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Author Topic: Renting gear for everything  (Read 3620 times)

E. Lee Dickinson

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Re: Renting gear for everything
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 10:18:51 am »

Owning gear is expensive. Acquisition cost, maintenance cost, insurance, storage.  While it would stand to reason that by eliminating those costs you could parlay the savings into rentals, the truth is that the rental house is going to amortize all of those costs out into the rentals.

I still think you can make it work, but the math is very simple. Take your average gig, price the rental to our favorite supplier, and see what you have left.

We own quite a variety of sound systems, but we don't own a large concert array system. I did the same math you are doing and found that, on average, I can get a 10 or more percent discount from my supplier on gear and production staff, I can mark it up 5% or so to the client, and make more money than I would have made if I owned the gear.

My supplier does more concerts than I do, they do them more efficiently and better, so they make good money when you spread it out over more gigs. More gigs for them, less gear to own for me, more money all around.
E. Lee Dickinson
Advanced Visual Production Inc.
sound - lighting - video - design

Bob Leonard

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Re: Renting gear for everything
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2008, 11:10:20 am »

Renting gear can be a solution, but seldom a money maker. In the long run the cost for the rental generally eats up the profit unless, as has been pointed out, the gig is large enough and pays enough to compensate for the additional costs. The equipment I use for my band is all top of the line and reliable. That has always been my goal, to purchase the best equipment available for the job knowing it would last long enough through hard and constant use to pay for itself over time. I also run sound using the same gear, which is icing on the cake to me. It's a chance to relax and let the system earn some extra money.

I rent gear and trucks for larger gigs usually over 500-600 people, but in these cases the equipment always pays for itself. I use the following rules as my keys to success;

1. Does the gig require/justify the additional gear, or would it be a just nice to have item.

2. Will the additional rental costs be covered by the additional income generated and will there be an additional profit?

3. Can I rent the gear from an established and trusted source.

4. Have I worked with this source in the past and can I depend on receiving working quality equipment and service/support if needed?

5. Can I return the equipment the next day and not suffer additional charges.

6. If there is a failure will I have to pay for the repair?

I would think you might look at gear rental as if you were leasing a car. Nice low payment, but in the end it's still not yours and the option to upgrade doesn't exist. Smile
The roar of the grease paint, the smell of the crowd.

gordon mcgregor

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Re: Renting gear for everything
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008, 06:12:20 pm »

I aree with Bob, if the show is big enough and/or has the budget then I'll rent, I'm lucky in that there is an excellent rental shop locally. If I were to depend on rented gear then I would have to market myself to shows/events that would allow me to charge a living wage, this can be done as Matt has said, however the way you go about bidding and what you bid for would have to change.
    No Madam I'm not your usual Gasfitter
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