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Got an idea for a small business - has this been done to death or am i in with a chance?

(33 Posts)
shrinkingsagpuss Thu 17-Jul-08 17:35:23

I'd like to set up a company doing baby equipment hire.
I looked up my local area, and there doesn't seem to be a lot, and I think in my spare days, with a good website and some planning, it could be a really good business.

Am I being a fool?

OverMyDeadBody Thu 17-Jul-08 17:37:20

What kind of equipment?

shrinkingsagpuss Thu 17-Jul-08 17:41:02

travel cots, high chairs, car seats etc - things you mgiht need when visitng g/parents, or things family or friends might want if you are staying over and can't take loads of stuff.

shrinkingsagpuss Thu 17-Jul-08 17:42:03

plus anythign else anyone can come up with that they might want to hire!!

I think I'd be willing to go with suggestions, if someone came to me and asked to hire something, I didn't usually ave, I'd certainly look into it.

wannaBe Thu 17-Jul-08 17:46:49

Tbh I don't think there would be a huge market for this.

Carseats are a definite no-no IMO because of perceived safety issues re second-hand carseats, (you couldn't be sure that someone hiriing a carseat from you hadn't had an accident thus impacting on the safeness of said seat etc).

Items like travel cots and highchairs aren't that expensive to buy, and realistically aren't needed for all that long. A booster seat with straps can be sufficient once baby is sitting up well and those are generally inexpensive and portable. similarly travel cots aren't that expensive so the cost of hiring one would have to be very cheap, especially if people would be visiting grandparents more than say 3/4 times during the lifetime of a travel cot.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Thu 17-Jul-08 17:52:28

I agree with Wannabe on the car seats you couldn't vouch for the seats safety as you would never know how it was looked after when it was out on hire.

I have to say that I would probably have used something like this rather than buy all the rubbish I did buy for going away and hardly ever used but still had to store at home.

When we travelled to visit my parents when dd was small we never had a car either and we couldn't lug a travel cot, high chair, stereliser etc on the train so we either had to rely on y dad travelling 200 miles to get us then take up home or have all the stuff down there but that was no help if we went to FIL, my brother or my sister or whatever. Even now with a car I fly to see my sister so would probably like to be able to hire things when away less to carry with 2 children.

For me it wasn't the cost of buying the stuff it was storing something that got so little use and the actual logistics of travelling while carting it all along.

Tinkerisdead Thu 17-Jul-08 17:53:43

Im pregnant and trying to think of things i would remotely consider hiring, maybe things that are in short use like a moses basket or a baby swing but then the thought that they may be soiled etc would put me off. I would however consider hiring stuff to "roadtest" it like prams to see which ones really suited my needs etc. I would hire a tens machine for sure and thats the only definate so not sure there is a market for this.

shrinkingsagpuss Thu 17-Jul-08 17:55:38

i wouldn't hire out soiled stuff!!

shrinkingsagpuss Thu 17-Jul-08 17:55:38

i wouldn't hire out soiled stuff!!

LongLiveGreenElizabeth Thu 17-Jul-08 17:57:44

I might have hired a breastfeeding chair with footstool for my 2nd dc.

They are so lovely to sit in , but v v expensive.

staranise Thu 17-Jul-08 17:59:44

we used to live abroad and were always looking for a company who did this for our trips home! Including car seats - i would rather have hired them off a reputable, specialised baby equipment company than the car hire firms (which can never guarantee that you'll get the right size and were always grotty etc). The sort of things we'd look to hire were all the things that are impossible or awkward to take when flying: double buggy, travel cot, car seat, steriliser, high chair etc. i agree that it wasn't the price of buying them that was a hassle, it was the issue of transporting & storing them. Mind, grandparents etc tended to have what we needed so it woudl be for when we were visiting friends or hiring a hosue etc.

wannaBe Thu 17-Jul-08 18:00:23

also what are the risks for eg of SIDS from things like travel cots/moses baskets that are usedby various babies?

The recommendation is to buy a new cot matrass for each baby, so does that apply to travel cots?

parents may be happy to use the travel cot that their sister/brother used for their children, but might have a different issue about using one that was used by 10 other parents that week, 4 of whom might be heavy smokers and might have left invisible residue which could be harmful to their child.

I'm not saying it's a real risk, just a perceived risk.

wannaBe Thu 17-Jul-08 18:02:56

I think that things like hiring out breastfeeding chairs are real possibility. As previous poster said they are very expensive.

Really not sure about actual baby equipment though.

callmeovercautious Thu 17-Jul-08 18:04:21

I think much of it would come back soiled unfortunately.

In principle I think it is a good idea, we flew to Ireland to visit IL and she had borrowed a travel cot and car seat from a friends daughter. Unfortunately the car seat was very old and I would not let her go in it other than a short drive into town at 20/30mph. A new but used one would have been better.

Prams are a definate yes, as TheDoctorswife said you could try before you buy. Also things like bumboos which are lovely for about a month then they get bored of them or grow out of them/can sit alone etc.

squeaver Thu 17-Jul-08 18:06:45

Something like [http://www.baby2go.com/ this?]]

Which I only know about because it was recommended by someone on here

callmeovercautious Thu 17-Jul-08 18:07:12

Yes to a BFing chair as well. I did not want one as they were expensive but also long term would just take up space. In retrospect I should have got one as DD is still feeding at 22m grin

squeaver Thu 17-Jul-08 18:07:21

Sorry here's the link

OverMyDeadBody Thu 17-Jul-08 18:08:49

perhaps instead of thinking of private individual customers, you shoudl consider corporations and other businesses, like wedding planners and party organisers. I bet those kind of places would hire out lots of high chairs etc. when they do functions involving small chindren.

filthymindedvixen Thu 17-Jul-08 18:09:07

there are posts daily on my freecycle from people (often grandparents) wishing to borrow buggies/carseats/travel cots etc. So there is a demand. Trouble is, because they do get such things on freecycle for free, why would they pay you?

OverMyDeadBody Thu 17-Jul-08 18:10:00

or hire out to people on campsites?

Tinkerisdead Thu 17-Jul-08 18:10:57

shrinkingsagpuss please dont get me wrong, not suggesting that you would hire soiled stuff, but thinking in terms of being a pregnant woman with PFB, the thought that something may have been soiled would put me off. in the same way as i could buy from a nearly new sale, but havent. Thinking of other stuff i may try like prams, maybe slings as people recommend them but so many types i'd really like to hire a baby bjorn v's a ring sling for example. especially as they are so expensive if you purchase the wrong one. Agree about the nursing chair too, would def hire that.

shrinkingsagpuss Thu 17-Jul-08 19:00:11

it's ok, I am not taking it personally -this is theoretical anyway!!

as a pg mum of PFB, at the end of the day, if you don't want 2nd hand stuff, then hiring wouldn'\t be for you anyway.

JackBlackRoady Fri 18-Jul-08 08:49:09

I have 2 kids, i'd have liked to hire a few things! i'd have loved a bfding chair, and wish i had hired my pram to road test it before buying it - i could have hired a few prams and then chosen. I would love to hire a proper cot for the cottage where we are holidaying this year - i much prefer them to travel cots. but i would want the hire company to deliver the cot to the cottage and assemble it! don't want much do i? wink also i would love to hire both slings and reusable nappies to try before i buy. and finally, i'd have loved to hire some educational stuff for my son, like books or games - i always thought how cool it would be to have a box delivered - like you can get a box of vegetables deliveered - but with toys and games to help learning! like at nursery schools, they rotate the toys - i tried and rotate toys and i've used a toy library but i mean something where i don't have to be organised!

drowninginlaundry Fri 18-Jul-08 08:56:30

I think it's a great idea. I'd definitely hire a nursing chair

I borrowed stuff from friends, things that had been recycled before and it didn't bother me. Everything can be cleaned, no?

ZacharyQuack Fri 18-Jul-08 09:10:49

I'm in New Zealand and used a similar hire company here. I hired an exersaucer for 6 months, by the end of that time DD had grown out of it and I was happy to hand it back as we don't have much storage space and I'm too lazy to go through the hassle of selling it.

I also hired a cot when DD2 was born and DD1 was still in her cot. I used the hire cot for about 4 months until DD1 was ready to move to a bed.

The exersaucer was a great hulking plastic thing, which I had been assured had been sterilised between use, and the cot and mattress were brand new. TBH I doubt if I would have hired the cot unless I could get a brand new mattress.

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