Saving their customers some "green" is the focus of two additions to Ralph's Joy of Living.
Ralph Smothers Jr., owner/operator, said the newest financing option for store customers will make a big difference.
Expert Lease allows individuals to receive financing for an appliance purchase even if they have been denied credit before. There are no credit checks, and individuals are approved even if they have had a prior bankruptcy and they have earned income that is a minimum of $1,000 a month.
PHOTO BY CATHY WILLOUGHBY
Ralph’s Joy of Living owner Ralph Smothers demonstrates the SodaStream.
"This is a game-changer," Smothers said. "There are so many people that we can help now, that before had to have credit, that they have fallen on difficult times or just banks are tightening credit availability."
Expert Lease is a lease-to-own program, which Smothers said was four times less expensive than rent-to-own. After entering the customer's information, they receive a line of credit amount.
"The line of credit depends on the situation," Smothers explained. "Say they need a washer, for $600, they can spread payments over 24 months, or by six or nine months. They would have to pay $100 a month, and make that first payment before receiving their appliance. At the end of six months they have the opportunity to buy out the lease or continue making payments."
Rather than paying more at a rent-to-own business, individuals can have access to merchandise at a more affordable rate, Smothers said. Expert Lease is a new company available in only a handful of stores.
"I'm the guy who can help them," he said. "I also have the Scratch and Dent section, I offer televisions, refrigerators, sweepers - if they qualify for an amount, they will find out on the spot."
The individual will be able to sign the agreement electronically, and receive the merchandise as long as they are approved.
"They are easy to work with," Smothers said. "They are willing to work with the customer. It's the best thing going for people who don't have credit." Another plus is that once they have paid off the first credit line, the next time they apply they are eligible for an increase in the credit line.
Another new product, SodaStream, will benefit the environment and consumers.
SodaStream produces carbonated water or flavored beverages at a fraction of the cost of soft drinks. Since the machine comes with reusable liter bottles, it cuts down on waste.
The beverages are healthier than regular soda flavors because they contain no high-fructose corn syrup, and diet flavors have no aspartame.
Sold in Europe for many years, products such as SodaStream are gaining popularity in the United States.
Ralph's Joy of Living offers SodaStream starter packs, which include the machine, one carbonator tube, which adds fizz for up to 60 liters, two carbonating bottles and a sampler of flavors.
Ralph's will be stocking the 35 flavors, which include cola and diet cola, root beer, an energy drink similar to Red Bull, and several flavored ice teas, as well as the carbonator tubes and bottles.
SodaStream is available for $119, and the syrups are $4.99, with each making the equivalent of 33 cans of soda.