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

    • Op-Ed: We moved from New Jersey to a villa in Costa Rica and we only pay $400 a month

      The comfortable American dream doesn't compare to this paradise town in Costa Rica, writes Frederick Haywood.

      CNBC
    • Bill Gates supposedly has long way to go to catch the real richest man in the world

      Coming in at around $86 billion, Bill Gates has ridden his Microsoft fortune straight to the top of the Forbes list of the world’s richest men. Then again, the business magazine doesn’t take into account ...

      MarketWatch q 52 min ago
    • David Cassidy Opens Up About His ‘Beautiful’ Son — and Why He Doesn’t Have a Relationship with His Daughter

      After revealing that he has been battling dementia since 2015, David Cassidy is opening up about his complicated relationships with his two children – Beau and Katie. “I’ve never had a relationship with her,” Cassidy, 66, exclusively tells PEOPLE of his only daughter — who has appeared on Gossip Girl and Arrow. “I’m proud of her,” adds Cassidy.

      People
    • NASA announces discovery of 3 Earth-sized habitable planets around single star

      Feb. 22 (UPI) -- NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets surrounding a single star at a press conference on Wednesday -- three of which are entirely within the planetary system's habitable zone. Scientists found the seven planets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf named TRAPPIST-1. Scientists used the Spitzer Telescope to measure the planets' sizes, masses and orbits. "This is the most exciting discovery we've had yet with the Sptizer Telescope," Sean Carey, manager of the Spitzer Science Center, said during the NASA press conference. All three exoplanets in the habitable zone are prime targets for further exploration, but all seven could potentially host liquid water given the right

      UPI q
    • Mom's shocking photo of 10-year-old son depicts painful reality of cancer

      A mom posted this harrowing photo of her son to Facebook. This photo of a 10-year-old boy, bald, pained look on his face, standing in his pull-ups diaper while clinging on to the bathroom sink is quickly going viral on Facebook. The photo may not be pretty, it’s admittedly hard to look at, but it’s a raw depiction of what life is like for a cancer patient — which is exactly why the boy’s mother posted it.

      Yahoo Canada Style
    • A girl named Ehlena and a dog named Wonder win at U.S. Supreme Court

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with a disabled Michigan girl whose school refused to let her bring her service dog to class, making it easier for students like her to seek redress for discrimination in federal court. The justices ruled 8-0 that Ehlena Fry, 13, and her parents may not be obligated to go through time-consuming administrative appeals with the local school board before suing for damages for the emotional distress she said she suffered by being denied the assistance of her dog, a goldendoodle named Wonder. "We are thankful that the Supreme Court has clarified that schools cannot treat children with disabilities differently or stand in the way of their desired independence." The justices sent the case back to a lower appeals court to determine whether Ehlena's complaint involves the impermissible denial of a proper special education.

      Reuters
    • 7 Reasons The Latest Donald Trump Rumour Is The Most Disturbing Yet

      Of all the disturbing stories to emerge surrounding the month-old Donald Trump administration, one of the latest threatens to, well, trump all the others.

      The Huffington Post UK q
    • 50,000 San Jose residents under evacuation orders in San Jose

      New mandatory evacuations have been issued overnight in San Jose as flooding continues to spread along Coyote Creek. The city estimates 14,000 residents are in the mandatory evacuation zone.

      KGO – San Francisco
    • America’s Best Fish and Chips (10 photos)

      Few dishes are more synonymous with the British Isles than fish and chips, but some truly spectacular versions can be found in the US as well.

      The Daily Meal
    • Malia Obama in Ultimate Rich Kids' Ski Trip Pic (PHOTO)

      Malia Obama is on an Aspen vacay that will absolutely make you HATE your life when you see who she's posing with in what has to be the richie richiest photo of all time. Here's the answer key for who's who in this shot, taken last weekend at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro in Aspen: 1. Malia 2. Elizabeth Tisch, daughter of NY Giants co-owner Steve Tisch 3. Audrey Kotick, daughter of Activision/Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick (think Call of Duty money) 4. Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier 5. Jamie Tisch, ex-wife of Steve 6. Tom Bugbee, Monique Lhuillier's husband 7. Holden Tisch, daughter of Steve 8. Zachary Tisch, son of Steve 9. Tassilo von Furstenberg, grandson of Diane von Furstenberg When President

      TMZ q
    • Amber Tamblyn says this is her baby’s name and she can’t be serious

      Amber Tamblyn and David Cross just welcomed a brand new baby girl into the world earlier today, and we are so excited…

      Hello Giggles
    • Amazon’s One-Day-Only, $8.62 Discount Is Too Good to Miss: Here Are 5 Things You Need to Buy Right Now

      Attention shoppers: Big things are happening on Amazon today. For one-day-only, the shopping site (which rarely offers discount codes) is giving customers $8.62 off any purchase of $50 or more with the code “BIGTHANKS” at checkout. It actually reflects Amazon’s record-high 86.27 ranking by the Harris Poll of Corporate Reputation. Which really just means it’s time to get your credit cards out!

      People 35 min ago
    • Kellyanne Conway sidelined from TV after Flynn debacle

      Kellyanne Conway, once the most visible spokesperson for the Trump White House, has been sidelined from television appearances for making statements that were at odds with the administration's official stance, White House sources told CNNMoney on Wednesday. Conway has not given a television interview since early last week. On that Monday, she claimed that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had the president's "full confidence." Hours later, Flynn resigned. The following day, Conway claimed Flynn had offered to resign, even though White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump had asked Flynn for his resignation. She has not given a television interview since then. Those statements,

      CNN Money q 34 min ago
    • 5 Things About 'The Walking Dead' That Make No Sense, at All

      When it comes to a zombie apocalypse, we can only stretch our imaginations so far. Here are 5 things about 'The Walking Dead' that we just can't believe.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Snoopy Snuggles! Hoda Kotb’s Newborn Daughter Haley Joy Gets Oversized Gift from Andy Cohen

      Hoda Kotb‘s adopted newborn daughter Haley Joy is already being showered with gifts from her mom’s famous friends! On Wednesday, Kotb shared a sweet photo to Twitter of an oversized Snoopy sent to Haley Joy from Bravo personality — and Peanuts superfan — Andy Cohen. Kotb surprised Today audiences on Tuesday when she announced she had adopted Haley Joy.

      People
    • Mexico fumes over Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom

      By Alexandra Alper and Anahi Rama MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Senior envoys of President Donald Trump are likely to receive a chilly reception in Mexico on Wednesday, after the United States issued new immigration guidelines that deeply angered the southern neighbor the day before bilateral talks. Trump's administration on Tuesday unveiled plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of their nationality. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are due to arrive in Mexico on Wednesday afternoon for talks on security and immigration.

      Reuters
    • Money
    • Supreme Court rules for disabled child and her dog in lawsuit case

      A unanimous Supreme Court said on Wednesday that the parents of a girl born with cerebral palsy can sue for damages after public school officials barred her service dog from her classroom.

      National Constitution Center
    • Fearing "feral hog apocalypse," Texas approves drastic measures

      Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has approved pesticide targeting wild pigs, but the move has upset hunters, who have gathered 12,000 signatures in opposition

      CBS News q
    • Police release audio of suspect in Indiana girls' deaths

      DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — A teenage girl turned her cellphone on and recorded a man saying "down the hill" before she and a friend were killed along a northern Indiana hiking trail last week, authorities said Wednesday.

      Associated Press