These days, homes are doubling as hotels (Airbnb) and personal cars are taxis (Uber). Suffice to say, the concept of a shared economy is becoming more and more prominent.
Still, you may be surprised by the variety of goods and services (and chickens!) that you can rent rather than buy.
Here are eight surprising things you’ll find on the rental market:
Chickens to Lay Eggs
Want farm-fresh eggs, but not sure you want to commit to having backyard chickens year-round? Enter Rent The Chicken, which delivers a portable chicken coop, two to four egg-laying hens, feed, food and water dishes and a chicken-keeping book. The chickens will start laying eggs within two days of the arrival, Rent The Chicken says. The service is available in several markets throughout the United States; costs vary, but are around $500 to $600. Rentals are five to six months, depending on your region. But, if you decide to chicken out, the service will come pick up your chickens.
Say you’re traveling, and your hotel doesn’t have a pool or the one it does have looks far less aspirational than what the photos advertised. Don’t let that thwart your pool day. Swimply connects pool-seekers with private pools in the area, like this stunning lakefront pool in South Miami ($75 an hour) or this heated pool in Pasadena, California, with a tiki-themed lanai ($40 an hour).
RVs and Campers
A lot of HOAs won’t let you have an RV parked in front of your home for long, and storage can get pricey. But, if you want to go for a fall foliage trip or host a tailgating party or slip away for a camping trip, Outdoorsy lets you rent everything from motor homes (on average, $209 a night) to camper vans (on average, $160 per night) to pop-up trailers (on average, $81 per night).
Clothing rental subscription services like Rent the Runway Unlimited and Le Tote have been allowing subscribers to keep a revolving closet by paying a monthly membership fee and swapping out clothing and accessories on their own terms. But, you may be surprised to learn that traditional stores are joining the rental revolution. For example, Ann Taylor Loft’s service Infinitely Loft lets you rent three items at a time for $64.95 a month, and New York and Company Unlimited Closet allows members to rent three items at a time for $49.95 a month. Nuuly was launched by URBN, the parent company of Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, and subscribers get six pieces of clothing for $88 a month.
If you’re taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip, like a lengthy cruise or a golf trip, and aren’t equipped with the right luggage, you can rent some from RentLuggage.com. This is also a good idea for those who are short on storage space and don’t travel frequently enough to warrant storing cumbersome luggage. Options include golf travel bags that start at $29.99, a surfboard travel bag for $34.99 or Samsonite luggage starting at $39.99.
Outsource your landscaping job to … goats! The goats will gladly eat unwanted greenery and trim your grass, and it may cost less to hire the animals than it would to pay for a landscaper. This animal-landscaping concept isn’t totally novel; as a cost-saving measure, former President Woodrow Wilson brought on a flock of sheep to mow the White House lawn. Prices vary, but you could expect to pay around $35 per goat per week, with a two-goat minimum since they are social herd animals, according to Angie’s List.
If you just need a tool for a quick weekend project or chore, you may want to consider renting instead of buying. First things first, check with your library. Tools are often among some of the things you can rent for free. If your library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, check out Home Depot. The home store rents everything from leaf blowers to tile saws to pressure washers. Tools have varying rental fees and many require a deposit, but you can often rent them for a half day, full day, week or month.
Your Neighbor’s Garage
Store at My House is like the Airbnb of self-storage and is an alternative to costly storage units. The service connects you with neighbors who have extra space to rent out, often for 50 percent less than what you’d find at commercial storage spaces, according to the site.
Are you surprised by any of these rental options?
On the flip side, if you’re looking to earn some extra income, here are some things of your own that you can rent out to make more money, including your parking spot or camera gear.