Renting out Equipment

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,112
53
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
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.
It's $200, they get money back when they return it. But I agree, it's not like I'm renting these things out a lot.
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,331
I made a lot of money for a really long time doing rentals.
You won't succeed by treating rental customers as second class citizens or by promoting your undesirable and unused inventory.
I rented all of the very same first class gear I used myself, and treated rental customers with a lot of respect and support.
They returned over and over.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
239
33
^^ that's exactly what I will be doing. Renting out some awesome desired gear in Los Angels that I myself use.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
239
33
I kind a have bad news. Online up lighting rentals for DIY. They ship to you.

That is not bad news. I am renting to a local area for people searching for higher end gear, specifically my model of uplights which is quite desired, Chauvet Freedom Par and the Lithium Battery made by Yeti. I am NOT looking to rent to DIY people. Most people looking or searching will be in the industry, not just generally looking for an uplight to rent. Ideally, they should know exactly what to be looking for.
 
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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
239
33
I made a lot of money for a really long time doing rentals.
You won't succeed by treating rental customers as second class citizens or by promoting your undesirable and unused inventory.
I rented all of the very same first class gear I used myself, and treated rental customers with a lot of respect and support.
They returned over and over.
Did you go through a third party and or did you purchase separate insurance?
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,331
Did you go through a third party and or did you purchase separate insurance?
What is it you intend to insure? The gear is off the table. No carrier is going to touch that.

You can ask your customer to provide proof of insurance, and even direct then to where they can obtain leased property coverage (just as car rental agencies do.)
You as a DJ are not going to get the kind of insurance I think you are seeking.

I was self insured - with well thought out policies and procedures that preserved my interest and provided additional incentive to the customer. For example, I offered delivery and setup at your venue for an additional fee - which many customers loved as an add on. That kept the most high risk elements (transportation, storage, and handling) under my control. It expanded my market to novices and consumers who could operate the gear but did not have the skills to set it up. The more professional users would pickup the gear, and if a repeat or regular customer would benefit from a professional discount.

Most DJs who attempt this get it wrong. They approach rentals as some kind of sideshow, something that requires no customer service, and pushing undesirable gear that isn't helpful or useful to people.

For rentals to succeed you have to design and deliver the perfect solution to an existing problem that people want to solve. A DIY party host wants a truly DIY solution with no headaches and no learning curve. They do not want to be left with a pile of gear and no technical support. They also aren't looking to get part of what they need - they want something that addresses the entirety of their need, a plug-and-play answer.


On reflection, my success with rentals had less to do with the gear (though I did have very desirable offerings) and a lot more to do with having many years of event experience and problem solving experience. Ultimately, it came down to listening to what a person wanted to accomplish and then providing then with a solution that fit their knowledge, ability, and budget.

As to insurance, I had multiple systems and a great deal of inventory. I was also a dealer of a variety of brands. The majority of my customers would rent gear valued at $10,000 or less, a level at which I could easily self insure. The most common issues are known and predictable so damages are easily manageable with advanced design and modification. I had the facilities to do my own testing, maintenance. modifications, and repairs. If these things are not at your disposal then rentals are unlikely to be profitable for you. Image trying to do car rentals without your own mechanic and service bay. You'd be paying out for every little bit of maintenance and repair that arose, and losing out on rentals while things are out for repair.
 
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