Babies often require a lot of gear. Some of these items can be expensive or too bulky to bring when parents travel. This is why the idea of starting a baby equipment rental business is so popular.
If you’ve been wondering how to start a baby equipment rental business, there are only a few steps required to get started.
You may even be able to start with items you already have on hand. If you have kids and they are getting older, consider renting out the items they once used instead of selling them.
Starting an equipment rental business could be a great way to work flexibly from home and even earn some passive income.
What is a Baby Equipment Rental Business and How Does It Work?
Baby equipment rental businesses can come in handy for traveling families who may not have room to bring all their baby equipment.
A customer may want to rent a baby crib, car seat, high chair, stroller, or other items. How it generally works is the renter can browse through the rental equipment company’s website to see what gear they want to reserve.
If you want to start your own baby rental equipment business, it’s easy to start a basic website and collect payment online or obtain a card reading machine to do so in person.
Or, you may even want to use a third-party website to list your baby gear so others can rent it out. Renters can reserve which day and time they’d like to pick the equipment up as well as when they will return it.
As a business owner, you may also want to insure your equipment and sanitize it between use. You’ll also want to keep up-to-date on the latest industry safety protocols.
For example, certain baby gear items like car seats might get recalled and be deemed unsafe to use and you don’t want to rent these brands out.
1) Who Rents Baby Equipment? (Target Audience)
There are lots of people who may be interested in renting baby equipment. Your most common customer will likely be parents but you could also rent to certain day-cares and preschools in need as well.
Parents who are traveling and don’t want to carry a ton of baby gear with them will likely consider a baby rental equipment company. Also, parents may prefer to rent out certain items to try them out before buying them new.
2) How Much Money Can You Make Renting Baby Equipment?
How much money you can make varies depending on the type of equipment you have and how often it gets rented out.
Most rental prices are calculated per day and could be anywhere from $5 to $8 per day for a high chair or stroller to $10 to $30 per day for larger items like a crib or car seat.
You could make a few hundred dollars per month renting out items on sites like BabyQuip or you could make thousands if you have a lot of gear and live in an area that is popular for traveling families.
5 Places to Get Baby Equipment to Rent Out
You don’t have to own a ton of baby gear to start your equipment rental business. Instead, start with what you have and source new or gently used materials from affordable places.
1. Use the Equipment Your Children Outgrew
If you have kids, as they get older they will naturally outgrow toys, clothes, and baby gear. Hold onto these things especially if they are in excellent condition.
Check online to make sure the baby gear is still safe to use and there are no recalls. Then use it to jump-start your inventory.
2. Thrift Stores
Thrift stores often have some nice items that you can get at extremely marked down prices. Each week people donate tons of items to resale shops so plan to visit a few thrift stores to source quality baby items.
You never know what you find and may even come across items that can be refurbished or fixed up to rent out in the future.
3. Garage Sales
Be intentional about stopping at local garage sales including bigger community yard sales to see if you can get affordable and popular baby gear.
The best option is to visit garage sales of people who have young children and could be selling items for low prices just to get rid of it.
4. Facebook Marketplace
The Facebook Marketplace is another great place to find cheap baby gear to rent out. You may need to act fast if you see something because the first person to contact and pay the seller usually gets the item.
Plus, if someone is selling some nice gently-used baby gear online, it won’t last fast.
5. Retail Stores (Buy New)
Of course, you can always buy baby items brand new and take advantage of retailer coupons and sale seasons. Even if you buy something at market price, you can rent it out again and again to earn back your initial investment.
Sign up to receive coupons and deal alerts from a few popular stores that sell nice baby gear.
8 Steps to Start a Baby Equipment Rental Business from Home
If you think that starting an equipment rental business for baby gear could be fun and profitable, there are a few key things you need to do.
Here are 8 steps to help you start renting baby equipment for extra cash.
Step 1: Collect Baby Equipment
Your first step is to collect lots of popular baby equipment that would be great to rent out to others. Use some of the tips above to source all your items and consider things that parents might consider a must for their child like a car seat, crib, high chair, pack n play, etc.
Step 2: Prepare the Equipment for Renting
Get the equipment ready for renting by cleaning it up if it’s used, testing it out, and taking nice images of each item and how it works.
Step 3: Join BabyQuip
If you’re wondering how to start a baby equipment rental business with the least amount of paperwork, licensing, and other processes, consider joining BabyQuip and creating a seller profile.
BabyQuip is the #1 baby equipment rental website that delivers locally-sourced baby gear to customers in over 500 cities.
How it works is you can apply online to start listing and delivering your own baby gear to people who use the site. BabyQuip is insured, and handles all the heavy-duty aspects required of baby equipment rental businesses.
For this, a $200 fee is required to start renting out your baby gear through BabyQuip. This fee covers administrative expenses that help you get set up on the platform, your website, your professional email, and training materials.
Customers pay you upfront often before you deliver an order and you get to keep 80% of your rental and delivery fees while BabyQuip keeps the other 20%.
Step 4: Get Free Training
Consider getting training if you are brand new to the baby equipment rental field. If join BabyQuip, you’ll get free training automatically that will help you make the most of the opportunity and deliver a professional service.
If you’re running your own baby equipment rental business independently, you can always look to free videos online and articles to help you learn more about how to run operations day-to-day.
Step 5: List the Equipment on BabyQuip
When you join BabyQuip, it’s easy to list your equipment online and set up your own website through them. BabyQuip provides pre-loaded website templates with the top 40 rented items all ready to list including images, prices, and product descriptions.
This makes it very easy for anyone who’s not tech-savvy to get set up fast.
Step 6: Deliver Equipment that Gets Selected
Once someone selects your equipment to rent, you’ll need to deliver it by the day and time they suggested. You can set your delivery range to no more than 20 to 30 miles away from your current town so you’re not driving too far.
Sometimes, customers might tip you when you deliver items and with BabyQuip you keep 100% of your tips.
Step 7: Get Paid
Getting paid is always a fun part of any job. When you have your own baby equipment rental business, you’ll often get paid as soon as someone reserves your gear.
Just make sure you deliver it in a timely manner. BabyQuip pays suppliers within 2 business days of each customer payment.
Step 8: Service and Clean Equipment
Once your items are returned, you’ll need to make sure you clean them thoroughly and service them as needed. Make sure you’re repairing items that get worn, replacing screws and continually checking to make sure everything is safe to use and in excellent condition.
5 Tips to Run a Successful Baby Equipment Rental Business
Like any business venture, success won’t happen overnight. However, there are quite a few things you can do to contribute to your equipment rental business’ success over time.
Tip 1: Make Sure Everything is Extremely Clean
In order to grow your business and get repeat customers, you want to offer a positive experience and demonstrate your professionalism. Nothing says unprofessional or bad quality like dirty equipment.
People who rent out your equipment might return it dirty or not clean it up as well. It’s your responsibility to make sure your items are sparkling clean before the next person rents them out.
Sanitize everything, wipe down surfaces, and even run linens and other fabrics through a washing machine cycle to ensure top quality.
Tip 2: Set Competitive Prices
Having the freedom to set your own prices is great. But, you don’t want to out-price your equipment when it comes to the competition. If your rates are extremely higher than competitors and your products are very similar, customers will likely use the other business.
It’s important to do your research to determine how much things cost new and what you could realistically rent them out for. Also, if you’re delivering equipment to customers, make sure you factor in mileage and travel into your pricing.
Tip 3: Take Great Photos
If you’re creating your own listing from scratch be sure to take clear photos so customers can see the item in detail. Consider including a professional picture of the product brand new from a retailer’s site.
Then, also include pictures of the exact item you’re renting out. Choose a well-lit area or even get your own artificial lighting so the picture comes out bright and clearly visible.
You may want to take several pictures from different angles and to show an example of how the item is commonly used.
Tip 4: Know When to Replace Outdated Equipment
It’s best to stay on top of all the industry’s updates and new products. You don’t want to get stuck with old and faulty equipment as people may not want to rent it anymore.
Let’s face it – people like to rent newer equipment, stay in newer or updated hotels when they travel, and buy the latest electronics. Plus, baby brands may update their products over time for safety and compliance reasons.
Save some of the money you earn from your business so when certain items get too old, you can replace them with new ones and keep making money.
Tip 5: Buy Multiples of Popular Items
As your business grows and you rent more items out, you may want to consider adding more things to your inventory. Imagine if one of your most popular items is an infant car seat or a crib.
If you only have one of each, this means only one person can rent out the item at a time. Instead, consider getting multiples of your most popular items if it makes sense financially. Renting to more people at the same time can really help scale your business up.
Collect Money with Your Old Baby Equipment, Not Dust
If you have old baby equipment just sitting in storage collecting dust, consider renting it out for extra cash. Even if you don’t have anything to start with, starting a baby equipment rental business could be the perfect side business to run from the comfort of your home.
With help from sites like BabyQuip, you can get trained and started in no time.