Lest the title deceive some readers, tool rental is not limited to those who have a shed or garage full of expensive power tools and heavy construction vehicles (although those who do can certainly earn more), but rather even simple things like lawn mowers, hand-held drills, step ladders, and wheelbarrows, can all be rented out for profit. Owners can list their items for rent on generic sites like Craigslist or Nextdoor, but sites specifically for equipment / tool rental are proliferating and now include (to name a few): Toolzdo.com, Us.Zilok.com, Anyhire.com, and Snapgoods.com (not yet live).

Unless one’s main line of work is as a contractor or handyman, the vast majority of tools sit idle for much longer than they are actually used – why not monetize these assets while not in use? Look through your tool chest, utility closet, garage, shed, or wherever else tools and utility equipment are stored, and then check the sites above to see what the going rates are, and if it’d be worth it to rent out. Starting with the simplest tools, ladders go for about $10 per day, lawn mowers start at $20 per day, and hand held drills start at $10 per day.

More expensive equipment like circular saws, tractors, bobcats, etc. can rent for hundreds of dollars per day, or can be rented by the hour. The most popular and profitable equipment for rental are compact do-it-all machines, especially bobcats, so for those who have the wherewithal, it might be worth purchasing a bobcat or similar equipment for the sole purpose of profiting by renting it out to others.

In addition to checking the above sites, be sure to check local hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s to make sure you’re beating their prices. For larger pieces of equipment, owners can typically ask for a deposit of hundreds of dollars if the rental is for multiple days, and be sure to have your renters sign some standard paperwork to cover yourself in case of damage or theft. Owners may also want to take out insurance or upgrade their insurance once they begin renting out their equipment. Some of the sites may have terms and conditions which will cover some of these circumstances, so be sure to check.

Logan Hertz works as a business strategy consultant in Atlanta and freelances as a personal finance expert. If you are interested in clever, easy ways to increase your income and reduce your costs, email him.

© 2015 Logan Hertz – permission to reprint is gladly given, provided the author is given credit