For Christmas, a gazebo has been set up to accommodate smokers. Inside, guests meet around the fondue carrousel. To get the fire wood, a wood splitting tool had been necessary, and a leaf blower to clean the entrance way. Often, devices like these are rarely used, and stay in the shelves of cellars or garages most of the year. The Hamburg-based start-up LifeThek wanted to change this and provides an online rental service for items of everyday life.
Sharing – The New Sustainablity of Consumers
Dirk Feldmann, a graduate of business administration, founded LifeThek two years ago. “For us, Hamburg offers the perfect environment: the city has economic potential, with first sharing services operating successfully. In addition, there is a growing willingness to own less and to test new forms of access”, he says. What is already established in car-sharing, is now accessing other areas of life. “People increasingly want only to benefit from products, and no longer merely want to own it.” Customers are able to order wanted items both online and by classic forms of communication, and also at short notice.
Easy Handling Makes Concept Even More Attractive
Handling is easy. In the online store, users can choose among some 500 items in different categories, which are rented out on a daily fee. Once a product has been selected, it can be picked up at LifeThek. Alternatively, user are able to order the items by mail or courier services for an extra charge of 5.90 euro. After use, it is returned and released for further rental after quality control and service.
Product Quality Decisive Factor
“Customers want a drill they can rely on, and rent a bike that also safely transports children”, Feldman says. Thus, he pays particular attention to purchasing quality products. And just as the customer can rely on the product companies have a long-term marketing effect: “Customers who rent the product and make their own experience during the rental period often return to shops and buy them after the borrowing.” Even small companies have thus the opportunity to present their products to a wide public at LifeThek.
Since the opening in 2012, LifeThek has been experiencing increasing demand, and today employs a staff of four. In addition to warehouse and showrooms in Hamburg-Altona, LifeThek meanwhile opened its first branch in Berlin-Mitte. Dirk Feldmann is positive that the market will expand further. “Also in other cities, such as Munich, customers want to borrow things of everyday life, of course. Thus, the expansion of services and logistics will be a logical step. “Short term used products are popular all year round, from tools when moving home to camping gear for the next holiday. And when once winter is just around the corner, toboggans for the kids can be hired.”
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