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E-group equipment hire This board is dedicated to questions about our Olympus gear hire service and feedback from customers.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Proposing a completely new hire offering

We've served hundreds of customers, both members here and others, over the last ten years or so since Olympus suggested we provide a service to hire out their gear back when hardly anyone else would.

Olympus now offer their limited try-before-you-buy service with the help of their dealers. But the short loan periods permitted are not ideal for many. Of course, there are more outlets offering hire Olympus hire gear.

The deal with Olympus stopped quite a while ago but I was loath to cease the service back then. But as time has moved on it has not been possible to invest in new lens models that have arrived on the scene.

I am now in a position to propose a brand new hire service. I'm in the feasibility and business planning stage (initial finance has been secured). When Olympus provided the gear it was quite simple, but this time the business will have to procure all the stock.

Therefore, the range will have to be limited to what is in demand. We will include Panasonic/Leica products if there is demand.

I'm, therefore, expecting to meet demand for, primarily, premium lenses that most of us can't justify owning outright. If there is enough demand for other lenses and accessory items, so be it!

The aim would be to provide a fast, personable and efficient service at prices that would be very competitive.

We'll start with a small stock and grow as the demand dictates.

Predicting that demand is the tricky bit. This will be a business that has to make a return, so I'm very keen to hear what everybody here thinks.

If you'd like to make a comment on the above here you are most welcome

Ian
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

Good luck with it Ian. I would think that it could work with expensive lenses that people would like to use for a particular trip or to try out over a longer period such as the upcoming 150-400mm f4.5.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

Very good luck Ian.

I already have the Oly 60mm macro, the 12-100 Pro and the 75-300ii which suits most of my needs very well, but -

If I were to hire a lens it would be either the Oly 300mm Pro or the Panny 10-400 (only because Oly hasn't yet given us their alternative to it, and I don't mean the 150-400 Pro)

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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

I was in the lucky position to be able to purchase the day to day lenses I wanted before I retired, so now would look at specialist - once- in - a - while equipment for hire.

Examples:

I am currently without my EM-1ii as it was coming to the end of it's warranty and needed some work doing on it... I now have a photo opportunity next week where I would hire a body...

I would also look into hiring some of the f 1.2 primes on the rare occasions I need them, I can't justify buying them as I know I'll hardly use them.

EM-1X and 150-400 zoom are likely to need to be matched together (IMHO) so as a package would make a sensible rental product.

Test and Wow seems to be based on a compulsory visit to a dealer to get the kit - when I looked a while ago they wouldn't do "mail order"... Is this a gap you could plug with Olympus' help?

Best of luck with your rental service - it's what moved me to Olympus! (YES it's your fault I'm here! )
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

Good luck with the new venture, Ian.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

I too am in the fortunate position of owning all the bodies and lenses I am likely to need. There's a very small chance I might hire the 150-400 when it comes out.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

I wouldnt hire anything expensive, if i liked it my wife would kill me.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

Trying to think under what conditions I might hire equipment then I think your main demand would come from people wanting to hire E-M1X, E-M1ii, and possibly (when available) E-M5iii because they have sent their own one off for a bit of R&R to Portugal. The other demand would be from people going on a once in a lifetime trip (wildlife cruise, safari, etc) who would want a second body which matches their current one, and the longest lens that Olympus/Panasonic offer (300mm+TC and 150-400mm spring to mind). Both of these require a hire period typically in the 2 to 3 week length. These situations are not everyday (the reason why people have not bought such equipment already) so working out some aggregate demand my be tricky.

I expect you have already looked into it but potential customers would need to be sure what risks of loss or damage are covered under the hire contract and how any claims under it would be verified.

However, if you do collect an arsenal of hire equipment would it help make it pay by offering an E-Group day out test & wow event and charging each person a nominal £10 or £20 say for half an hour with whatever they fancy (you would need to know in advance if the number of attendees made it worthwhile)?

If you can make it work then I think it would be an excellent idea.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

Hi Ian,
One way to help with the cost of procurement is to possibly consider looking at purchasing some second-hand stock. I am sure it would not matter to anyone wishing to hire a lens whether it was new or used, in fact once a 'new' lens is on it's second hire is it not then technically 'used'.

Of course if Olympus and/or Panasonic are prepared to offer you a reasonable discount then the above may not make sense otherwise IMO it's worth consideration.

Either way I wish your venture every success and would certainly be interested in hiring some of the more exotic options.

Kind regards,
Simon.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

I would probably rent the 300 f4.0 first off and then maybe the 7-14 f2.8 pro. If you get a Panny 100-400 make sure you get one that doesn't shed bits of metal from the fittings
Maybe if you got one at some point I'd even try out the up coming 150-400 lens. Might need to visit the gym a few times to build up to that though .
Anyway yes I think it's a great idea Ian, hope it gets off the ground and goes well.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

I’d be drawn into the new pro primes, 25,45 I’d even consider the pro fisheye. Having previously hired the 75 prime from you for a wedding the newer primes are very appealing.
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Re: Proposing a completely new hire offering

I have used the hire service in the past for four-thirds lenses.

I would not buy the Oly fast primes so would be interested in hiring the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 Pro say once a year for a special portrait event.
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