Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Renting Toys

I do like this concept, but I don't think I am clean enough or organized enough to make this happen. My kids would end up ruining the toys for sure and then I would have to buy them anyway. We have this problem with library books. They want to look through the pages, I get busy and the next thing you know... there is marker on a page or something got ripped. However, I would be willing to check it out if someone were to start "renting" toys here. How about you?

I just found a website that does rent toys in the U.S.: Baby Plays.com Plans start at 26.99 a month. You can give it as a gift. Now that is a great idea. I would absolutely love this as a gift. We do end up losing toys and such after a few weeks. This way, we would be forced to keep track of the toys and then send them back the next month. Fabulous.

FROM CNN: For frugal parents and their fickle children, here's an enterprising idea: The economic downturn has spawned a new business trend -- Companies in Singapore are now allowing people to rent -- rather than buy -- toys for their kids.

For entrepreneur Elaine Gay, this is her favourite part of the job. A hands-on approach to a very unique service. "Does she like this one?" "It's quite good."

Customer satisfaction is crucial and this service caters to the most fickle of customers. But this toy is not for sale, it's for rent.

It's one of several toy rental companies that have recently emerged in Singapore. The principal is simple - customers rent the toy for a fee and simply return it when it falls out of favour.

"We have a huge variety of toys to choose from, for example this toys would cost $200 in the malls, if I can rent it, it would cost $35 per month and if she doesn't like I can return it the next month and get something else."

"Say bye bye to the toy."

"In times of recession, people want to tighten their budgets. For children, they are still willing to spend. Instead of buying, why not rent for thier kids to try out and it's still cheaper renting than buying."

"We have book rentals, we have DVD rentals, it's about time we have toy rentals." Anita: this is our warehouse. We have about 1500 products, we store according to age group or functionality.

Stevens: what are the most popular items?

Anita: car seats, baby cots, breast pumps..

Anita Brukers founded Singapore's first and largest toy rental club. In recent months, several others companies offering the same service have popped up. "Some are successful, some have fizzled out a bit. They didn't really understand what it involved. it's quite labour intensive and I think a lot of people underestimate that."

But that hasn't discouraged many toy rental companies. Most rely heavily on their browse-friendly websites, appealing to the busy schedule of most parents.

They simply place their order online and have it delivered to their home within days. All toys are sterilized between rentals. and parents are required to buy the toy if it breaks.

Brukers and her partner say business is good, but they hope that the global slowdown will push more parents towards their service. "Pay only for what you need when you need it...an important principle in today's tough economic climate, and one that these entrepreneurs hope will be help them turn a profit."

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


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