When the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns hit, the rental industry saw a downturn in revenue. People couldn’t work, play, or party for some months, making it difficult for many rental businesses to stay afloat. However, most kept going, and this year, we have seen a massive increase in rentals from our customers, and this trend is only set to continue.
So, we thought it would be interesting to look at what the most rented items from our customers were. For some, these may be surprising, but when you look at the revenue each niche generates, and the activities people are interested in, the list starts to make a whole lot more sense. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into what the most rented items of 2023 have been so far!
1. Event decor and equipment
First up on our list in event decor and equipment! It may not be surprising that being cooped up indoors for a yea, people were eager to start being social again. With weddings being more reasonable with the lockdown rules not interrupting them as much, they have seen the most significant growth in 2023.
Meanwhile, corporate events and occasions like bar mitzvahs and proms are now taking place more often, and they all need decor and equipment. This has also contributed to the massive growth we have seen in the event decor and equipment rental sector. Hopefully, this trend will continue into the rest of the year as more people are vaccinated and events become more viable.
2. Camera and AV equipment
Next, we have camera and AV equipment. It’s no surprise that the film, television, and photography industries saw a downturn during the pandemic. However, now safety regulations are in full effect, people have returned to creating films, television, and doing more photography.
As a result, we have seen a massive increase in the number of people renting out film, photography, and audiovisual equipment for their productions. It’s been great to see the creative arts come to life again. Of course, it is still challenging to film safely, but the trend is set to continue as it improves!
Bike rentals were one of the few rental industries that weren’t hit so heavily by the pandemic (in certain situations, at least). Of course, people still needed to get to work and use them to get about bigger cities, but for bike rental businesses geared towards mountain biking and exploring, they took quite the hit as people weren’t vacationing as much.
However, this has changed massively as more people take vacations in their own country rather than abroad. This means that more and more people are choosing mountain biking as an activity to do on vacation (among others which we’ll discuss later). Plus, as more people return to work, bikes are seeing more use within cities.
4. Party equipment and inflatables
Much like weddings and other events, parties took a hit during the pandemic as fewer people were getting together to celebrate special occasions. Though social distancing rules have relaxed and children have been allowed to spend more time together, the party and inflatables industry has seen significant growth throughout the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2023.
Parents can now celebrate their children’s birthdays more, which means they are renting more party equipment and inflatables. This eagerness to celebrate again has seen the industry grow a lot over the past 12 months, and it is now one of the most active rental niches among our customers.
5. Camping and hiking equipment
As discussed earlier, more and more people are opting to go on vacation in their own country, resulting in an increased desire for camping and hiking equipment. Of course, it is one of the most loved pastimes among people going on vacation worldwide, so it’s no surprise that they have ended up relatively high on this list.
Camping and hiking equipment can include tents, caravans, backpacks, stoves, and mini-fridges, but also climbing gear like harnesses and ropes. For many, it doesn’t make sense to buy this equipment if it will only be used once a year, so the growth in these industries is set to continue.
6. Tools and Construction Equipment
It seems like construction never ends, whether it’s your neighbor or road works. So it should be no surprise that tools and construction equipment rental has ended up on this list. There is always something that needs to be fixed or built, and the builders and tradespeople working on them need to rent tools to complete their job.
From drills and chainsaws to heavy machinery like diggers, many tools and construction equipment are rented daily. It is also one of the most accessible rental industries to get into as there is always a high demand for tools and machinery. As mentioned, you may notice how much work is going on constantly around you.
7. Suits and Wedding Dresses
Of course, there haven’t been many calls for suits and wedding dresses over the past 12 months, but they are always popular rental items. Wedding dresses are something most people only wear once in their life, and it doesn’t always make sense to buy one as much as television shows would like you to believe it does.
The same can be said for suits. If you don’t work in the financial sector or another industry where suits are required, the chances are it’s not worth buying one for just a few occasions. So, there is always demand for suits, and with the number of weddings set to skyrocket this year, the trend of their popularity will only grow throughout 2022 and into 2023.
8. Water sports equipment
Water sports equipment could include anything from kayaks and canoes to jet skis and diving equipment. They have also been a significant hobby for many people, and with many of us planning our trips based on activities, we’ll likely need to rent some form of equipment while on vacation.
The position of water sports equipment rentals will only rise on this list as the weather this summer is set to be record-breaking, so everybody will be trying to get in on the action. Expect this rental niche to continue to trend upwards throughout the year and place higher next year.
9. Winter sports equipment
We experienced an extended winter earlier this year, which drove more people to the slopes, and rentals of skis and snowboards saw a decent spike. Of course, we’ve seen this rental industry trend upwards over the past few years already, but once people can escape their own country again, it’s only a matter of time before it climbs the list.
Of course, there are very few places in the world where winter sports equipment is a feasible rental venture to invest in. However, if you’re in one of those places, it’s worth investigating and potentially investing in if you’re looking to start a rental business in your local area.
10. Toys and baby equipment
It may seem peculiar that toys and baby equipment rental appear within the top ten most rented items. This is likely due to there has been a boom in babies being born during the pandemic and they are indeed booming niches for those taking advantage of them.
Children tend only to use toys or equipment for a short time before they’re bored with them or develop past them. This is what makes it a perfect niche to invest in while it’s still going relatively under the radar.
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