I stumbled upon the Fluid App also known as Fluid Market a few months ago after a friend, Matt Holmes of Handshaking.com, told me about it. It’s an app that lets you rent out your stuff for money instead of selling it. Since then I’ve been using the app and testing it for this Fluid App Review.
What is the Fluid App?
Fluid Market is a Start Up making some big waves in Denver. They have essentially created an online marketplace (through the app only) that people can rent items from other people.
Think Craigslist, but instead of selling your items, you rent them out for money. Or you can rent items you only need once, like a carpet cleaner, instead of buying one. This is what it looks like.
The idea being, if you only need an item once like you want to rent a scooter for the day. You can find one on Fluid, see how much it is per hour/day and contact the owner to rent it. You pay everything through the app so you’re not actually exchanging money with other people. Take that Craigslist!
My Experience Using the Fluid App
If you’re like me, you’re thinking “This looks like an awesome way to earn more money, but I don’t want other people damaging my stuff”. I was nervous too, I’ll admit that. Their $1 Million insurance policy helped me feel a little bit better, but still, it’s my stuff and I don’t want to deal with insurance hassles, so I started small for the Fluid App Review.
I searched around my 583′ square foot studio apartment for stuff that was valuable enough people would want to rent, but I didn’t mind getting banged up a bit. Not that it would, but again, I was hesitant.
The ONE thing I found was my Clothing Iron. I figured someone in the area may need a clothing iron, so what the hell.
I Downloaded the Fluid App and Created an Account
To start my Fluid App Review, I downloaded the app from the android store (it’s also on the Apple Store). At first, it was a bit slow and clunky. However, it’s gotten SO much better from what it was a couple months ago. Someone in their tech support is doing something right. Plus it’s a StartUp up, so I’m sure they’re constantly updating and improving it.
After downloading the app, I get a screenshot like this
It gives you the option to use an email or Facebook, I selected email only. I’m sure there’s a social component to the app that’s nice, but I just wanted to try it out. I didn’t want to message all my friends on Facebook about it.
Then I got that clunky loading screen (again it’s gotten a lot better!).
Once in the app, you have categories on top and a random assortment of items below. I haven’t figured out how it chooses what items are on the home page. These are all the items you can rent. From each quick view thumbnail, you can get an idea of what items they have. Including the name of the item, photo, the cost per hour/day/week, the item’s rating and how far you have to travel to pick it up.
If you click on an item, like the scooter I want to rent ($15 for the day!). You’ll get a more detailed description of the item and lender, along with additional photos, which really helps! At that point, all you have to do is scroll to the bottom and click “Check Availability” to rent it.
How I Rented Out My Stuff On The Fluid App
So I had my Clothing Iron and I was ready to start renting it out. I go to the top left icon to see all their options, and select “Add Item”
Then I start filling in the info on what kind of Clothing Iron, add photos (either from your gallery or take them on the spot) and set my price. Once you add the category, you’re pretty much done. Anyone can add an item and it’s incredibly easy through the app. It took less than 5 min.
The Fluid App will take 20% of every transaction, they say this is to help pay for the insurance and upkeep of the marketplace. Keep that in mind when pricing your item.
The last thing you do is add how people are supposed to contact you about renting it out through “Pick Up/Drop Off” instructions. I asked them to email me, but you can have them call you as well. Do this in a public location like I talk about in How To Sell You Stuff On Craigslist.
FYI – No one can see your number or email until AFTER they have paid. That part is SO nice.
Then I waited. So far, I haven’t heard from anyone about renting my clothing iron. Lol I guess it’s as useless to me as it is for anyone else.
If I do make any extra money from this, I’ll add it to my monthly income reports.
So now I’m looking at other items to try and sell on the Fluid App.
How To Rent From Other People On The Fluid App
This process is equally as easy. You select the item you want, hit “check availability” (in case it’s rented out already) and you’ll get a list of times in hours that you can rent it out for. Select how many hours you want it and that’s how it’ll calculate payment.
Then you submit your request and pay via credit card. There isn’t a paypal option that I’ve noticed during the Fluid App Review. It’s credit card only.
Afterward you get in touch with your lender to coordinate the pickup. Basically, the app just provides the marketplace of items to rent and the payment option, the rest is up to the renter and lender to coordinate.
Pros/Cons After The Fluid App Review
- It’s a great way make extra money renting out your old stuff. You can make regular revenue off your old stuff rather than selling it once.
- It’s a great way to try items before you buy them or likely only use once like a steam cleaner.
- They have a growing marketplace of items. Every time I open the app, they have new items I can rent out.
- People can only contact you AFTER they paid, so unlike Craigslist where I got multiple inquiries a week over the same questions from people who may or may not actually buy something. The Fluid App only gives the renters your info after they paid for the item. That is SUPER nice.
- All the photos are of people’s unique stuff and people SUCK at taking photos. It lacks that crisp look because they are working with crappy photos. It just hurts the overall look of the app.
- They are leaning heavily toward renting out high price items like cars. So it’s becoming similar like Turo in some ways which I’m not sure they wanted to do. I hope they continue to rent out the low priced items like extra pots and pans I could use for a large family brunch.
- The Fluid App handles the marketplace and money exchange, but I still have to spend my time meeting with people for pick up/drop off. I wish there was an easier way.
- It’s still a small “Denver” community to rent from, however I can see these guys growing, like big.
Don’t get disparaged about my Cons, I’m being pretty critical of the new start up, but I really am impressed by this company. In fact, I was so impressed by these guys during the Fluid App Review, for the fun of it, I checked to see if they were hiring. Who knows, if they do things right, it could be the next SNAP. So I submitted a quick resume to their marketing team. What the hell.
My IPO dreams were rapidly cut short the following day when Fluid’s HR team contacted me to say they were looking for someone with a little more “Rental Experience”. I guess my couple years in college renting out outdoor gear to students wasn’t enough. LOL it’s ok, I’m still a fan of the app.
This is a pretty exciting app that I hope grows because now I’m constantly looking for new stuff to rent out. It’s a really neat idea to make extra money. PLUS a sustainable revenue source if you have an item people really want to rent (bouncy houses, VR equipment, and cars are high demand items). What do you think of my Fluid App Review? Would you rent out any of your stuff?
Here’s me contemplating what to start renting out next. FYI that’s an electric scooter, totally bad ass I know. =P
Wallet Squirrel is a personal finance blog by best friends Andrew & Adam on how money works, building side-hustles, and the benefits of cleverly investing the profits. Featured on MSN Money, AOL Finance, and more!
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