A business that’s got your back

BY CINDY CARTER, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — 5 Star Rental Purchase has been situated at 2122 34th St. S for five years. First opening its doors in 2010, the rent-to-own business has enjoyed success and is well known for its outstanding customer service.

“When a customer walks in the store, everyone greets them with a welcome,” said store Manager Ron Dixon. He believes each customer is royalty and prides himself on building a business where everybody knows your name.

The offspring of the old Champion Rental purchase business that was big in the 80s and early 90s, 5 Star Home Furnishings has name brand merchandise to help make your home more comfortable.

Store Manager Ron Dixon

Store Manager Ron Dixon

“We offer anything that you can put inside a home or an apartment,” said Dixon. From living room and bedroom furniture to washer and dryer sets, stoves, refrigerators and electronics, there is something for everyone. “I could go on and on.”

Pictures, lamps and other accessories are also on hand to check out and with 5 Star’s many specials, stocking a home with quality essentials can be affordable as well.

You can rent by the week or month and currently 5 Star is offering the first week’s rent for just five dollars. There are no long-term commitments and the company also provides free set up and delivery.

So why go to 5 Star and not some of the other home furnishing chains? For the no hassle promise. There are no credit or background checks. “We don’t ask for DNA,” joked Dixon. They do however require five personal references, proof of some source of income, such as tax return and paystubs and a legitimate address where the furnishings will be housed.

“We do a little verification because we’re not here to give away the merchandise,” explained Dixon. “We are here to make sure someone in our community can have something nice to put in their home.”

5 Star personnel pride themselves on working with each and every customer to get them approved. They can even verify residency and proof of income by just speaking with a landlord or a boss.

“It’s an easy process,” said Dixon who believes the hardest thing about the procedure is choosing from all the choice furnishings they have to offer. “Everything else is simple.”

Once approved customers can choose from many options of repayment such as 90 days same as cash in which customers are encouraged to quickly pay off their purchases to avoid finance charges. 5 Star also offers an early-bird option for repayment or customers can receive a 45 percent discount on their balance if they pay it off early.

But what if you’re down on your luck, lose a job or just realize that you just can’t pay? 5 Star works with their customers on that too. With a lifetime reinstatement policy, if a customer gets into a jam and realizes they can’t afford the merchandise, it can be returned. Better still, once finances pick up down the road whether it be in a month or years away, 5 Star allows customers to pick up where they left off in their payments.

“We hold it for you or you get something of equal value,” said Dixon. “You won’t lose any money that you invested into it.”

With policies like that, no wonder 5 Star has a wall full of plaques.

But 5 Star isn’t just in business to sell product, they also want to help the community. Over the years they’ve put on food drives during the holidays and at Christmas time even bring in Santa to give away gifts. Dixon estimates the total is around 200.

They loan equipment such as television sets to area churches in need and even hold raffles in the store whether you’re a customer or not. Just recently the store held a Duke Energy giveaway where they paid a customer’s electric bill.

“The community has been really good to us and I hope we’ve been really good to them,” Dixon said. “We may not be able to give a $1,000 away every time, but we do what we can to show we care.”

Dixon believes first impressions are very important and strives to make customers feel at home and comfortable. The entire staff at the St. Petersburg location is African American and Dixon feels it helps to put customers at ease.

“A lot of times the African-American community gets the shaft on service,” he said.

5 Star Furnishings have locations in Orlando, Orange City and in North Carolina. The St. Pete location has roughly 400 customers.  Store hours are Mon.–Fri. from 10-7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8-5 p.m.

5 Star Rental Purchase is located at 2112 34th St. S, St. Petersburg, in the Twin Brooks Shopping Center across the street from Church’s Chicken. Call (727) 321-1700 for more information or logon to 5starrentalpurchase.com to see all the furniture, appliances and accessories you could have in your home tomorrow.

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