10 things you didn't know you could rent

Woman's Day

Discover surprising items you can lease and why it doesn't pay to buy them.

View gallery

.
Photo: Thinkstock/iStock/Shutterstock/
Courtesy of Rent the Runway

Renting has long been an easy way to save money, and these days, you can rent a lot more than DVDs and tuxedos.

With a tough economy bringing about alternatives to buying, savvy retailers now offer rental services for almost everything, from fancy dresses to funeral caskets (yes, really).

So how should you decide whether to rent or buy? Liz Weston, author of The 10 Commandments of Money, suggests asking yourself, “How often am I going to use this thing?” When you’ll get only a single use out of an item, it obviously makes more sense to rent. But for things you’d need to lease multiple times—or for a single extended period of time—the rental fees may add up to the cost of buying the item, so renting isn’t a better deal in those cases, says Weston. Now read on for ten surprising things you just may want to rent.

More from Woman's Day:

16 Easy Ways to Boost Your Bank Account

5 Ways To Save on Groceries

Courtesy of Rent the Runway

Designer Dresses

If you’re fretting about what to wear to your high school reunion or another special event, why not rent a drool-worthy dress at a fraction of the retail price?

RenttheRunway.com leases dozens of designer frocks for under $100, including some as low as $40. The best part: Every order includes a free backup size, and you can hold onto the dresses for four or eight days. If neither dress fits, send them back for a credit, less shipping costs. Dry cleaning and damage insurance are included in the rental fee. If the dress is totally destroyed, though, you pay its full retail price.

Gia Crecelius of Los Angeles first used the site for a holiday party several years ago and has used it six times since. “I tend to see the same people at every event, so whenever I have an occasion, I look at Rent the Runway,” she says.

Courtesy of Adorn.com

Jewelry

After you get the fantastic dress, you can lease some baubles too.

At Adorn.com rentals start at $85 for a piece worth $1,165, while BagBorroworSteal.com has more than 200 pieces of jewelry that rent for under $40.

BagBorroworSteal.com, which also rents handbags, includes $150 worth of insurance coverage in your rental fee; you can pay more for full insurance. Adorn also insures its jewelry, but you may be charged 33% of the full retail price if the piece is lost or damaged and there will be a reserve on your credit card of 5% of the jewelry’s retail value until you return what you rented. Cathy Crecco of Woodbury, NY, never could have afforded to buy the sapphire necklace she rented from Adorn for her son’s wedding.

“I got this magnificent thing in the mail, put it on with the gown and felt like a queen for a day,” she says.

Photo: iStock

Tools

How often will you use a tile cutter after you finish that bathroom renovation?

Renting expensive tools—instead of buying them—can save you hundreds of dollars. Plus, you don’t have to worry about maintaining and storing them in between uses. Luckily, tool-lending libraries are becoming increasingly popular; search for one in your area at LocalTools.org/Find/.

You can also call a home improvement store: At most Home Depots, you can rent more than two dozen items, including pressure washers, aerators, carpet cleaners and more. Rates vary, but most tools rent for $20 to $50 a day, with large equipment such as two-man augers or power washers costing closer to $70 per day.

Photo: iStock

Gadgets

Not sure if you should invest in an iPad or a Roomba vacuum?

Visit SnapGoods.com, a lending service that connects you with friends and neighbors (and anyone else you add to your network through the site) who will let you rent the latest gizmo before you buy it.

The concept is simple: For a small fee set by the lender, typically $10 to $20 a day, you reserve the item. After you pay the fee, you work out where and when to meet the lender to pick up and return the item. SnapGoods covers insurance with the cut it takes per transaction—50 cents plus 7 to 10% of the rental price. The site is fairly new, but in areas where it’s caught on, you can rent everything from a Wii to a digital projector for a day or a week at a time. Don’t forget to list your own stuff; it’s an easy way to earn extra spending money.

Courtesy of Thinkstock

Camping Gear

High-quality equipment makes you more comfortable in the great outdoors, but if you don’t know when (or if) you’ll go camping again, it’s not wise to spend a small fortune on good gear. Plus, renting items at your destination can help you avoid airline luggage fees if you’re flying to your camping spot.

LowerGear.com, one of the largest outdoor equipment rental sites, offers everything from water filters to backpacks, tents to sleeping bags. And the savings are sizable: You’ll pay $28, plus shipping, to rent a two-person Sierra Light tent for three days—compared to $250 to buy it. Outdoor gear retailers, like REI, also usually rent tents, camping stoves and other basic equipment, though the selection varies by store.

Photo: iStock

Garden Plots

Got a green thumb but no space for a garden? You’re in luck.

Community gardens are popping up across the country in parks, alongside churches and even on rooftops. Many city park departments rent plots for a small annual fee, say $50 for 400 square feet; other community gardens don’t charge rent but require you to put in a certain number of hours maintaining the garden. Either way, you’ll have a place to dig and get to take home healthy fruits and vegetables. To find a garden near you, do an internet search for your town’s name and “community garden” or check out the American Community Garden Association’s database.

View gallery

.
Photo: Thinkstock

Caskets

Sure, renting sounds creepy in this case, but consider this scary stat: Buying a casket costs about $2,000 on average, and some mahogany, bronze and copper ones sell for as much as $10,000, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Many funeral homes will rent caskets for $500 to $900 a day, so renting may be worth it if you want a nice casket to display at the funeral but are fine with something simpler to go into the ground or crematory—and the total rental price for the number of days you need the casket is less than the purchase price.

Typically, the body stays inside the casket in a thick cardboard container, which is then removed for burial or cremation, explains Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance. Since you can rent a casket only from the funeral home where you’re having the service, some funeral homes hike up their rental prices significantly. Make sure you compare rental and purchase prices before you commit to a funeral home, advises Slocum.

Photo: Shutterstock

Textbooks

The average college student ponies up about $1,100 for textbooks every year, according to The College Board. That’s a lot of dough for books your student won’t open after a semester.

Check out Chegg.com, which rents more than 4 million textbooks in various formats for a fraction of what campus bookstores charge. For instance, Human Biology, a popular biology textbook, sells new for $170, but Chegg rents it for $49.49 a semester. Your student can even do a little highlighting without paying extra for the rental. “We’re pretty lenient,” says spokeswoman Angela Pontarolo. And if your child doesn’t need a book she’s ordered, return it within 21 days for a refund, minus shipping costs.

Photo: Thinkstock

Baby Gear

Don’t worry about packing your baby’s beloved (and bulky) bouncy seat for your next family vacation. In many popular vacation destinations, you can have rented baby gear—from jogging strollers to safety gates, full-size cribs to infant bathtubs—delivered for reasonable fees.

Bouncy seats go for about $3 to $5 a day, while a full-size crib will set you back about $10 to $15 a day, with discounts for weeklong rentals. Find rental shops by state at Baby-Equipment-Rental.com or try Baby’s Away, which has locations in 30 states. (But visit Recalls.gov first to check that the item you wish to rent hasn’t been recalled.)

In most cases, leasing baby gear for longer than a few weeks doesn’t pay, since rental costs for a few months typically add up to the price of buying the item. An Exersaucer, for example, rents for $20 a month, but you can buy one for $50.

Photo: Thinkstock

Toys

Despite spending plenty on playthings, most end up at the bottom of the toy box.

Through BabyPlays.com, you can rent a single toy for $2.99 to $8.99 a month, plus shipping, and send it back when your child or grandchild gets bored with it. Or try a monthly membership: For $19.99 a month, you get four new toys every other month. All playthings are sanitized, says company founder Stephanie Weber, and if the toy breaks or you lose a piece, you can return it without penalty.

What if your little one falls in love with a particular toy? Then you can buy it for 30 to 50% off the retail price. Eileen Matthews of Brooklyn, NY, has been renting toys for her 3-year-old son through BabyPlays.com since he was an infant. “Our house is small, so I didn’t want stuff to keep accumulating,” she says. “This has been great because I switch out the toys he doesn’t play with anymore for toys that are age-appropriate.”

 

More from Woman's Day:

8 Secrets of Personal Organizers

How To Decode Body Language

8 Ways to Dress Chic for Under $50

10 Things Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Tell You

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Teen Accused of Beheading Classmate

      Mathew Borges will be tried as an adult.

      Cosmopolitan
    • Boeing responds after Trump knocks contract for Air Force One jets

      Donald Trump declared Tuesday morning that the Air Force should cancel its contract with Boeing to build two new presidential airplanes, asserting that the agreement had a $4 billion price tag. “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. It’s not clear how Trump, who frequently tweets exaggerated or baseless claims, arrived at that number.

      Yahoo News
    • In 2005, a U.S. Navy Sub Ran Into a Mountain

      In 2005, the nuclear attack submarine USS San Francisco suddenly stopped dead in its tracks. The ship's crew were thrown about, some over distances of 20 feet, and the majority of the 137-member crew suffered one injury or another—including one that would later prove fatal. Further inspection would explain what happened, and reveal that the submarine's bow looked like a crushed soda can. USS San Francisco had run into an undersea mountain. On that day, January 8, 2005, the San Francisco had been approximately 360 miles southeast of Guam, traveling at flank speed (more than 30 knots). The navigational charts used by the ship's crew failed to show a seamount, or undersea mountain, protruding from

      Popular Mechanics q
    • 15-Year-Old Allegedly Decapitated Missing Classmate in ‘Horrific, Horrific Murder’

      Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino walked out the door of his house on the night of Nov. 18 — and was never seen alive again. On Saturday, weeks after his disappearance, one of Lee’s classmates at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with allegedly murdering and decapitating the 16-year-old, PEOPLE confirms. “This was a horrific, horrific murder,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said at a news conference on Saturday.

      People
    • No bail for 15-year-old charged with decapitating classmate

      LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy charged with killing a high school classmate whose headless body was found near a river said in a police report made public Monday that they had gone to smoke marijuana together and he had last seen the classmate alive.

      Associated Press
    • Wells fargo to abused customers: see you in arbitration

      Only in the la-la land of financial industry justice does stuff like this happen. After suing Wells Fargo & Co. for alleged fraud, invasion of privacy and other claims related to the bank's highly publicized unauthorized accounts scandal this autumn, a group of 80 customers who are seeking class status got this message late last month: We'll see you in arbitration. Like other banks, Wells demands that customers agree to give up their rights to sue in court when they open accounts. And like other banks, when customers flout that agreement and sue anyway, Wells files court papers demanding arbitration. Unlike other banks, though, Wells in this case is an operation that has been outed by the Consumer

      The Street q
    • The Cory Monteith 'Autopsy' Special Reveals New Details About His Tragic Death

      A special about the death of Cory Monteith aired Saturday night, and we now know the tragic details of what caused his death. Each day, 78 people in the United States overdose on opiates — substances like heroin — and die. New details revealed in a special on Reelz, Autopsy: The Last Hours of Cory Monteith, show that it was actually Cory's effort to get sober that ultimately led to his death, a sad reality that sheds light on the reality of having a substance use disorder — one we don't hear about everyday. An interview with Dr. Michael Hunter, a forensic pathologist, reveals Cory died after taking heroin and drinking alcohol shortly after he had gone to rehab in an effort to manage his substance use.

      Glamour q
    • Ariel Winter looked like a total goddess in this black and white sheer gown

      We’re not gonna lie. We could look at red carpet looks all day — and then some. And we’re currently thanking the…

      Hello Giggles
    • Sherri Papini, Family Move To Undisclosed Location

      An investigation is ongoing into the kidnapping of the California mother who was found heavily battered on Thanksgiving Day morning.

      International Business Times
    • Boeing responds to Trump attack on Air Force One price tag

      Aerospace giant takes issue with the president-elect's $4 billion figure: 'We are currently under contract for $170 million'

      FOX News Videos
    • Abducted California jogger skips town with family and leaves dogs behind

      The California mom found beaten and bloody on a highway after going missing for three weeks has skipped town with her husband — and left their two dogs behind. Sherri and Keith Papini left their home in Redding with their two kids but decided not to bring the dogs, friends said. A “buddy of Keith’s” was at the Papini home on Sundust Road on Saturday around noon — and told a Post reporter he was there to “walk the dogs.” He then took the smaller dog on a leash and said he “couldn’t answer any questions” and “I’m going to go walk her now.” He said he was there “just helping out.” A neighbor who has lived next to the Papini house, which is Keith’s childhood home, and has known him since he was 5

      Fox News q
    • Donald Trump Says New Air Force One Project With Boeing Should Be Scrapped

      President-elect Donald Trump tweeted today that the government should cancel its order with Boeing for a new Air Force One, citing costs of the project. "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion.

      Good Morning America
    • Last Tango in Paris Director Responds to Backlash Over Butter Rape Scenem

      Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci is speaking out amid the recent backlash over a controversial rape scene in the 1973 film. In a recently resurfaced interview at La Cinémathèque Française in 2013, the director admitted that he and Marlon Brando came up with the idea for using butter as a lubricant for the rape scene that day — but chose not to tell the actress, Maria Schneider, about that element before shooting it. The interview, which resurfaced online this weekend, sparked outraged, with celebrities like Jessica Chastain expressing disgust that the scene was sprung on the 19-year-old actress without her consent. “I feel sick,” the actress tweeted.

      People
    • 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack (28 photos)

      On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, a Sunday, Japanese bombers flew across Oahu, Hawaii, and began their assault. The attack killed more than 2,300 people, nearly half of them on the battleship USS Arizona. More than 1,100 were injured. After the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech before Congress, calling Dec. 7 a “date which will live in infamy.” The U.S. declared war against Japan. (AP) Dec. 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Here’s a look back at that fateful day. See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr .  

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Self-made millionaire: If you want to get rich, start working 95 hours a week

      Stop doing the 9-to-5 and start doing 95, advises businessman Grant Cardone.

      CNBC.com q
    • Get ready for a limited NES Classic Edition sale tomorrow morning

      It's basically impossible to find a NES Classic Edition for $60 right now, unless you or someone you've recently bribed works in inventory management at Target. Walmart, Best Buy and anyone else you'd think of as selling the games console are out of stock online, and the limited stock that trickles into physical retails stores is being gobbled up before they even make it to the shelves. But at the eleventh hour before Christmas, one highly unlikely retailer might save your day/holiday gifting plans: Urban Outfitters. DON'T MISS:  Galaxy Note 7 fires were caused by over-ambitious design, engineers find The store known for selling painfully hipster record players and "ironic" Polaroids will have a limited-stock, online-only sale of the NES Classic Edition starting tomorrow morning. We don't yet have a precise time, but Urban Outfitters told  BGR  it will be sometime Tuesday AM. If I were a guessing man, I'd say the likeliest times would be 12:01AM, and something like 7, 8 or 9AM in the morning, just as physical stores open/the IT guy clicks "go" in an office somewhere. In the absence of perfect information, I'd recommend using a service like Visualping  to keep an eye on Urban Outfitter's tech page , so that when the site gets updated with a new product, you'll get pinged with an email. The good thing about this Urban Outfitter sale is that unlike the stock releases from Walmart and Target, not too many people seem to know about it. Add that to the uncertain release timing, and this could be your best chance to get a console before Christmas. Years of experience with buying concert tickets has taught me the best strategies for making sure you get your hands on a console. Make sure you set up an account beforehand and that you're logged in, to speed through checkout. You'll also want to have more than one computer on hand, so you can keep hitting refresh on multiple devices to get the best chance. If possible, rope a couple friends into the plan; bribe with the promise of Super Mario parties where necessary.

      BGR News
    • Tiger Woods is back, and he has no equipment deal

      Whether you’re a golf fan or not, you surely heard: Tiger Woods is back. The 14-time Major tournament winner had not played in a PGA Tour event since August 2015 before he hit the green this weekend for the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. 24-year-old Hideki Matsuyama won the tournament, and Woods finished in 15th place out of 18 players (17 after Justin Rose withdrew).

      Yahoo Finance
    • Longtime Sheriff's Deputy Dies After Her Car Plunges into Sinkhole: 'We Are Heartbroken'

      Deputy Dora Linda Nishihara, 69, died after her car fell into 12 feet of water Sunday.

      Inside Edition
    • United Technologies CEO on Carrier deal: I wasn't born last night

      Jim Cramer spoke with United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes, who shed light on his conversation with President-elect Donald Trump.

      CNBC.com q
    • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ son is 19 now and the internet is freaking out over how attractive he is

      Beautiful people often have beautiful kids, and this is no exception. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ oldest son is 19 and super…

      Hello Giggles