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On Cutting for Business, I’ve shared several ways to make money with your Silhouette or Cricut that don’t include making and selling products to customers. Some of those ideas are in these posts: Hosting a Workshop, Hosting a Holiday Craft Market, and Hosting a Home Craft Party. Today, I’ll share my thoughts on creating products to rent to your customer. Most Cutting for Business readers will not know this, but my primary business is a rental company (which was run from my garage in its infancy and we delivered and picked up all rental products).
Choosing a Good Rental Product
Obviously, not all Silhouette or Cricut made products will work well in a rental market. But, some products will. Look for non-customized products that you sell to a buyer and the buyer only uses the product one time or for a short period of time. For example, signs for weddings, decor or centerpieces for a party or special event, gender reveal props or baby announcement signs, props for photographers to use at photo shoots, holiday or seasonal decor for a restaurant or office, props for a theater production, or generic home decor for someone staging their home for sale. As an aside, with the holidays coming up I think sellers could do quite well offering a few different packages of handmade holiday decor for customers to use until January and return after. It would be easy to deliver the products to their home, pick them up in January, and pack them up to rent again next year. Near my home, there is a local company that offers holiday decorations for rent and they do quite well. Not everyone wants to use the same decor each year – or to store it when not in use.
Pricing Rental Items
Offering products for rent is a profitable business model because you only make a few of the product and earn income from selling the same product over and over again. For example, instead of selling your customer a sign for her wedding reception for $80, you rent it to her for $50. After the event, she returns the sign and you rent it again the following weekend for another $50. You’ve now generated $100 in income from creating one sign, you still have the product, and you can rent it out many more times. Rental items are priced well below that retail value of the product.
Depending on your rental products, rental rates can be priced several different ways:
- One time charge for use at an event. Great for parties or other one day events.
- Per day/week/month charge. Great for longer events like staging a home or renting out decor.
- Delivery and/or pick up fees. Decide if you will need to charge your customer for delivering or picking up the products.
- Deposits. Consider charging customers a refundable fee to ensure that your products are returned on time and without damage. When the products are returned, refund the deposit.
Delivery and Return of Products
You have two options for getting the rental products to your customer and back from your customer: deliver it to them and pick it up from them, or have them pick it up and return it to you. If you are a home based business, it may be easier to deliver and pick up the product; while someone with a small storefront (or someone renting to friends or family) could have the customer pick it up and return it.
When first starting out your rental business, you’ll need keep good records on a calendar of what products need to be where and when. As your rental business grows, you’ll want to look into a scheduling system like Checkfront or Booking Bug . These systems will allow customers to book their rentals online and will prevent you from overbooking (renting out more products than you have on hand). Additionally, you’ll need to write out business policies for what happens if a customer damages or loses a product, what happens if a product is returned late, and what price the customer will pay if they decide to keep the product.
I hope this post got you thinking of another “out of the box” idea to use your Silhouette Portrait, Cameo, or Curio to make you money. Leave a comment and let me know if you will try renting out products to your customers.
Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.