Save by renting all sorts of things

August 13, 2010 10:24:33 AM PDT
"The more expensive an item is, the more money you're going to save by renting." So says Rental Industry Expert Eric Ginsburg.

Planning a camping vacation? You could buy a Base Camp 4 tent for $349, or rent it from REI.

Once you pay a one-time membership fee of $20, the tent can be yours for $25 the first day, and $15 for each day after that.

There are similar deals on a $299 REI XT-85 backpack and a $259 REI Halo +25 sleeping bag. Both rent for $15 the first day and $10 each day after that. Whether renting makes sense for you depends on how often you're going to use the item.

"People who go camping all the time, you're better off buying it," Ginsberg explains. "But for people who do it once in a while or who want to try it, definitely rent before you buy."

You can even rent books to read while you're camping.

Ginsberg says, "You can rent everything from paperback classics up to hard-cover new releases from BookSwim.com."

"Bookswim.com works a lot like NetFlix does. You have no due dates and late fees. You add all the books that you want into the pool and they send them to you in the mail and you send them back whenever you're done."

Plans start at 10 dollars a month.

And if you're more into music than literature, check out Guitar Affair.

"If you go to Guitar Affair.com you can rent some VERY nice guitars," Ginsberg says. "A lot of them are custom-made for a fraction of the cost (of buying)."

Everyone's heard of rental cars, and traditional services are great if you need a car for several days. But ZipCar.com allows members to rent cars by the hour -- and they don't have to be returned a central location.

"You can become a member of ZipCar.com and then rent a car for as little as $11, depending on how long you need to rent it for," Ginsberg says.

And just about anything else you would want to rent is available through RentCycle.com.

"Rentcycle.com is a really great aggregator of the things you can rent," Ginsberg explains. "You can punch in your zip code and/or whatever it is that you're looking for and they're going to find a number of online and local solutions for you."

You can rent formalwear for a special occasion by going to Rent The Runway. And you can even rent pets from animal shelters for the weekend through FlexPetz.com.


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