Zilok is a platform that allows users to rent their belongings to other people, from cars to strollers, fondue sets, Playstations and power drills.
The service is open to both individuals and businesses, and allows members to post things for hire. Each product has its own description page and a specific rental contract is associated to it.
Other users may then browse the various products and book items of their interest on specific dates. Owners have the choice to accept or decline booking requests, and owners and renters can define a face-to-face pick-up place and time on the phone or via email once bookings are confirmed. Zilok collects listing fees and commission on transactions - however, they are offering free listings until 2010 to members who join this year.
The company founders include Thibaud ElziÃ¨re, founder of online image bank Fotolia.com. The company, founded in Paris, France, launched the service in France in October 2007, and launched it in early November in the United States. As of early November, the service had a few thousand users.
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Here is how it works: Once registered on the website you can add any object you own for rental purposes. You define the price, the area you can cover, and the rental conditions (period, deposit,..). Zilok will issue for you a rental agreement that you will use directly with the renter. A user can use several tools to find what is searching to rent for including a search engine, a category directory or google map mashup. Once he identifies what is searching for, he will contact the owner and the closing is not happening on the website but in real life. Zilok does not provide a payment system or a third party deposit service. But like on standard marketplaces they have created a reputation system to filter easily power-owners or power-renters and to optimize the process.