Whenever I look into my closet, the first thing I notice is my sound system. It’s left over from my (much younger) days as an aspiring singer, and it’s gathering approximately $1,500 worth of dust on a daily basis.  I have a few "regulars" who borrow it from me for various projects, but I've never thought of charging them. Now I'm reconsidering—ever since I learned about a few of these websites.

If you would like to earn extra cash by renting what you own (or save cash by renting what you need) check out these great websites!

1. Zilok

Zilok is the resource you need to rent out something you own or find something to rent. You can also use it for frequent rentals (yours or others). Whether you need an inflatable ride for your child's next birthday, luggage for an upcoming trip or a sound system for your sister's wedding—Zilok can help.

  • Website: http://us.zilok.com
  • How it helps: Find everything from rental cars to power tools, photography equipment to Halloween costumes on Zilok.
  • Cost: Free to use.
  • Endorsements: NBC, Reader's Digest, International Herald Tribune, PC World, USA Today, CNET and many others.

Example: The tree in your front yard needs trimming. You could buy a tree trimming saw for $31.97, or rent one for $7.00 for the day. 

2. Simplist

Simplist (formerly SnapGoods) is a social network-based website that connects you not just to your own social network, but to the networks of those you network with and so forth. This makes it the perfect vehicle for renting from others and to others. Using a network base offers some built-in social accountability.

  • Website: https://simpli.st
  • How it helps: Simplist uses short keyword searches to help you connect with the people you’re looking for to find exactly what you need. It does this by searching through your existing social networks on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your email contact list.
  • Cost: Free to join (you can also link Simplist to your LinkedIn account).
  • Endorsements: Simplist is brand new (fresh from SnapGoods) and still in beta mode.

Example: You need a set of lava lamps for a "70's Theme" birthday party you’re hosting for a friend. You could buy a pair for $19.99 each, or find a friend in your Simplist network who will loan them to you for the cost of gas to go pick them up!

3. Loanables

Loanables has 10 categories with many more subcategories so you can conduct targeted searches to find what you need to rent—or list what you have to rent in the appropriate places. Most items are available by the day, week or month.

  • Website: http://www.loanables.com
  • How it helps: Loanables works on a zip code-based system, so you can find local folks who have what you need or want what you have. Loanables also offers a free rental pricing guide so you can figure out what to charge for your items. As an added bonus—you can set up your own system to collect a security deposit as insurance against loss, damage, or failure to return. But best of all, Loanables offers the protection of their loan agreement for both parties (something mega-sites like Craigslist do not offer).
  • Cost: Free to join; 10% commission ($1 minimum) to Loanables when you earn from your site posting.
  • Endorsements: The Penny Hoarder, Rent It Today and WBKO.

Example: You need to rent a tandem bicycle for an outing with your son. You could buy a Kent Promax tandem bike for $249.99, or rent one for $25 for the day from Loanables.

4. Rentything

Rentything is a worldwide website that aspires to become the "AirBnB of things." In addition to renting things, you can rent lodging, transportation and services. Rentything's strength comes in finding a rental market for items not typically considered "rentable" (such as camera accessories, game systems and whistles).

  • Website: https://www.rentything.com
  • How it helps: Rentything is simple to join and use (all users must have a profile). They have a built-in scoring system to help you identify the most trustworthy potential renters and lenders. Plus, you can open your own rental store in just 60 seconds!
  • Cost: Free to join and browse; 2% transaction fee + 2.9 percent processing fee when you rent something.
  • Endorsements: TechVibes, The Penny Hoarder and Googlepreneurs.

Example: You need a good camera to photograph your child's first birthday party. You could pay $899.95 for a Nikon D80, or rent one on Rentything for $20 just for the day.

5. Craigslist

No post about the top websites to help you rent-to-earn and save would be complete without mentioning Craigslist. While Craigslist doesn't have a specific "to rent" category, rentals can be facilitated through Craigslist. Searching "to rent" on Craigslist is the best way to find out what is for rent in your area.

Example: You need speakers for your CD release party next week. You could buy a set of JBL PRX speakers for $699.00, or rent a set for the day for $55.


5 Sites That Help You Earn and Save by Renting Instead of Buying