Friday, May 16, 2008

Zilok Launches in the UK

Zilok.co.ukI've still got a big weedy area on my allotment that hasn't been cultivated for years. It's a total jungle, we couldn't possibly tackle it all by hand. So we investigated hiring a strimmer and a rotavator to get it all under control.

Our nearest tool hire place wants £33 a day for a strimmer and £52 a day for a rotavator, which is pretty expensive.

There's probably somebody I know who has a strimmer and/or a rotavator in their shed. I've been asking everyone who I think is likely to have one, but I haven't got anywhere so far. Wouldn't it be great if there was some kind of database of who has what tools? Then when you wanted a strimmer or a power washer you could look up if anyone near you had the thing you want and was willing to lend it out. I'd pay money for a service like that.

It would work both ways wouldn't it? For example, my apple press and scritcher get used just a few days a year. If I could hire them out to other people I could recoup some of the cost. Or, as it was a gift, I could bring in a bit of income. I'm sure there are other things in my shed that don't get much use. The steam wallpaper stripper, for example, the kiln, the router. They could become nice little earners.

Fortunately someone has already thought of it. Zilok.co.uk is a Rental Marketplace where anyone, individual or professional, can rent or rent out anything (from a fancy handbag to a drill, from tuxedos to digital cameras or even cars or baby strollers…). They call it “peer-to-peer renting”, or an eBay for rentals. There are star ratings like on Ebay so you can protect yourself by only renting from (or to) people with an established reputation. Or you will when it has been up and running for a little while. It was only launched this week, so when I went on it I couldn't find any strimmers or rotavators, and nobody has any stars.

I'll be keeping my eye on it. It sounds like a brilliant idea and I'm dying to try it out when it's properly running.

11 comments:

Alice said...

Rotovators are a NIGHTMARE! They chop all the soil up so it LOOKS fluffy, which doesn't actually serve any purpose. Then all the weed seeds that have been brought up by the digging start to sprout, and all your couch grass, bindweed, dandelions etc which have been chopped into little bits start growing a whole new plant from each little tiny piece... DON'T DO IT!!!

I cleared most of my jungle-like plot by covering large parts at a time for one whole season. A layer of cardboard excludes light really well, then a layer of plastic e.g. bin liners to speed things up by excluding water, then something heavy on top to weigh it all down e.g. old carpet.

Take it all off in late Autumn and dig something organic into the soil like manure, and off you go!

I like the Zilok idea very much, I'll add anything I can think of to hire out myself to help it get started.

emma said...

you could try www.justoftheloveofit.org as they have a tool sharing system there and it seems quite popular - the website has been going for about a year now.

Melissa said...

I don't know if they are outside of the US, but we have two similar sites here, www.neighborrow.com and www.nuvorent.com - the first allows you to borrow and lend, the second is for renting.

Anonymous said...

We have something called community toolchest that you can borrow tools from. The tools are purchased and stored by a charitable org. (with grant money intended for the purpose). Then, when I need tools for a charity clean up (at the local school or a park etc.) I reserve the tools at no cost.

It is a great service. I don't know if they would lend the tools for a private garden but when you need seventeen ladders or 22 rakes, it is the perfect org.

Tory in the US

Robj98168 said...

Hi Mel! I assume that a rotovator is the US equivilent of a Rototiller? Luckily for me I have two- one electric that works well in my raised beds, and 1 gas powered. But it would be cool to have a website like ZILOCK here in the states- I recently had to paint the addition to my house and rented an airless paint sprayer- worked great cut the time down from days to just hours- then after I was done all these people asked me why I didn't borrow thier airless sprayer? Because I did not know you had one. But it is much cheaper to rent than to buy, unless you use the darn thing so much that your rental fees add up. Moat rentals in the US also sell what they rent so you can get a discount buying used.

Melanie Rimmer said...

Hi Rob, yes a rotovator is the same thing as a rototiller. And there is a US Zilok site, so next time you need a paint sprayer maybe you can get one from them.

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