Lender Handbook

Q: I’ve joined The Volte and listed my first item, now what?

Whether you’ve listed a designer item on The Volte to earn some extra cash so you fund extra cocktails in France or you’ve decided to take the plunge and start a business capitalising on the new ‘rentail’ industry, there are a few things you can do to increase your likelihood of getting that first sale. Follow The Volte Squad tips below to make your designer fashion work for you and start earning you income.

1. Perfect your Profile

Borrowers love to see a good profile. Make sure you have a good profile picture. If you’re an individual a great photo of you is perfect. If you’re a company your logo is great.

If you’re looking to get a new logo designed let us know as we have in house graphic designer extraordinaire Tina Lessnau who can design logos for customers for a low cost.

Add all your items. Borrowers gain trust from seeing fully stocked shops and link your social media profiles so people can shop your insta account. Instagram is the home of fashion and dress rentals.

2. A photo tells 1000 words

You know how people shop online – with their eyes. If you don’t have a good photo of your dress it ain’t going to be rented. We have done some testing and research on this and the more professional the photo the more likely it is to be rented. Clean images on professional backgrounds or white backgrounds are also known to increase the likelihood of sales. Here at The Volte we are lucky enough to collaborate with Holly Cardew and the Pixc team who can clean up photos in record time. If you need any help touching up photos please let our Customer Service team know and they can arrange with Holly and her team. We can also assist in arranging photo shoots with some of the best in the biz for all budgets. Great photos don’t have to be expensive.

3. There’s no such thing as TMI

You know when you overshare with friends they’re likely not to appreciate it. However, here at The Volte there is no such thing as too much information when you’re talking about your designer items. Borrowers want to know everything and full and complete descriptions help to build trust. In addition, if you don’t complete all the fields ie designer, colour, size – there’s a chance borrowers won’t be able to find you. So don’t be a knuckle head – fill out all the info.

Plus everyone is talking about SEO these days. How does Google find you and rate your content? The Volte is SEO optimised and we have a team of SEO specialists constantly improving our SEO rankings. Google loves content. It works by identifying key words that best match a person’s search. SEO is pretty complicated so we will have a whole chapter dedicated to this beast but in a nutshell ensure you describe your item with the key words someone might search for. For instance – always name your listing in this format Designer/colour/feature/name dress. An example would be “Alex Perry Purple Bell Sleeve Carla Mini Dress”. You can also include the size.

4. Ready, set, respond

Don’t leave your potential borrowers hanging. Lenders who respond quickly to messages and orders are more likely to get traction. Keep it personal – remember The Volte is a community and many borrowers will message and ask questions before shooting through a request.

If an item isn’t available on the requested date it’s best to always message the borrower and let them know why. You can suggest another item or even recommend another lender on The Volte. We are building a great community and we are amazed at how kind and helpful all our lenders are.

5. Be your own brand ambassador

Spread the word! This is more applicable for our corporate lenders but can also be utilised by individuals. Never underestimate the power of social media. Share and promote your items for free on facebook, Instagram, snap chat or twitter. Instagram and facebook tend to be the home of fashion so start with those and see what works best for you.

The Volte engages a digital marketing team to dynamically target users who may be interested in your items. If you tag The Volte in your social media posts we are able to better target your users in our paid Facebook and Instagram ads.

Ask your borrowers for photos of them in your designer items. Everyone loves a insta-famous moment!

6. Find your niche – the numbers don’t lie

Are you trying to join the rentail industry and start an online dress rental business? The Volte supports and fosters all our corporate clients. We circulate monthly corporate lender newsletter to ensure all our corporate lenders have the information they need to grow their business. Despite having almost 3000 listing on The Volte, we rarely see the same dress in the same size. Different lenders have different niches. If you’re still trying to identify which clothes you should invest in ask our customer service team for our analytics. We can point you to the most popular items, designers and sizes so you can plan for the future. Statistics are our friend and we want them to be yours too.

7. Learn, change, grow

Growing a business and becoming a lender is a bit of a trial and error process. Always try and learn – are you pricing your items too high? Should you look at other sizes? What is the market you’re trying to target? At The Volte we feel like we’re finding our way everyday and are always striving to be nimble and evolve. We love that we have such wonderful strong entrepreneurial women in our community!

8. We are your biggest cheer leaders!

We want all our lenders to succeed and gain a good income from their designer items. Whether you’re running a professional dress rental boutique or trying to earn some extra cash, we want you to win! Remember our customer service team is always here to help. We also have low cost brand, marketing and design specialists ready to help our lenders out. So in the words of Dr Seuss – ‘will you succeed? Yes of course you will indeed…your mountain is waiting so get on your way!’

Q: Do I have to include a return satchel with my hire?
A: Yes

When we went about our business of conducting extensive market research several years ago, we found that setting a shipping fee at anything beyond $14.95 as an extra on the hire fee makes borrowers say C I A O to hiring from you. But we don’t want you to be out of pocket for the extra expensive of a return satchel beyond the shipping amount you receive.

The solution? Make sure that your hire fees include the cost of return postage, even express if that’s how you roll.

An addressed return postal satchel increases the odds that your hire will be returned on time by 80%. This means less time waiting around, faster turn-arounds and more hires for you ($$$).

If for any reason you are not able to include a return satchel with your hire, this must be communicated to your borrower prior to sending, to avoid unexpected disappointment or expenses on their end.

Because at the end of the day, maintaining a good reputation as a hirer amongst your borrowers ensures they’ll keep coming back and borrowing from you.

So there you go! Satchels101 is complete (spoiler: you’ve all passed).

Q: How do I list an item with flexible sizing?

A: If an item you are listing for hire has flexible sizing – say it has a lot of stretch or is a loose fit – the best way to maximise exposure is by creating a separate listing for each different size the garment will fit.

So say you have a Camilla Kaftan that’s practically one-size fits all, but want borrowers to be able to find it when they filter by their size – you create an identical listing for sizes 6,8,10,12, etc.

Does this take a little more time? Yep! Will this increase the chances of your item being hired by 300%? ALSO YES.

But wait – there’s one more thing. It is VITAL that you write in the size notes the actual item size as stipulated on the label e.g. Zimmermann 3 to prevent borrower confusion. Without this, a borrower may feel that a listing was not accurate.

So there you have it! A simple way to increase your earning potential and maximise your garment exposure for those listings that have flexible sizing.

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