10 Surprising Things You Can Rent

Furniture. Movies. Moving trucks. Tuxedos. Cars. Homes. Those are the first things that spring to mind when thinking about what you can rent instead of buy. But there are several items that you may never have considered were "rentable." (See also: The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist)

And make no mistake, some of these 10 surprisingly rentable things can save you a lot of money.

1. Caskets

Death is a lucrative business. The average price of a funeral in the USA is now somewhere between $7,000-$10,000. That includes the ceremony, embalming, and the cost of the casket — around $2,300. If you choose cremation, the costs can be lowered. And if you choose a rental casket, you can chop at least $1,300 off the bill. Rental caskets are reusable outer shells with a new inner container. The rental casket is used for viewing and visitation, but the inner box is cremated or buried. And several funeral homes now offer a simple cardboard box with a pillow and lining for around $75. That's an important saving at a time when you don't want to think about spending money.

2. A Friend

Not everyone is a social butterfly (I know I'm not). If you have a wedding to go to, or a big event, and you don't want to go alone, you can simply rent a friend for the evening. A site called Rent-a-Friend can introduce you to people who will happily be your "plus one" for the night, be it a wingman, a date, or just someone to go and see a movie with. Rates start at just $10/hour, which is about the going rate for babysitting these days! And for those very special occasions, you can (seriously) even rent a parent.

3. Fame

Do you want to be famous? Well, you can rent an experience that gives you a glimpse into the life of a famous celebrity, and it won't require any breakout acting or singing roles. A site called Celeb4aday.com has packages starting at $499 that will have the paparazzi bugging you for 30 minutes, snapping photos, screaming your name, and making you feel like an A-List Hollywood celeb! If you go for the MegaStar Package, you get two hours of harassment from 6 paparazzi photographers, plus a limo, a publicist, a bodyguard, and a lot of extra trimmings. If you're celebrating the big 40 out on the town, and really want an experience to remember, maybe this is the way to go.

4. Designer Handbags

Do you have a 10-year high school reunion coming up, and you want to look your very best (i.e. show off) without breaking the bank? Well, places like BagBorrowOrSteal.com will let you rent designer handbags for a fraction of the retail price. For instance, the Louis Vuitton Soft Lockit bag retails for $3,650! You can rent that same bag for $500 a month. And if you shop around, you can find weekly rates.

5. College Textbooks

College is expensive, and one of the big expenses very few people prepare for is the cost of new textbooks. Some books can cost hundreds of dollars, which is more than a little frustrating when you are asked to buy a new version every year. However, one of the simplest ways to get around this high price tag is to choose the rental option. Sites like CampusBookRentals.com and BookRenter.com offer the latest books at less than half the price of a new book. You can even highlight passages (although excessive highlighting will result in additional charges). To avoid this, simply photocopy the pages you really need (remember, it's legal to do so if you follow the fair use guidelines as a student).

6. A Pet

Yes, man's best friend is now available at an hourly rate. Animal shelters around the country are now letting people rent pets for days, or weeks, at a time. This is a good way to find out if you're actually ready to bring home a pet, and the money goes to the shelter to help house and feed the animals they care for until they are ready for adoption. Of course, the hope is that you love the pet and adopt it. In that case, your rental fees go towards the adoption.

Other sites, such as BorrowMyDoggy.com, put owners of pets in touch with people who want some animal company for a while. From simply walking the dog, to having a play date for your own pooch, it's often free to find a "pet rental" once you've signed up and gone through the verification process.

7. Wedding Dress

For some, the very idea of renting a wedding dress is abhorrent. This is a very big day, and the bride's dress is perhaps the most important item in the wedding (which now runs $30,000 on average). However, with wedding dresses averaging over $1,200, it may be wise to rent the dress that will probably be worn just once in its lifetime. For as little as $200 you can rent a designer dress for the day; one that would cost much more than your average wedding dress. Or, you can buy pre-owned for as little as $75 if you're really in a pinch.

8. Wheels

Crazy, but true. You can now rent a whole range of wheels, and other automotive parts, on a month-to-month basis. So, if you're driving a car that you'd like to pimp out for the summer, you can rent some major chrome rims for much less than it would cost to buy.

9. Celebrities

You don't need to be rich and famous to hobnob with the elite; but you will need a chunk of money to spend a little time in their company. Many celebrities make a lot of extra cash by showing up to private parties. Imagine having Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Stewart, or Karl Urban on your guest list. If you can't afford the A-Listers, there are plenty of B and C list celebrities who will gladly make a grand entrance for you.

10. Someone to Stand In Line

There are certain things that people with more money than sense like to do. One is to buy the latest fad gadget the second it comes out. These same people will pay someone to stand in line for hours, or even days, so that they don't have to. Professional line sitters exist, and they can make a decent chunk of money for basically doing nothing. A whole lot of nothing. They even have reviews on Yelp.

Do you know of something bizarre you can rent that isn't covered here? Let us know.

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Guest's picture

Another great rent-a-paparazzi service I've found is: http://famousforaday.co/index.html

Guest's picture
Debra Mackey

My friend actually did the hire a paparazzi one for her bachelorette party! It was a lot more dun than I would have thought. I think they used this company: https://famousforaday.co/packages/index.html