Five hundred Euro trust

By: Elise Rehula

“How can you lend your own stuff to random people?”
“How do you think that they get returned in a good shape ?”
“How can you trust?”

You can’t. But there are people who do. Successfully .

Kuinoma is a borrowing service based on an online platform. Anyone can put their stuff up for someone else to rent them out. Nowadays Kuinoma has around 300 different equipment and has been welcomed especially in the so called “outdoor-people” community.

The service has been successful, but has also faced a lot of suspicions: “Leasing and borrowing will just break your stuff. And what about the prizes ? How can you trust your valuables to a person you’ve never met before? And even though you’ve met, how does the stuff come back in a good shape? And what about the damages? Who’s responsible?”

“Many people think that strangers would just break the expensive equipment. According to our experience, the equipment owned by someone else is actually taken better care of than your own. And you are more careful with them. Good quality equipment endure even really active use” says Markku Jussila, the founder of Kuinoma. And he knows what he’s talking about. “Because of my background, Kuinoma is always professional as a leasing service. Over the years I have experienced all kinds of situations, which social renting is likely to encounter. I know the community lending and leasing opportunities, challenges and practices better than my own pockets.”

If the service works so well, what makes it to work? How it is actually even possible? The mindset and mentality behind the whole service is really interesting. Trust plays a huge role in the whole system. You can rent the stuff almost for free, paying just some nominal cost. If money doesn’t create the trust, what does then?

As Markku said, people tend to take even better care of the things that someone else owns. One really obvious thing is that you create the trust and respect once you see the owner: the object gets a story, history and a face. Whatsoever, one a bit more unobvious point of view lies on the pecuniary value.

Let’s give an example: You rent a bike from a bike rental place. It costs 500 Euros for a week. You go biking, break the tire and call the company to come to fix that. “I’ve paid for this!” In the end of the week you return the muddy bike and maybe complain about the bad breaks hoping to get some reduce. Even if you don’t do that, you have the feeling that you’ve paid a lot for it, you’ve paid for the service: you want to get the compensation for your money.

In the Kuinoma example, you rent a bike for a week, go to the owner to pick it up, pay 20 Euros for a whole week, use it, the tire breaks, you fix it your self (because you normally fix your own bike’s tire as well), return the bike as clean and polished (because it would be wrong or shameful to return it dirty), thank the owner and are happy to got to use a quality bike.

Even though there are other factors as well, the money factor changes our mindsets a lot, as the examples show. “I have paid for this!” gives you the freedom for more misuse, while “I didn’t even pay for this” strengthens the trust, and after all, makes you mentally more responsible.

The same counts when you, for example, have an accident with the bike and there’s a bigger damage in it. If that’s the bike rental’s property, you expect them to have the insurances and you’re not being forced to pay for it. You feel bad for your trip being cancelled but maybe not for the bike. Then, if you break a bike rented out from a private person, you know that it’s your own responsibility to cover the damage.

Kuinoma has it’s own rules how the service works and how to act in the case of damage or other situations. If there is some damage, it’s covered by the one causing the damage. Just like in normal life. While Kuinoma’s main service runs around outdoor and extreme sports, you might think that there are some problems and fights every now and then. The snowboards break once in a while, cameras fall, dresses have stains. “It wasn’t me, it was broken already!”

The ones being suspicious about Kuinoma, can open a new page in their mindset book. Since now, there hasn’t been a need to get to know the damage prizes: “We haven’t been dealing with a single reparation.”

It works. Money is not the only channel to create the trust in business.