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Posted on Oct 21, 2013 in How to simplify, Resources | 8 comments

Hundreds of Things You Can Rent (or borrow) Instead of Buying


Widespread access to the internet has given us all the tools to search for connections beyond our community of neighbors, family and friends.  We can even borrow or share tools and expenses with others to reduce consumption and costs.  Now, instead of buying the power washer you need once a year, you can borrow it or rent it for a low price from person in your town, and you don’t even have to know them.  The “collaborative consumption” movement is changing the way we spend money, and how we define our community.  You can find almost anything.  This is more similar to checking books out of the library than buying them at a bookstore.  Of course, you depend on others and have less control over the times you can access the tool or service and its features.

This sharing economy is liberating for some.  You don’t need to own and maintain your own car if you can walk a few blocks and pick one up for a few hours to do your shopping.  You don’t have to buy and store the tools you may only need once or twice.  Even if you are traveling to a new place, you can have the things you need only when you need them.

If You Need It, You Can Find It

Need a place to stay for your vacation? Look up Airbnb, Homeaway, Vacation Rental By Owner (vrbo), Home Exchange or Couchsurfing (free!)

Need a local guide?  Try  Vayable.

While you are gone, you can have your dog stay in a home instead of a kennel:  DogVacayRoverCity Dog Share (free dog-sitting co-op)

A car?  Thy zipcar or rent from owner: GetaroundRelayRides, Just Share it.  Need to rent a car at the airport? FlightCar Need a ride somewhere? Lyft and Sidecar.  Want to share a trip? Ridester

Heading to an event, and need a parking place? ParkAtMyHouse, Parkcirca and ParkingPanda

Need to rent designer clothes or accessories? Bag Borrow or StealWearTodayGoneTomorrowRent the Runway

Tools? Tool lending library (sometimes free!),  SnapGoods, ZilokRentabilities, Rentoid

Bike, skis, snowboard? SplinsterLiquid

Motorcycle? RentmymotorcycleJust Share it

Boat?  BoatBound

Help with chores? TaskRabbitThumbtackZaarly, (helpers are veterans)

Need Administrative help? Virtual Gal Friday, Elance or oDesk

Setting up a website? oDesk

Need shared or temporary office space? Sharedesk and Regus,

Need a small job done?  try  Fiverr (every job is only 5$)

Need Some Extra Cash?

You can make extra money on most of these sites, too.

Just be sure about your insurance.  Some states, California, Oregon and Washington have laws in place to allow car sharing, but be sure of the situation where you live.


Photo Credit:  {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester}



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  1. I love the whole idea of borrowing. We have too many things we only used once or twice. As we’ve taken time to rid ourselves of many “things,” I keep wondering why we ever bought ______ in the first place. I actually wish my townhome complex had a place where we could borrow gardening tools and ladders. We rarely have a need for them and have little storage space.

    Thank you for these resources!

    • I agree! I started this research by looking for a tool lending library nearby, and could not find one. I was surprised at how many other options are out there, though. Happy borrowing!

  2. This is a great resource! Very, very comprehensive list with so many alternatives to buying. Thanks so much. OK, I’m off share your Tweet on Twitter!

    • Thanks for reading the post! Come back and let us know what you try and how it works out.

  3. I think borrowing is the preferred way to go! Thanks for such an excellent list of resources. I had no idea about most of them.

    Kind Regards, Carol

    • Thanks, Carol! Let me know if you try any of them.

  4. This is great! I often need tools that I’ll only use briefly. I will be looking up this option near me. Thanks for doing this research and posting.

    • Thanks! Come back and tell us what you borrowed and how it went.

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