A new Vancouver website is aiming to help residents lend out household items to those who want to borrow them.
Called Quupe, short for ‘recoup’, it launched publicly on Feb. 28 and co-founder Angela Hamilton says the response has been “extremely positive” so far.
“The reason we exist is that we realized that everyone has a ton of really valuable, cool stuff that, most of the year, sits around not being used,” said Hamilton in an email interview. “This isn’t stuff people want to get rid of, because they still do need it that once or twice a year, but for the rest of the year it could be out in the community, into the hands of people who need it, fulfilling its purpose and generating a little extra income for its owner.”
So far on Quupe, people have been lending and borrowing bikes, tents and a GoPro to name a few items.
Hamilton said they found people want to pay a little bit to borrow an item, that way they don’t feel indebted to the person who loaned it to them.
“Mostly, we want to solve the issue of access,” she added. “People don’t know where they can find a concrete drill, and they pour a lot of time (and potentially money) into acquiring one for short-term use (or even giving up on their project completely), when, realistically, they know there’s probably one sitting in one of their neighbours’ closets.”
So far, Quupe has launched only in Vancouver but Hamilton said it was the perfect launch city because Vancovuerites are so interested in trying new things and making connections.
Anyone can access the website via desktop or using the app, which includes services like delivery, in-app payments, geolocation and a rental calculator, which gives lenders an idea of how much to charge.
Quupe also insures lenders’ items up to $1,000.