By Veronica Penney
You’re working on a house project and need some equipment, but don’t want to spend hundreds on power tools that you will probably never use again. Maybe you go backpacking once each summer, but your gear gathers dust the other 51 weeks of the year.
Enter Lend Me Your Gear. The Colorado-based company, founded by Glenn Carlson, is a place for people to lend or borrow just about anything imaginable. Offering everything from kitchen equipment and power tools to backpacking gear, Lend Me Your Gear knows no categorical bounds.
People who have gear to lend simply list their items on the site. Borrowers then browse the items listed on Lend Me Your Gear, reserve what they want, and either arrange to pick them up locally, or have them shipped. After the rental period is over, the items are dropped off or shipped back.
“Everybody has stuff that is expensive and gets sparingly used. Why not put it to good use?”
Renters are responsible for returning the gear in the same condition that they got it, but accidents happen. Instead of requiring a large security deposit, Lend Me Your Gear charges a small fee for insurance on each transaction, so if gear is lost or damaged, lenders will be reimbursed the full replacement value.
The rental model is “popular for a reason,” explains Carlson. “Things are expensive and people are trying to find new, innovative ways to use our resources better.”
The concept behind Lend Me Your Gear started with a work trip.
“Years ago, I was going on a work trip where we were going to be golfing, so I wanted to take my clubs, but the golf luggage protective cases are really expensive,” remembers Carlson. “For the average human being, you don’t get paid to play golf, chances are you probably use it one time and then stash it in the basement and it’ll probably collect dust.”
Carlson set out to create a way for people to rent and borrow luggage. What started as an idea for a luggage rental site quickly snowballed.
“Looking at all the stuff in my neighbors’ garages, and talking with people, everybody has stuff that is expensive and gets sparingly used. Why not put it to good use?” says Carlson.
Carlson also hopes that Lend Me Your Gear will be a place where people can share knowledge and advice, as well as their gear. “I’ve got a couple of woodworkers in my neighborhood and they trade tools all the time. They discovered each other on my website, borrowing their tools, and now they trade ideas and they work on projects together.”
One of the next updates to the website will be a social component, so lenders and borrowers can interact through profiles. These will showcase “a little bit about them and the hobbies that they like, and maybe they want to show people how to use equipment, or trade ideas on how to use these tools better, or good camping spots, or recipes to use my KitchenAid for.”
As people increasingly connect with each other digitally instead of through face-to-face interactions, Carlson feels that community will be one of the most valuable aspects of Lend Me Your Gear.
“In the digital era, even though we have all these devices and ways to connect, I feel like we’re somewhat more disconnected than we’ve ever been. When I was a kid, it was okay to go to your neighbor’s house and knock on somebody’s door and go play with other kids in the neighborhood, and for whatever reason, neighborhoods are not really that way anymore,” reflects Carlson. “I think Lend Me Your Gear is a good way to bring communities together.”