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6 Ways to Rent Your Stuff

Generate new income by renting anything from shoes to circular saws

spinner image Montage of online transactions with examples showing browsing merchandise on a smartphone, a money transaction, an empty garage and expensive women's dress shoes
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Are you looking to raise cash to pay down debt, boost your retirement savings, replenish your emergency fund or pay for a nifty vacation? Have you thought of renting the stuff you seldom use?

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Right now there are a plethora of websites with handy apps you can use to identify potential renters, complete transactions and get paid quickly. They are similar to the apartment rental app Airbnb, only for items like clothes, parking spots and power tools.

Here are six categories to start with. In each case be sure to read the fine print. When renting out your possessions, look for an insurance or protection plan to fall back on should you encounter a problem with a renter, or your property be lost, stolen or damaged.

1. The bling in your closet

Let’s say you’re a woman with a closet full of designer shoes, handbags, clothes and accessories. Or you’re a guy with a killer tux. You can offer these pricey items for rent through StyleLend.

You simply list your items, get a renter, approve the individual and prepare the goods for shipping within 24 hours. You’ll be paid 80 percent of the fee through Venmo or Paypal. Clothing must fit the customer, of course. It will be returned to you in a prepaid envelope after seven days.

What if merchandise is damaged? Customers pay a $5 insurance fee to cover fixable repairs up to $50. Should the article suffer greater damage, or be lost, stolen or unfixable, the customer will be charged the replacement cost or the item’s current monetary value.

2. Your car

You enjoy having a car but seldom use it. Maybe you have a second vehicle that often sits idle. Try turning to Turo. This car-sharing platform, available in many major U.S. cities, connects you with drivers in your area who may want to rent your wheels. Rental rates are attractive but lower than those typically charged by car rental agencies.

Turo sets the rate for your car based on competitive factors, lists and markets it, and checks out potential drivers. It offers insurance coverage and roadside assistance. With Turo, you keep 65 to 85 percent of the receipts per rental. Payments are deposited into your bank account within days.

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The platform estimates that you can earn up to $10,000 a year (depending on the car), suggesting that you might use the revenue to purchase and rent out additional vehicles and build a lucrative side business. 

3. Your RV

Say you have a recreational vehicle that you love but use just a few weeks a year — an expensive investment that is costly to maintain. With RVShare and Outdoorsy, you can rent out your wheels by the day or week and earn as much as $50,000 a year.

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Both platforms list your vehicle, but you set the rental rate, considering the make, model, amenities and model year. RVShare and Outdoorsy verify renters in advance, offer insurance and provide 24/7 roadside assistance. They charge a commission or a transaction fee. All payments go directly into your bank account.

4. Your coveted parking space or driveway

Parking comes at a premium in many places. Do you have a spare space or extra room on your driveway that a commuter would love? Or one that’s close to concert and sports venues, airports, beaches and other popular destinations?

Using the Curbflip and Spacer apps, drivers can quickly search for your parking spot and book it. The apps also process and guarantee the payments.

At Curbflip, listings are free, but when your spot books, the company charges a 5 percent service fee. The proceeds are sent to a PayPal business account that you are required to set up.

Spacer also offers free listings and collects a small fee from renters, which appears as a markup on the price you set for your spot. Payments are sent to the bank account that you designate.

5. Your yard for Fluffy

Just as parking is limited for drivers, green spaces for dogs can be few. If you have a secure, safe yard, you can rent it to dog owners through the Sniffspot app. So Fluffy gets to enjoy a good off-leash roll in the dirt while you earn up to $1,500 per month.

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When you register to become a host, Sniffspot sets a price for your yard by default ($4 to $12 per dog per hour, depending on the size, fencing, location and other attributes of your property). Then, Sniffspot’s Auto Pricing algorithm sets and updates that price, based on demand — or lack of it. Or you can set your price manually and change it at will.

The price includes a 12 percent fee for each booking plus a small payment processing fee — unless you set up direct deposit through your bank account. You’ll be paid at the beginning of each month for bookings from the previous one. Your guests are supposed to clean up after their dogs, and, at this point, dogs are the only pets that can use Sniffspotapp. Don't create drama and bring your llama.

6. Miscellaneous stuff you rarely use

Admit it: Your basement or garage is full of useful items you’re not ready to sell or give away. You can rent them through Fat Llama. The company lists 15 categories of stuff — drones, photography, AV and DJ equipment, musical instruments, sports equipment, home and garden tools, party favors, kids and baby gear, you name it.

It’s easy. Using the app, you arrange a handover with your renter. Next, the Fat Llama team verifies the customer with its risk algorithms. You take pictures of your item and hand it over. Then, 24 hours after the rental starts, Fat Llama deposits your earnings into your account. To ease your mind, the company’s owner guarantee covers goods up to $30,000.

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