Every Pro AV rental company experiences particularly busy periods or a demanding event that needs more AV equipment than is available in your inventory, and sub-hire has long been the answer. However, this can often be a tedious, frustrating and extremely time-consuming process.
Second Warehouse is here to change that.
With Second Warehouse, you can search live inventories from hundreds of fellow rental companies, find the equipment you need and sub-hire it in, all in a matter of minutes. Best of all – renting in with Second Warehouse is completely free!
Designed by members of the professional AV business and entertainment technology industry, Second Warehouse is built around your priorities. Instantly search for the equipment you need, choose from a list of your preferred AV suppliers and new rental companies, send an offer or simply request a quote. If you need an answer in a hurry, a time limit can be set for a response. Prices can be negotiated and deals closed, all from within our dedicated, easy to use system, saving you hours or even days of your time.
When you consider the cost of a line array system, a mixing console, or the investment needed to build a modern lighting rig, you want to be sure that your entire inventory is making you money, not gathering dust.
With Second Warehouse, you can put your idle AV equipment to work, without ever picking up the phone or sending an email.
Allocate as much or as little of your inventory to Second Warehouse as you like and Second Warehouse will automatically keep track of the equipment’s availability, in many cases by integrating seamlessly with your current rental management software. When your gear is available, Second Warehouse will offer it for sub-rent to companies from all over your country and beyond.
You can do business with absolute confidence – Second Warehouse credit checks all companies applying to use the service, while our rating system offers up-to-date feedback.
Protect your existing partners – by mutually agreeing to become “preferred users” you can continue up to two of your current cross-rental partnerships through Second Warehouse completely free of charge. For other “non-preferred” rentals, Second Warehouse charges a commission which starts low and becomes even lower the more you use the service. After satisfying the qualifying conditions, high volume users become eligible to use Second Warehouse completely free of charge and restriction-free.
No matter how often you use Second Warehouse, the only time you ever pay is when Second Warehouse earns you money, and even then many transactions are entirely free.
How it Works
Creating a Search List and Entering Dates
Creating a list of equipment to search for is extremely fast and easy.
Simply type the name or part of the name of the first item you want to search for in the Second Warehouse search bar and choose the item from the returned list by clicking on it. The cursor will then snap to the quantity box, allowing you to specify how many of the item you require. Pressing the Enter (Return) key will enter the number of items you have chosen and automatically return the cursor to the search bar, ready to search for a new item.
Hint: If you don’t immediately find the item you are looking for in the drop-down list, hitting the spacebar after the word you have entered will often bring the required item to the top of the list.
Repeat the process to add further items to your search list.
If the item you are looking for can’t be found in the Second Warehouse equipment database, please go to your settings page to report it and we will add it as soon as possible.
When the list of items is complete you then need to enter the start and end dates between which the equipment is required.
The start date is the date on which you require the equipment to arrive in your warehouse. Remember to allow time for any preparation or repacking which may be required in advance of the show. The end date is the date on which the equipment will leave your warehouse and be returned to the supplier.
Note that before carrying out a search, Second Warehouse automatically adds a default of 2 extra days either side of the given start and end dates to allow for packing, transport and unpacking. Delivery and return dates can be changed later by the supplier or the renter if necessary.
Enter & Clear / Enter & Edit
To allow fast and easy building of a search list, the “Enter & Edit” and “Enter & Clear” radio buttons offer a choice of default actions for the Enter key which will be carried out after the quantity of items required has been entered and the Enter key is pressed.
If the “Enter & Clear” radio button is selected (default), upon hitting the Enter key, the search bar will be cleared and the cursor positioned to the left, ready to enter the name of a new item.
If the “Enter & Edit” radio button is selected, the previous item name will remain in the search bar with the cursor positioned to the right, allowing easy editing of the previous item name when searching for a similar item, possibly from the same manufacturer.
The currently chosen Enter key action may be temporarily overridden by clicking directly on the “Enter & Edit” or “Enter & Clear” buttons. Clicking these buttons will perform the action of the Enter key directly, entering the item quantity and returning the cursor to the search bar. The previous item will either be cleared from the search bar or made ready for easy editing, depending upon the button pressed.
When using the “Enter & Edit” or “Enter & Clear” buttons to enter item quantities, the currently chosen default Enter key action is preserved.
Search results are returned with ten suppliers on each page and in the following order:
Your local search zone
Optional search zones
Rest of your country
In each of these sections, suppliers able to provide the most items are returned first.
Preferred suppliers are always identified in search results, but non-preferred suppliers are identified only to Premium users. This is to give all suppliers an equal chance of renting out their equipment and to prevent casual users from simply using the service to monitor another company’s equipment availability.
Note that users have the option to remain anonymous in search results to all users, regardless of user status.
The My Items Basket
The My Items basket appears at the top of the search results page and can be collapsed or expanded by clicking on the button in the top right hand corner.
The quantity of items required can be adjusted globally in the My Items basket. Any quantity changes made here will be adjusted simultaneously in the individual suppliers lists.
The Quantity Remaining column shows how many items are yet to be selected in order to fulfil the requirement.
When the required quantity of items has been selected, either from one or multiple suppliers, the text on the item line will turn bold.
Should a searched item be returned as unavailable, an edit icon will appear to the left of the item name in the My Items basket. The user can then click on the item name field, enter the name of an alternative item to search for and select it from the list in the same way as when building an original search list. This activates the Search again button, allowing the user to search the same territories for the new list.
Note that carrying out a new search does not clear item selections which have already been made.
Filtering Search Results
The search results page features powerful filters to make it easy to find the most suitable supplier for the equipment you need.
Clicking on the name of an item in the My Items basket at the top of the page will show only the suppliers who are able to supply that particular item.
Filters are also available to show only suppliers located in a specific country, a particular search zone or who have a particular star rating.
Filters may used in combination with each other. For example, you can choose to see only suppliers located in Hamburg, Germany, who are able to supply Shure SM58 microphones and who have a rating of 4 or more stars.
Creating Request Lists
Depending on the number of suppliers selected, the renter may create one or more request lists on the request list page. Request lists enable the renter to provide information which will allow the supplier to give a quote for the sub-rental.
The information which can be provided is as follows.
The number of show days on which the equipment will actually be in use and the number of any rehearsal or set-up days in the rental period.
The renter may choose to arrange transport for the sub-rented equipment, or request the supplier to arrange transport and give a price for the transport in the quote. If the renter chooses to transport the equipment, he can provide the intended pick-up and return dates here.
The renter may set a time limit for a response from the supplier depending on the urgency of the request. The default setting is 48 hours from the time of sending the request.
The renter has the option to enter a message which will be sent along with the request. Note that messages will only be sent from a request list when the “Submit offer / Ask for quote” button is pressed.
The renter has the option to make an offer for the requested equipment. Leaving this blank will simply request a quote from the supplier.
Second Warehouse helps you to do more business, more easily, and that means quick and effective communication. As a Second Warehouse user you will have access to our real-time Direct Messaging system, so when you are renting equipment you can send a message to the supplier alongside your equipment request. The supplier will receive your message instantly and be notified either in his message bubble on the Second Warehouse info header, or if the message is not opened within 10 minutes, via email. Using the secure platform, you can discuss equipment details, organise transport and negotiate on price in real time, or just catch up with one another while your deal gets done. Most of all, the system eliminates any misunderstandings, and leaves you both feeling great about the deal.
After your deal is sealed with the virtual Handshake function, we make sure that no detail is forgotten by emailing you a transcript of your direct message conversation (included as part of your PDF confirmation document). Direct messaging then remains available throughout the period of the sub-rental until 48 hours after midnight on the unpacking date, making it easy to stay in touch and update details of the sub-rental if necessary.
Note that by using the messaging system you agree to your messages being logged and possibly monitored.
Renters and suppliers are free to send offers and quotes back and forth as many times as they wish while negotiating a price for a sub-rental. In addition, the direct messaging system makes communication quick and easy and greatly lessens the risk of any misunderstandings.
The supplier is free to create a quote in any way he chooses. Individual prices can be entered on each item line, or he may choose to simply give an overall quote for the required gear. Individual discounts may be applied to specific items and/or an overall discount can be applied.
Both parties are free to set a time limit for a response at each step of the negotiation with the default setting being 48 hours. This is to ensure that negotiations proceed efficiently without the worry of having to hassle the other party for a response.
Note that failure to respond within the set time limit will be considered a cancellation by the defaulting party.
Live Mode / Demo Mode
If available, users can toggle between Live mode and Demo mode using the button on the top info bar.
When in Live mode, any searches carried out will search real world companies and results will show availability of actual equipment.
Users should be careful not to carry out testing or demonstrations while in Live mode!
Demo mode is provided to allow users to test or demonstrate Second Warehouse in a non-destructive environment, using a limited selection of dummy equipment and companies, distributed among a selection of European countries and search zones.
Demo mode features the same search engines and operates in exactly the same way as Live mode, with the exception that transactions may be cancelled freely without raising flags, no Demo mode activity is displayed on your Activity tab and the user list is not viewable.
Users who have been allocated a dummy supplier email address are able to fully simulate negotiations in Demo mode using their real mail address as a renter and the dummy address as a supplier.
Note that Live mode is not available to users registered as representatives or distributors.
The Settings Page and Tabs
The Settings page contains various tabs where the company’s Second Warehouse administrator can enter relevant information regarding the company and personnel, and where the company’s Second Warehouse inventory is managed.
Company and personnel
Company info tab
The company info tab is where the company’s default business and delivery/pick-up addresses are entered and where the local search zone is set by selecting the city closest to the company’s actual location from the drop-down list. Selecting the correct closest city is important as it will affect the order of suppliers in your search results and also where your company will appear in other user’s search results.
The company admin may upload up to three images and a brief description of their business on the company info tab. This information will be viewable by other users on the user list.
Note that the company email provided on this tab is the email address Second Warehouse will use should there be any need to contact the company, it is not the email address where equipment requests will be sent. Equipment requests will be sent to whichever individual user’s email address has been allocated as the default receiver on the Personnel tab.
Company preferences tab
The company preferences tab shows if integration between Second Warehouse and the company’s rental management software is currently active.
The admin can choose the currency they would like to use on Second Warehouse and their preferred date format. Currency conversions are carried out using the current rate set by the European Central Bank.
Up to two optional Priority search zones can be set and these can be any zones in any country. If Priority search zones are chosen, suppliers located in those zones will be listed immediately after suppliers located in the local search zone in search results.
Companies have the option to remain anonymous at all times in search results, regardless of the renter’s user status, and this can be set here.
At the bottom of this tab is the link to the User list where Preferred user requests can be initiated and companies can be blocked.
Company User status tab
The company user status tab shows your company’s current user status level and the qualifying totals supplied and rented-in for towards the next status level.
My info tab
The My info tab is where each individual company user should enter brief personal details. The email given here is the address to which equipment requests will be sent when the user is set as being the default request receiver on the Personnel tab.
The Second Warehouse admin can use the Personnel tab to create new Second Warehouse users within the company, to grant admin status to other users or nominate which user is currently set as the default to receive equipment requests. Only one user can be the default receiver for requests at any time.
Second Warehouse inventory tab
The inventory tab is where the equipment which the company wishes to make available for sub-rental is entered.
In the case of Standard Request (SR) companies (no software integration), items are added directly by entering the item name in the “Add new items” field and selecting them from the drop-down list. Although optional, it is advisable to add your day price for each item as it will allow Second Warehouse to provide you with useful price estimates when receiving equipment requests.
In the case of Confirmed Availability (CA) companies (Second Warehouse is integrated with the renter’s rental software), equipment is allocated via the user’s rental software. The method for allocating equipment is different for each type of software and users should follow the instructions supplied for the specific software they use.
When an item is allocated to Second Warehouse in the software, the total stock level and day price will be automatically uploaded and requires no user input. By default the quantity allocated to Second Warehouse will equal the total stock level, The user is free to change the allocated quantity on the inventory tab if desired.
Items added via the user’s rental software must be paired with the relevant item name in the Second Warehouse reference equipment database.
Type the manufacturer’s English name or description of the item you wish to pair in the relevant field, select it from the drop-down list and click “Pair”. Please contact Second Warehouse or use the online help chat if you require any assistance with the item pairing process.
Items not found
If an item you wish to make available for sub-rental is not found in the Second Warehouse reference database, please let us know by clicking on the “Item not found” button. In the pop-up which appears, type the name or description of the item, using the manufacturer’s English description if possible. Providing the url to the manufacturer’s product page will help us to add the item to our database quickly. We will inform you when the item has been added.
Here you will find a list of all activity carried out in Second Warehouse as a supplier. Negotiations are shown as being either In progress, Completed or Cancelled. Negotiations can be reopened from here.
Here you will find a list of all activity carried out in Second Warehouse as a renter. Negotiations are shown as being either In progress, Completed or Cancelled. Negotiations can be reopened from here.
Bookings and Reservations.
The content listed here depends on your supplier status.
If you are a Confirmed Availability (CA) supplier, you will see listed all the bookings you have in your rental management software which contain equipment allocated to Second Warehouse, plus any Local Reservations you have made.
Creating a Local Reservation will make the included equipment temporarily unavailable for sub-hire through Second Warehouse, but will not affect your inventory in your rental management software.
If you are a Standard Request (SR) supplier, you will see a list of any Local Reservations you have made. Creating a Local Reservation will temporarily reduce the quantity of the included equipment allocated for sub-hire through Second Warehouse.
It may be that two rental companies already have an arrangement where they cross-rent equipment with each other on a regular basis. For these companies, Second Warehouse offers Preferred user status.
Preferred user status allows rental companies to continue and enhance previously established business relationships within Second Warehouse, with all the speed and communication benefits and no downside.
Every Second Warehouse company may share Preferred user status with a maximum of two other companies. Preferred users are always prioritised and identified in search results and all transactions between Preferred users are completely commission-free.
Preferred user status must be mutually agreed and shared by the companies concerned. Only one change of Preferred users is allowed during each twelve month period.
Sharing Preferred user status can be requested by ticking the appropriate box associated with the relevant company in the Second Warehouse user list. An email will then be sent to the company notifying them of the request and the requesting company will be informed of the result by return mail. If successful, Preferred user status between the two companies will be set.
Note that if the requested company has already reached their maximum of two Preferred users, the request will be automatically denied. There may be other system-related factors which result in a Preferred user request being denied. A denied Preferred user request does not necessarily signify a rejection by the requested company themselves.
Temporarily Withhold Equipment Allocated to Second Warehouse
If you have a particularly busy period coming up and you wish to temporarily remove certain items from your Second Warehouse sub-rental inventory, this can be done on the Activity tab, found on the Settings page.
Open the Activity tab and click on Bookings and Reservations. Click on +New reservation and enter a name for this reservation and the dates between which the reservation will be active. Next, enter equipment you wish to temporarily deallocate from Second Warehouse on those dates.
Your equipment availability (CA suppliers) or allocation (SR suppliers) will be reduced accordingly on those dates.
Note that this method of withholding equipment is a temporary solution and the functionality will be expanded and updated soon.
Once you click Handshake and agree a deal, Second Warehouse forwards the details of the negotiation, the agreed amounts, and the messaging history to the involved parties, and then steps aside. The supplier then issues their invoice directly to the renter in the usual way.
While there are plans for Second Warehouse to introduce comprehensive invoicing options in the future, right now, we’re focusing on our job of helping you find the professional AV equipment you need, and we’ll leave the invoicing to you.
Confirmed Availability (CA) or Standard Request (SR)?
You can choose between two ways of making your equipment available for sub-hire on Second Warehouse, and both options put you fully in control – we only list equipment that you want to include. If you want, you can even choose to remain anonymous in search results.
- Confirmed Availability
The most effective way to let renters know your equipment is available for sub-hire is by Confirmed Availability.
Confirmed Availability suppliers allow Second Warehouse to read the real-time availability of their stock, so we can go ahead and find work for your Pro AV equipment without you having to lift a finger. To do so, we are able to integrate with many of the industry’s most popular inventory management software packages, with more being added continually.
With this option, we can show the true availability of your equipment in search results (tagged “CA”), so renters can request to hire it in absolute confidence, and you can sit back and earn money while we do the heavy lifting. Since availability is confirmed in advance, suppliers are also able to respond to requests very quickly.
- Standard Request
Suppliers who prefer a more traditional approach have the option to simply list the equipment and quantities they wish to make available for sub-renting. Those items will appear in search results (tagged “SR”), and requests for these items are then made with a Standard Request, which is sent from Second Warehouse to the prospective supplier.
Since availability is not confirmed in advance, the supplier will have to check availability before responding to a request, so renters should allow extra time for a response.
Standard Request is the default for suppliers who use software for which Second Warehouse integration is not yet possible.
Both options dramatically reduce the time spent cross hiring gear, and suppliers enjoy the same protections and features regardless of the option they choose – the same messaging, price negotiation and transport organisation features are always available.
Suppliers are free to add, remove or restrict the availability of items at any time or for specific periods.
Items in the Second Warehouse reference database are listed using the English description given by the manufacturer on their product website. Note that in some cases, the description may be altered slightly or certain keywords added in order to make the item easier to find when carrying out searches.
Often, a rental company will not use the manufacturer’s original English description when referring to an item, but prefer a translation of the name into their own language or a more convenient, colloquial term. Items are often listed in a supplier’s rental management software using these unique descriptions.
In cases where Second Warehouse is integrated with a supplier’s rental management software, items which a supplier wishes to make available for sub-hire need to be “paired” with the Second Warehouse reference description. This is to ensure that items listed in the software using a unique name can be found by users searching using the English reference term.
Note that all items need to be paired, even if the supplier uses the manufacturer’s original description.
Clicking on the “Pair items” button on the Second Warehouse inventory tab will take the user to the Pairing screen where items can be paired.
If an item you wish to make available for sub-hire is not found in the reference database, please report it, giving the name of the item, and preferably a link to the manufacturer’s product web page. We will then add it to the database as soon as possible.
If you need any help at all with pairing items, please use the online chat help or send us an email.
Equipment requests or negotiations may be cancelled by either party at any time.
Since cancelling an ongoing transaction may cause major inconvenience to the other party, it is required that a reason for the cancellation is provided. Failure to provide a reasonable explanation for a cancellation may lead to downgrading of a user’s star rating.
As soon as an equipment request is sent, Second Warehouse begins tracking the transaction. If either party fails to reply within the set time limit (the default time limit is 48 hours), the transaction will be considered cancelled by the defaulting party.
Every cancellation is automatically flagged and any message log accompanying the transaction is reviewed.
While it is accepted that jobs will be cancelled from time to time, a user who repeatedly cancels transactions may be asked to explain the frequent cancellations. Failure to provide a reasonable explanation may result in a downgrading of their star rating and/or suspension from the service for a period of at least six months.
The Money Bit
There are no registration or sign-up fees to pay for using Second Warehouse. Finding and renting equipment is entirely without charge. When Second Warehouse finds work for your equipment, we charge a small percentage commission on the total equipment sub-rental amount, and even then many transactions remain completely free.
Second Warehouse only costs you money when it makes you money!
Commissions start low and get even lower as your user status is increased, to the point where using Second Warehouse becomes completely free after certain conditions have been met.
Much like any loyalty programme, the more you use Second Warehouse, the higher your user status becomes. User status starts as Basic and can be raised to Established or Premium. Your user status affects various factors such as commission levels, whether suppliers are identified in search results and other features. Details of the user status levels and their qualifying requirements can be found here.