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Maximize value to maximize earnings

The vision for Toy and Tool has always been about the sharing of private property for a fee used to offset the cost of ownership. It was never intended for folks to start a rental business, however we’re not going to dissuade anyone that wants to. Business sometimes just happens.

When first trying the idea, I started renting out our family’s popup camper for $50/night. Folks would take it away for a week or weekend, and the camper gradually ended up paying for itself, and soon it was also helping to pay for the greatest portions of our family vacations. We could afford nicer campgrounds, and some of the better activities like horseback riding, go carting, and deep-sea fishing, all courtesy of our little camper. We even bought a canoe and bicycles for the kids. We did increase the price a few times as we were getting a lot of calls without any impact on demand, and then we soon bought a second camper, as I hated seeing all that lost revenue. Our two little campers soon helped us to finance a much larger one, which we still rent today. We didn’t intend on getting into business for ourselves, the market just sort of made it happen. 

So what to charge? It only makes sense that folks will want to maximise the revenue they earn, but that doesn’t always mean charging more. You’ll often earn more sometimes by charging less as you’ll earn more by renting more often. Remember folks are often renting because they don’t want to buy the item themselves, however if the cost is too high, the first thing they’re likely to say is that they might as well buy one instead of renting it. Its really up to you to figure out, but we’ll do our best to provide some guidance along the way. 

As an experiment for the launch of this site, we purchased a medium sized Honda rototiller. The cost was around $1500 plus tax. We chose the same model we rented from a rental company the year before for about $100 for a half day. If you know the Honda brand, you know you’re paying for quality and reliability, which is why it’s a popular brand at rental stores. They’re built to last and designed to take some abuse so encouraging the tiller to pay for itself will not be a problem.

As a price point I decided on $50 a day as it was half the price of what they charged at the rental store and if I rented it out 30 times, the tiller would end up paying for itself, maybe even by the end of the year. A value added benefit also is that folks in the community wouldn’t have to travel outside the community like I did to pick up the rented tiller or have to drive just as far to drop it off.

Again what you charge is really up to you and what you feel is fair. For our rototiller we’re hoping to rent it out countless times over the lifespan of the tiller, while encouraging a lot of people in our community affordably take up backyard gardening.