By Cecilia Chan, GSN Managing Editor
Lisa Fuller remembers chasing her two young sons, 3 and 5, through a busy airport while lugging a stroller, car seat and a Pack’n Play.
“I thought, ‘there must be a better way,’” the Gilbert resident recalled.
There was, and now Fuller is a provider for BabyQuip, through which she rents out strollers, highchairs, cribs, play pens and toys and delivers them to traveling families or grandparents with visiting grandchildren.
BabyQuip, founded in 2016, is part of a rapidly emerging group of businesses known as platforms, like Airbnb, Ebay and Uber, according to the company’s website. Platform businesses facilitate interactions across a large number of participants.
BabyQuip’s quality providers are independent business people who are able to design their own business. They pay a $100 start-up fee and then a monthly charge for insurance. Fuller became a quality provider in January 2018.
Quality providers keep 100 percent of their tips and 80 percent of their rental and delivery fees while BabyQuip gets the other 20 percent.
“I like the flexibility,” said Fuller, who is now a mom of three boys, 8 and under. “And I am able to take my kids with me. We do a lot of impromptu road trips.”
There are 11 quality BabyQuip providers in Arizona, seven in the Valley, but Fuller is the only one who will deliver to all cities in both Maricopa and Pinal counties.
Fuller had to buy all her inventory, which has taken over her garage, front room and a large closet.
“It can be pricey,” she said of the venture. “What really helps is having people charged in advance as soon as they make a reservation. It takes four to five rentals to have something paid off.”
Fuller estimated 80 percent of her bookings are from grandparents.
“I get a lot of requests for car seats from grandparents going to pick up their grandchildren and kids at the airport,” she said. “I do deliveries to their houses or they come to my house to pick up.”
Besides the rent, there is a delivery fee, which includes delivery and setup of most items except for car seats, safety gates and other baby-proofing items.
Fuller’s delivery, setup and pickup fees range from a low of $20 for Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe and Mesa Gateway Airport to a high of $55 for Buckeye, Casa Grande, Coolidge, New River and Anthem.
After each order is returned, everything is sanitized with baby organic cleaning wipes, steam cleaned and packed away until the next reservation.
Fuller’s inventory also includes bins of toys. For example, a 32-gallon tub full of toys, custom-based on age and gender, is $6 per day.
“I rent out hiking carriers to people who go hiking and we even provide diapers and baby food,” she said.
A 10-count variety of organic baby food is $18 to buy and a box of 35-count diapers with sensitive wipes is $39.99.
Fuller also is able to tailor her business to fill a need.
“We can do whatever we want,” she said. “There’s some people in other states, they actually will set up a birthday party. There’s freedom as long as you don’t rent out bicycles, anything with a motor in it and anything that is swimming-related because it’s very hard to insure.”
Fuller is promoting an Easter offering where she’ll come to a house and hide eggs filled with candies and toys. Cost ranges from $50 to buy 50 eggs to $170 for 200 eggs.
Now is a busy time for Fuller, who is booking reservations from traveling families for spring training. She’s had 52 customers since she started her with BabyQuip.
Although the work is seasonal, it provides a nice income.
“I’ve paid off three credit cards and we are able to go on family vacations more,”
Fuller said. “It’s definitely a side gig.”