Dec.28 (NBD) -- Toy-sharing takes off as the demand for toys increases after people are encouraged to have a second-child.
"This is the third toy that I rented from a Qingdao-based toys store where a total of over 2,000 toys are available," said a young mother to CCTV-2 financial channel.
Kids always want new toys, but too many toys can be costly and occupy too much space at home. This is exactly where toy rental business come in.
For instance, a 6-sided wooden activity cub made by leading U.S. toy maker B.Toy costs 100 yuan (14.6 U.S. dollars) for one-week rent, which is much lower than 1,000 yuan (145.7 U.S. dollars) for buying a new one, said another mother to a news outlet in Shandong.
It is noticed that in addition to physical toy rental stores, a dozen of toy-sharing APPs can be found, such as 61 Toy, Wanduoduo, and Zulaizuqu.
The competition in the toy sector is fierce and a number of players are experimenting new ways to grab bigger market shares.
Medium-and high-end toy lender Zulaizuqu, which was founded in 2015 and entered Shanghai in 2017, chose to team up with pre-schooling institutions to expand their business. Pre-schooling institutions have a greater demand for new toys, especially toys for educational purposes.
Kidswant, a one-stop provider of child, baby and maternity products, started to offer toy rental services for its membership holders last September. With the help of existing physical stores, the operating costs of its rental business will be such lower than that of rental platforms.
Besides, unmanned counters of toys called "Christmas Turkey" emerged in Shanghai in late 2017, which contained over 40 brand toys. Users can rent and return toys by scanning the codes on the counters with their phones.
It's hard for players to stand out with rental businesses only.
It is noticed that Zulaizuqu does not only rent toys, but also sell toys, and store members can enjoy a discount. 61Toy depends on experimental consumption which allows parents to buy toys if kids like the rented toys. In addition, kids can exchange, sell or donate their unwanted toys on its platform. In this sense, "Rental + Sell" is likely to become a trend.