David Lee has twice received a Stay Home Notice (SHN).
He served his very first SHN at the InterContinental Robertson Quay Hotel upon returning from a business trip to Korea. The second time was served at the Village Hotel Albert Court after another business trip to the UK.
After his second SHN, the 35-year-old decided to launch Happy SHN, a short-term product rental service that targets SHN individuals.
“From the two experiences (SHN), I realized that no matter how good the hotel was, I found myself wanting something at some point. I wish I had dumbbells, I wish I had a bigger monitor, I wish I had a vacuum cleaner and so on, ”David said.
“It didn’t make sense for me to buy them because by the time they were delivered I would have been halfway to SHN or didn’t want to lug it home after SHN.
A short-term rental service would help solve these problems – it allows you to get an item you want or need without having to commit to a full purchase.
On the day the website was created, Happy SHN received its very first sale: a vacuum cleaner.
“I had sucked for a vacuum cleaner during my stay, so this is the first item I put down and it shows that I’m not the only one looking for it,” he said.
You can rent anything “as long as it’s legal”
Happy SHN offers a multitude of products available for rental. From offering just eight items in the first month, her inventory has grown to over 50+ products.
“(We offer) everything from microwaves and spin bikes, monitors and printers, basically things to make your life better during SHN,” David said.
They even added a mini-freezer to the product catalog to meet the needs of mothers who needed to freeze their breast milk following a special request. Although they didn’t see the request, they still bought one for her.
Essentially, SHN individuals can request anything that is not included in the product catalog “as long as it is legal in Singapore and within certain weight and size limits,” Happy SHN said on its website.
The platform currently offers three major product categories: home appliances, exercise equipment, and work and leisure.
According to David, the exercise series is the most requested, followed by microwaves and vacuum cleaners.
Although SHN is mostly served in four or five star hotels, we believe the SHN experience can be better. The first two days usually go by pretty quickly, but by the third day you usually run out of things to do or find yourself running out of things no matter how luxurious the hotel is.
Having exercise equipment would definitely help people be more productive and this is also a good time to start exercising, especially for those who give excuses like “I don’t have too much time” . Now you have too many!
– David Lee, founder of Happy SHN
For those who don’t like to exercise, Happy SHN also offers gaming entertainment such as PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and larger monitors.
David said they are looking to introduce musical instruments next as part of their entertainment product offerings.
When asked where they source their products from, David said they have a collaboration with Hiap Seng Electric Co.
“Hiap Seng Electric is my father’s business and it is a traditional electrical appliance retail store (for over 30 years). Business is not good, especially during the pandemic, so this is also one of the reasons I started this business because I have a supplier ready for home appliances, ”explained David.
Also, since the store is located on Beach Road, it is close to many SHN hotels, making deliveries accessible.
How to rent?
Rental prices differ depending on the rental period, which is a minimum of seven days. The longer the duration, the lower the average daily price will be.
For example, a racing bike costs S $ 125 for up to seven days (S $ 17.85 per day) and S $ 230 for 15 to 21 days (S $ 10.95 per day).
Additionally, a Sony PlayStation 5 costs S $ 260 for up to seven days ($ 37.14 per day) and S $ 530 for 15 to 21 days (S $ 25.23 per day).
We (have) abolished the deposit system for most products except high value items as it was too tedious to follow and we wanted to provide a hassle free experience for our customers. Now they (can) just select the number of days, place the order, and receive it the same day or the next day.
– David Lee, founder of Happy SHN
For items that do not require a deposit, the prices shown already include delivery costs. Delivery is generally made the same day if payment is made before 3 p.m.
Items must be returned upon departure – renters can simply leave the items in front of their door prior to departure to return the items.
However, if you like the item and want to keep it, Happy SHN has stated that it can sell the product at a discounted rate depending on its age and condition.
On the other hand, if a user loses or damages the item (s), he will be required to replace the product as compensation.
If you don’t serve SHN but want to rent from Happy SHN, you’ll be happy to know that they also deliver to residential addresses. Delivery charges vary by location – S $ 10 for island-wide delivery and S $ 20 for the Sentosa area.
Safety is the top priority
Although it helps to scratch the itchiness of some people, David had to deal with some initial difficulties, which mainly consisted of convincing hotels to accept them as they began to deliver bikes and treadmills.
Now, they have partnered directly with hotels like Fairmont Singapore, Swissotel Merchant Court, and Shangri-La Singapore to provide them to their customers.
Ultimately, the most important factor in this business is to ensure that all returned items are thoroughly sanitized and disinfected for the safety of subsequent users.
“While we can outsource all deliveries and collections to resolve our logistics issues, we insist on doing it in-house so that we can be sure the cleanup process is not compromised,” said David.
With the recent increase in cases in local communities, the government has extended the SHN period from 14 to 21 days as part of measures to stem the outbreak of the virus.
When asked if he sees a business opportunity, he said that by contrast, many expats entering Singapore have had their entry approval rejected, which means fewer people are serving SHN.
Although David has businesses in Korea and the UK, he chooses to focus on Happy SHN for the time being.
“For now, no one has the answer when the pandemic ends. We are looking to donate some exercise equipment to hospitals and other community facilities to help them with physiological rehabilitation and to keep people confined to an active place, ”he said.
“While profits are essential to keeping a business afloat, the occasional handwritten notes from customers after picking up a returned product keep us going.”
Featured Image Credit: Happy SHN
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