The Share Economy has brought the world some pretty interesting business models. The likes of Uber and Airbnb have become a part of daily life now, for many people throughout the world. It’s not something that many people associate with photography gear rental, though. Typically one thinks of companies like LensRentals and BorrowLenses, who meticulously maintain their equipment to ensure they’re always letting out the very best.
But gear rental doesn’t seem to be immune to the share economy. In fact, both KitSplit and CameraLends have pretty much entirely built upon its principles. Today, KitSplit announced that they have acquired rival company CameraLends. This brings both communities together and offers a much larger pool of gear, as well as a bigger customer base.
The CameraLends acquisition makes KitSplit the biggest rental marketplace for cameras and related gear! For those of you who haven’t heard of CameraLends, it is a fellow rental marketplace for cameras and related equipment.
Finding gear through such a service is pretty straight forward. You just go to the website and search for it. If another user on the site happens to have one they’re willing to hire out, it pops up in the list. It sounds like a great way for photographers to make a little extra money from gear they don’t use very often.
Those renting are required to purchase insurance, a damage waiver, or leave a full deposit on any equipment hired. They say that they fully vet every member, and encourage members to build up their reputation with detailed profiles. Reviews and ratings also offer some transparency. Ultimately, though, no matter how much somebody wants to rent something, the gear owner has the final say on whether or not they’ll let it out.
As the gear comes from a wide variety of source, the prices can also vary pretty wildly on some items.
With the increased supply of gear that the merging of the two companies offers, it should drive prices down. This will obviously attract a lot more people looking to rent, which in turn will attract more people with gear.
When we first met Adam, the founder of CameraLends, we knew it was a natural fit. Our values are aligned with the CameraLends community and with founder Adam Derewecki’s vision.
We are both focused on empowering creators, broadening access to gear, and helping creators who own gear safely make extra money renting it out.
While I like the idea, I’m not sure it’s something I’d want to do myself, from either side of the transaction.
After seeing the lengths that LensRentals and others go to ensure gear’s always working perfectly, it’s like receiving new gear. If it’s not absolutely pristine, it doesn’t go out to a client. Personally owned gear rarely gets that kind of attention, and I’ve seen first hand the way rental gear is often treated on set. I wouldn’t want to let my own gear out, knowing what’s likely happening to it.
Personally, I think I’ll be sticking to more traditional rental companies.
To find out more about the company or for details about the acquisition, check out the KitSplit blog.
How about you? Are you a CameraLends or KitSplit customer? Do you rent your own gear out on there? Does the “share economy” model for gear rental get you excited? Or will you stay with regular gear rental companies? Let us know in the comments.