Why didn’t I think of that?

Published 11:01 am Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Need a place to lay your head at night, but can’t afford a long-term mortgage or upkeep on a home….then rent one.

What about tackling the task of having to install an underground water line from a roadside meter to your residence, but unable to afford a plumber….then visit your local hardware store or one of those big box outlets and rent a gas-powered trencher.

Even general purpose power tools can be rented. Take a miter saw for example. They’ll set you back about $150 if you go out and purchase one, but they can be rented for roughly 30 bucks for a half-day. And, be honest, on how many occasions do you really need a miter saw?

Say you’re going to throw a big party for whatever reason. You need tables, chairs and place settings…perhaps even a large tent to cover it all. Purchasing those items could cost several hundred dollars, but you can rent them for a fraction of that.

What if you have a hankering to commune with Mother Nature and spend a night camping in the wild. A nice tent, complete with sleeping bags and a portable cook stove, can be expensive. And, again, think about how many times you go camping a year. So why not rent those items at a cheaper price. Lots of outdoors-type stores offer that service.

There is an endless list of items that can be rented….vehicles, video games, DVD movies, textbooks, cameras, parking spots, beach umbrellas, storage lockers, and a full line of furniture and appliances, to include TV’s and stereo systems.

What about athletic jerseys?

Well, yep, you can rent those too.

At lunch on Wednesday, I was thumbing through www.espn.com looking for a baseball score from the night before when I stumbled across an interesting article.

According to the story’s author, Paul Lukas, he thinks it’s ludicrous to purchase a pro jersey at $250 and then have that player, like so many do, jump to another team. What the owner is left with is memories, minus 250 smack-a-roos.

It appears that a trio of MBA students at Columbia Business School have devised a solution to that problem.

“The basic premise is like a jersey version of Netflix: If you want to wear a jersey for a particular game but don’t want to commit to spending the big bucks, JerseySquare will rent it to you for as little as $25. If you want to wear a rotating series of jerseys throughout the year, you can buy an annual subscription for $200,” Lukas wrote in his story.

Another athletic apparel rental company – “Rep The Squad” – is taking this game to another level.

In another espn.com story (this one by Darren Rovell), “Rep The Squad is selling monthly subscriptions that allow fans to pick what jerseys they want to wear and have the items sent to them one at a time. When a jersey is returned in a prepaid envelope, the next jersey in their queue (or “locker”) is sent out.”

The monthly subscription is $19.95 for adults and $16.95 for children.

Brian Watkins is the man behind “Rep The Squad.”

“How many jerseys can you really afford to own,” Watkins asked in Rovell’s story. “Wouldn’t it be nice to not only wear the players on your favorite team, but also be able to wear the jerseys of the players on your fantasy team?”

The story related that Watkins hopes to eventually go into all major pro sports teams, but at launch, which was Wednesday, the company will only have jerseys for fans of the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. They even offer jerseys for the now retired Lions great Barry Sanders.

The company has acquired thousands of jerseys, including every look in every size for those three teams.

And what if a jersey is returned covered in grass stains and the smell of sour beer? Watkins said his company will have it dry-cleaned, at no cost to the previous renter, before it’s shipped out to another fan.

Now why didn’t I come up with this type of rental idea?

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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