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07-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #1
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The Story Behind LensRentals.com




07-17-2013, 04:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
One of those things that make you think. Why couldnt I think of it. But:
I would not have the start-up money or even the guts
07-17-2013, 04:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
One of those things that make you think. Why couldnt I think of it. But:
I would not have the start-up money or even the guts
No kidding - there is probably close to $100K in gear sitting on the shelf behind him in the first photo of the article. Then again they've been around for awhile, businesses do expand, and that is what small business loans are for!
07-17-2013, 06:17 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
No kidding - there is probably close to $100K in gear sitting on the shelf behind him in the first photo of the article. Then again they've been around for awhile, businesses do expand, and that is what small business loans are for!
In the article it says he fronted about $550,000 of his own money, and took out loans for the rest of the $800,000 required for startup inventory. Not many people can swing that, or get a bank to loan them that total amount without a success story like lensrentals.com as a reference. Roger's a brilliant entrepreneur who took a risk and has managed it well, but that kind of startup is why his company is bigger than the pre-existing competitor (cameralensrentals.com).

Personally, I'm amazed that one of the big NY photo retailers (like B&H or Adorama) didn't expand their own professional rental service to an "anyone can rent" kind of a web-based business first! They had the stock, the staff, the experience, and far more capital... but I guess it wouldn't be in their best interest for folks to rent what they might otherwise buy!

07-17-2013, 06:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
In the article it says he fronted about $550,000 of his own money, and took out loans for the rest of the $800,000 required for startup inventory. Not many people can swing that, or get a bank to loan them that total amount without a success story like lensrentals.com as a reference. Roger's a brilliant entrepreneur who took a risk and has managed it well, but that kind of startup is why his company is bigger than the pre-existing competitor (cameralensrentals.com).

Personally, I'm amazed that one of the big NY photo retailers (like B&H or Adorama) didn't expand their own professional rental service to an "anyone can rent" kind of a web-based business first! They had the stock, the staff, the experience, and far more capital... but I guess it wouldn't be in their best interest for folks to rent what they might otherwise buy!
I suppose when your previous salary was $175K you're going to have access to $550K! Definitely interesting that the business was borne through rental of his own gear, that is a pretty big leap if you ask me!
07-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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It's always great to read stories like this. Kudos to him for taking the risk and running with it.

Also, the lensrentals.com blog is FANTASTIC. Roger's business puts him in a unique position to deliver insights that virtually no one else can deliver (dealing with multiple copies of the same lens from different manufacturers, having access to fancy equipment to test lenses, open them up, etc.). It's recommended reading for all photographers to learn about the gear/tech side of photography.
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