Start-up launches local rental website for Whatcom County

Published on Wed, May 23, 2012 by Angela Hamilton

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One visit to Evergreen List (evergreenlist.com) provides access to recreational equipment, household items, construction tools and more, all available within Whatcom County. The website launched on Earth Day, April 22, and offers local person-to-person rentals. 

“It is similar to Craigslist in the sense that we basically just provide a platform for people to connect, but it’s strictly for rentals,” said Evan Lindquist, one of the site’s founders. He added that it is safer than Craigslist because it includes customer reviews that keep owners accountable, and payment is made through PayPal, a secure website.

Evergreen List is operated by a team of four partners: Carlos Becerra, Zach Lengell, Evan Lindquist and Nathan Lindquist. The idea for the site was realized when Blaine native Becerra recognized that his community had a need for person-to-person rentals.

“He witnessed it firsthand when he helped a friend rent out her motor home that she couldn’t afford to make the payments on,” Evan said.

The four realized that many items people own were purchased for single or minimal use, and would be valuable to someone else in the community. Evan said the group wondered, “Why don’t people rent out things they’re just not using?”
“It’s a great way to generate additional income,” Evan said.

A rent-only site gives consumers an alternative to making a major purchase. Renting locally is a sustainable approach to commerce, he said, that keeps money in the local community.

The website features include free access to rentals, simple registration (only required for those posting rental listings), a way to contact users directly from the site, and a printable rental agreement form.

Evergreen List is currently exclusive to Whatcom County, so renters know they are working with someone in the community.
“We chose this area because it’s very environmentally conscious – a perfect area to break out this new type of concept with community sharing,” Evan said. After building the site in Northwest Washington, the Evergreen List team plans to expand to Seattle and beyond.

So far, EvergreenList has about 70 rental listings, a growing fan base on Facebook, and new connections with businesses in Bellingham and Blaine.

“We’ve had a couple things rented, but it’s more or less about trying to get that initial group of people on the site,” Lengell said.
Right now, Evergreen List is offering Blaine residents a free service to help them get started.

“Any person can call Evergreen List and request a certified representative come to their location and help them establish a user profile by taking pictures and writing descriptions of everything they would like to rent on the site,” Evan said.

To browse the site, rent an item or set up a listing, visit evergreenlist.com.