Okay. So you’re intrigued by the whole idea of renting your stuff to make some extra money. But what exactly should you rent and how exactly do you rent it? The list of stuff you can rent for cash is so vast that your imagination is your biggest limitation. From the ordinary to the outlandish, here’s what you should know about what to rent — and how to rent it successfully.
What Should You Rent?
It depends. What do you have? Where do you live? How much are you charging? Like everything else, your success as a “stuff renter” will depend on supply and demand. For instance, renting your parking spot or driveway will work better in densely populated areas like cities, college towns, or during special events. Renting a high-end baby stroller can work well in tourist areas, because people prefer to not lug theirs on a plane.
But no matter how great your product, no one will rent if it’s not priced right. Why would someone rent your private vehicle when a better price can be had at the auto rental place?
How to Rent Successfully
The biggest peer-to-peer marketplace is probably Craigslist, where people have had successful and lucrative experiences. Facebook is up there too with groups dedicated to connecting owners with people who want to rent their stuff. However, if you’re looking to widen your scope and increase your options, you might try one of the websites below. Most of them are free to join. Some are even free to use, while others earn a commission when a rental transaction is completed.
These marketplaces cast a wide net.
Craigslist is a huge market for renting anything and everything. It’s free to list, there are no commissions to pay, and you set all of the parameters. Since there is no intermediary, take extra precautions when it comes to meeting prospective renters, and developing rental agreements to cover yourself against theft or damage.
Loanables, like Craigslist, offers the opportunity to rent things from multiple categories. Also like Craigslist, people post what they want to rent, decide on the price, and how the payment transaction is handled. Loanables does provide both parties with a rental agreement. While it is free to post a listing, Loanables takes a 10% fee for any transaction completed.
Zilok, which originated in France and has expanded to the U.S. (among other countries) is another site where people can list and rent items across multiple categories. While some locations are hot and have a lot of listings, others are non-existent. It is free to list your items, and Zilok is paid a commission when your stuff is rented.
Rent Your Vehicle and Parking Space
Your car can be a twofer — rent your car and then rent the space you park it in.
Getaround is a peer-to-peer carsharing service that is available in California (Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco) Portland, OR, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, IL. They will be coming to NYC soon. Getaround has safeguards in place like insurance coverage and identity verification processes to help you feel secure. They also offer 24/7 support. You set the rental amount and the dates that your vehicle will be available for rent. There are no membership fees and it is free to list your vehicle. Getaround receives 40% of the rental fee and you keep a 60% cut. They advertise some users earn hundreds a month and thousands per year using their service.
ParkingSpotter is an app that lets you list your parking space for extra cash. You can rent your space short term or longer term. You choose your price, though there is a guide with suggested rates. It’s free to list your space and ParkingSpotter is available in multiple big cities across the U.S.
RelayRides is another peer-to-peer system that helps owners rent their vehicles for extra money. Their market is much larger than Getaround’s as there are literally hundreds of cities across the country available for owners to rent their vehicle. Listing your ride is free with their app and when your vehicle is rented, you take home 75% of the rental fee. You decide the length of time it will be available to rent and the rental price. Payment is received three days after a reservation is completed.
Rent Your “Residence”
The term “residence” is sometimes used loosely based on some of the sleeping arrangements available. Think tricked out van or a tent in someone’s backyard. Whether yours is eccentric or more traditional, consider one of the sites below to make some extra cash.
It’s free to list your space on Airbnb. It’s probably the most liberal site out there in terms of the type of space you can rent (igloo or van with a bed anyone?). They do charge a 3% service fee when your space is rented and guests pay a guest fee. Reservations and payments are made through the site. While the site does not provide rental agreements, individual renters can supply their own if they wish. Airbnb also offers a $1,000,000 “Host Guarantee” against property damage.
HomeAway specializes in “whole spaces,” so think in terms of entire houses, apartments, boats, barns, etc., not rooms. There are three listing choices. List for free and pay a 10% commission when your space is rented, pay a $349 annual fee and pay nothing when your space is rented, or pay a professional to list your space for you and pay a 13% commission when your space is rented. Owners provide their own rental agreement and payments can be handled through their website. HomeAway also owns other websites including TravelMob (for people who live in Asia), VRBO (Vacation Rentals Only), and VacationRentals.com.
Roomarama is for people who are interested in renting out a room, apartment or condo, or house. It’s free to list your space and Roomorama does not earn a commission when someone books it. Instead, Roomorama collects a fee from the guests. Roomorama collects the rental fee and sends it to you through PayPal, which deducts a 3% transaction fee.
Rent Your Photography Equipment
Camera and gear gathering dust? Put it to work.
Are you a photography buff with lots of equipment that you wouldn’t mind renting to others? Well even if you only have a few pieces, you could turn your equipment into passive income. Cameralends specializes in connecting owners with people who want to rent everything from cameras to lenses, lighting, video recording equipment, and more. It is free to join the site, and they take 10%–30% of the profit from successful rentals. Payments are handled online, and security measures are in place to ensure the safety of your equipment.
You are your most valuable resource.
11. Bridesmaid for Hire
I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that this is an option, but it is. Bridesmaid for Hire is a newish option that lets those in need hire various bridesmaid services such as virtual support and wedding planning, all the way up to acting as a bridesmaid or maid of honor on the big day. Prices start at $199 to over $1000. The business is expanding and they are looking to add more bridesmaids (mother of the brides, etc.) to their network. If you think you’d enjoy renting yourself out as a bridesmaid consider applying!
RentAFriend is a “strictly platonic website that allows you to rent friends from all over the world.” The type of friends available range anywhere from dinner/movie companions, to being a tour guide for out of town visitors, teaching a language, sharing art or cooking skills, and more. It is free to list a profile and set your own hourly rate, which is usually between $15–$50 an hour. The site claims that some people earn several hundred per week and keep 100% of the proceeds. RentAFriend earns money through membership fees paid by those who want to rent friends.
Rent Your Wedding Dress
You looked great in it — and the money it earns will look good in your savings account.
13. Borrowing Magnolia
Borrowing Magnolia is a website is for people who want to make some extra cash by renting their wedding dress to others. It’s an easy and stress-free way to make an extra buck because the staff does all of the work for you. Interested parties will complete a “submit a dress” application which consists of question about the dress, along with some pictures. If your dress is accepted, you’ll work directly with the staff regarding the rental price and how much you’ll earn per rental. Shipping, cleaning, and maintaining the dress is taken care of by them.
Renting your belongings can be a great way to bring in some extra income. You can do it around your schedule, control what you rent and to whom, and set the price and length of time. But first, take a little time to conduct some due diligence about rental guidelines, laws, and of course taxes in your area. Once you know, you’ll be limited only by your creativity. Good luck!