7 Ways Renting is Better than Buying

by Justin Davis

There are many things in the market now that make better sense renting than buying. I always think that if you’re only going to use something once in a while, why pay full price when you can borrow it for a lot less?

Here are 7 examples of when renting might be the more cost-effective choice:

Designer Dresses

Wear Today Gone Tomorrow rents out dresses and accessories by top designers, many for 90% off the retail price, such as a Kay Unger strapless silk ruched dress for $57 for a seven-day rental (retails for $570). Just keep in mind that the company tacks on a $10 cleaning fee for all dresses.

Rent the Runway also lends out dresses by more than 100 designers, including Vera Wang, Missoni and Diane von Furstenberg, plus accessories such as jewelry and shawls.

Both companies send the rental dress of your choice by mail, and Rent the Runway throws in a second size for free just in case the first one doesn’t fit.

 

Handbags

Like dresses, you can rent designer handbags for a considerable amount less than the retail price.

If you’re wondering when it makes more sense to borrow a bag than buy one, consider these situations: You have a special event, such as a wedding, that may call for a specific color or style to match your dress, but you don’t want to spend a bundle on something you may not wear again (how many “lilac” colored outfits do you normally wear?). Or say you’re looking to dress to impress for a job interview, date or charity function. Or you want a new handbag for this season, but don’t want to spend too much and get stuck with a bag that may end up in your closet when the season changes.

Bag Borrow or Steal rents out handbags by hot designers like Tory Burch, Prada, Michael Kors and Fendi on a weekly, monthly or seasonal basis. Another service is Handbag Envy, which rents bags for the week or month by designers such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci.

 

Textbooks

With the high cost of college tuition, the cost of books can also make a dent in your savings. According to the College Board, books and other course materials at a four-year public college cost students $1,168 on average for the 2011-2012 academic year.

One way to save money is by borrowing textbooks by services such as CampusBookRentals.com, which rents new and gently used textbooks for a good amount less than the cost of buying the book new and, in many cases, used. For instance, the Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volumes 1A, 1B and 1C rents for $23.13 for the semester — about a third of its list price of $66.67.

Other sites that offer book rentals include Half.com and Chegg.com.

 

Furniture

If you’re decorating a house you plan on living in for years to come, we won’t argue with you if you choose to buy your furniture. But if you are hosting a special event at your home that requires some additional seating and tables, are living somewhere temporarily or are selling and want to stage your home with fresh pieces, renting might make the most sense.

Cort provides a host of stylish choices, including sofas, accent chairs, dining tables and rugs, as well as complete sets for your living room, bedroom and dining room. This living room set, for instance, includes a sofa, accent chair, cocktail table, end table and silver tear-drop table lamp for $265 per month.

 

Bikes

If you only go biking once in a while, or are an avid cyclist but don’t feel like transporting your bike every time you travel, renting could be a good option.

You can rent bikes at low rates from services such as RentaBikeNow.com, which partners with more than 250 bike shops around the country to help people find a bike near their current location. Just head to the site and choose your state from the drop-down menu, and a list of bike shops that offer rentals will appear on a map, allowing you to find the nearest one. Simply click the bike shop you’re interested in, choose the date(s) you want to rent, and make your reservation. Your thighs will thank you.

 

Camping Gear

Ahh, the great outdoors. Many of us daydream about spending more time with Mother Nature, but few of us get around to actually going on regular camping trips. For those who can only go camping once or twice a year, it’s probably best to rent your equipment.

The popular sporting goods store REI offers rentals for a variety of camping essentials, including tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, paddling gear and camping stoves. At my local REI, for instance, you can rent a four-person tent for $45 the first day and $10 for every additional day — which equals $55 for a weekend. Meanwhile, most four-person tents on REI.com cost in the $200 and $300 range.

 

Trucks

When it comes to that occasional home improvement project that requires you to transport a heavy load, it’s probably not worth it to buy your own pickup truck — and you certainly don’t want to risk damaging the car you already own.

The Home Depot lets you rent a pickup truck for $19 for the first 75 minutes, or $69 for a day, which is available at most of its retail locations. All you’ll need is a driver’s license, a valid vehicle insurance card and a major credit card.

 

[Sourced from Financially Fit]

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