Zilok Blog

On the Zilok Blog, you’ll find all the news and tips related to the online peer-to-peer renting services. Whether you’re an individual or a rental professional, the Zilok Blog answers all your questions and invites you to share your experience.

Zilok on a Big Tour Around the Country

Zilok and peer-to-peer renting is getting more and more attention. This week most NBC stations around the country have been relaying the news story that was originally crafted by Consumer Bob from KSND, often adding a local twist to it.

We would like to thank and welcome all of the new Zilok members who are joining us.

And we have a message for you. As an early member of Zilok.com, you are a trend-setter, a pioneer. What we want to do at Zilok is nothing less than change the World, providing a new alternative for consuming, a new way for people to save money and make money.

So please take that pioneering spirit with you and fear not uncovering new territories, creating and growing rental communities around you!

Below are some of the links to the recent news stories about us, we hope you can find your hometown in there!

Thanks again NBC and Consumer Bob

Welcome NBC San Diego viewers, again!

This powerful story by Consumer Bob shows how people can make money by giving access to the things in their garage to people around. And renting an item 6 times makes more money than reselling it!

Another big welcome to people who joined us after watching the Consumer Bob story. We hope that the San Diego community will quickly grow to be one of the most active in the country.

You can watch the full story and read about it on KSND's website

Welcome NBC San Diego viewers

Zilok was featured in the morning show of KSND, NBC San Diego this monday morning, with a three minute live interview by Jason Austell. Welcome to all the people who joined after watching the interview!

It was a lot of fun being interviewed live and watching how the choregraphy of the morning show unfolded in the NBC studio. Thanks to all of you who joined our community after seeing the story, and don't forget to spread the word so the San Diego rental community quickly grows! The more people we are, the merrier, and also the more useful Zilok will be to all of us.

And as promised, here's the video!

Welcome KING 5 viewers and all Seattleites!

KING 5's Tim Robinson chose to take Zilok to the test and show people how to use it to save and make extra money. Welcome to our new users who discovered our community through this story.

We hope that the Seattle renting community will grow strong so that Seattleites can soon find anything they need for rent from a neighbor. We know that Seattle is a very forward-thinking place for everything environmental and can't wait to see Zilok being widely adopted there.

You can watch the video below or on KING 5 website

Zilok on KPBS talking about new consumer trends

Here's an interesting article from KPBS Amanda Strouse about the new ways people are consuming: renting, trading and bartering. Our US General Manager, Jeff Boudier, gives an in-depth perspective about these trends:

I think the market of ‘recycling of goods’ (through renting, swapping, or giving away) will explode in the next five years, and not so much because of the economy, but because there is a starting shift in the way people consume. The over consumption paradigm meant: buy new, use once, store forever. Some new economic systems will arise to allow for a more efficient way of consuming, based on functionality and usage, rather than on ownership.

Which means, of course, that more and more people will join Zilok to be part of our peer-to-peer renting community!

You can read the full article here.

Happy New Year!! Peer-to-Peer Renting will be in the Headlines in 2009

2008 has brought hope, 2009 will bring change. On behalf of everyone at Zilok, we would like to wish all of you a year full of meaningful and positive changes in your lives, and full of happiness.

2008 has been a plentiful and exciting year for Zilok. As our community grew steadily in the US and in new countries around the World we have been blessed with enthusiasm, feedback and ideas from all of you. Thank you for your support and contributions.

We are feeling very strongly that there is a real desire to change how we consume in a more sustainable and responsible way. To reduce waste. To be more frugal. To put quality before quantity. To put local businesses first.

The solutions are out there, it is just a matter of giving them a shot, and spreading the word. For the things you use frequently, reduce, reuse, recycle. For the things you only use occasionally, go with peer-to-peer renting.

Happy New Year!

The Zilok Team

Watch Zilok in the news

Josh (San Francisco) rents his sport equipment on Zilok, ABC 7 News tells the story. Kestrin (Los Angeles) shows to NBC News how and why she rents her video and music equipment on Zilok...

Josh (San Francisco) rents his sport equipment on Zilok, ABC 7 News tells the story

Kestrin (Los Angeles) shows to NBC News how and why she rents
her video and music equipment on Zilok

Zilok connects San Francisco neighbors and
Melissa rents Jimmy's ladder

Renting on Zilok instead of Reselling, Regifting: More Money, Less Gaffes

“Oh… Really, you shouldn’t have…”: 83% of US adults receive unwanted gifts during the holidays*. With the recession on everyone’s mind, customers are rallying on the web for bargains.

What’s going to happen in January when hundred of thousands of unwanted presents will pour on eBay and Craigslist at the risk of offending their generous givers? Online faux pas galore.
Zilok can help: more acceptable and often more profitable than reselling or regifting, peer-to-peer renting may be exactly what you need to make extra money without upsetting Aunt Betty.

Warning: High Gaffe Potential in January
Reselling and regifting may have become mainstream, with 38% of US adults doing so*, but it has yet to become part of the gifting etiquette. This January, two populations will collide on the re-commerce sites: more people than ever will be coming to resell their gifts, while more people than ever will come to find online bargains. Probability of gaffes: more than ever.

Renting Will Squeeze More Value out of It than Selling
With the average rental transaction covering 17% of the reselling price of the item**, you only need to rent something 6 times to make more money than when selling it. Some Zilok users rented 2007 Christmas presents and made more money this way than they could have on re-commerce sites, like Thomas: “Last Christmas I received as a gift a SLR digital camera, worth $1,300. I put it up for rent on Zilok and rented it 10 times. I made almost $800. No way I could have made that much reselling it a year later!” Even better: Thomas is still taking beautiful pictures!

Beating the Recession, one Rental at a Time
Zilok's mission is to support and promote peer-to-peer renting as a new, sustainable and community-driven way of consuming. There is so much stuff we have and barely use, so much stuff gathering dust in our closets while neighbors are going to buy the same things new. Zilok is the place where you can connect with people around and rent your drill, your Prada purse, your baby car seat, your camping gear, your lawnmower, your digital camera, your pressure washer, just about anything.
You'll make some extra money in the process. He or she will save money. And the environment is winning too, because useless packaging, transportation and natural resources won't have to be wasted while perpetuating the accumulation of unused goods in our households.

About Zilok.com
Zilok went live in November 2007 in the United States, France and Belgium, and in Spring 2008 in the Netherlands and in the UK. US offices are based in San Francisco, CA. Zilok.com was awarded Site of the Week and selected in the Top 100 2008 Websites by PC Magazine, was elected the best European Startup by the audience of the Plugg Startup Rally 2008, and won the Startup 2.0 Challenge. Zilok is a member of the American Rental Association.

* According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for eBay Inc. in November 2008, among 2,033 US adults of age 18 and older
** Calculation made by Zi Group SA on 310 rental bookings made on the Zilok platform in November 2008.

Welcome to Utah KSL listeners!

First, thanks to the users who brought this to our attention, then thanks to Randall Jeppesen for dedicating air time to talk about Zilok, and finally thanks to our member Jason Stubbs to play the interviewing game!

KSL's Randall Jeppesen is introducing Zilok to Salt Lake City, through this short yet informative segment about how to use Zilok to earn extra cash by renting out basically anything.

We would like to welcome Randall's listeners who are coming to check out Zilok for themselves and created their free account to start their rental community! Utah and Salt Lake City need more fun rentals, so don't be shy!

Apparently Zilok sounds strange to lots of people. We wonder, what does it sound like to you? Please tell us in a comment below!

Zilok All Over the News: Reuters, Yahoo Tech, MSNBC...

Zilok is all over the news today. Sarah Marsh wrote a great in-depth article showing how peer-to-peer renting can help fighting the recession. The article is live on Reuters, Yahoo, MSNBC and many others!

Gary, our CEO, provided in the interview an interesting perspective on the growing trend of peer-to-peer renting: we're entering a new age for consumption, with the economy of functionality. We also learn that a Zilok member made more than $1,000 renting out just one SLR camera!

You can find the article on Reuters, of course, and also on Yahoo, on MSNBC and more to come.

Here's an excerpt of the article, which of course we can't get enough of ;-)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Don't let that Prada handbag, your camera and the rollerblades you never use gather dust in your closet. Put them to work on the rental market.

A growing breed of online marketplaces offering to rent everything from baby prams to bulldozers have seen a boom in business as the credit crunch bites from consumers and companies discovering the rental market can save and make you money.

Online rental marketplaces provide an Internet platform for individuals and hire companies to rent out their wares -- like a rental version of eBay.

Gary Cige, 28, co-founder of Zilok (uk.zilok.com), says individuals are renting out more and more of their personal belongings to earn pocket money.

A Paris-based member of his website has rented his single lens reflex camera out several times, earning around 800 euros ($1,015) in 9 months. Another member has made around 600 euros in 3 to 4 months by renting his camera, roller blades and game console.

Cige says the website has been growing around 25 percent a month since it was founded one year ago, and he thinks the credit crisis will likely boost growth.

"People have difficulties making ends meet at the end of the month, they try to find ways to save money and to earn a little more," he said.

Items available for rent on Zilok include dog costumes, a candy floss maker and an inflatable castle.

Zilok, who has taught macroeconomics at university, believes that the success of online rental marketplaces is symptomatic of a general shift of society away from valuing ownership toward valuing usage. Other examples of this shift were the "velib" bike hire scheme launched in Paris and the car-sharing networks now in place worldwide.

Such schemes enable people to be more ecological, by providing monetary motivation, he said.

Dominique Bourg, a French philosopher who has written about the so-called economy of functionality, told Reuters:

"It costs a lot less to rent an object you do not intend to use much than to buy it. And if you own that object you can also earn money by renting it out. So there is a double advantage, both for the person who owns and for the person who doesn't."

NICHE

The concept of renting out a luxury handbag when you are on a tight budget first enamored fashionistas worldwide when it featured in the summer hit movie "Sex and the City."

But, while bag rental companies have existed as a niche service in the United States for several years, online rental marketplaces are seeking to make this service mainstream and universal.

The founders of these marketplaces say consumers are increasingly preferring to rent rather than buy in order to save both money and the environment -- a trend that has been boosted by the ongoing credit crisis.