Many people find themselves struggling to make ends meet in the wake of today’s economy — and if you’re one of them, you’ve probably considered looking for ways to supplement your income. Why not rent out some of your belongings for extra cash? You may not realize it, but you probably have several items in your home that someone would like to use for a day, weekend, or even a full week or month. Things like power tools, cameras, kitchen appliances, and even cars are hot commodities that someone will pay good money to use if they only need something for a short period of time and can’t afford to buy it for themselves. If you’d like to know more about how to make money renting out your own stuff, keep reading.
Here are some helpful pointers to get you started.
What kinds of items do you have that others might be interested in renting for a short time? The fact of the matter is that you probably own lots of things someone would be interested in using, so take a quick inventory and make a list of things you wouldn’t mind letting other people borrow in exchange for money. Avoid renting out sentimental items or anything that you would be devastated to lose. Rental agreements can go awry, so don’t take any chances if the loss or damage of a particular item would cause you any heartache.
Name Your Price
Once you’ve come up with a list of items you would like to rent out in order to bring some extra cash, you need to determine what the rate for each item will be. Look online at the various sites for renting out your own stuff, and check out what the going rates are for the particular items that you have. Keep your rental rates competitive, and remember that you can always raise them if you find that some of your belongings are really in demand.
Consult with Your Insurance Company
If you are considering renting out your car, motorcycle, or any other type of vehicle, contact your insurance company first and find out what’s covered in the event of an accident or theft. Many insurance companies will not cover loss or damage of the insured vehicle if you weren’t the one operating it. If this is the case, the renter needs to have adequate insurance of their own to cover your vehicle if something unfortunate were to happen while it was in their possession.
Advertise Your Items
There are several ways to post your personal belongings for rent. One of the best venues for advertising items for rent is the internet. By posting ads online at sites such as SnapGoods or Craigslist, you’ll be able to broadcast to a huge number of people.
Sites for renting out your own stuff are becoming increasingly common nowadays, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the first places that potential renters look when they need to find a particular item. Also, many of the popular rental sites offer a certain level of protection — if you don’t get your item back or you get it back in less than perfect shape, you may be able to recoup some losses or even leave feedback for the person that did you wrong. Carefully read polices and guidelines of the rental site you’re considering using, and find out what happens if things don’t work out with a particular renter or an agreement is broken.
As well as advertising online, you can also post ads in newspapers, on public bulletin boards, or at school or work. Remember to never post your home address on any ads — stick with just a phone number or email address for interested persons to contact you at until you know who you’re dealing with.
Obtain a Security Deposit
Some online sites that allow you to post items for rent will give you give you the option to obtain a security deposit before releasing an item to a renter. Although this may not be a requirement on the site, it’s highly recommended that you do so. A required security deposit will give the renter incentive to return your item to you in the condition it was given. It will also decrease the chances of your item being stolen, with the renter long gone and you out a whole lot of money.
Get it in Writing
Never relinquish an item to a renter without first getting their signature on a rental agreement. The agreement should state the terms of the rental, including the length of time the item is to be rented and the agreed upon rate.
Renting out your stuff is a great way to make some extra money without having to sell anything. So take a look around and see what you have that someone else might want to use for a short time. Renting out your stuff requires minimal time and effort, and you might be surprised at just how much you can make off of things found right in your own home or garage.
I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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