SF Green Festival 09 - Rentalic Creates Profit Around Community Rental Service
Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch
Community based product service systems are an excellent green product service system allowing a lot of people to use one item when they need it, rather than everyone purchasing the same product only to use it once a year. But what about creating an income based on sharing your stuff? Rentalic is a person-to-person renting service where anyone can hop online and rent their stuff - from parking spaces to holiday decorations - and bring in a little cash, while the renters can get access to things they need for a fraction of the cost of purchasing them. Rentalic states: "Our Vision: Help make the world a better place by building economically and environmentally sustainable communities.
Our Mission: To help people save money, make money, and save the environment by encouraging reuse and sharing through person-to-person renting."
The website is a simple way for people to connect to one another, rent just about anything, and reduce their carbon footprints.
The company charges a $.99 fee from those renting, and the two community members negotiate their own rental fees and terms. The small fee charged by the company covers their overhead, as well as creates a level of trust that the person renting the items out are giving it to a real person who will (hopefully) play by the rules and give the item back in the same condition.
Rentalic was just launched a couple months ago and is still in invitation-only beta mode. However, they plan on opening up the site to everyone by late December or early 2010. They're gathering feedback from users and honing the system, learning what people do and don't like about renting from their community members through the Rentalic system.
It is a very community-based system, and the more people from one community who sign up, the bigger the pool of items to rent.
More on Tool Share Programs
Why Buy When You Can Rent? 5 Product Service Systems I Wish Were More Common
A Product Service System: CD Swapping at Lala.com
Clothing Libraries: Another Product Service System
6 Ways to Go Green by Sharing