David Lee has twice been issued a notice of stay at home (SHN).
He served his first SHN at the Intercontinental Robertson Quay Hotel when he returned 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 get started Happy SHN, a short-term product rental service aimed at SHN people.
From the two experiences (SHN), I realized that no matter how good the hotel was, I came across something wanting something. I would like to have some weights, I would like to have a bigger monitor, I would like to have a vacuum cleaner, and so on. Said David.
“It made no sense to buy them because at the time they were delivered, I would have spent half of SHN or didn’t want to take it home after SHN.”
A short-term rental service would help solve these pain problems – it allows you to get an item you want or need without having to commit to a full purchase.
The same day he created the website, Happy SHN received its first sale: a vacuum cleaner.
“I (had) longed for a vacuum cleaner during my stay, so this was the first item I put on and that proves 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 lot of products available for rent. Since offering only eight items in the first month, its inventory has grown to more than 50 products.
“(We offer) everything from microwaves to spinning bikes, monitors and printers, basically things to improve your life during the SHN,” David said.
They have even added a mini freezer to the product catalog to cater for mothers who needed to freeze breast milk after a particular request. Although they did not see the demand, they bought one for her anyway.
Basically, SHN people can order 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 stated on its website.
Currently, the platform offers three main product categories: home appliances, exercise equipment and work and play.
According to David, the series of exercises is the most in demand, followed by microwaves and vacuum cleaners.
While SHN is primarily served in four- or five-star hotels, we believe the SHN experience may be better. The first two days usually go by pretty quickly, but from the third day onwards they usually run out of things to do or are missing a few things no matter how luxurious the hotel is.
Having exercise equipment would definitely help people to be more productive and is also a good time to start exercising, especially for those who offer excuses like “I don’t have too much time”. You have too many now!
– David Lee, founder of Happy SHN
For those who don’t want to exercise, Happy SHN also offers entertainment games like PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and larger monitors.
David shared that they want to introduce musical instruments below as part of their entertainment product offerings.
When asked where their products come from, David shared that they collaborated with Hiap Seng Electric Co.
“Hiap Seng Electric is my father’s company and is a traditional brick and mortar store that sells home appliances (for over 30 years). The business is not good, especially during the pandemic, so it is also part of the reason why I started this business, as I have a supplier ready for live appliances, ”explained David.
Also, as the store is located on Beach Road, it is very close to many SHN hotels, making deliveries accessible.
How to rent?
Rental prices differ depending on the duration of the rental, which is a minimum of seven days. The longer the duration, the lower the average daily price.
For example, a revolving bicycle 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).
In addition, 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 (deleted) the deposit system for most products except high value items as it was too tedious to keep track and we wanted to offer our customers a hassle free experience. Now they can only select the number of days, place the order and receive them the same day or the next.
– David Lee, founder of Happy SHN
For items that do not require revenue, the prices listed already include shipping costs. Delivery is usually made the same day if payment is made before 3pm.
Items must be returned on departure: Tenants can leave items outside the door before leaving as a way to return items.
However, if you like the item and want to keep it, Happy SHN said you can sell the product at a reduced price depending on your age and condition.
On the other hand, if a user loses or damages the items, they will have to replace the product as a form of compensation.
If you are not serving SHN but want to rent at Happy SHN, you will be happy to know that they also deliver to residential addresses. Shipping costs vary by location: $ 10 for delivery across the island and $ 20 for the Sentosa area.
Security is the top priority
While he is helping to eradicate the itching of some people, David faced some initial struggles, which consisted mainly of convincing hotels to accept them when they started handing out spinning bikes and treadmills.
Now, they have partnered directly with hotels like Fairmont Singapore, Swissotel Merchant Court and Shangri-La Singapore to provide them with their guests.
Ultimately, the most important factor in this business is to ensure that all returned items are sanitized and disinfected for the safety of subsequent users.
“While we can outsource all deliveries and collections to solve our logistical problems, we insist on doing it internally to make sure the cleaning process is not compromised,” David said.
With the recent increase in local community cases, the government has extended the SHN period from 14 to 21 days as part of measures to curb the virus outbreak.
When asked if he sees it as a business opportunity, he said, on the other hand, many expats entering Singapore have turned down their entry approvals, meaning fewer people are serving SHN.
Although David has businesses in Korea and the UK, he now chooses to focus on Happy SHN.
“At present, no one has the answer to when the pandemic will end. We want to donate some exercise equipment to hospitals and other community facilities to help them in their physiological rehabilitation and to keep people who are confined in one place active, ”he said.
“While profits are essential to keeping a company in the fleet, customers’ occasional handwritten notes after retrieving returned products keep us going.”
Featured Image Credit: Happy SHN