Traveling with a small child presents its share of, ahem, challenges, not the least of which is carting around all that stuff. Whether you’re shoving strollers and pack and plays into a car trunk or gate-checking like your life depended on it, the experience can be a bit taxing. New app goBaby feels your pain, and is here to literally lessen your load, and make life on the road easier!
Where Have You Been All My (Kid’s) Life?
Marketing itself as “The Airbnb For Baby Gear on the Go,” goBaby is a community of parents and renters, enabling users to rent gear where and when they need it.
The app launched in New York in October 2016 and has now gone national. At the time of writing this there were nearly 1,000 registered users and 300 listings across 25 states, and it’s still growing.
You can find nearly anything you’ll need for traveling with a kid here, all available for a daily fee: cribs, strollers, car seats, high chairs, bath and potty supplies, large toys and outdoor gear. Items for rent come from people in the community, many of whom are other parents with unused or lightly used gear on hand. (Perhaps you can relate.)
Images and screenshots courtesy of goBaby.
Renting Gear on the Go
The goBaby app (available for iOS and coming soon to Android devices) essentially acts as a middleman between the renter and the owner of various baby gear.
Finding and booking the things you need is easy: enter the time and place you need the gear and you’ll see a list of available options. You can browse by delivery/pickup options, item category, or check out user ratings a la Yelp or Airbnb.
Safe and Sound
If you’re unsure about renting from a stranger or are worried about safety in general, the app verifies the item owner’s identity, while certain built-in features help maintain quality standards. (A recall checklist is being added to the app soon to make sure no available items are on a national recall list.)
Similar to other community sharing apps, there’s a two-way review system in place to make it less likely you’ll end up with a broken or dirty items. Of course, since both sides of the transaction get rated and reviewed, there’s a built-in incentive to be a good renter. (i.e., being courteous and returning all items clean and on time.)
Currently, delivery and pickup are entirely in the hands of the renters and owners, but goBaby hopes to add third-party delivery services soon to take care of that — and make the process even easier for everyone involved.
Leasing Your Gear to the Community
If you’d rather be on the giving end than the receiving, you can easily post your own items to goBaby for others to rent. Item owners have complete control over price (though there is a list of recommended prices), pickup and delivery options, and times of availability.
GoBaby uses Stripe to process payments, which are then deposited directly into your Stripe account once the item has been rented and returned. Again, if renting your items to strangers makes you nervous, goBaby is working on a solution. At the moment there’s no insurance, although the service is working on implementing one in the future. However, owners of gear do have the option to include a security deposit on any items rented to further safeguard goods.
Have you tried goBaby? Tell us about your experience in the comments!