This post has been sponsored by Babierge.
Many of those wanting to make a little extra money from home look into rental business ideas at some point. This business opportunity can offer good returns as you can invest in equipment once and rent it over and over again for the life of the product. In many cases, you can even start with items you already have on hand!
One rental idea gaining in popularity in recent years is the baby equipment rental business. Many travelers don't want to waste valuable cargo room on cribs, high chairs and strollers when going on vacation or to grandma's house for the holidays. As a baby equipment rental agent, you can offer these items to those visiting town for a fee.
If you love the idea of starting a rental business but are feeling a little overwhelmed by the logistics, Babierge can help. This baby gear rental platform started when the founder, a mom, built a website to rent her no-longer-used baby and toddler equipment to families traveling to Santa Fe. As her small business took off, she soon began teaching others how they could do the same in cities across the country.
Today we are speaking with a Babierge Trusted Partner about her experience building a baby gear rental business with the help of the company. We will also be talking to a company representative about the particulars.
Interview with A.D. Simmons, Babierge Independent Trusted Partner Serving Clark County, WA, and Portland, OR
Why did you choose to rent baby equipment?
As a personal concierge, I am always looking for ways to help people live their best life now. After witnessing the challenges family and friends were having while traveling with their children or hosting guests with children, I was fascinated by the idea of renting items when traveling and thought this would be a great way to help eliminate some of the stress of traveling with kids.
What made you apply to Babierge?
I was looking for a side-gig, something with some flexibility that also provides a good hourly income. I also wanted to be part of bringing joy to traveling families. I found value in the fact that as a platform Babierge would build a website for me, drive business to my website, make affordable insurance available and introduce me to a supportive community of baby gear entrepreneurs who answer questions, provide advice and help me grow my business all while allowing me to run the business in a way that works for my customers and me. The investment was minimal and I would be able to be up and running in a few short weeks after being accepted as an Independent Trusted Partner.
How long have you been with the company?
I started as an Independent Trusted Partner in February 2017 (7 months as of September)
How has this opportunity allowed you to meet your personal needs/goals?
Being an Independent Trusted Partner allows me to design my business to work best with my skills and talents while helping make life more enjoyable for others. I am able to spend more time with family and friends, and be more active in my community.
What challenges do you face in this position?
Baby equipment rental is a rapidly growing industry and there are a lot of opportunities to pursue. As a small business owner, I’m working on the business and in the business at the same time. This sometimes leaves me stretched for resources so I refer back to the goals I’ve set to keep me on track.
What’s your typical week like? (ex. Arranging rents, getting paid, etc.)
One of the great things about this business is that there is variety in a week. Some weeks may be more delivery or pick-up heavy while others are more of a networking, office time, and planning week. I strive to keep to a routine regardless of what the week has in store that consists of managing and running the business, product development and maintenance, marketing and communication growth, development and partnerships, and company culture (my Independent Trusted Partner Business).
From the Company
What's the application process like to become a Babierge Trusted Partners?
Anyone interested can fill out a brief application and attend a free webinar to learn more about launching and running their baby gear business. Babierge trains applicants in all aspects of running the business including baby gear safety and cleanliness, providing concierge-level customer service to families, sales, social media, marketing and even public relations. You fill out a setup form that is used to build your web site, and then you are turned one. Sometimes you’ll get an order the very day you go live! Most of the time it takes a week or so—but it’s fast!
Are there any startup fees involved?
It’s mandatory that anyone renting gear on the Babierge platform be covered by the company’s general commercial liability insurance. Babierge charges launching Trusted Partners $100 to cover the cost of adding them to the insurance policy, sending them their insurance certificate and covering their first rentals. After that, they are charged a small monthly insurance fee based on their total order volume each month.
One thing that surprises applicants is that you don’t have to purchase gear in advance. Most of the time you can get a reservation and get paid for it, and then order the gear to fulfill that order.
Do you offer support to new Trusted Partners?
Babierge provides comprehensive initial training to all Trusted Partners and then supplements that with at least 6 video conference call meetings each month, where the company provides additional training, shares insights and introduces marketing hacks to help Trusted Partners do local marketing. Babierge also drives online traffic to a Trusted Partner’s website.
One thing that’s really different about Babierge is that we’ve built a super friendly and positive private Facebook community where Trusted Partners constantly support each other by providing tips, advice, and information about great baby gear sales. They share effective marketing efforts, so no one is really going it alone. And sometimes they just have fun and socialize. Babierge introduces new Trusted Partners to the group and celebrates their first orders. It’s remarkable!
How much do Trusted Partners get paid? Are any fees charged to the Trusted Partner?
Trusted Partners receive 80% of their rental revenue for each order. They keep 100% of their delivery fees and tips. Babierge takes 20% of a Trusted Partner’s rental revenue. Trusted Partners are generally paid about 2 days after an order is placed. They must pay the credit card transaction fees for their orders.
How are payments disbursed?
Money is deposited directly into a Trusted Partner’s bank account.
Is this a good job for someone needing a flexible schedule and/or still working a full-time job outside of the home?
Babierge is a great side-gig. It’s fun, easy, and it feels good to makes families happy—especially when they’re exhausted after a long day of travel. If you have a full-time job with a little flexibility, you can make this work. Stay-at-home moms are a natural for this (dads too), especially because they are already baby gear experts. You can partner with a friend to launch your business on the Babierge platform too. Baby gear rental is even a way retired folks are now earning a little extra monthly income while keeping active and engaged in their community.
Can you give us an average monthly income of Trusted Partners?
This number tends to change, as the work has seasonal fluctuations. You are likely to make more during busy family travel periods. Right now, on average, Trusted Partners are making about $600/month in extra income renting baby gear. But in some areas, they are making many thousands of dollars. It depends on the size of your market AND the size of your marketing hustle.
Any tips for running a baby equipment rental business?
Sign up with all the product recall lists and be super careful that all your gear is in perfect operating condition and exceptionally clean. Make sure you are insured too. Network in your local community including your local Chamber of Commerce or visitors information center, hotels, vacation rental companies and anywhere you can reach grandparents. They love to rent gear when they host their visiting grandchildren!
A typical week may look like: making deliveries and doing pick-ups, working on orders, coordinating delivery and pick-up schedule, corresponding with customers, replying to inquiries, cleaning gear, organizing and tracking gear, working on online presence, networking, and building relationships with the other Trusted Partners (TPs).
Are you ready to get started with this amazing at-home rental business idea? Visit Babierge to learn more.