View Full Version : Anyone have experience renting their gear out?
June 7th, 2012, 02:11 PM
I am thinking about renting my gear out as a way to make some additional money.
Anyone have experience or know how it works? Should the renter have insurance? Should I provide that?
I have quite a bit of gear I could rent out.
June 7th, 2012, 10:20 PM
Only do it if you don't give a s**t whether your gear comes back or not. If your cams are your babies, don't even think about it. I gave it up for that reason.
Yes, you need to have insurance.
June 8th, 2012, 09:03 AM
Are you ready to foot big repair bills and downtime and lost income for your own projects when that happens?
Are you ready to deal with stolen equipment?
Add in the costs of routine maintenance as well as shorter life span due to wear and tear.
Add the replacement costs of lost bits of gear like batteries, cables, possibly recording media.
Renting is generally a way to lose money short of setting up all the safeguards of a rental house with insurance and no expectations of using the gear on your own paying projects. Factor in that cost if you intend to make money.
June 8th, 2012, 11:26 AM
This can work if you personally know the person who is borrowing or renting the equipment. For example, if you have partnered with them for a multi-camera shoot or borrowed their equipment in the past.
June 8th, 2012, 11:54 AM
Sounds like a bad idea lol
I have alot of gear sitting around alot. I was hoping to put it to work.
June 9th, 2012, 11:20 AM
I think we all have that fantasy. I know I did. The reality is quite different, alas.
June 10th, 2012, 02:54 AM
I think this really depends on the market you're renting to. If it's the professional market, with well trained people, the risks are much lower than hiring to people who don't carry the attitude to equipment that the best technicians have. I remember camera assistants on one shoot removing shelving from a camera truck to find a missing lens cap.
June 10th, 2012, 01:32 PM
The reason why I own my gear is that I know exactly where it is at. All the buttons and firewire connections work, complete with no funny intermittent breaks in my cables. Pure dependable bliss.
And I only loan to trusted friends (and they also loan gear to me).
June 10th, 2012, 02:12 PM
No I wouldn't rent gear out, too many hassles.
Bite the bullet, cull old excess stuff out and put it all on ebay before it loses any value at all.
Paul R Johnson
June 10th, 2012, 03:32 PM
I rent out things I can lose without losing sleep to strangers
I rent out more critical items to people I know
I rent my favourite items to friends
The biggest problem is that even if you do an on-line credit check, it only proves they've not been dodgy before. A friend of mine who is in the hire business rented a van load of expensive kit to a person he found on a forum like this, but for lighting. He delivered the equipment to the venue it was being used at, the person signed the form. He'd done a credit check and confirmed the person had no County Court Judgements against him, and was registered for voting at his home address.
This was on a Friday, with the show on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night, somebody drove up in a truck after the show and took all the equipment, the flight cases and even the bits and pieces. The venue insurance refused to pay up because there was no breaking in - they just went in through a door left open (presumably by an accomplice?) So he turned to the hirer - and his contract explicitly states that the hirer is fully responsible for replacement or repair. However it turns out the lad is 18, is at college, has no income or personal insurance. He lost about £30,000 worth of kit, despite doing all the checks he could.
So if you rent out the camera you use yourself for your income - be careful. I run a small co-operative - basically some lighting equipment that is popular for owner/operators and a bit special. We set up a website where people looking for the specific items can look in their own part of the world, and find people who have it and are not using it - Google magicq-hire if you are interested and you want to see how it works, but one real problem we have is that nobody has managed to get insurance. We can't find anyone willing to insure this business model - they realise that it's expensive kit being hired to occasional users who could well lose it. This, they feel is an unacceptable risk. A couple of people who are in the hire business permanently - as opposed to being a user hiring in downtime, added it to their policy - but this option isn't available to they private associates on our list.
What happens is that we tend to hire to others on the list - rather than strangers. I've not yet one enquiry that I had a solid feeling about. I'd suspect this applies to this topic too.
Only three weeks ago, another local video guy wanted to hire my comms system for a multi cam event. I took the chance and as it happened it worked out ok, however, he delivered it back a week but simply added on the extra week - however, he didn't contact me to ask, just assumed. Hiring to strangers can be quite stressful and potentially crippling.
June 11th, 2012, 06:43 AM
I no longer let my stuff go out unless I go with it due to too much previous damage. More recently, the tariff was buying a replacement set of globes for borrowed lights so I didn't have to spend a few hours getting down to the vendor and back.
Even that has ended up being too demeaning a task for some who borrow the gear, so no more. When not only do I lend the gear, I have to go out and waste hours of my diminishing lifespan and buy the consumables for them in my time, I am now too old for this sort of rubbish. If my time cannot be afforded by others or if I am unable to attend pro-bono, if the project is worthy and its executors are motivated, there will be found another way.
June 11th, 2012, 02:06 PM
I wouldn't rent my gear to my own wife !!!!!
(sorry for senseless post, I couldn't resist)
June 12th, 2012, 03:23 PM
Use the reverse Nike motto: "Just don't do it".
I got bitten by the same bug once, this guy needed my camera to capture a couple of tapes (he owned the type of camera, but sold it, not realizing the tapes can only bye captured with the same type of cam due to the proprietary format). We agreed that I go to his office and do the capture in my presence. I did, but he could not set up his computer to do it. In the end he agreed to give me the tapes and I did the capture at my office, delivered the footage on a hard drive.
I will do my best to resist the temptation next time. Not worth the hassle.