Entering the Sharing Economy

Photo of roller derby
Roller derby action

I am about to enter the sharing economy. Or is it the renting economy? Maybe you have things in your house or apartment that you don’t really need anymore and could turn into cash.

I sold my Canon 50D DSLR camera and super wide angle 10-22MM EF-S lens after deciding to rent a camera in the future when I do photography. I auctioned my camera and lens on Ebay for $530 total. Here are my thoughts that led me to conclude it was time to sell.

First and foremost, I have rarely used these two items in the past year. Previously, I used them a lot. I was one of those people who took their camera everywhere. Recently, I have fallen out of photography a bit as a hobby. This camera and lens were sitting in the closet for over 350 days a year. In the back of my head I knew they were in there and felt kinda bad about not using them enough.

Like most serious hobbyists, I have more than one camera. If I get the urge to take photos, I still have a camera I can use. When renting, I will have to do a bit more planning so I can order and receive the camera in time to photograph my intended scenes. I plan to rent when there is a significant event or holiday coming up.

As a way of testing gear in the past I have used a website called www.BorrowLenses.com. I looked on their website to see how much it would be to rent a camera, then did a few calculations to see if I could afford it. I own two really good lenses which will work well with one of the rented camera bodies, so I don’t have to rent a lens.

It comes down to a couple of questions to make the decision to sell or not. How much will I be using a camera in the next year? How much will it cost?

Let’s guess three long weekends over the course of the year. A Canon 5D Mark III can be rented for $90 for three days. At $270 for the entire year, less than $25 per month, it’s easily affordable. The risk would be that I would want it far more than that, but I can deal with that situation if it arises. A new camera of that type is $2149 on Amazon. That would be almost eight years of rentals for the same price as buying a new camera.

A major advantage of renting is access to the latest and greatest gear. Some of the cameras are extremely good and ridiculously pricy to buy. It has been several years since my camera was new. Multiple generations from Canon have come out in the meantime. Renting gives me the opportunity to enjoy some of the latest and greatest without breaking the bank.

Maybe you want to look through your closets and convert some of your rarely used items into cash, then rent as needed.  Get those used items out of your closet and out of the back of your mind.

Entering the Sharing Economy