Most people have garages full of unused junk that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now they are collecting dust in a forgotten corner under some tarp. No matter how ridiculous the purchase was — an inflatable bounce house, a fog machine, a home laser light show — there is still the chance that someone, somewhere will actually want to use it, and while they might not be crazy enough to buy it – no offense – they could be willing to rent it from you. And that is where RentBillow comes in.
Anabella Watson is the solopreneur founder of Dallas-based RentBillow, and she describes the site as “a market for the temporary use of everyday items.” RentBillow allows users to get their money’s worth out of some of their lesser-used items by renting them out.
“You can rent almost anything to and from other people,” Watson told us. “So if you have a garage full of crap, you can rent it all out and make some money. Or, if you need something, like gardening tools, furniture, anything that you think of, you can go to the website and rent from others.”
Watson says that some of the most common items rented out include things like pool cleaners, bounce castles, ATVs, bicycles and other “fun stuff.”
How it works
RentBillow works similarly to Airbnb, with users making their own arrangements about picking up and returning items. The service offers a template contract that owners can use to protect themselves, but they can also use their own.
To use the site itself, you can either log in with a Facebook account or register through the site using your email.
Renting from others
Search for the item you want to rent, either by using the search bar on the site or by browsing the different categories like electronics, tools, apparel and so on. If you can’t find a particular item, the site also has a request feature.
The items will show how much they cost to rent per day, per week and per month, as well as information on what city the item is located in.
After choosing “Book It” for the item you want, you will be able to enter the date and time range for which you would like to rent it.
Renting to others
If you have an item you want to rent out, simply choose “List your item” from the top of the site.
You can then choose a category for the item and enter its location information, pricing, and a brief summary or pitch for the item you are selling to entice people who are looking to rent. You can also upload one or more photos of the item you want to sell.
Once a user books your item, you have 48 hours to accept or reject their request. If you accept, you then send them a rental agreement contract and work out all of the details regarding when and how the renter can pick up and return the item.
About the company
RentBillow is currently free to use for both owners and renters, aside from a small credit card fee charged to owners when an item is rented. Watson said that RentBillow plans on adding a subscription option for businesses and a small percentage of private owners in 2016.
According to Watson, RentBillow currently has over 800 signups with more than 1,000 items available, and a large proportion of renters are located in California, Florida and Texas.