HireThingsContinuing on with online P2P hire theme, here’s a new one from New Zealand.  HireThings is a P2P rental marketplace across multiple categories spanning products, places and services that offers hourly, 4-hour, daily, week, and month rates.  HireThings has a nice ‘look and feel’, and easy to use and intuitive interface.  Nice design & UI guys!  

Business Model:
HireThings has a nice and simple business model…if the item you put up for rent is rented by someone, you pay HireThings either a percentage or a percentage plus cash combination depending on the value of the hire.

Value of booking*     Proposed success fee (incl. GST)
Up to $100               5% of hire/rental fee charged. Min charge $0.50.
$100 – $250              $5 + 4% of hire fee over $100
$250 – $500              $11 + 3% of hire fee over $250
$500 – $1500            $18.50 + 2% of hire fee over $500
$1500 +                   $38.5 + 1% of hire fee over $1500.

Max fee per booking = $100.

In my opinion, simple and transparent business models are always the best and this one is nice and clean given that people only pay when they have secured a hire and make money themselves.  No speculation investment required. This should help adoption…oh yeah, and they do not seem to be getting involved in the visually distracting adsense model. Thanks Guys!

Some Core Functionality:

  • Members can created a ‘trusted network’ and can choose to only offer items within that network or the broader full site network
  • Listing, photo upload, multiple categories including services and place hire…
  • Customers can view listing’s details and submit a quote or booking request
  • The Hire Things website calculate an estimated cost for the booking
  • Renters are notified by email of the new customer request, and can confirm or respond with a firmer quote.

A nice and simple concept, business model and execution –

  • I like HireThings UI and the clean, fun graphics – it was a simple site to figure out and use
  • The ‘Trusted Network’ is a nice angle that could help adoption and friend referral
  • If a person rents an item, the renter has the fee deducted from their topped up account – simple

Not so much dislikes as potential ‘watchouts’ or concerns:

  • If the fee is deducted from the topped up account when the transaction is confirmed, what happens if there are challenges with the rental? i.e. item not received, received but not functioning, item not returned, item returned broken – you get the idea. 
  • Are any of the above challenges on HireThings to resolve? If so, hope they have a big admin staff…
  • The ‘Trusted Network’ is a nice idea but assuming you add your ‘friends’ and ‘contacts’ to this network – why wouldn’t they just contact each other outside of the system and offer to lend them the articles without incurring the commission?
  • Keeping the quality of the listings is going to be a challenge as this grows…for example, there is already a listing for “Soft or Hard Hugs” in the services section – now I like hugs as much of the next guy but to hire a 3rd party? Hummm….see that blue flashing light yet? Shame there’s no photo… 🙂

One little suggestion for the HireThings guys…the front page of items is hard on the brain given the range and categories of products meshed together…you may want to create a categorization or perhaps quick read icons for the different categories.

My Virtual Investment:
With my virtual $1M, I would ask them to ‘Let’ me virtually invest $350K.