Anyone who has planned a wedding or large event knows that feeling: You get the quote from the rental company and your eyes bug out of your head cartoon-style. “I just need some tables and chairs!” you cry, “How can this be?!”
While we boast super reasonable prices, and the ability to comparison shop, we’ve also grown an appreciation for why rentals aren’t just the cost of the item divided by the number of times it gets rented. Here are 6 surprising reasons your rentals cost as much as they do:
Much like a boat or a car, the initial cost of purchase is far from the end of an owner’s expenses. Rental companies pour thousands of dollars every year into repairing scratches and dents, staining wood, laundering linens, and modernizing old décor. Not to mention, they’re regularly replacing lower cost items that simply don’t last as long. You might think, “This chair probably only cost 3x the rental fee,” but you also don’t know if it’s been replaced 5x.
Items aren’t only replaced due to deterioration, but also due to loss. While the best and most organized companies have tons of checks and balances in place to manage their inventory, it’s simply inevitable that items traveling all over town will go missing. This comes at an enormous cost to company owners, who need to replace everything from a $10 dolly to a $5,000 premium leather couch.
Have you ever been to a rental company’s warehouse? Picture your hoarder grandpa’s house multiplied by one million. They have infinite chairs, multiple full theatrical sets, rows of every color linen imaginable… you name it. If you think your rent or mortgage is lofty, imagine the rent plus utilities for these monstrous warehouses! Now, add in the impressive machinery used to grab items stored 30 feet in the air, forklifts to move pallets of furniture, and tons of other (super cool) incredibly pricey gadgets.
Does just thinking about a trip to the mechanic make your wallet sad? Apply that sentiment to an entire fleet of trucks. Add in a place to park these puppies, any commercial vehicle/driver permits, diesel gas costs, and the occasional speeding ticket to meet your delivery window, and you’ve got an added monthly money pit.
Who drives these trucks? Sets up the tents? Stains the wooden tables? Drivers, installers, and warehouse managers have very hard jobs. These folks need to be strong, knowledgeable, and extremely detail-oriented. Do you want a company to pay the person delivering and installing your entire wedding reception the same rate you pay your kid cousin to wash your car when you’re feeling lazy?
6) Service & Expertise
The best rental companies do way more than own some nice things. In addition to everything already mentioned, they provide incredible customer service, free expert advice, and a smile to boot. When your rental company talks you into an event-saving rental decision, or answers your 5th call reassuring you have everything you need for a very important client gala, you’ll be glad they’re charging you enough to afford to go home to a well-deserved glass of wine and bubble bath when it’s all said and done.