I don't know about you, but more than once, I've thought "Man, I could use insert item here. I wonder if I can rent one, or if I need to just buy one. But recently, I've turned that idea on its head. How can I take what I have and rent out items to earn a bit of extra money?
Rent out Transportation Items
I've written before on how you can rent out your car to earn cash. I have to admit, for me, there is just too much risk involved, but depending on your car and your level of comfort, it can definitely be a great way to earn some money.
Do you own a bicycle that you aren't using? I'm a cyclist, and the running joke is that the appropriate number of bikes to own is "n+1," n being the number of bikes you currently own. Maybe you have an old bike taking up space in your garage and while you're not quite ready to sell it, you're willing to share it. I found two different sites where you can rent out your bike - Spinlister and listnride. It looks like listnride is much more European focused, so I spent more time looking into Spinlister. It looks like the average price is about $20 a day. Spinlister takes 17.5%, which isn't bad, and the rider takes all the risks. If your bike is damaged and the renter doesn't repair or pay for the repairs, bikes are insured up to $5000, which isn't bad at all! I'm definitely going to consider this for the road bike I've not taken out in a while.
Spinlister also lists surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, skis, and snowboards, so if you have any of these items, it might be worth checking out renting them on weekends you're not using them.
Do you live in an area where parking is at a premium? Do you have extra space? I know in the Washington, DC area, people are always looking for parking spaces, and if you happen to live somewhere with a parking spot (like a driveway or parking pad), you can make good money renting it out.
Rent Out Clothing
I'm sure you've considered renting clothing, especially fancy clothing, but have you ever considered renting out items of clothing you have in your closet? This is definitely geared more towards people with designer clothing, but if that's you, definitely check this out. Two reputable sites I've found are Rent My Wardrobe and StyleLend. Both have policies to help protect you and keep your clothes, shoes, and purses safe. This is definitely a cool way to get a little money from the fabulous garments just hanging in your closet, begging to be worn.
This definitely isn't one that I had thought of before, but if you're a photographer or videographer, you know just how expensive it can be to setup a full kit, and sometimes you have a shoot planned and need an extra piece of equipment. Being able to rent it from another photographer is great. And as a photographer, it would be awesome to rent out items of your own and help pay for the next thing you want to add to your arsenal.
Two sites I found are KitSplit and ShareGrid. I'm not a photographer, so I can't say much in detail about their terms, but they seem similar to most sites, and if you're looking to rent out your items, these are a good place to start.
Rent Out Everything Else
There are also sites where you can rent out items that don't fall into any of these categories. Maybe you need a post-hole digger or a jogging stroller or some camping equipment. Rather than try to buy used, rent them from your neighbors! In my neighborhood, a lot of people use FatLlama to rent items. A quick search shows all sorts of things, from cameras to sports equipment to baby items. Other popular sites are Loanables and Buro. These sites are great for renting out things you have around your home, especially hardware equipment and party equipment. But you should also check out what items are available and then decide what you should list.
The great thing with these sites is that listing is free, and if the item is just sitting around, what do you have to lose by checking it out? Even bringing in a few dollars here and there while helping someone else save money is a win all around!