Category Archives: News

APRO and TRIB Collaborate on RTO World 2018

RTO World 18 announced at TRIB Group’s Meeting of the Minds

Rent-to-own professionals will experience a world of difference at next year’s industry-wide RTO summer convention. APRO and TRIB Group are joining forces to present RTO World 2018: The National Rent-to-Own Convention and Trade Show, August 21-23 in St. Louis, Missouri. The two organizations are collaborating on a single event that will be unlike any other in the history of the RTO industry, combining the unique assets that each group brings to the table.

“RTO World combines the strengths of both organizations,” says APRO Executive Director Jill McClure. “It will be a larger show, bringing in each organization’s members and vendors, some of whom belong to both APRO and TRIB Group, and will also include new vendors and a larger base of RTO professionals. It’s the right timing for something new and innovative that will re-energize the industry.”

“We are very pleased to host, along with APRO, RTO World 2018,” TRIB Group Executive Director Dennis Shields says. “Its launch is the culmination of many months of discussions and meetings.” APRO members, TRIB Group members and RTO-industry vendors have repeatedly mentioned the increased number of industry events as a concern that drains time and resources. A single summer event hosted by both groups has been an ongoing discussion among industry leaders for several years, and over the past year, representatives from both APRO and TRIB Group ironed out details to make RTO World a reality.

The APRO/TRIB Group committee comprises both organizations’ executive directors and board chairpersons, as well as additional members from both boards: APRO Executive Director Jill McClure, TRIB Group Executive Director Dennis Shields, APRO President Louis Garcia and TRIB Group President Shannon Strunk, along with Larry Carrico, Dan Fisher, David Harrison, Ernie Lewallen and Mike Tissot.

A new name to brand an exciting collaboration of this magnitude was in order. “RTO World conveys that this is the preeminent rent-to-own industry event of the year-one that is inclusive, broader in scope and focuses on ensuring the rent-to-own industry’s health and vitality for years to come,” McClure says.

Mark your calendars now-August 21-23, 2018-and prepare yourself for a whole new world of rent-to-own.

2017 Meeting of the Minds

A Look Back at the 2017 Meeting of the Minds

Another Meeting of the Minds is in the books, and this one will go down as one of the most successful. But before we talk numbers, let’s revisit some of the events that make this meeting a value to all who participate.

First, it was great to see many of you for the first time in a while on Sunday at registration and at the cocktail reception on Sunday evening. We were pleased to see so many TRIB members attending the event. Our Monday meetings were fast paced but we got a lot done. We had a changing of the guard of the Board of Directors and we give many thanks to Shannon Strunk for the excellent work he did on behalf of TRIB. We now welcome new President Dan Fisher and are looking forward to his contributions as well. TRIB Group certainly has a deep bench of members that offer quality leadership in their roles on the BOD.

The Monday breakout sessions were fast paced, but designed to give each of you just a few minutes with a vendor so that you can later spend longer, more quality time with those who offer the products and services that interest you the most.

I’ve only heard good things about this year’s Hot Show. The products this year were spot on and the pricing was attractive enough to drive this year’s Hot Show sales total to $9.8 million. Not a record but very close to it. As always, it was a fun event, sales were brisk, the buffet was good, and our members and vendors showed everyone why TRIB Group is “Making Rent to Own Great.” That had become our unofficial theme of this meeting and thanks to King of Promotions for producing red hats advertising that. We also had wrist band bracelets with that theme.

Tuesday saw the continuation of meetings focusing on topics that were found to be the most relevant to the RTO industry and we’d like to complement each speaker for delivering meaningful content on the subject they covered. After lunch, members shopped the show floor, writing orders for furniture, mattresses, appliances, electronics and specialty items. Preliminary numbers look as though sales in these areas were brisk also.

We had a few new surprises. One is the addition of The My Pillow Company to the show floor. Mike Lindell was personally on hand to showcase his innovative pillows and has partnered with RTO veteran Rep. Gidget Simmons to facilitate the entry of his company into the RTO marketplace.

Another veteran RTO rep. was in attendance: Rita Haney has joined RTO Solutions to lead the King Koil Mattress Launch. If you’d like to speak to Rita she can be contacted at 919-656-0882.

Last, we want to thank the Sponsors that make these meetings possible. The support these vendors provide to TRIB Group for these meetings and other events are what helps make us the industry’s most successful buying group. After all, TRIB Group is about many things: buying, collaboration, networking, and working toward common goals. It’s the participation of our members and the support of our sponsors and vendors that help to make our goals a reality.

APRO Congressional Grassroots Instructions

If you have never met with or contacted an elected official then you may be intimidated by the process and politics of the U.S. Congress. But, in reality, the U.S. Congress is there to listen and help you. You will quickly find the political process to be easy and rewarding because you are there to talk about passing federal legislation that will secure your job, your business and your family. Most likely you will meet or communicate with Congressional staff which is very important as they will advise the Congress person whether to support rent-to-own or not. Here are the steps and tools to a successful meeting and grassroots communication with your Congress members.

Grassroots Communication Objective:

To secure your U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Senator’s co-sponsorship of the “Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act”. Co-sponsorship means the Congress member publicly supports your rent-to-own business.

If You’re Meeting Personally With Your Congress Member Or Staff:

Please follow these steps to communicate with your Congress member’s office. If you need any assistance, please contact  APRO Public Affairs Director Richard May.

Step 1: Identify your (1) U.S. House of Representative member and (2) U.S. Senators and their Washington D.C. phone numbers.

Step 2: Phone the three offices to schedule a meeting using APRO’s “Congressional Meeting Request Instructions.”

Step 3: Submit in writing your meeting request using APRO’s “U.S. Senator Meeting Request” and “U.S. House of Representative Meeting Request.”

Step 4: When each congressional meeting is confirmed, send the meeting information through APRO’s online meeting confirmation form.

Step 5: Review APRO’s “Why Rent To Own Legislation.” For further background, you can review APRO’s Website and review the tabs under “Legislative Activity.”

Step 6: Review APRO’s “Five Basic Steps to a Successful Meeting.”

Step 7: Submit your meeting summary online and be prepared to follow up with the Congressional office if need be or requested.

If You’re Communicating With Your Congress Member’s Staff Through E-mail, Letter And/Or Phone Call:

Please follow these steps to communicate with your Congressmember’s office. If you need any assistance, please contact APRO Public Affairs Director Richard May.

Step 1: Identify your (1) U.S. House of Representative member and (2) U.S. Senators and their Washington D.C. phone numbers.

Step 2: Phone each office and ask who the staff member is in charge of the House Financial Services Committee if you’re contacting your House of Representative’s office. Ask who the staff member is in charge of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee if you’re contacting one of your U.S. Senators.

Step 3: Ask to be transferred to the staff member because you want to request your Congress member’s support and co-sponsorship of the Consumer Rental Purhcase Agreement Act.

Step 4: When talking to the staff member introduce yourself and make sure you tell them you are a constituent. (VERY IMPORTANT) And that you are requesting that your member of Congress be a co-sponsor of the Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act.

Step 5: Tell your personal story as a small business RTO owner and how the passage of the Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act will secure your business’ future, help grow your business and hire more employees while providing valuable consumer protections. Here is an example of talking points:

  • I started my business in (insert year). Since then I have been part of the community serving thousands of satisfied customers who need and enjoy rent-to-own. Our customers either do not have credit or do not want to use credit and that is why they use rent-to-own. With rent-to-own, they can return the product at any time for any reason without penalty.
  • The bill defines the rent-to-own transaction as a lease, not a credit sale, so the customer is not legally obligated to make payments if they cannot do so.
  • The rent-to-own transaction is not recognized as a lease by the federal government, creating uncertainty for rent-to-own business owners to expand their business and provide jobs.
  • The bill is also a consumer protection bill enhancing consumer protections in 33 states. The bill mandates full pricing disclosures. RTO business supports pricing disclosures to avoid confusion and conflict with their customers regarding the transaction.
  • Refer to APRO’s web pages under “Legislative Activity” at for all of the information regarding the bill and its legislative history.

Step 6: Ask again for the member’s co-sponsorship and the proper time to follow up with an e-mail or phone call regarding co-sponsorship request.

Step 7: Submit your meeting summary on-line.

Step 8: Continue to follow up every two weeks until they give you an answer.

Step 9: When you have their answer, e-mail APRO Public Affairs Director Richard May regarding their position.

Why the Rent-to-Own Industry is Seeking Federal Legislation

Why Federal Rent-to-Own Legislation?

Passage of a federal rent-to-own bill will benefit consumers, businesses and the American economy

Download the full text of the Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act here

The Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act Defines the Rent-to-Own Transaction as a Lease

The rent-to-own transaction provides millions of consumers with a flexible, debt-free opportunity to acquire household products-customers can return the product at any time, for any reason, with no penalty. There is no other transaction like it in the marketplace; however, rent-to-own is the most widely used transaction undefined at the federal level. While 47 state legislatures define rent-to-own as a lease, the U.S. Congress remains one of the last arenas to define the transaction. A federal rent-to-own lease definition will remove uncertainty for rent-to-own owners to expand their business providing jobs in their local communities.

The Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act is a Consumer Protection Bill

Passage of the rent-to-own bill by the U.S. Congress is good for consumers because it creates federal regulations for pricing and payment disclosures and strengthens consumer protection in 33 states. Also, it mandates reinstatement rights for the consumer. With reinstatement rights, a customer who cannot continue to make payments and has to return a product, can later resume the transaction and reinstate his or her payment history toward ownership of the product. While most rent-to-own companies already offer lifetime reinstatement rights as a part of their business practices, the federal bill requires a minimum time for payment reinstatement as a guaranteed consumer protection. The federal bill mandates full disclosure-both verbally and in writing-of every penny the customer will pay to a rent-to-own business. The rent-to-own store must disclose all costs, including total rent-to-own costs compared to the cost of the merchandise if bought in one cash transaction. The federal bill mandates pricing disclosures in rent-to-own advertising as well. An informed consumer is a powerful consumer and virtually all customer complaints and legal actions disappear when communication is open and clear.

The Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act Creates Jobs and Nurtures Economic Growth

Passage of a federal rent-to-own bill will provide security for the $8.5-billion industry to expand and create jobs. Federal legislation will secure the future of rent-to-own businesses-both small and large-and more than 50,000 employees who work within the industry. With industry growth, the value of rent-to-own will increase on Wall Street and provide lending confidence for small businesses nationwide.

For more information on APRO’s federal legislative effort, please contact APRO Public Affairs Director, Richard May, by e-mail or phone at (512) 225-1051.