Renting out Equipment

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,376
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
3,354
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
357
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
357
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
357
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
3,354
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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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
got an update...

An insurance company, Athos Insurance Services–Production Equipment Insurance Specialists (https://www.athosinsurance.com) is willing to cover my equipment, including owned equipment I am planning on renting out, and even allows me to add on additional coverage if the rental person steals the item(s) and never reports back. They said the only thing I would be responsible for paying the $250 deductible and I would HAVE TO HAVE a rental agreement stating that the person would be responsible for any damages, and only if they refused to pay, or are unavoidable after several attempts of contacting, would the insurance kick in and cover me, whether damaged or stolen.

For $450, so worth it!
 
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RobDawg

DJ
Jan 21, 2019
5
39
Are you really going to file an insurance claim over an obsolete speaker? No, every insurance agent out there would tell you that's a huge mistake because all this stuff is connected like a credit report. Insurance companies share all the claims info so you'd see your other insurances increase as well. If the equipment has already been depreciated, like obsolete gear, then rent it out, put some of the profits away and in a way, self-insure the equipment. Underwrite your renters properly, valid credit card, ID, etc and you'll be fine. If someone seems like they're not going to take care of your gear, or be a PITA if something goes south don't rent to them.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
First of all, I am not renting obsolete speakers! Secondly, this is how you go about renting gear that you already own properly.

Getting a valid ID is a no brainer, and I already do that, but it doesn't help much if they refuse to pay for something they caused (damage) or steal something altogether. It probably won't ever happen, but it could, and I am certainly not going to mess around taking someone to court.

Insurance allows me to be worry free.

Also, filing a claim does not mean your insurance goes up. What insurances are you referring to anyhow?

I think for $450. it is a no brainer and it nearly pays for itself in two rentals.
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,841
49
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Are you really going to file an insurance claim over an obsolete speaker? No, every insurance agent out there would tell you that's a huge mistake because all this stuff is connected like a credit report. Insurance companies share all the claims info so you'd see your other insurances increase as well. If the equipment has already been depreciated, like obsolete gear, then rent it out, put some of the profits away and in a way, self-insure the equipment. Underwrite your renters properly, valid credit card, ID, etc and you'll be fine. If someone seems like they're not going to take care of your gear, or be a PITA if something goes south don't rent to them.
For $450 a year it's a pretty good deal but I agree with you I've been self insuring for years. It began out of necessity at that time the quote I got was much higher than I could afford so once I could afford it I started to bank that payment instead of passing it off to the insurance company. a couple of years I had enough saved for replacement and it was earning interest for me not the insurance company. In 30 years I've filed one "claim"
 
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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
ya life is good until it happens one time. Something goes wrong, even once, I will always regret not purchasing insurance.

I think $450 is an amazing peace of mind, and it's the proper way of protecting myself. I was expecting to pay $1500.

I am actually going to consider putting on my equipment on this policy. It even covers accidental damage, so if I drop something or damage it.

My current policy with WEDJ does not offer anything like this, although cheaper.
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,841
49
Sydney, Nova Scotia
ya life is good until it happens one time. Something goes wrong, even once, I will always regret not purchasing insurance.

I think $450 is an amazing peace of mind, and it's the proper way of protecting myself. I was expecting to pay $1500.
I see where you're coming from but like I said in 30 years it cost me less than $1500. Two hundred a month times 28 years was many times what I lost
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
ya, just can't take that chance. It is too easy to run and never return, especially out here in the LA market.

Plus, what if it is an accident? I don't want to chase them down for repair money, hoping they pay up.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,995
37
Install tracking devices inside of all of your speakers and subs so you can hunt them down if they don't return the equipment! ...Only rent other equipment along with speakers. The other equipment will be with the speakers.

Problem solved! :)
 
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