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Korea’s rental-based consumption expands 448% in 5 years: data

South Korean consumers’ use of subscription-based rental services has grown almost fivefold in the past five years, market data showed Monday.

According to online marketplace Gmarket, the number of orders for rental services of products -- such as massage chairs and air purifiers -- via Gmarket increased 448 percent from January to Sept. 16 compared to the same period in 2014.

Gmarket, operated by e-Bay Korea, attributed the expanded demand for subscription services to the spending habits of 30- and 40-somethings as well as rental services covering diverse product categories. 

Around 46 percent of those who used rental services on Gmarket were in their 40s, it added. 

According to the company, popular rental products are mainly home appliances, such as dish washing machines, coffee machines and air fryers, but demand for products for pets, LED light masks for skin anti-aging treatment and electronic massagers have grown recently. 

By Kim Da-sol (