Tap into the sharing economy and rent your way to success
Are you a part of the sharing economy yet? If you’ve used Uber or Airbnb, then you’re part of it. But there’s plenty of other sharing businesses springing up, and one that we think looks especially interesting is the renting business. The internet has made it ridiculously easy to rent your stuff and get paid for it*.
Take Rentoid, as an example. It’s kind of like eBay, with one crucial difference: the stuff in the listing isn’t for sale, its for rent. “Over $101 million worth of cool stuff to rent,” their front page declares. What kind of stuff? Well, anything. When we visited last, their list of most popular items included flashing lights, the Star Wars trilogy – digitally enhanced – a Snap n’Go Baby Infant Carrier Capsule, a fridge, a patio heater, a baritone horn and corporate meeting trestle tables.
But why would you do it?
Well, for the money. If you’re renting out your property, you’re making cash and offsetting the cost of the money you outlaid. If you’re renting, well, you’re avoiding stumping up with that cash in the first place. And it’s all on terms to suit you. You choose your schedule, you choose your rate per day, week, or month.
So what would you rent out?
Take a look around your house and you might be surprised how much is possible.If you’ve got clothes you hardly wear, how about renting them out instead of getting rid of them? If you have a parking spot going unused, why not rent that? Camera and video equipment, your toilet, even, on frantic festival days. There are sites that let you you rent out your wifi connection. If you have a bike, you can rent that out, too.
And of course there’s your home itself. The name most people think of is Airbnb, but there are plenty of others in the market too, all happy to list your home or just a room.
But if that seems like a bridge too far for starting out, maybe you might feel more comfortable renting out something smaller. Why not start with something that’s in ridiculously high demand?
Here’s Rentoid’s list of “stuff people are requesting a zillion times each day which we just don’t have any or enough of”:
- 3D printers – They estimate a four-week payback period on investing in one to rent.
- iPads – The iPad 2 they say they have very few of, and hundreds of requests and searches daily.
- Galaxy Tablets
- XBox Kinnect
- Car roof boxes – Thule are most popular
- Caravans and camping gear
- Projectors – People are sick of hotels and conference rooms charging $300 a day, Rentoid says, and “for a simple laptop projector and would rather rent yours for a reasonable price”
- Chainsaws – “the ultimate temporary need for when a tree falls down” according to Rentoid.
- Ski gear
See anything on that list that you own? It might just be your pay day.
*Our legal department wants us to mention that there are risks with renting out your stuff, such as loss, theft or damage. Of course it’s your choice as a free-thinking independent human being, don’t just do what we tell you, but be warned, renting your stuff out could lead to a variety of situations from losing money rather than making it, right through to alien abduction. (Maybe. The lawyers were unclear on the alien stuff.)
David Slack is Credit Simple's wordsmith. You can folllow him on Twitter @DavidSlack.All stories by: David Slack