How to make money by renting your things out

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter, Tera Roberson - Special Projects Producer

HOUSTON - It’s a perfect morning in Clear Lake, and Joe Whiddon and his wife, Connie, are going boating.

Joe is piloting his brand new Avalon 22-footer, a $28,000 boat that the Whiddons are actually paying for by renting it out to other people.

“It’s incredible. I’m looking at making around $16,000 to $18,000 this year by renting out the boat. If it keeps up like this I will have paid for this boat in just two years,” Joe says, smiling.

Welcome to Boat Bound, a new kind of online rental company that allows boat owners such as Joe to rent out their craft for several hundred dollars a day when they are not using it.

Boat owners can also rent their boats for multiple days or longer.

Boat Bound offers renters $1 million in liability insurance and $2 million in hull damage protection.

You list your boat on Boat Bound, the company takes 35 percent of what you make and you take the rest.

“We have seen guys in Houston that have done 75 rentals in the last two years. So, if you’re doing 30 to 40 rentals a year, that’s an extra $10,000 to $15,000 a year going into your bank account”, said
Chris Fox, fleet director for Boat Bound.

How about high fashion?

Ladies, many of you have gorgeous clothes that you never wear, that are gathering dust in your closet.

Instead, you could be lending them out to other women across the country and earning big money.

“So, it’s so crazy. You can make, like, $250 a week just by renting out your closet,” said Lona Alia, creator of Style Lend.

Alia found herself looking to rent fashionable clothes a few years back as she was traveling through Europe.

Rather than packing five suitcases, she wanted to rent different pieces in different cities.

That’s when she came up with the idea for Style Lend.

The company allows you can browse through thousands of designer dresses, shoes and handbags and rent those items for one-tenth the purchase price of buying them.

If you want to rent out your wardrobe, you simply ship the dresses and other items you want to Style Lend in New York.

The staff at Style Lend then cleans and warehouses your clothing and begins marketing it on the Style Lend website.

Style Lend takes 50 percent of the earnings, and you take the other 50 percent.

“So, if you are a woman in Houston and you want to rent some dresses out with Style Lend, the way it works, you have 10 dresses and they are worth about $500 each. We would then offer them for rent at $50 each. In the end, you wind up making $250 for all 10 dresses every time they rent. So if they rent out every week, that’s $250 a week,” said Alia.

Want to rent out your bike?

Why wouldn’t you?

At Spinlister, you set the rental price you want to charge for your bike.

Spinlister puts it on the company's website, takes a 17.5 percent cut of the action and offers protection if the bike is stolen or damaged.

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You can rent your bike by the hour, the day, the week, whatever.

Did somebody say cars?

Yes, you can rent your car out as well and make enough money to help pay the loan on your vehicle.

Sites such as Turo, which was formerly called RelayRides, is a peer-to-peer car rental company that lets you rent your car out when you are not using it.

They also offer a $1 million liability policy.

Want to rent out your camera equipment?

You can do that through a site called Cameralends.

If you want to make money transporting packages for other people locally or long distance, you can arrange to make money doing that at Roadie or CitizenShipper.

The Hitch lets you rent out your home as a wedding venue.

At Evenues, you can rent out your loft for meeting space and work-related events.

Venuelust is your ticket to renting out your home for parties and showers.

Glamping specializes in helping you rent out your land or your property for other people to camp on.

Joe and Connie Whiddon are enjoying their new boat and enjoying all the money they are making from it.

What’s the best part for them?

“I just like putting smiles on people’s faces, and when you get on my boat you can’t help but smile,” Joe said with a wink.

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