Babies need lots of gear, and these items can be expensive. If your kids are getting older and you have things like strollers, high chairs, or car seats just lying around, you may want to consider renting them out to others.
Renting out baby equipment can be a great side hustle, but it can also turn into a thriving business depending on how you set yourself up for success. Even if you don’t have baby gear on hand but like the idea of starting a home-based business like this, it’s not difficult to get started from scratch. Here’s what you need to know to begin.
How a Baby Equipment Rental Business Works
Just as it sounds, this work from home business idea is pretty simple – you lend baby items to people who need them. Parents who are traveling, babysitters in the area, and even small businesses may want to rent supplies anywhere from a day to several days or weeks.
You’ll charge a rental fee and list your things online, so people will know which items you have. There is a little more work involved, and you may need to transport gear to renters and pick them up. However, this is a very flexible business where you can set your own hours and spend more time at home with your family if you wish.
How Much Can You Earn with a Baby Equipment Rental Business?
How much you earn depends heavily on what you charge to lease the equipment, which items you have, along with how many rentals you’re doing each day or week. Most rental rates are based on the day. You might charge $5 to $10 per day for smaller items like a car seat or stroller and anywhere from $20 to $40 per day for larger items like a high chair, crib, or pack-and-play.
You could easily make a few hundred dollars per month if you have a large enough inventory. To scale up your business and increase your earnings, you can also add multiples of the most popular gear to your collection over time. For example, if you rent out a lot of strollers or high chairs, consider getting three to five instead of just having a single item that way you can rent it out to multiple people at the same time.
7 Steps to Get Started
Wondering how to actually start your own baby equipment rental business? Here is a free business plan template and some key tips to help you get started and begin making money quickly.
Step 1: Gather Your Baby Equipment
The first thing you’ll need to do is collect baby supplies to rent out. Start with items you already have that are in good condition. Also, consider checking out resale shops and thrift stores to find good affordable gear. You may even want to buy a few new products that you think will rent well and look out for seasonal sales and retailer discounts.
Step 2: Prepare the Equipment for Renting
Next, get your inventory ready for renting by making sure it’s cleaned thoroughly and functions well. You should also check to make sure there are no recalls on the items you want to rent out, and they are safe for others to use. Go to CPSC.org to see if there are any recalls on child or baby products that might apply to your business.
Step 3: Consider Joining BabyQuip
When it comes to launching and running your own baby equipment business, you don’t have to do it all alone. BabyQuip is a website that can help you set up your own baby equipment rental business online. They have a built-in national customer base and take care of all the legal aspects to help you get up and running quickly.
You can apply to become a provider, and BabyQuip will provide templates for your website, product images and descriptions, and more. Renting out items through BabyQuip also adds credibility to your business since this is already a popular and established platform. In fact, 60% of parents say renting from BabyQuip during their vacation was a great experience, and they’d do it again.
There are BabyQuip providers all over the country, so there is bound to be a market in your area. Since BabyQuip is insured and does all the heavy-duty tasks related to helping you start your business with ease, they charge a $200 start-up fee for new providers. This fee also helps cover your website, business email, and training materials.
Step 4: Obtain Licensing and Determine a Rental Agreement
If you’re not going to use BabyQuip to start and run your business, then you’ll need to obtain separate business licensing and decide how you’ll structure your business legally. You can get an LLC through your state along with any other types of licenses and insurance you may need to rent out equipment.
You’ll also want to draft up a rental agreement that you can give customers to sign to protect your business from any liabilities or legal implications.
Step 5: Create a Website and Start Listing Items
By this stage, if you haven’t already, you can set up a website for your business and add your product listings and descriptions. Again, using BabyQuip can help you get your website up and running with ease. But you can also use Wix.com, which has user-friendly drag and drop tools, or start your own self-hosted website through Bluehost, which offers affordable hosting plans. Holly has step-by-step instructions for setting your website up with Bluehost here.
When listing the items that are available for rent, make sure you include a brief description along with any terms and conditions customers must comply with. Creating a website to list your problems can provide a very helpful visual for potential customers so they can shop through options in advance and get some of their common questions answered before speaking with you.
Step 6: Deliver Items and Get Paid
Once you start booking rentals, decide if you want to deliver the items or have people pick them up. If you have a vehicle with some space and run your business out of your home, it may make sense to drop off rentals locally. That way, you’re not giving out your personal address to too many people.
As a business owner, you can also deduct mileage and some costs associated with operating and maintaining your vehicle. Make it easy for people to pay you by setting up an online payment account like PayPal, Zelle, or Square. You can also order Square’s card reader device so you can take payments in person.
Step 7: Clean and Maintain Your Equipment
Finally, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your equipment after each rental and maintain it over time. Continually test your items to make sure they are secure and safe for others to use. Keep an eye out for new models and updates in the baby gear industry, and reinvest in your business to grow your inventory as you see fit.
Starting a baby equipment rental business provides a flexible way for you to make money from home and set your schedule. Once you get everything set up and establish a customer base, you don’t have to put in 40+ hours of work each week to profit. This particular business sets you up to earn more passive income over time since once you drop off gear to a renter, you can spend the rest of the day with loved ones or doing whatever you please while still making money. Sites like BabyQuip can make it even easier to get started quickly without any hassle.