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Renting out my equipment on

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Patrick SimpsonRenting out my equipment on
by on Jul 12, 2010 at 2:41:31 am

I'm kicking around the idea of buying an HD DSLR and renting it out when I'm not using it. It seems silly to set up a legit rental company just to rent a single piece of equipment.

I ran across the website which allows you to rent your personal belongings through their online service. They take a 7% - 9% of the total transaction (depending on the amount transacted).

It seems like a decent way to rent a camera on the side, just not sure if it's necessarily well-suited for renting professional equipment. Anybody have any experience or thoughts on this?

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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: Renting out my equipment on
by on Jul 12, 2010 at 9:10:35 am

Hey Patrick,

I can't speak for the website that you are using as an example.

However, the hire game is a very tough business to be in, even if it is just for a few dollars on the side. You have to make sure to check your kit before it goes out and then when it comes back in again - in particular the lenses are a sore point for hire companies. Then there is checking the stranger who will hire your baby. Not to mention insurance and getting flight cases etc. And finally there is support, when your clients doesn't know how to replace the CF card, set the shutter speed etc - they'll always phone you about this on a Saturday evening...

So no, I don't think that for one HD-SLR that this venture will be worth your efforts. However, to get some extra income to finance the purchase try instead and find other shooters locally who you on a personal level could "share" the kit with. And maybe a college or local TV Station might be interested in using it for shorts and commercials etc.

Hope this helps?

All the Best
London, UK

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Tom SeftonRe: Renting out my equipment on
by on Jul 12, 2010 at 2:53:05 pm

I second this - hiring equipment is a very tough thing to make money from, unless you have equipment that is rare or very valuable.

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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.Re: Renting out my equipment on
by on Jul 12, 2010 at 4:25:10 pm

Dont forget you have to supply insurance for your own gear and get the renter to give you documentation that also have their insurance naming you as the payee if something should happen to the gear.

Emre Tufekci

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Neil HurwitzRe: Renting out my equipment on
by on Jul 14, 2010 at 1:21:36 pm

The single most important thing to have is LIABILITY INSURANCE
You want to be covered if the person you rent this gear to
leaves it out and their 1 year old sticks their fingers in it and
Other than this all you risk is your investment,
Charge for service calls that are operator error

Neil Hurwitz

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Michael SigmonRe: Renting out my equipment on
by on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:19:32 pm

Personally, I would never, ever rent out my gear to strangers.

There is just too much room for 'things' to happen. And when (not if, but WHEN) they do... you'll have quite a headache on your hands. First it will be difficult to get all but the most honest, ethical people to admit that they damaged your gear.

Then, once (and IF) they do cop to it... how will they pay up? Do they have the money? How much? You'll want to be 'made whole' - get the damage repaired PLUS it is not unreasonable to expect compensation for the downtime that your camera is not available for work. The other party, of course, will very likely not agree to this unless - again - they are highly, highly ethical and fair-minded. And loaded with cash.

I would only consider renting my gear to people whom I know and trust. And even then... I might insist on being on location. I baby my gear; I would expect anyone else who uses it, to treat it as if it were their own.

I could excuse a bit of scuffing on the body that wasn't there before. But the chief concern is the lens. My camera's lens has NO scratches on it, none. It is immaculate. Suppose your camera comes back with a slight scratch on the lens. Imagine the arguing that would spring from that. You'll want the lens replaced. They'll say it was already there and besides, nobody will notice it. Unless, again, you are dealing with that mythical being, the 100% honest and 100% ethical person.

You know how people treat rental cars? Well, there you go...

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