how can I inexpensively and securely implement rent-to-own distribution of a gadget in China?

I would like to distribute a gadget worth about $45 to potential remote employees in China, in any major provincial city. The idea is that somebody who signs up to work for me would be able to get this gadget, try working and then either stay with the program and pay full cost or else return it and get a refund (or maybe he would originally rent it and now be able to return it). As far as I know this gadget at the present is not widely available in stores there, most likely is exorbitantly priced online (if it sells in China online at all) and in any event for my potential employees $45 is probably a big sum to risk.

So my question is, how can I (a small, underfunded American company) get this kind of rent-to-own or mail-order-with-refund scheme implemented? Ideally this should not entail me traveling to one of the cities in question in person simply because the tickets are expensive (if that’s not practicable, I can try traveling as well). It would also be nice to do it in a manner that reduces the chance of me being cheated/ripped off by both the gadget recipients themselves and 3rd party reshippers, if any.

The numbers involved would be small initially (maybe 40 gadgets distributed) and rapidly build up subsequently if it all works correctly.

I think it’s kind of silly to be “renting to own” something worth 45 dollars from half a world away. Most Chinese people have enough savings or credit to buy something worth $45 if the value proposition is high enough. If it’s a desirable object you need to focus on manufacturing and marketing not micro managing low dollar lease contracts in a land and culture completely out of your realm of experience.

If the object was indeed desirable, they would steal the design and make it themselves, you would never make any money and they would. Better idea is deploy it in places that do not do much in the way of making things where folks are not that bright, that will help get them to want to rent too.

Hell if you live here in the U.S. that almost would qualify if you think about it, with all our check cashing and rent to own ripoffs and scams that work on our people. Mexico might be even better, Central America and so on. But forget China, they will steal your idea.

I was thinking that in China you would just lose out when they steal you device. You’d have to defend your legal rights in China.

could people please READ what I am writing? I am not trying to make money selling the gadget and it has no obvious utility for most people at present except for working for me (it does have a resale value though). I am trying to get employees to do work for me for SALARY, and they need the gadget for this purpose. Nobody is going to steal any IP from me because I am not the one making the gadget. They could certainly steal the gadget itself, if I were to give it to them for less than the full cost without some sort of safeguards. So my question is precisely how to bring about those safeguards while still not forcing the potential employees to risk relatively big sums of money.

I can’t imagine any device that is not available in China. China is full of more devices than I ever imagined could exist.

Business is China is extremely dependent on networks and relationships. I’m not sure that you could successfully do business in China without spending significant amounts of time there developing these connections. I’m also pretty sure there are plenty of rules regarding how foreigners can do business. If you want to do business selling anything in China, you really need someone on the ground over there who has significant business experience in China.

There is also the problem of controlling these devices. I’m pretty sure rent-to-own is not a widely practiced business model. Consumer credit of any sort is still a pretty new thing, and people are used to paying cash upfront for things like houses and cars. And how would you expect to ever get these devices back?

Anyway, if you are genuine about doing business in China, there is plenty of money to be made. But you’ve got go out there for a year or two, get to know the place, make the connections and learn the ropes.


let’s suppose, hypothetically, that this thing is in fact available through an online reseller in China (I have no way of telling, at present). It certainly is available from Shenzhen bulk resellers on Alibaba, but for (bulk!) prices that are about 30% higher than retail prices on Anyway, so would a Chinese buyer in one of the typical Chinese online retailers be able to return it for a refund if he doesn’t want to continue using it? Do Chinese Amazon and its similar competitors offer refunds? If so, in a typical situation what would be the financial loss for the guy getting the refund, e.g. is there a fine or the loss of shipping costs (and what are they typically for something the size of a small book) or how does it work?

I think the point is that whatever the device is, and whatever ir does, you would be better off considering the $ 45 as a sunk investment you will not get back.

I('m not understanding how this device is 30% less in the US retail channels than via Chinese wholesalers.