I have started a fashion rental business where I lend designer clothes from top brands like Gucci, Prada, Dior, Calvin Klien, Armani, etc. As all these products are expensive, is there any idea to keep them safe from damage?
There are some things that you can do for the safety of your rental dresses. Getting business insurance is the first and most practical thing to do but it is not possible to claim insurance after each and every instance of product damage. So apart from insurance, you will also need to have care measures.
In my opinion, switch your rental model from offline to online or just start using a rental software. I am suggesting this because of various reasons. With modern rental software (www.yo-rent.com), you can secure your rental dress inventory in many ways.
Inventory management: With a computerized system, you can keep track of every dress you lend. This will help you ensure that your dresses do come back to you after a rental period is over. You can also keep track of orders and check overdue returns and send alerts and notifications for the same.
Start charging late return charges: Rental software like Yo!Rent and Booqable provide features to levy late returns. Basically, you can define different late return periods, like 24 hours delay period and 48 hours delay period. For all defined late return periods, you can levy different late return charges.
Collect and manage rental security: You should also collect rental security from customers at the time of taking orders. This can be handled either manually, or again with a software that has a dedicated rental security module. You can use this security to reimburse any product damages or deduct late return charges.
Keep a maintenance buffer period: Keep a buffer period between two rental orders for maintenance and upkeep of products. One way to achieve this is by keeping the returned product out of the inventory. Once the product has been successfully inspected/repaired, you can add it back to the inventory. This function is often automated in rental software.
Mention your Terms and Conditions: Keep the rental terms and conditions for each and every dress that you have completely transparent with the customers. You can also integrate an eSign feature in your software so that you can get the conditions signed before completing the transaction. Some examples of terms and conditions are: No wash, no ironing, ironing only on low heat, do not wear in direct sunlight, etc.
Ensure good packaging: The most regrettable product damages for a dress rental business are shipping damages. Here, you cannot blame the customer nor deduct reimbursement. Instead, you often have to pay for repairs from your pocket. Thus, it is much better to ensure proper packaging in the first place. For reference, you can rent a dress from your competitors and take note of their packaging standards.
Taking these security measures right from the initial phase of your business can prevent losses in the long run. Meanwhile, the more the attention you pay towards the security and maintenance of your dresses, the more revenue you can generate per dress. All aforementioned options are also readily available in many rental software, so consider adapting the online dress rental business model that can help you in scaling and growth as well.
Answered a year ago