange my furniture — mostly things I had bought off Craigslist or inherited from friends — to fit a completely new space. I had to toss a bunch of stuff that was either damaged beyond repair or just not going to fit in my bigger, weirdly shaped living room: a futon, some end tables, a shelf. I also had to buy new versions of the things I got rid of, something I still haven’t done because I’m hesitant to spend hundreds of dollars furnishing an apartment I might only live in for a year or two.

I’ve been in New York City for seven years and have lived in just as many apartments. I’m in my 20s, have some disposable income — though not enough to, say, buy a house — and am intimidated by the cost of furnishing a home. I am, in other words, the ideal customer for a crop of new startups that are trying to convince people to rent their furniture instead of buying it.

Two such companies, Fernish and Feather, both promote themselves as flexible, affordable alternatives to furniture ownership. Both let customers pay to rent pricey furniture in monthly installments and give them the option to buy whatever they rented once the lease is up. The prices vary depending on the brand of the item and how long the lease lasts.”

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