Equipment rental 'eBay' launched in North America

By Murray Pollok04 June 2010

A new online rental marketplace is being launched in North America that aims to create an eBay for equipment rental.

The iRENTequip marketplace (www.irentequip.com), which started operations on 1 June, will allow rental customers to request a rental and then receive bids for their business from local rental companies. The site will serve the construction, landscaping, agriculture, industrial fork lift and trucking equipment sectors.

The site has been established by former recruitment professional Beau Frank - who is chief executive officer of iRENTequip - and three companies who are backing the venture but who wish to remain anonymous.

Mr Frank, whose previous career includes senior recruitment posts at Standard & Poor's, AXA Financial and Coach, Inc, said his backers were "equipment-related companies" who were "very familiar with the equipment rental industry".

"The iRENTequip marketplace allows anyone to request a rental with literally every rental provider in their local market simultaneously, and then receive bids for their business, all for free," said Mr Frank, "It's revolutionary for the rental industry."

"Renters are looking for a fair rental rate from a proven provider. Typically, they would call two or three rental outlets or dealers to get rates, check availability, negotiate, and then make a decision," Mr Frank said. "With iRENTequip, they no longer have to make those calls."

There is no cost to the customer, and rental companies have to pay a "small fee" for every completed rental transaction.

Mr Frank said it takes less than a minute for renters to request an item they need. Then rental companies and dealers in their local market are notified and then bid on them online "within minutes... With full visibility to all bids, equipment specs, travel distance, and ratings of the providers at their fingertips, renters make an informed choice of the best provider for their needs, and accept a single bid. Once a bid is accepted, the renter and provider are connected to complete the transaction."

A website that encourages users to bid one rental company against another is unlikely to be welcomed by rental companies already trying to cope with downward pressure on rental prices.

However, Mr Frank said that "the lowest rates actually rarely win the rental. Well-rated providers that charge fair rates win the business most often. Renters pay for proven service at good rates, and that is exactly what they can see in the bidding process. iRENTequip was built by renters and providers to offer value on both sides of the transaction."

In addition to the rental marketplace Mr Frank is also launching a site for the shipping and transport of equipment. www.iSHIPequip.com will allow rental companies and contractors to generate competitive bids to move their equipment from over 130000 providers, local and long haul.

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