Let’s face it, camera equipment is expensive. And whether you are just dabbling in photography as a hobby or are a seasoned veteran, you know the value of different equipment for different situations to get the best shot possible. And yet, aside from the super rich, nobody can afford to buy every possible piece of equipment. That’s why the pros don’t buy the equipment, they rent them. At Rentything, we aim to be the best peer to peer marketplace for anything, including photography equipment. If you have camera equipment sitting idly while you aren’t using it, you could be making some extra cash to help payoff all the equipment you’ve purchased over the years. Yep, you heard me, your stuff can pay for itself by renting it out. Here are 6 items photographers and related industries can rent rather than buy.
Interchangeable lenses are useful because they allow you to optimize images using different apertures, focal lengths, and other properties and differ by design, construction, and use cases such as close up or zoom. There are many special purpose lenses that exist, and nearly impossible for most photographers to own outright.
Some cameras allow for interchangeable flash units to be mounted via a mounting bracket. Flashes can vary by speed, intensity, frequency, and so just like lenses have their place in a photographers toolbelt.
Again, there are many tripods out there for different use cases. Some photographers traveling on vacation don’t want to lug around their tripods with them and are more in favour of renting them at their destination spot.
This catch all category includes items such as batteries, polarizers, camera bags, and memory cards.
Lighting is important to great shots. Artificial lighting can really help enhance images and take them to the next level. Many times in high quality productions, lighting is handled by separate grip technicians. That’s right, an entire job dedicated to just lighting and rigging. So even additional grip equipment such as generators, reflectors, walkie talkies, and so on are items that are rentable.
This one is a no brainer. Sometimes consumers may just want to test out a camera before actually making a purchase, and renting one is a safe way to do so.
Don’t think you have any items to rent to photographers? Don’t be silly. Computers, printers, storage and memory cards, and electronics are just some of the items that photographers could use. Photography is an expensive art, hobby, and profession. Any way photographers can save money (or make some extra) and they are all for it. And since the range of photographers is large, from the dabbler to the professional, there are plenty of rental options for anyone. Don’t be shy because you don’t think anybody would want your items, you never know.
5 Tips to Help Make Your Marketplace a Huge Success
Let’s face it, marketplaces are hard. Really, really hard. You have to get the word out to both “buyers” and “sellers”. No sellers, and the buyers have nothing to buy. No buyers, and sellers have no incentive to join. It’s the classic chicken and egg problem. Not only that, but once a marketplace establishes itself, buyers and sellers have no real reason to switch to another platform unless the reasons are compelling. But fear not, all is not lost. Making your marketplace easy to use for your users and making it easy to share with their social networks can go a long way in ensuring your marketplace gains the attention it deserves. Here are 5 tips along those lines.
1. Make it easy to share
First, the obvious one. If you’ve been on the internet at all, and I’m assuming most of you have, then you’ve probably seen tons and tons of share buttons plastered all over the place. The reason? They probably work. So if you have a page, put some share buttons on the page so users can simply click and off it goes to their respective social network(s). On Rentything, our share buttons are in the footer (to share the site itself) and on offer pages (to share individual offers). Share buttons should be easy to see and should not be buried deep within the page, but shouldn’t dominate the page either. It is probably worth testing social button placement, and even if social buttons are useful at all.
Other areas worth considering putting a social button on include any time a user creates content on the site. On Rentything, any time a user creates an offer they are prompted with the ability to share their new posting to their friends.
2. Make some widgets
Widgets on blogging platforms such as Wordpress are very popular. This is also a great place for users to show off their stuff, such as their Twitter feed, Etsy store, Amazon Wishlist, and so on. Thus, if you have a service in which users create content, it makes sense to create a widget so that users can show it off on their blog. Widgets are easy to make and easy for users to install, so they are worth your time to help spread the word on your platform. Remember, a user who shares their content on your platform is simultaneously helping to promote your platform. Check out the Rentything widget.
3. Make it easy to give feedback and get support
Don’t be afraid to roll your own either, at Rentything we have a simple vote up or vote down for feedback similar to what you would see on sites like Reddit. Whatever the user votes, a small input box appears to allow users to further expand and comment on their vote should they choose to.
If users have questions and need help, how do they get in touch with you? A help section or FAQ would be helpful, and Uservoice and GetSatisfaction both have the ability to log support tickets. It might be useful to have a phone number on the page so customers have somebody to call, as well as an online chat box to provide live help for users who may need it.
Services such as Olark make this easy to integrate so that you can focus on your core business.
4. Gamify Stuff
Dropbox and LinkedIn both do this very well. Gamify is a silly word, all it means is to use game-like elements to encourage users to take certain actions. LinkedIn does this by showing you progress on how much your profile is filled. The progress helps users know how much they’ve completed and how much is left. A completed profile not only helps the user show off their work experience, but also helps LinkedIn by providing complete information to other users, potential recruiters, and anyone who may be looking at the profile.
Dropbox does this to help spread the word on their product. They reward users by giving them additional storage space.
Remember not to gamify for the sake of it. Leaderboards, for example, may have negative consequences if it incentivizes unwanted behaviours, or if it makes it so difficult to take the top spot or progress up the ladder that users disengage from your service altogether. You definitely don’t want that. DuoLingo has a leaderboard, but does it encourage users in spot 5 or below to actually keep using the product? Perhaps not if they are way behind on points.
5. Make it easy to invite friends
Quora does this very well. Rather than have users scroll through their address book to find people to invite to their service, they have a very convenient invitation box right on the main pages of their site that requires minimal effort on the user’s part to invite. One click and the invitation is sent.
If you are looking to make it easy for your users to send out invitations to their friends, then this is a great way to do it.
So there you have it. These tips are not a prerequisite for success, nor are they are a guarantee for success. They are simply some options to add to your toolbox to help your marketplace succeed (and ideas that we here at Rentything are trying to utilize). Remember, marketplaces are hard to build, but don’t hesitate to build it anyway if you’re bringing value to the table. And use these tips to keep users coming back, staying engaged, and spreading the word.
Today we are happy to announce the release of our WordPress widget. The widget is another way for users to share and promote their offers. If you have a Wordpress blog, be sure to get the Rentything offers widget so you can promote your offers right on your blog. You can check out the widget here.
“With an estimated market size of $110B over the next five years, the collaborative consumption economy is already big business. Silicon Valley start-ups have dominated the landscape in recent years with large corporations only now beginning to move in.”—The Rise of Sharing | The Dish Daily (via leweb)
Today we’re excited to announce that we just pushed out a shiny new search that will give us a lot of flexibility going forward. You’ll see it already has better search results, as well as the ability to filter search results by distance, among other things. We are still tweaking it and will be adding more search options soon.
We’ve also fixed up ton of bugs and rejigged the UI a bit based on user feedback. Keep the feedback coming it has been really great stuff! Go check it out the shinier Rentything now
3 Items to Immediately Start Renting on Rentything
A few of our beta users were wondering if they even have anything to lend to others that they would want to borrow. The answer is a big fat YES. Everybody has something to offer. If you’re stuck and wondering what to lend in the sharing economy, we’ll offer some ideas on this blog from time to time. To get started, we’ll start with the stuff that almost everybody has. At the very bare minimum, most people have the following 3 items to lend.
1. Spare space. Seriously. It could be a couch, a spare bedroom, an unused garage. Thinking along these lines should give you plenty of ideas to work with.
2. Cutlery. Even the most hardcore minimalist should have a knife, fork, and plate to lend. You never know who might need extra cutlery for a big party they’re throwing.
3. Clothing. Again. Unless you’ve completely shunned society or live in some nudist colony, you probably have some clothes kicking around. And let’s be honest here, we all have some clothes that we never wear but can’t part with for one reason or another. Lend it!
These three items should cover just about everyone, because everyone has at least 1 of the 3 items. This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course, and definitely isn’t an exhaustive list (not even close!). With a little creativity and thought you’ll soon see that you have many items available to lend. Don’t think nobody would want what you have, because you never know.
We’ve quietly notified our pre launch signup users that Rentything is open in a public beta. We’re excited to see what people start lending and borrowing on Rentything. As any peer to peer marketplace, the more people using it the merrier. We’ve kept this in mind and have worked hard on providing an experience that will hopefully encourage users to keep coming back, to participate, to share, and to help spread the word.
Hopefully our blog readers like you will participate and make Rentything an awesome place to be online. Thanks and we’ll see you soon!