Zilok News

New design, more streamlined !

Here it is ! The new version of Zilok is online ! As you can see, our team made some modifications to the search function and the registration of items for rent.

In addition to the new design, the structure of the various categories has been reworked from the inside out so that each user can more quickly and easily find the item they are looking for.

We put a lot of time into this overhaul, so be sure to get in touch with your comments and feedback, and especially regarding any bugs that crop up ! Thank you everyone in advance.

Originally separated into 12 categories, the items for rent are now available in 8 themed sections:

  • Auto
  • Tools
  • Party
  • Electronics
  • Leisure
  • Luxury
  • At Home
  • Vacation

Happy Renting !

New Feature: Express Listing Creation!

Zilok introduced this Monday a Very Cool Feature that allows our Members to create simple, standard listings in a couple clicks for the most popular rentals on Zilok. Looking at the numbers, it's been a Slam Dunk!

Since the CBS Evening News story aired, also last Monday, thousands of Zilok Members have used the Express Listing Creation feature to create thousands of new listings.

Here's how it works:

  • Select the things you have at home from a short list of popular rental items
  • Edit (if you want to) the standard listing title and price*

And... that's it. You now have a listing for each item you selected, complete with title, price and picture. Later down the road, you can edit these simple listings and add more details, change the picture, add weekly prices, anything you want.

So yes, creating a simple listing on Zilok is now really a slam dunk. Want to try it out? Go ahead!

* The suggested price is an observed average of the daily rental price for similar items.

Searching Rentals on Zilok Just Got Much Faster

Live today, Zilok's new search engine is bringing results from your rental searches faster than ever. After the recent makeover of our booking system, today we turned another important page in Zilok's development.

We asked our community how they would improve the searching experience on Zilok. The responses were less map (sometimes confusing), more speed (to make more searches), and more filtering options. That's pretty much what you get today when you make a search on Zilok.

The filtering options allow you to:

  • narrow down your search very quickly by selecting the exact category of rentals you are looking for,
  • select only rentals with pictures, or rentals from individual members, or from rental businesses,
  • select a daily rental price range that fits your budget
  • zoom in or zoom out instantly by choosing how far you are willing to go.
As you filter your search, results will update instantly.

The number of rentals available on Zilok has been increasing very quickly in the last few months, somewhat slowing down the system. The added speed comes very handy to help our users finding what they need in a couple seconds.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the redesign, we are very proud of this new search engine that makes searching for rentals on Zilok faster and more convenient than ever. Let us know what you think!

Zilok Revolutions its Reservation Process: Easier, Faster, Better

Members have been asking for a simpler reservation process on Zilok, today we're happy to announce it's up and running! Now in a few clicks you have access to the rental owner contact information so you can call right away and finalize the transaction.

Here's how it works when you want to rent something on Zilok, starting today:

  • Select the dates for your reservation
  • Confirm with the retainer system
  • Contact the owner

Simple as 1, 2, 3!

Now, if the owner tells you the item is not available for these dates, you have 3 days to report to us that the transaction has been canceled and make sure you don't get charged the retainer fee.

We hope this will make it much easier for people to get in touch and arrange the details of the transaction. We've learned that every rental transaction is different, so we want to let our users benefit from a very flexible system. This new system will make last minute reservation much less stressful.

And that's not all. To make communications between rental owners and renters more effective, we've added new features to the community messaging system so you can attach prospective reservation dates to rental owner inquiries. This way if you're satisfied with the owner's response, you can finalize your reservation in a few clicks.

Please let us know what you like or don't like about the new system, we'd love to hear from you (comments below, or click here). Enjoy!

Zilok is Showing Off at the Rental Show

Each year the American Rental Association organizes the Rental Show, where rental businesses from the 50 states come share their experiences, get the best equipment available, and have a good time. Zilok's message: We're on your side!

This year Zilok is exhibiting at the Rental Show in Atlanta GA, to convene a message of hope and optimism to thousands of small rental businesses.

The recession is without doubt on everyone's mind, and Zilok is a great opportunity to rejoice, as a free tool helping local rental businesses finding new customers and get more visibility on the Net.

When in crisis one can wait and hope for the tables to turn, or one can find new ways of increasing their business. Zilok is changing the rental world, so hop on the train, because we're on your side!

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

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

Zilok is One Year Old! A Quick Glance in the Mirror and the Road Ahead

A year ago, around noon, Zilok.com came to life on the Internet. So much has been accomplished since then! Now Zilok is on the right track to become a mainstream service.

Zilok is the fruit of a very ambitious project. A desire to enable and promote a new way of consuming, that would give people more choices while saving natural resources. No more buying things new that we'll use once and then store forever in a closet.

In this new century natural resources are becoming scarce, and the economy is starting to notice, not just with higher prices but also with a growing concern for conservation. Because it makes sense economically too. And that's what peer-to-peer renting is offering: an economic structure for a more efficient use of the community's resources. It goes beyond hugging trees. It makes sense, economically too.

So one year after the first release of the site, we feel we're going in the right direction. Looking back, here's the achievements we're the most proud about:

  • Conquering the World: Zilok.com is home to P2P renting communities in five countries, making it the World Premier Online Rental Marketplace.
  • Impacting the Industry: Zilok's already made an impact on the rental industry. With more than 500 rental businesses on board, you can now rent everything from tools to racing motorcycles from businesses down the street. Zilok is an active and proud member of the American Rental Association.
  • Getting the Attention: Since Zilok went live in the USA, it made news in many A-list media publications, media and blogs: the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, ABC, NBC, Reader's Digest, PC Magazine, PC World, CNET, TechCrunch, Mashable... the list goes on.
  • Feeling the Love: Zilok has received many awards from industry leaders: Site of the Week and part of the Top 100 2008 Websites at PC Magazine, Best European Startup by the audience of the Plugg Startup Rally 2008, and Zilok won the 2008 Startup 2.0 Challenge in Barcelona.
  • Defining the Standards: We're starting to see clones and new followers popping up every other week. That's always a good sign!

Now, our objective and big challenge for the long run is to become a mainstream service. We want you and everyone you know to think Zilok tomorrow for renting as naturally as you think eBay today for selling. That's the horizon, and with the help of our community we're going for it.

We'll need all the help we can get to bring peer-to-peer renting to US homes, so if you want to get involved, contact us or start spreading the word!

Tell Me What You Have and I’ll Tell You What You Can Earn

With Zilok, you can make money by renting your stuff to other people. But how much money? And rent what? Zilok's Rental Income Simulator will help you figure it out.

A video game system, karaoke equipment, Blu-Ray movies in your living room? An air mattress, a party costume in your closet? A bike, a stroller, golf clubs in your garage? With these things alone you could make more than $40 a month. Take a minute to try out our rental income simulator, you’ll be amazed at how much money you can earn!

Did you know that in America 80% of the objects we own are used less than once a month? It’s just amazing to realize how much stuff we own and don’t use all the time. Most of it really. And these are all things that other people may need, too, once in a while. Rent them and start making money!

When people create an account to list something up for rent on Zilok, they have a specific idea of what they want to rent out. But once you open that door, and start looking around for what is in your closet, in your garage, in your living room, the list keeps getting longer and longer…

For people to realize how much money they can make, we built a powerful tool to simulate a rental income based on what’s in your house. Based on how often and the average price things are rented on Zilok, we are able to tell you what your rental income could be. Enjoy it and pass it along to your friends!

Zilok Takes First Prize at the Best Startup Competition in Barcelona!

After being elected online by people as one of the finalist of the Startup 2.0 European competition, Zilok took the first prize yesterday in Barcelona!

We're very honored to have been chosen by people and the jury as the best web 2.0 startup in Europe.

Zilok is very active in Europe where people from 4 countries are already renting their stuff from one another: France, UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The final of the Startup 2.0 contest was held in Barcelona, Spain, which is a perfect place to celebrate!

The jury included outstanding personalities from the entrepreneur, VC and media world, including Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic, Martín Varsavsky, founder of Fon, Mike Butcher and Ouriel Ohayon, editors of TechCrunch in Europe, and many others.

Thanks to all the jury members for believing in us, thanks to all our users to have made it possible, we'll make sure we're up to your expectations!

Zilok selected for the Startup 2.0 final in Spain

We are happy to announce that Zilok has been selected as one of the 10 finalists that will be present in Barcelona, Spain for the last step of the Startup 2.0 contest.

Over 300 Internet startups have been submitted from all over Europe and Zilok is one of the 10 remaining ones, ready to pitch next week for the title.

Startup 2.0 is a European web startup competition, with an outstanding jury including Loic Le Meur (Seesmic's founder), Martín Varsavsky (Fon's founder), Ouriel Ohayon and Mike Butcher (TechCrunch editors)

You can learn more about the competition on the Startup 2.0 site

You can now pay with ClickandBuy

After Visa/Mastercard and Paypal, ClickandBuy is the third payment method available to Zilok users. We know that entering credit card information online is a hassle, here is another way to make it more convenient.

For more than eight years, ClickandBuy has been providing a secure payment solution. You only need to subscribe and type in your payment information once, and then can make simple payments in more than 7,000 online merchants. Now including Zilok!

Click here for more information about ClickandBuy.

Zilok introduces forum boards for the community

We've been asking to our members since the beginning what they would like the most to appear on Zilok. The top request is more communication tools to chat and share with the community. We're proud in introduce our forum boards so you can do all that!

A couple months ago we introduced the feature that allows you to directly contact owners on their rental listings. We decided to go one step further and now we're bringing forum boards to you so you can ask other people about their renting experiences, what items worked best for you, what to look for when you're renting something, in fact just about anything!

This is a place for you to hang out with the community, share ideas, and help each other. You can access it all here.

With your member account you can post messages, respond to other members and create your own topic for discussion, you're in control.

To get started, we created three forum boards:

  • Zilok Café: this is the hang out place. All friendly discussions are welcome.
  • Questions and Answers: this is where you get help from fellow members
  • Do-It-Yourself and Gardening: you're renting a tool because you have a project; get some peer advice about how best to use the tools and get your project done!

Forums are a friendly place, we set up a few simple guidelines to make sure it stays this way. Enjoy and engage in the conversation!

Cresco Equipment Rentals joins forces with Zilok to service the Bay Area community

Zilok is proud to partner up with Cresco Equipment Rentals to offer Bay Area people the tools and equipment they need for all their projects, around the block, around the clock.

Cresco is committed to the local communities, and offers great service and advice to their customers, making renting a much more valuable and rewarding experience than buying. These values connect perfectly with Zilok vision, and we're happy to welcome Cresco aboard.

Chris Smith, President of Cresco, gave us his feedback about the experience: "We're very excited at Cresco to join Zilok and help homeowners find the rental equipment they need, when and where they need it. We are committed to support and service the community, locally and conveniently, and Zilok will help us do just that through the Internet. We hope that the Bay Area will fully embrace Zilok and further discover the benefits of renting. The integration of our inventory was straightforward as Zilok took care of all the technicalities. I think Zilok is a very powerful online marketing tool and we are happy to be participating."

Zilok is a member of the American Rental Association and has been welcoming rental businesses from all over the United States to join and list their rentals for our members to benefit from. Our ambition is to provide a convenient access to anything that can be rented locally, thus supporting a new, sustainable and community driven way of consuming.

Cresco Equipment Rentals is the largest independent rental business in the Bay Area. With 18 locations spread out around the Bay, there is always a store you can go to if you need a tool, from a simple drill to a big backhoe. And if you need extra chairs for a party, or production equipment for a movie, they have it too!

Zilok is people's favorite at the Plugg Internet startup rally

The top of the crop of European Internet startups gathered this week in Brussels for the Plugg conference. Chosen as one of the 20 finalists among high tech startups from 18 countries, Zilok founders rocked the house and received the People's Choice award!

We really appreciate this award, it is definitely the most meaningful to us. We say this often, but our members are what make Zilok a great place for finding great, fun and useful stuff. Our members help shape and reshape the website, suggesting features and categories.

So when we feel the interest of people face to face, it is most rewarding!

Here is what the Plugg Press Release tell us about the event: "Plugg’s Start-Ups Rally, a competition for European companies to showcase the most promising young technology ventures, drew 65 exceptional start-ups from 18 countries. The jury, made up of members of Europe’s leading venture capital firms, incubators and renowned internet experts, selected ultimately 20 semi-finalists who pitched the 300-headed audience on stage at the event. After a highly competitive morning session during which the 20 companies each pitched for 2 minutes, the jury and audience jointly voted 3 finalists (Bragster, Viewdle and Zilok) to the afternoon session, where they got 10 minutes to explain what their business is. The jury finally awarded Viewdle (US / Ukraine / Luxembourg) with the first prize, while Zilok (Belgium) walked away with the People’s Choice Award for getting the best ratings from the audience."

Congratulation to Viewdle.com for the Jury's award.

You can read about it on TechCrunch with this post from Mike Butcher.

A new look for Zilok Homepage!

Zilok was created for the community. The community wanted more ideas, more examples, more real-life stories. So we created a totally new homepage, with testimonials, items recently rented, and examples of what you'll find on Zilok!

Since we launched, people have given us lots of tips and suggestions about how they would like the website to evolve. We listen, we respond, we adapt, and we appreciate all this valuable feedback and conversation.

So today, we are very proud and happy to present you the new face of Zilok. This new face resembles our community and features the heart of our project: making everything accessible to people at a bargain.

You'll see some of the faces and stories behind the first items that were available on our site, you'll see more examples of cool things to rent for a project, for a weekend, for a visit, you'll see more in-depth stories about Zilok and our community.

This wasn't easy, but we're happy about the result. We hope you are too, and keep on the good work by telling us what you'd like to see changed, updated, or just what you like!

Special thanks to our members that were specially involved in the suggestions, content, testing of this new homepage: Karen, Adrianna, Zach, Brandy, Bob, Jimmy, Claire, Thierry, Valentine, Nicholas, Marie, John and Byron.

If you'd like to submit your own story about Zilok, contact us! We love to hear from you.

Plugg selects Zilok in their Top 20 startups!

An international panel of web 2.0, mobile and Venture Capital experts has chosen Zilok as one of the Top 20 startups from 18 European countries, to compete in an event organized by Plugg for the Startup of the Year Award.

We are very excited to be considered the top of the crop by industry experts, and hope to bring the Award back from Brussels.

For more information, check out this article from TechCrunch UK, and the Plugg website.

Zilok at the Rental Show 2008

Zilok is a proud member of the American Rental Association. Each year, the ARA organizes the most important event for the industry: The Rental Show.

Imagine 650 manufacturers of heavy-duty machinery and event rentals, spread out on 750,000 square feet in 3,500 booths, visited by 11,000 rental businesses owners and managers!

This year, however, it is very special. One, because it's happening in Las Vegas. And two, because Zilok is there for the first time!

We want to promote renting as a new, sustainable and community driven way of consuming, as opposed to buying and accumulating. Our mission is to make anything that you can possibly rent accessible to our community, locally and conveniently.

One very good way to do this is to support local businesses, and that's why we are rallying rental businesses from the 50 States today, to help them be a part of the online marketplace, and to help you find what you want, when you want it, and where you want it.

Make money spreading the word!

Zilok is so useful, you want all your neighbors and friends to subscribe and list all the cool things they own for rent. The more people and the more accessible stuff, the more power to Zilok members!

So we built a set of generous incentives so you can make money while spreading the word. That's the Partner Program.

With the Partner Program, we offer you a set of tools so you can invite your friends and advertise Zilok online and offline. Every new Zilok member that will have signed up using one of your tools will become your affiliate.
That means you will earn 10% of the rental commission on each transaction involving your affiliates, whether they are the owner or the renter. And that's going to be valid for a year!

Not only can you make extra money renting your stuff, now you can make even more inviting friends and visitors!

We set up many tools (and more to come) so you can get lots of affiliates:

Zilok Invitations

Zilok created for you a system that allows you to very simply send to people you know invitations to check out and sign up to Zilok. Each invitation email will include a referral email. When your friends subscribe by using this link within 15 days, they become your affiliates for a year!
And for even more convenience, you can automatically retrieve all your contacts from your favorite webmail provider.

Invite your friends now >>

Advertise Zilok

You can get easily get lots of affiliates by promoting Zilk, either online or offline.
Offline, all you have to do is give your friends your Parner Code. You'll find it with the other Affiliation Tools. When they sign up, they enter your code, they become your affiliate for a year.
Online, you can display Zilok banners on your blog or personal website. When people sign up through these banners, they become your affiliates!

Advertise Zilok >>

More information about the Partner Program

Zilok wishes you the best for 2008!

Our whole staff would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! We hope that the Zilok community will keep growing strong and providing you endless exciting renting possibilities.

In 2008, Zilok will keep adding more and more features and welcoming more countries, to better serve all of you!