Zilok News

New design, more streamlined !

Here it is ! The new version of Zilok is online ! As you can see, our team made some modifications to the search function and the registration of items for rent.

In addition to the new design, the structure of the various categories has been reworked from the inside out so that each user can more quickly and easily find the item they are looking for.

We put a lot of time into this overhaul, so be sure to get in touch with your comments and feedback, and especially regarding any bugs that crop up ! Thank you everyone in advance.

Originally separated into 12 categories, the items for rent are now available in 8 themed sections:

  • Auto
  • Tools
  • Party
  • Electronics
  • Leisure
  • Luxury
  • At Home
  • Vacation

Searching Rentals on Zilok Just Got Faster

Live today, Zilok's new search engine is showing results for your requests faster than ever. After the recent makeover of our booking system, we now turn another important page in Zilok's development: an optimized search engine.

We asked our community what would improve the search experience on Zilok. The responses were quite uniform: less map (sometimes confusing), more speed, and more filtering options. That's pretty much what you'll get today when you run a search on Zilok.

The filtering options allow you to:

  • Narrow down your search very quickly by selecting the exact category of rentals you are looking for,
  • View rentals with photos only,
  • Search rentals from individual members only, or from rental businesses only,
  • Select a daily rental price range that suits your budget,
  • Automatically zoom in or out by choosing how far you are willing to collect the rental.
As you filter your search, results will update instantly.

The number of rentals available on Zilok has been increasing rapidly in the last few months, somewhat slowing down the system. The added speed comes very handy to help our users find what they need in a few seconds.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the redesign, we are very proud of this new search engine that has made searching rentals on Zilok faster and more convenient than ever. Let us know what you think of it!

Zilok has a New Simplified Booking System!

Zilok has changed its booking system to make it easier for all its member to rent online! No more missed requests or expired bookings.

The Zilok team is happy to announce its new rental booking process:

  • Owners and renters brought even closer together!
  • No more waiting! Once a booking request is made, the renter can contact the owner to verify the item is available and make arrangements for pick up!

Search -> Book -> Call -> Arrange Pick up: Now all within 5 minutes!
Zilok still follows you all the way, only giving you more freedom and agility.

Click here to try the new interface!

New to London?

Zilok has just established a new partnership with www.LondonAmigo.com to help newcomers find everything else they need in Town. You already know you can hire anything you need on Zilok, but if it's practical advice you need, go to LondonAmigo.com!

LondonAmigo is an internet portal for people moving to London.

You will find tips and links on accommodation, housing, legal matters, transport, jobs, courses, schools, health, sight seeing, leisure, banking, eating out, events and, of course, shopping. Have a look at their Survival Guide and find out for yourself!

It offers all the necessary information for newcomers, helping you with your move, settling down and integrating into the new community. The information is free to access and is available in English, Spanish and Turkish.

So if you're new to london, hire everything you need on Zilok, and go to our new partner londonAmigo for everything else!

Zilok attends The Rental Show 2009 in Atlanta

Zilok attended the American Rental Show this week in Atlanta. Our team says they've had lots of interesting visits to their booth and we can expect to have even more partners posting exciting items on Zilok very soon. Stay tuned!

Hire a bouncy castle and have THE garden party this spring!

Make your garden party even more exciting this spring with Zilok and its partners. We have recently established a partnership with the British Inflatable Hirers Alliance (BIHA) to offer you more bouncy castles for hire!

Not sure what to do for your son’s birthday party? Thinking of something fun for the kids this spring? Looking for ways to make the next company event a bit more “fun”? Think no more, hire a bouncy castle!

If you own a bouncy castle and are renting it out on Zilok, we recommend you join the BIHA association today to start improving your bouncy castle business!
The BIHA welcomes new members from all aspects of hiring inflatables in the UK (also with a section for international hire companies), from weekend garden party hirers to Showmen and Corporate Event Hire companies. It was founded in December 2000 and has around 2,000 members. You might also want to join the BIHA discussion forum at the BIHA on its partner site: www.BouncyCastleOwner.com

News for Londoners!

Zilok has found a new online community that can help its london members get even more from each other! If you already enjoy renting to and from other londoners, why not also get hints and tips from them?

Zilok has recently partnered with beLondoner, a social network that allows Londoners to meet likeminded people, share interests and ideas, and find out what festivals, expos and other events are happening in Greater London every day.
Now you may not only rent from each other, but also share hints and tips on what to do and where to go in London!

beLondoner is a private social network accessible only by registered members aiming to establish a friendly, cosy and secure online social community for all londoners. Join in!

Zilok is One Year Old! A Quick Glance in the Mirror and the Road Ahead

A year ago, around noon, Zilok.com came to life on the Internet. So much has been accomplished since then! Now Zilok is on the right track to become a mainstream service.

Zilok is the fruit of a very ambitious project. A desire to enable and promote a new way of consuming, that would give people more choices while saving natural resources. No more buying things new that we'll use once and then store forever in a closet.

In this new century natural resources are becoming scarce, and the economy is starting to notice, not just with higher prices but also with a growing concern for conservation. Because it makes sense economically too. And that's what peer-to-peer renting is offering: an economic structure for a more efficient use of the community's resources. It goes beyond hugging trees. It makes sense, economically too.

So one year after the first release of the site, we feel we're going in the right direction. Looking back, here's the achievements we're the most proud about:

  • Conquering the World: Zilok.com is home to P2P renting communities in five countries, making it the World Premier Online Rental Marketplace.
  • Impacting the Industry: Zilok's already made an impact on the rental industry. With more than 500 rental businesses on board, you can now rent everything from tools to racing motorcycles from businesses down the street. Zilok is an active and proud member of the European Rental Association.
  • Getting the Attention: Since Zilok went live in the UK, it made news in many A-list media publications, media and blogs: the Times, the Guardian, the International Herald Tribune, Reader's Digest, PC Magazine, PC World, CNET, TechCrunch... the list goes on.
  • Feeling the Love: Zilok has received many awards from industry leaders: Site of the Week and part of the Top 100 2008 Websites at PC Magazine, Best European Startup by the audience of the Plugg Startup Rally 2008, and Zilok won the 2008 Startup 2.0 Challenge in Barcelona.
  • Defining the Standards: We're starting to see clones and new followers popping up every other week. That's always a good sign!

Now, our objective and big challenge for the long run is to become a mainstream service. We want you and everyone you know to think Zilok tomorrow for renting as naturally as you think eBay today for selling. That's the horizon, and with the help of our community we're going for it.

We'll need all the help we can get to bring peer-to-peer renting to the UK homes, so if you want to get involved, contact us or start spreading the word!

The Times new featuring!

Is renting the new buying? That's what we think is true and just what the Times believes too! "Renting is enjoying a renaissance after two decades of decline as cash-strapped families and young professionals rediscover the merits of it."

This is what they had to say:

"Another coveted piece of hardware available on the website is the Nintendo Wii, a games console released last year that uses a “wand” rather than a traditional control pad for interactive gaming. The console is out of stock at many outlets but you can rent one from £15 a day through Zilok from members in London and Sheffield. The new sell-out Wii Fit software can also be rented from GoodiesRental through Ziloks website for £8 a day.

Zilok lists thousands of items from all over the UK, such as badminton rackets at £5 a day, bar tables at £80, cordless hammer drills at £10 and even a Chinese cook at £60."

Olympic Games and Zilok

Four years after Athenes, finally the Olympic games are back! Surely an event to not be missed, Beijing has promised to show the world what it is made of.

It could be a great occasion to share and live this event live with your friends and family. Why not rent a 46' inch LCD screen, a home cinema or even a video projector, so you don't miss a bit of it!
Perhaps, the Olympics inspire you otherwise. Feel like being more active in this great summer weather and getting fit. With your mates, you could rent a football and goals to go play in the local park, or maybe a bike to discover those places around you you've never had time to see. Feel like driving a convertible sports car, whizzing through the hot air ? We sure do! Or perhaps now that you have a bit of time of your hands you would like to try yourself at golf. What about renting some clubs and heading to the closest practice range ?

Possibilites are endless, all you need to do is use your imagination and Zilok whatever you need!

A great August to all of you!

Summer reaches Zilok...and so do the holidays !

The summer season will encourage without doubt rentals of all kinds. You'll think of a car or perhaps a camping-car, or maybe even a villa for in a couple weeks time.

You perhaps already noticed, we have created a holidaysection.

Zilok however enables you to rent much more than that!

Had you thought about the barbecue for the garden, a tent for an excursion, a back pack to go on holiday on the other side of the globe, a Jet Ski for some fun in the sea, and, if the weather depreciates, why not a video game console for your children or a heating parasol to still make the most out of your terrace ?! Zilok is there to make your life easier so you can really enjoy yourself!

Zilok Takes First Prize at the Best Startup Competition in Barcelona!

After being elected online by people as one of the finalist of the Startup 2.0 European competition, Zilok took the first prize in Barcelona!

We're very honored to have been chosen by people and the jury as the best web 2.0 startup in Europe.

Zilok is already the largest online rental marketplace in the world, with people from five countries already renting their stuff from one another: UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA.

The final of the Startup 2.0 contest was held in Barcelona, Spain, which is a perfect place to celebrate!

The jury included outstanding personalities from the entrepreneur, VC and media world, including Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic, Martín Varsavsky, founder of Fon, Mike Butcher and Ouriel Ohayon, editors of TechCrunch in Europe, and many others.

Thanks to all the jury members for believing in us, thanks to all our users to have made it possible, we'll make sure we're up to your expectations!

Zilok selected for the Startup 2.0 final in Spain

We are happy to announce that Zilok has been selected as one of the 10 finalists that will be present in Barcelona, Spain for the last step of the Startup 2.0 contest.

Over 300 Internet startups have been submitted from all over Europe and Zilok is one of the 10 remaining ones, ready to pitch next week for the title.

Startup 2.0 is a European web startup competition, with an outstanding jury including Loic Le Meur (Seesmic's founder), Martín Varsavsky (Fon's founder), Ouriel Ohayon and Mike Butcher (TechCrunch editors)

You can learn more about the competition on the Startup 2.0 site

You can now pay with ClickandBuy

After Visa/Mastercard and Paypal, ClickandBuy is the third payment method available to Zilok users. We know that entering credit card information online is a hassle, here is another way to make it more convenient.

For more than eight years, ClickandBuy has been providing a secure payment solution. You only need to subscribe and type in your payment information once, and then can make simple payments in more than 7,000 online merchants. Now including Zilok!

Click here for more information about ClickandBuy.

Zilok introduces forum boards for the community

We've been asking to our members since day one what they would like the most to appear on Zilok. The top request is more communication tools to chat and share with the community. We're proud in introduce our forum boards so you can do all that!

A couple months ago we introduced the feature that allows you to directly contact owners on their rental listings. We decided to go one step further and now we're bringing forum boards to you so you can ask other people about their renting experiences, what items worked best for you, what to look for when you're renting something, in fact just about anything!

This is a place for you to hang out with the community, share ideas, and help each other. You can access it all here.

With your member account you can post messages, respond to other members and create your own topic for discussion, you're in control.

To get started, we created three forum boards:

  • Zilok Café: this is the hang out place. All friendly discussions are welcome.
  • Questions and Answers: this is where you get help from fellow members
  • Do-It-Yourself and Gardening: you're renting a tool because you have a project; get some peer advice about how best to use the tools and get your project done!

Forums are a friendly place, we set up a few simple guidelines to make sure it stays this way. Enjoy and engage in the conversation!

Zilok on Intruders.tv UK

Thanks to the folks at Intruders.TV, you can now meet Gary Cige, one of the member of the Zilok Team, presenting Zilok and peer-to-peer renting to people in the UK.

What items people put for rent on Zilok? How do you make sure it comes back? What is the response in the countries Zilok is offering its services? Gary answers all that in this video interview:

The video is available in full HD on the Intruders.tv website.

A new look for Zilok Homepage!

Zilok was created for the community. The community wanted more ideas, more examples, more real-life stories. So we created a totally new homepage, with testimonials, items recently rented, and examples of what you'll find on Zilok!

Since we launched, people have given us lots of tips and suggestions about how they would like the website to evolve. We listen, we respond, we adapt, and we appreciate all this valuable feedback and conversation.

So today, we are very proud and happy to present you the new face of Zilok. This new face resembles our community and features the heart of our project: making everything accessible to people at a bargain.

You'll see some of the faces and stories behind the first items that were available on our site, you'll see more examples of cool things to rent for a project, for a weekend, for a visit, you'll see more in-depth stories about Zilok and our community.

This wasn't easy, but we're happy about the result. We hope you are too, and keep on the good work by telling us what you'd like to see changed, updated, or just what you like!

If you'd like to submit your own story about Zilok, contact us! We love to hear from you.

Zilok is people's favorite at the Plugg Internet startup rally

The top of the crop of European Internet startups gathered this week in Brussels for the Plugg conference. Chosen as one of the 20 finalists among high tech startups from 18 countries, Zilok founders rocked the house and received the People's Choice award!

We really appreciate this award, it is definitely the most meaningful to us. We say this often, but our members are what make Zilok a great place for finding great, fun and useful stuff. Our members help shape and reshape the website, suggesting features and categories.

So when we feel the interest of people face to face, it is most rewarding!

Here is what the Plugg Press Release tell us about the event: "Plugg’s Start-Ups Rally, a competition for European companies to showcase the most promising young technology ventures, drew 65 exceptional start-ups from 18 countries. The jury, made up of members of Europe’s leading venture capital firms, incubators and renowned internet experts, selected ultimately 20 semi-finalists who pitched the 300-headed audience on stage at the event. After a highly competitive morning session during which the 20 companies each pitched for 2 minutes, the jury and audience jointly voted 3 finalists (Bragster, Viewdle and Zilok) to the afternoon session, where they got 10 minutes to explain what their business is. The jury finally awarded Viewdle (US / Ukraine / Luxembourg) with the first prize, while Zilok (Belgium) walked away with the People’s Choice Award for getting the best ratings from the audience."

Congratulation to Viewdle.com for the Jury's award.

You can read about it on TechCrunch with this post from Mike Butcher.