Flex offers a refund for those who try one of their rigs and don't like it. But a rental would pose less risk to the manufacturer.
There are (rumored) a small number of K4's in existence - the rest, of course, are on hold. But regardless...even after full production has begun:
What if, before plunking down 4 kilodollars, I could rent the rig for two weeks?
If I don't like it, I send it back to Elecraft and I'm only out the rental fee and the cost to ship (renter pays shipping in both directions).
If I do like it, I keep the rig and pay the balance.
The rental fee would separate the serious potential buyers from those simply wanting a two-week joyride. The question is, how much of a rental fee would be acceptable for a company to offer such a business model?
I'm using Elecraft in my example because I think I want a K4..but you get the idea. With many rigs now costing $4000 and more, at some point it would seem to be a valid option to capture buyers who are "on the fence".