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 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.

Rafi Zait, The Traveling Baby Co., California

When you're traveling with babies and kids, chances are you weren't able to pack in the suitcase the crib, stroller, baby car seat and all the goodies you'll need at your destination.

The good news is, you can rent all that from The Traveling Baby, from one of their 16 US locations, and from other baby equipment rental businesses across the country directly on Zilok! Happy family traveling!

Rafi Zait, owner of Traveling Baby Company, is a proud member of our community and sent us a nice testimonial:

"Zilok has been great in setting up our products. The process was easy and saved valuable time. I think with this concept you cannot go wrong and we look forward to working with Zilok for many years to come."

Arkansas Matters, and Zilok Matters Too!

We've had the pleasant surprise to be featured in the news at Arkansas Matters (KARK 4 News), as a new way to save money and fight the recession by peer-to-peer renting within your community.

"We've found another way for you to save money -- by renting instead of buying popular items like kayaks, skis, and even high tech entertainment equipment. It's called 'peer-to-peer renting' and it's a new concept taking off across the country. Zilok.com matches you up with items you may want to rent when traveling or on vacation."

Big thanks to Arkansas Matters for spreading the word!

Here's the link to see this video at Arkansas Matters:

Zilok Partners with Loxam, Rental Industry Leader in Europe

Zilok is already the World leading online rental marketplace, with operations in five countries. People from all over the World share the same concerns about the environment, and appreciate innovative ways to make money.

Today we're announcing a major partnership with Loxam, the European leader of the Rental Industry. Zilok is both a member of the American Rental Association and the European Rental Association, helping rental businesses from both part of the Atlantic being as close as possible to their customers.

Zilok is the place to people go whenever you are looking for something to rent, whatever that may be. This partnership is a big step forward for us to make that happen for our growing community of users. We hope to announce similar partnerships closer to US homes soon! In the meantime, here's the Press Release for the partnership:

Paris, France, November 28th, 2008

Loxam, the European rental industry leader, partners in France with Zilok.com, the World leading online rental marketplace, to bolster its online presence and grow its customer base.

In the midst of the economic storm, the fast-growing rental industry (7.9% compound annual growth rate in the US since 1998, up to a $36.5 Bn market in 2007) is fighting hard to keep the sales up. A successful strategy is to multiply customer outreach by adding alternative sales channels. Zilok is offering exactly that by connecting online customers looking for rentals with rental businesses. Despite the current turmoil, the rental business model as a whole is structurally growing. More and more consumers, individuals and businesses, are embracing the pay-per-usage model. The economic crisis, credit crunch, growing environmental concerns, limited storage space all push towards a wide spread adoption of this new way of consuming: paying for usage, rather than paying for ownership.

With the Zilok partnership, Loxam consolidates its multi-channel sales strategy, and accesses a new customer base through the online platform. Zilok grows its rental inventory in the tools and construction categories. Gary Cige, Zilok co-founder and CEO, explains: "Our site gathers in one place rental listings from people and businesses. After rolling out major partnerships in the vehicles, skiing equipment and vacation rental industries, it was a priority for us to expand our offering in construction rentals."

Patrick Rizzo, Loxam Marketing Director in France, confirms: "Our complete rental catalog, targeted to contractors, SMBs and individuals, has been integrated within the Zilok platform. Zilok's localization system allows online customers to easily find the closest Loxam location to his or her house. Then our agents handle the new customer with the professionalism, know-how and high-level customer service that characterize our network. The density and extended coverage of our locations network are definitely an asset for Loxam and a major benefit for our clients. Zilok participates in our effort to be as close as possible to our clients."

About LOXAM and Zilok.com

LOXAM is the rental industry leader in Europe, providing equipment for the construction, manufacturing and events industries. LOXAM manages a network of more than 550 locations in 10 countries. Zilok.com is the one-stop-shop for rentals, where anyone, individual or professional, can rent or offer for rent any type of goods. Zilok.com was launched in October 2007 by Gary Cige, Marion Carrette and Thibaud Elzière, founder of the microstock exchange site Fotolia.com

Larry Black, Mt Airy Bicyles, Maryland

Larry Black is the passionate owner of Mt Airy Bicycles, which is not just a bike rental and sale business, but probably the best museum dedicated to pedal-powered vehicles in the World.

Imagine 2,700 one-of-a-kind original, vintage bicycles, tandems, recumbents, even a 7-person "conference" bike! Larry and his team have been collecting, restoring, and caring for those for many, many years. And he would rather have people use them than them gathering dust at Mt Airy Bicycles. So now, you can rent any of them on Zilok. Have fun checking them out!

Larry was kind enough to show us his appreciation with this testimonial:

Zilok is, in one word, amazing.

This well-organized service is an invaluable tool that if known to more, could take us to a greener, more sustainable, and fiscally healthier planet.

Our bikes are excited about making new friends and we are excited about finishing projects by having useful tools that we will not need but a few times.
And when bikes find homes and projects get completed? We might just think about a weekend getaway or an excursion in an exotic car or classic boat.

Zilok simply makes life great for everyone- and the people behind it seem to be role models for kindness and good business.

Larry Black
Owner, Mt Airy Bicycles
www.bike123.com

Welcome to Kim Komando readers!

Kim Komando is America's Digital Goddess. Kim is always on the lookout for useful and profitable resources on the Internet, and brings with a daily newsletter her coolest find everyday.

We're very happy to have been selected this sunday as the Cool Site of the Day, and hope that Kim's readers will enjoy and take full advantage of Zilok to save and make money by renting the stuff the need and already have!

You can read the full article on Kim's site.

Kim's helping people discovering and making the best out of the Internet and new technologies, through radio shows, colums and newsletter available all around America. You can find it all on Kim's site.

Nominate Zilok for the Open Web Awards!

Zilok is a new way for people to save and make money, while supporting a green lifestyle. That's at least three reasons why people regularly reach out to us to congratulate and thank us.

Now, if you're feeling the love too, there are many ways you can help:

Thanks to all of you who have been supporting us

Max Shevyakov, BorrowLenses, California

Max Shevyakov is the owner of BorrowLenses.com, a SF Bay Area based rental business for professional quality cameras, lenses, tripods and accessories. These great products can be ordered anywhere in the US through its delivery service and website.

We at BorrowLenses.com are very excited to begin our partnership with Zilok.com. Using Zilok.com, we will undoubtedly reach out to folks looking for high quality camera equipment rentals that we would have otherwise missed.

I believe that Zilok's business model aligns very well with BorrowLenses.com and their services should help companies and individuals alike. I believe the US is ready for a service like theirs and we are very excited to join them and watch their US operations grow.

Max Shevyakov
Owner, BorrowLenses.com

Save Money or Make Money Renting your Halloween Costume

Halloween is coming and everybody is already scared (of the economy)... To lighten things up, here's how people can save or make money with their costume (or anything else) by taking advantage of Zilok

For Immediate Release

SAN FRANCISCO, October 16th, 2008 – According to Visa, Inc., Americans will spend an average of $47 on Halloween candy and decorations. But when it comes to buying or crafting the costume you’ve been thinking about for months, the price tag can be frighteningly higher. And what will become of your pricey costume after Halloween? Dead weight in the closet. The good news is with Zilok.com you’re now able to save money and storage space by renting your costume from someone else. And if you really want your own, make some money by renting it to a neighbor when you’re done scaring people off!

Rent your Halloween costume… from a neighbor
Zilok.com is Ali Baba’s cave for rentals. People create listings every day to offer for rent anything they own and don’t use all the time. And in this cave you’ll find scary items: Halloween costumes! If you’re part of the 73% of Americans who will celebrate this hallmark of holiday’s, you’ll need to look good (meaning scary) when you’re off partying. And if pulling $100 out of your pocket for a one-night show pulls you off, Zilok has a better solution, with great costumes available from $10 to $20 a day.

Give your costume a second life
When you’re done trick or treatin’, pause for a moment before you put your brand new, awesome costume to rest along with the ones from previous years. Take a picture and create rental listings on Zilok, so people in the neighborhood can find and rent them from you. With costume parties going on all year, chances are you won’t have to wait until next Halloween for these creatures to start making you money.

Peer-to-peer renting is citizen consumerism
What works with costumes works with anything you’ll find on Zilok: tools, cameras, vehicles, appliances to rent from people and businesses around you. On the flipside, you can make money by listing your pressure washer, car trailer, stroller, Wii videogame system, anything you have.
When you’re renting from a neighbor instead of buying new, you help reducing the accumulation of stuff and its waste of natural resources. Acting on overconsumption doesn’t have to mean limiting our choices. It could mean buying the quality items that we regularly use and renting whatever we need once in a while.

Welcome to KION listeners!

This morning Zilok was in the airwaves in the California Central Coast. Did you feel it? Mark Carbonaro has a great morning show on KION 46, and he went over in great depth how Zilok can give people some relief amidst the crisis.

Now, if you've heard the show and want to start your rental community in the Monterey Bay, you're in the right place!