Does anyone rent out their gear?

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Jim Davis

Professional "Craigslist DJ"
So it looks like, in the interest of keeping my weekends open this summer for some personal endeavors (I'm remodeling my kitchen DIY-style, attending some weddings instead of working them, etc.) that I won't be accepting DJ gigs until at least mid-late August after this month is over.

I'm considering the possibility of renting out my equipment as a way to keep some spare cash coming in. I do realize there are risks since renters could very well be people who don't know the first thing about pro audio gear and I could end up with blown drivers in my speakers, someone leaving them out in the rain etc. Obviously I've Googled and read as many rental contracts from other companies as I could find, and I'm pretty confident I could cobble one together by using those as a guide.

However, I wanted to see if anyone here does it, what advice they may have, and how they handle it logistically.

- Do you offer to provide drop of and/or setup on location? Do you pick up the gear afterwards?
- If you don't offer drop-off and/or setup, do they come to your house to pick up the gear? Or do you rent out a storage unit/office space and handle gear exchanges there?
- How do you determine the amount of your damage deposits? Have you ever had someone destroy your gear, and how did you handle it?
- Do you test the gear in the presence of the renter before they leave with it? Do you re-test in their presence when they return it?
 

Jeff Romard

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Sep 4, 2006
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I've had good ones and bad ones. More than once I had to go retrieve my gear somewhere and occasionally minor damage. I had a long term rental once a few years ago...Almost 2 years this guy rented it for a kids club.

I haven't rented to anyone in several years now. Like with Rick it's just more headache than it's worth. I figure if they are coming to me instead of the local rental house there is my first clue

I've had people come and get it and I have delivered it on occasion all done from my house. I always tested it before and after
 

B-Sharp

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Feb 9, 2008
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I advertised rentals for a while and got one guy who was interested in renting a projector and screen. He called at least 4 times in the 2 weeks leading up to the rental date, to make sure everything was ready and to confirm what he was going to be renting. On his pick-up date, I had the rental agreement waiting for him, along with the screen, projector, instructions for operating it, and the cables he'd need to connect his computer to it.

I waited at my office all day. He never showed up. At some point I was going to call him and ask if he was still going to come by, but I realized that there was no point in doing so. My time, and my gear, is too valuable.

Never again.
 

Valerie Hicks

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Oct 21, 2006
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We rent out equipment but have a specific arsenal of gear for it, not what is needed for our typical DJ Events. We do local delivery for free (small town--it's actually easier and more convenient for us). Some items such as video screens require we set them up and that is included in the price.

Most of the time we have had great luck. Over the past 10 years we've had very few losses and damages to rentals. We did have one customer who was a habitual abuser, and we no longer rent to them. One time they plugged a followspot into 220V. Not sure how they managed to make those plugs line up but they did it. When we went to pick it up they wanted us to leave it and one of their guys was going to take a look at it....no thanks, we'll just send you the bill. $400 power supply. Another time, same venue, drove over the leg of our fast fold screen with a forklift, tore a handle off a projector case (sturdy suitcase type epson case!), and something else I can't remember....it was 3 items damaged in one rental. Anyway, that was like a $1200 bill to them. They paid all damage invoices without a fuss but it's not worth the trouble. Oh, and one time they rented a bunch of projectors--way more than we could provide. We got back one of our cases with someone else's projector in it. Ours are all labeled with our information even!
 

Jim Davis

Professional "Craigslist DJ"
We rent out equipment but have a specific arsenal of gear for it, not what is needed for our typical DJ Events.
I definitely wouldn't rent stuff out if I had to use it, say, within the next month for a gig, just in case it got damaged and became unusable.

I also agree with what what Jeff said, you have to wonder why someone would come to an individual instead of a local rental company. Although, I do have to say, the one time I considered renting for an outdoor event (turned out I didn't need to), it was very difficult to locate the local guys. There are two main options relatively close to me, and both businesses' online presence is poor. I actually found them through word of mouth and then when I specifically searched their exact name they finally came up on Google.

Sounds like I'll probably just skip the rental idea. Thanks for the input everyone.
 
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robare99

DJ Extraordinaire
May 16, 2015
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I rent some lights to a DJ who does weddings. Pretty simple. 2 mini Kintas, 2 Jellydomes, a laptop with DMXIS & some cabkes. Good guy. I don't rent to strangers though.