A Kansas City startup is trying to simplify the renting of tools and heavy duty equipment to do-it-yourselfers and other customers.
Renting often means calling a store to get a price, finding a truck or something else big enough to haul the item, driving to the store, lifting the equipment into the vehicle and then returning it all later.
Gabe Ismert wants to do all of that for you.
Ismert, 24, launched Deliver-Rents in May 2013. His 21-year-old brother, Martin Ismert, is working for the company this summer while he’s home from college.
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Advertised items on the website include lawn and garden equipment, chain saws, drills, cement bowls, floor maintenance tools, margarita machines and other party equipment.
Deliver-Rents’ customers skip the hassles of renting and returning a product. Instead, customers order a product online or by calling 816-820-5454 and can have an appliance at their door in two hours. Then the brothers pick up the rental equipment after the customers are done with it.
“We really started to improve an industry that we thought needed something,” Gabe Ismert said. “So we just put it all online and deliver everything.”
When he started out, Gabe Ismert’s plan was to build his own inventory and compete with other rental shops. But just last week, he and his brother decided to subrent items from other stores and focus on delivery and simplified online ordering.
“Building one of those inventories can take many, many years,” Martin Ismert said. “Or we could do what we just recently did — why don’t we just become an application for these stores? So that’s what we are now. An e-commerce website and a delivery service.”
That decision sent the company’s offered products list from about 80 items — half of those were the Ismerts’ own — up to more than 500. They charge a 30 percent fee, which is included in the prices advertised on their website. Subrenting shrinks their margins but also lets them avoid paying for maintenance and storage.
“Basically, our startup costs are a truck and a trailer,” Gabe Ismert said.
As demand picks up, the Ismert brothers said they hope to partner more formally with shops and negotiate discounts on items that are rented through their site. They hope to become local shops’ biggest customers.
“In order for us to be successful, to make money, they have to get more sales,” Martin Ismert said. “We have to bring them more orders.”
Martin Ismert said the vision is for Deliver-Rents to become a national company. He said the simplicity of “trucks, trailers and a website” could be expanded to any store in any city.
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