If you are an avid outdoors person, chances are your gear closet is overflowing with stuff you may not use all the time. Why not put it to good use and let someone else rent it–a person who may not be fortunate enough to own all their gear, not have the space to store it, or is just getting started? New Silicon Valley company RentEscape created on online marketplace for outdoor gear to facilitate peer-to-peer rental.
Those of us with too much gear can head over to the site and list a bunch of items we are willing to rent out so that others who are interested in borrowing our gear, can check the availability and make a booking. RentEscape connects owners and renters based on their location and if you can’t find gear located within 5(!) miles of your location, the company will deliver it for free.
Although you can currently rent gear at REI, Sports Basement, and even check out gear (free!) from the Alite Designs Ranger Station, availability isn’t always guaranteed, you have to visit the store to pick up your items, and prices are generally higher. With RentEscape, you simply browse online for all the items you need, book them for a certain timeframe, and place your order. If you don’t want to deal with picking up or dropping off your items at the end of your trip, you can get the stuff delivered and picked up at your time of connivence for an extra $20.
Gear owners will be happy to know that 100% of the money charged goes to you. You do not get to set the price, however, as this is set by RentEscape based on the demand for items.
RentEscape is currently in beta supporting the Bay Area only but plans to add other places soon.
Looking at my piles of gear, the idea sounds great in theory. But having to deal with the constant pickup and return of the items may be one hassle too far just to make a few bucks–it’s like being in perpetual Craigslist hell.