13 Surprising Things You Can Rent

You wouldn’t think twice about renting shoes at a bowling alley. And, depending on where you live, renting your home might be cheaper than buying.

However, when it comes to borrowing a casket for your great-aunt’s funeral or getting a couple goats to clear your lawn, you might have some reservations. But if you want to, you can rent these unusual items, and many others.

Don’t believe us? Below are some surprising items you can rent. While some may seem odd, you’re likely to find a few useful options that will save you time and money.

Christmas trees

holiday decoration
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You’re concerned about furniture being tossed every few years? Imagine the impact on landfills from the winter holidays. In 2017, a whopping 27.4 million real Christmas trees were sold in the U.S. alone. Renting a tree doesn’t sound too ho-ho-horrible now, does it?

The Living Christmas Co. can vouch for the idea. Since 2008, they’ve been delivering tree rentals in the Los Angeles area. They offer species like Monterey pine and blue spruce. After the Christmas season, the trees are returned to their nursery and re-potted for the following year. Once a tree grows too tall for indoor use, it is planted in a community or nearby forest.

For those who absolutely can’t part with tradition, here are eco-friendly uses for your dead Christmas tree.

Jewelry

jewelry woman necklace earrings and bracelet.
Sofia Zhuravetc / Shutterstock.com

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but they aren’t friendly to your budget. Luckily for you, companies like Adorn are in business to make your dreams come true.

Adorn lets you borrow statement-making earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more, so you can sparkle on your wedding day or dress up for a charity ball. The company promises that their stones and metals “are genuine and of the finest quality.” You have to promise to return everything in their prepaid envelopes.

No black-tie events on the calendar? Join Switch, instead. A monthly subscription gives you access to designer jewelry you can wear every day for as long as you like. When you’re ready for something new, exchange your pieces. Shipping is free both ways. You’ll also earn credits that you can use to buy jewels at special prices.

Caskets

Funeral
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The Federal Trade Commission says the average casket costs a little more than $2,000.

A casket is the single most-expensive item you’ll buy for a traditional funeral, so it makes sense to cut corners wherever you can. You could choose a casket made from cheaper materials, such as wood or plastic. Others, though, rent a casket.

Don’t kill the idea just yet. As the O’Brien Funeral Home in New Jersey says, renting is an environmentally friendly alternative to purchasing a casket.

Many families use a rental casket during visitation hours, a memorial service or the funeral itself. The body lies in a wooden box that is inserted in an empty casket.

“After the funeral service, the funeral director removes the inner container from the rental casket, transporting the inner container holding the body to the place of final disposition, most commonly a crematorium,” explains O’Brien Funeral Home’s website.

A neighbor’s garage

Garage doors on town homes
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It’s not unusual to ask your next-door neighbor for a cup of flour. You might have even called them to feed your cats or collect your mail while you’re away.

Requesting storage space, on the other hand, could be considered crossing the line.

Unless they’ve listed their garage or extra room with Store At My House or Store With Me. These peer-to-peer companies offer homeowners a chance to rent out extra storage space to strangers. Store At My House, calling itself the “airbnb of self storage,” claims that renters often save up to 50% compared with commercial storage solutions.

Plus, renting space gives you one more good way to get to know your neighbors.

Goats

Goats
Artsiom Petrushenka / Shutterstock.com

Rent A Goat is a company that rents out its herds to clear brush and weeds from land around your home or office building.

Why goats? These animals are undeterred by thorns and poison ivy, they don’t pollute the air with carbon emissions and they naturally fertilize the soil while they work.

Whether you have one acre or 100, these weed-eaters are effective, eco-friendly and cute to watch.

Camera equipment

Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Save your smartphone camera for snapping selfies and posting Boomerangs on social media. When you’ve squirreled away money for months to take a memorable diving trip, you deserve to capture the moment with a real, professional-grade underwater camera. Or maybe you’re starting a vlog, but you don’t have the money for video equipment.

Call the experts at Borrow Lenses and get the professional photographic gear you need shipped straight to your front door. They have DSLRs, lighting accessories, video-recording equipment and more. The only shots you’ll miss are the ones you don’t take.

Furniture

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Making a home for yourself is a beautiful part of life. But when it’s time to move on, the amount of wasted furniture gets pretty ugly.

According to the most-recent EPA report on waste and recycling, 9.7 million tons of furniture and furnishings were tossed in American landfills in 2015.

Feather lets you choose furniture and styles you need in the moment. You rent the furniture. When you’re ready to move homes or move on to a new look, you can swap out your pieces for different ones. This subscription-based service leaves an environmental footprint that’s as light as, well, a feather.

Dogs

Woman hugging dog
HTeam / Shutterstock.com

Renting a dog may seem like a “ruff” sell, but the reality is, it’s a walk in the park — literally. Here’s your chance to take a dog for a walk, play in the park or just sit and cuddle on the couch.

Animal shelters across the country have “rent-a-dog” programs, so search locally for dates and details near you. At SPCA Florida in Lakeland, “doggie day dates” are on Wednesdays. You may not even be asked to pay a fee, although donations are graciously accepted.

Of course, the hope behind these programs is to turn your “rental” experience into a lifelong relationship.

Wedding cakes

Elegant wedding cake reception
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Renting tables, chairs and linens makes sense. They can be reused until the threads run bare.

But renting cakes? Leave it to FunCakes, which has mastered the art of faux cakery.

The company creates show-stopping, weatherproof confections guaranteed to hold up for pictures and outdoor parties. You pose, guests oooh and ahh, and when you’re done “cutting” and capturing the moment, the fake cake is hidden behind the scenes, leaving you to cut and serve a less-expensive, edible sheet cake without anyone knowing the difference.

Friends

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What’s sadder than a fake cake at a wedding? A fake friend.

Yes, renting a friend is a very real concept. You can rent a friend for a number of reasons: to hit the gym, go see a ballgame, guide you through a new city and much more.

Though adamantly not a dating website, RentAFriend.com has some similar features. Users browse potential friends’ pictures and profiles to decide if they’re a good fit for you. Membership is free. The cost of renting a friend is usually about $10 per hour, “… but almost all of them are willing to negotiate or even waive their fees depending on the activity you are planning with them,” RentAFriend’s site says.

Once you become a member you can contact “friends” by phone or anonymous message to discuss plans.

Line sitters

Young woman waiting in line
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Most friends wouldn’t think twice about holding your place in the grocery store checkout line. But would they wait hours in your place so you can purchase a new iPhone? That’s another story.

With Same Ole Line Dudes, you hire out this time-intensive task. The dudes and dudettes are based in New York City, where they’ll wait in line at retail stores, busy restaurants and Broadway box offices. The two-hour minimum charge is $45. Additional fees apply for some services, including same-day jobs, inclement weather and delivery of tickets or items.

Private islands

Island of Maui
Joe West / Shutterstock.com

The proliferation of Airbnb listings makes renting an entire home a vacation essential. Naturally, the next step is to rent your own private island. We promise you’re not dreaming.

With over 750 islands for sale or rent, the Private Islands, Inc. portfolio has a little slice of heaven for every traveler. Browse rentals by region, price, island type or lifestyle.

What is a bit lofty are the prices. When the rent price last was posted, in 2017, exclusive use of Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands, for example, was $80,000 per night. Many Private Islands rentals do not list fees. Potential renters must inquire.

For a more (relatively) affordable piece of paradise, try Rent My Island, in the Florida Keys, where weekly rates can be under $5,000 for this island.

Chickens

Chickens outside
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Now that you know you can rent puppies for pleasure and goats for “green” landscaping, it shouldn’t seem too cock-a-doodle-cuckoo to rent a chicken.

You may have seen chickens roaming suburban backyards lately. The ‘fowl’ part about raising chickens own is the upkeep and maintenance. That’s why some try Rent The Chicken, instead. The firm rents you a portable coop, chicken food, supplies and egg-laying hens — all you’ll need to temporarily house chickens and enjoy fresh eggs for breakfast. When your rental period is over, you can decide to keep the birds or let them go home to roost.

Do you know of other unusual items for rent? Surprise us in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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