Renting out Equipment

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
I am considering renting out a few items such as my Yeti battery. I had another DJ call me this weekend in panic, and I saved his day with the Yeti. He paid $200 so it got me thinking. Not bad for something that cost me 1000.


I know Get production equipment and liability insurance online from Heffernan Insurance Brokers - InsureMyEquipment.com - (https://www.insuremyequipment.com) has a good reputation for insurance for rented equipment.

For those who rent equipment, what insurance are you using?

Do you charge full amount upfront via credit card (release the rental charge only when they return it) or d you charge your deductible up front and then release the rental charge only when they return items?
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,842
49
Sydney, Nova Scotia
I am considering renting out a few items such as my Yeti battery. I had another DJ call me this weekend in panic, and I saved his day with the Yeti. He paid $200 so it got me thinking. Not bad for something that cost me 1000.


I know Get production equipment and liability insurance online from Heffernan Insurance Brokers - InsureMyEquipment.com - (https://www.insuremyequipment.com) has a good reputation for insurance for rented equipment.

For those who rent equipment, what insurance are you using?

Do you charge full amount upfront via credit card (release the rental charge only when they return it) or d you charge your deductible up front and then release the rental charge only when they return items?
The first place I would look is wherever you get your DJ insurance now see if they will cover it there could be a discount for multiple policies.

I always charged a $500 cash deposit or equivalent to the cost of gear rented if it was less and would subtract the rental fee upon return. It's been several years since I rented gear now

I know you didn't ask but be prepared for headaches and if you are particular about gear it's not the business to be in. I had one great long term rental, a full system to a kids play place. The only time I heard from the guy in 2+ years was to collect my money. I also had one guy that I had to confiscate CD's from until he paid me, actually I still have some of them I didn't get all the money. It Took me a week to get the speakers back (that was the day the deposit started LOL). Had 2 condensers come back in a case full of water...Remarkably they still worked.

I never pushed it hard but I made money with rentals but I got tired of chasing BS all the time
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,359
59
Long Island NY
I did it this way. I provided the service where we dropped off, setup, then picked up the equipment. I actually used my old obsolete equipment which was just laying around. When I replaced my van I kept the old one so I had a second van. I never used my personal main equipment unless it was a prime event where we were paid to run the equipment. Sorry, I don’t have that much trust that someone will not abuse equipment. I’ve seen it happen although usually not with regulars. Eventually, we 3 to 4 DJs using the equipment. When I had an event I had one if my guy do the drop-off, setup & pickup, if not I did it. Usually, we would stay at events & eat. For about 10+ years we were pretty busy until everyone went digital & powered speakers allowed the DJ to handle equipment & Transportation themselves.
 
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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
so my DJ insurance will not cover if I rent out items.

No one else here rent equipment with some type of protection/insurance if one of your items is damaged?

I am not wanting to offer rental with setup. This is for pickup and returns at my location.
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,359
59
Long Island NY
Most likely insurance to cover rental equipment would be expensive. Very. Probably better to collect a security deposit. I can’t see dealing with all the hassles. The way I did it nothing ever got damaged or lost. Usually I would stay at the event and eat if the DJ/food was good. Probably why I gained so much weight eating all the time.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,966
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
so my DJ insurance will not cover if I rent out items.

No one else here rent equipment with some type of protection/insurance if one of your items is damaged?

I am not wanting to offer rental with setup. This is for pickup and returns at my location.
Not gonna act like Im an expert on this, but why don't you just collect a $500 security deposit (or whatever a percentage of the value of the rented items are), and if there is damage that was not there when you gave it to them , you don't give them back their security deposit. Of course the security deposit probably wont cover the entire cost of the items rented, but will at least probably cover repair costs.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
it just depends on how much is too expensive. I would hope "it" would be paid for in just a few rentals.

again, I am not going out to their gig for this.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
500 is just not enough. If I am renting a battery and a few uplights, the replacement cost is nowhere $500 and could be a lot more to repair. That's too high of a risk.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,966
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
500 is just not enough. If I am renting a battery and a few uplights, the replacement cost is nowhere $500 and could be a lot more to repair. That's too high of a risk.
I really just made up a number... but you collect what is necessary. Typically your deposit isn't meant to cover the entire cost, but to cover the repair of an item. If you're just doing uplights, I can't see any single uplight have a cost of more than $500 (unless you're at the super high end). If you're doing something more than uplights that's a different story.

When I was younger and had to rent speakers where I needed more power, there was a scaled security deposit depending on the msrp of the item. This was on a per item basis. So when I rented an amplifier and 2 speakers the amplifier was around $50 and each speaker was $100. The amp was around $250 new and the speakers around $400 each. The entire rental cost for those 3 items was $125 for the day (return by 12 noon). They also did everything by credit card, and had late fees, as well as the ability to charge you for the full amount of the item if it was more than a week late (as if you were actually buying it at that point).
 
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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
I suppose the only risk I take if it someone steals it. I will keep digging, I hope to find insurance made for this type of thing.

Maybe it doesn't exist.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,966
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
I suppose the only risk I take if it someone steals it. I will keep digging, I hope to find insurance made for this type of thing.

Maybe it doesn't exist.
Yeah, that is why you definitely would have to do credit card (along with a copy of a license or at least write the address on a license when they pick up), and have in the contract that aside from the security deposit, if items are not returned within a certain period, the full amount of the items would be charged to your account. Now the only risk at that point is if they cancel the card they provide you before you can charge them for the full amount. But at that point you also have contact info and can report them to police or take them to court. I'm sure there are more logistics that are involved, but this is the experience I used to have with a particular place about 12 years ago.
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,359
59
Long Island NY
There will always be risk as the charges on the credit card can be disputed resulting in charge backs. Then you’ll have to go though the full process of proving your case. If they are local you have small claims court but collecting your judgment is a exercise in futility if they really don’t want to pay. Even if you had insurance there would most likely be a deductible. Hence, that’s why only rent what I can afford to lose. Where I am the DJ stores rent all the DJ stuff. I’ve had to rent breakout box for press and other odds items I would only need once, so maybe there a market, how large IDK.
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
2,007
Equipment Rental is a specific business and should be managed and operated as a legitimate and profitable business and not as some side hustle, cuz then it's just a hustle.
 
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B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 9, 2008
2,483
45
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
Most rental houses set rates that are 10% of retail value on the items rented. While I get the idea of collecting a security deposit, the truth is that people who are looking to rent gear don't usually have $500 to put down as collateral... if they did, they'd be buying gear instead of renting it. You could always request a credit card and put a pre-authorization on it for the replacement cost of the gear, then drop the pre-auth when the gear is returned. This is your best bet.

Personally, I dabbled in the gear-rental business and quickly got out of it. All it took was one afternoon of waiting around for a guy to pick up some speakers that he bugged me all week about renting, only to have him be a no-show. My afternoon was more valuable than the $150 I was going to make from the gear rental.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,842
49
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Equipment Rental is a specific business and should be managed and operated as a legitimate and profitable business and not as some side hustle, cuz then it's just a hustle.
Got to agree with Rocky on this one. Even if you find insurance for this unless you plan to be in the rental business it's likely not worth your while to buy insurance
 
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Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,376
53
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
I rent equipment I'm prepared to lose. Renting 2 Alto speakers and a mic this weekend. Charged $400 to their credit card and they get $200 back when they bring the equipment back in good condition. If they keep the equipment or break it, they won't get any money back.

I also have some l1 model 1's I'll rent. I do have to turn people away that don't have a credit card. I did have 1 person put cash deposit for the cheap speakers
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,995
37
Let's get real guys...Typically speaking customers are not going to put $500+ down on a equipment rental. If they have $500 to spend, they will simply book a DJ. I would say that Scott got lucky renting out 2 speakers and a MIC for $400 this one time.

The ones who are looking to RENT Audio equipment are the ones who don't want to pay for a DJ for their event because they likely only was willing to spend $300 or so on a DJ, and they either could not find anyone available at that price, OR they just could not find any one that they like or were comfortable with hiring. ...So they go for the rental option.

...Outside of the rare instance that another DJ needs to borrow some equipment, and is willing to pay rental fees for the equipment, it is unlikely to get customers to drop $400+ on a rental. ...I think my sister spent $315 on renting 2 speakers, and 2 18 inch QSC subs with a mixer, and cables for a wedding.

Guitar Center rents a pair of QSC K12 speakers out for $99. ...For $189 or $199 you can rent 2 speakers and a Sub with a mixer and microphone. If you are any where near a guitar center...anybody with half a brain will just go to them at the lower price rather than a solo op DJ who happens to rent equipment out.
 
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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
This would to be to other DJs or AV operators, not to mention, I never said speakers. I would be renting my Yeti battery and possibly Up-Lights. This would NOT be rented out to nonindustry users.

I looked into it further and if is less than 25% of my business (which it would be), it's best to list it on a site such as ShareGrid and I can charge a fee (deposit) via credit card and release the fee when they return it. If I rented more expensive items, I could even have it where they would have to purchase insurance.