Renting stuff to travellers

Renting stuff to travellers

Renting what you own to travellers who have limited carrying capabilities can be a great way to make a little side money, with very little effort on your part.

Everyone has gear sitting around their house that isn’t in use regularly, or at all. There’s no reason to have it sitting around when you could be making money by allowing others to use it – no reason to leave money on the table. Travellers are a great group to target – they need convenience, and may need more than they can haul along. So how do you go about renting to travelers?

What Could You Rent Out?

If it’s too large to carry on a plane and it’s useful during travel, there’s bound to be a market for it. This includes things such as:

  • Automobiles
  • Scooters
  • Motorcycles
  • Surfboards
  • Golf clubs
  • Skateboards
  • Strollers
  • Musical Instruments
  • Skis and snowboards
  • Baby gear, including cribs

All of these make for great candidates for renting out. It’s always better to go with something that you have on hand instead of purchasing something with the intent of renting it out.

Setting Your Prices

A fair price is extremely important, as if you don’t offer good value, your marketing and exposure won’t matter at all. So what’s a fair price?

When it comes to determining a fair price, you need to take into account a number of things. First off, take a look at what similar equipment is going for. If a local golf course offers club rentals, you can’t price your clubs above that rate – no one will believe that your clubs are worth more than clubs maintained by the course. Likewise, if you offer your clubs at a rate much, much lower than the golf course, many travelers will assume that they are in poor shape and pass over them.

Secondly, take into account the audience you are renting to. Aside from what you are renting, where you are doing the renting? If you are renting in an area frequented by big spenders, you can likely raise your prices, as they have deeper pockets to begin with. If you are in an area frequented more by students and backpackers, you may need to keep your prices lower to appeal to these bargain shoppers.

Finally, account for the convenience you offer. Are you easy to get to, or are you off the beaten path? Are you willing to deliver your rentals, or not? The more flexibility you offer, the more likely you are to be able to charge a higher price.

Dealing with Paperwork

Every area demands different approaches to business. In some areas, you may need tax or business registrations in order to run a business. In other regions and cities, you might not need any paperwork at all. Sometimes, you can skirt around the need for paperwork – after all, many governments aren’t too keen on wasting the time to chase the taxes on a guy who makes a small amount of money daily by renting a bike to travelers. Also, if you’re just doing it on and off, and not making a business of it, you might not have to worry about anything.

Insuring Your Property

While the vast majority of travelers are a trustworthy lot who will return your property in as good condition as they received it, there is always the risk of accidents or the rare unsavory characters who may steal it or intentionally damage it. There are two ways you can go about insuring your property – you can get business insurance, or set up a held fee for each customer.

Business insurance almost always requires that you set up a business beforehand, so it isn’t exactly viable for someone renting something on the side as a way to make some fast cash. Business insurance would only be a good idea if you have a wide variety or deep stock of rental goods – fleets of scooters or dozens of surfboards that you expect to have rented out on a constant basis.

A second possibility would be to hold a deposit on all rentals. This is taken, in addition to the rental fee, and is returned to the renter on the return of what they are renting. This deposit is meant to be enough to replace the cost of the object being rented in the case of loss or destruction, or provide for repairs in the case of damage.

Marketing Your Services

You’re not going to find yourself renters if no one knows you’ve got something to rent in the first place! That’s why you need to get your business out there, and make sure that travelers know what you have to offer. There are a couple of points to remember when you are marketing your rentals:

  • Represent Your Goods Properly: No one likes being deceived, so make sure to offer a clear description of what you are renting, with pictures if possible. If you offer different features, make sure to be clear what those features are and how they differ from one unit to another.
  • Represent Yourself Properly: Travelers also value a face they can recognize, so a picture of yourself along with some information would also be helpful.
  • Follow Up: Encourage previous renters to share their experiences with you and your services, and to spread the word to other travelers. Even if there is a bad experience, work with your customers to solve the problem – often, customer service in the face of a poor experience can count for as much, and sometimes more than, a seamless experience.
  • Always Be Honest: This can’t be stressed enough – dishonesty will quickly kill off a business.

There’s no reason why you can’t be one of the many people worldwide who are making a little on the side by renting out what they just have sitting around their home. You’re likely not going to make enough to start a business, but there’s a great opportunity to make money off of travelers so you yourself can travel a little bit more in the future!

Date posted: 24th July, 2015

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