Why not rent children’s toys/books, instead of buying them (In Chennai)?

When I went to the Jane Jacobs walk around North Chennai recently, I met the person who runs Bambaram.in. I got curious by the name and asked him what the site is all about, and he told me that it’s an online rental library for toys, books, board games, puzzles, DIY science kits, CD’s and other infotainment products for kids .

I thought that the concept was interesting enough to mention it in my site. Imagine how much money parents spend on toys/books for kids, only to realize that their child is already bored with it within a few days (hours?). In no time, kids always want another new toy!! So, instead of buying toys/board games, why not rent it? Once the kid is exhausted with a toy, one can just return it and get another! 

The best part of this service is, the team at Bambaram.in delivers and takes back the above mentioned items from subscriber’s homes, once in every fortnight. All you need to do is call or send a mail! Another good thing about this service is, most of the toys/products offer some educational value, in addition to fun/entertainment.

I think they offer this service (via monthly subscription plans) currently only in Chennai (India) but they might extend it to other cities in future. What do you think about this service? Would you like to rent toys or buy it? (They also sell educational toys, but I was intrigued more by the rental part). You can read their FAQ section for further info.

Destination Infinity

PS: I have no idea about how good their collections/services, are. Also, I am not affiliated with the above mentioned site in any way. This article is just for your information.

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20 Replies to “Why not rent children’s toys/books, instead of buying them (In Chennai)?”

  1. Good idea. However, I would like to know how many toys are returned in tact. By accident, many kids break the toys. Parents have to pay for the cost?

    During my recent visit to Chennai, I saw small kids carry a huge load of books in their back pack. Looked like some back packs are more weight than the kid himself/herself. As they have started to do here, why not put all the books in a tablet. Then all they have to carry is one tablet.

    1. I think they have a point system. Every toy returned safely gets one point and every toy broken gets -5 points or something. Yes, if kids break more toys than the ones they return safely, I guess the parents need to pay. The details are available in their FAQ section, anyway.

      I would prefer an eInk display like kindle or a nook over a tablet, for educational requirements. Reflective screens (eInk) are better than backlighted screens (LCD) because they don’t hurt the eyes, even if one reads using them for a long time. If color eInk displays had been successful, it would have benefited the educational market, a lot. Let’s hope that some company will make that technology better!

      Destination Infinity

      1. If you ask me, I would say toy rental is garbage disposal. Toys become loose at contacts and frequent use will make the toy useless. Then Bambaran.in would have disposed the toy for ever.
        Tablet are good to read. Reading is not the only thing kids need to do. They need to write too. But writing will make the screen scratchy and kids will say give me new tablet. This will make things expensive for parents.

    2. Yes was going to ask the same question myself. Do they have some criteria about the quality difference in the toy before and after it is borrowed?

    3. Hi. Thank you for your interest in Bambaram. The breakage/missing parts percentage is very minimal (less than 5%). And yes it works based on trust. Most of the parents own up before giving back the toys if something is broken. We also tend to make a check from our end before delivering and collecting the products so that the kids get toys/games in good shape.

      Regards
      Santhosh

  2. It looks good. Though, I think a child gets connected with his toys. He would not like to leave it. Leaving the toys which you have become so connected with surely shows signs of maturity.But, how many children get matured so fast with their extra caring parents. 😛

    1. Hi Praveen,

      Thank you for your interest in Bambaram. We have seen the attachment with the toys to be very minimal when it comes to educational/learning oriented toys (which Bambaram focusses on). Kids usually gets attached to collectibles like action figures, barbies, etc. But still if the kid doesn’t want to part with one particular toy, we allow them to buy at discount. And the kids are indeed smart and give away their old ones in return for fresh set of toys 🙂

      Thanks
      Santhosh

  3. Have seen this concept… there are 2 such companies which are renting books, toys and CDs for children.
    1. Mindgym
    2. b.a.g (Books, Activities and Games)
    They have comprehensive websites and a lot of franchisees in a city.
    A very nice and an innovative idea.

  4. Whatever doubts I have, the above commentors have asked! If the child doesn’t want to return the toy, can we buy it? We might not like to pay the original price if the product is used….so many questions. But the idea is good, I feel.

    In some schools, they make the children leave the notebooks at school and take only the text books home to read. They make the children to do their homework in the school itself. Bala Vidya Mandir never gave homework upto 5th Std. So, the children were happy! They were not carrying loads of books.

    1. I did not have any homework after 8th Standard 🙂 Leaving notebooks at school is a simple but excellent idea. Wonder why other schools don’t follow it??

      Destination Infinity

  5. I am not sure about kids these days but when I started reading, I fell in love with books. I used to treasure the books. In fact, I had a huge collection of them which included complete collections of Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and The Three Investigators. It grew along with me with new writers being added. It was a fine collection, if I can say so myself. I used to adore the books having read and re-read each countless times.

    A few years back, my mom donated the whole collection to the local library. It upset me for a day, but I knew it would be put to good use.

    1. One thing I have not done till now is, reread a book that I have already completed reading. I do have a few books that I want to read again, but I am not able to!! That’s one reason I was perfectly fine with borrowing books from lending libraries. Of course, to each their own preference.

      Destination Infinity

  6. Interesting concept. Even I wondered about the toy quality before and after but saw that it was already answered. Renting books is a great idea but I am not so sure about toys. Because I have seen children break most of the toys before getting bored of it.

    1. Breaking of toys is a definitely a concern for anyone running a rental business for toys, but hopefully the organizers would have thought about it and taken some appropriate steps for minimizing such incidents. Some toys might be harder to break than others? 🙂

      Destination Infinity

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