Stay-at-home mom Manuela Madrid needed to make some extra money for her family, so she started searching Google for “jobs for stay-at-home moms” to see if anything seemed appealing. Eventually, a baby gear rental service called BabyQuip appeared in her results.
Services like BabyQuip allow families to rent strollers, car seats, cribs and other baby items when traveling instead of lugging around their own gear. Madrid, 37, who lives in Brandon, Florida, near Tampa, had collected baby equipment over the years while raising her two children, now ages 5 and 1. She decided after doing some research that listing her gear to rent would be perfect for her.
Madrid says on average she works less than 12 hours per month, getting two rental orders and earning between $120 and $180 with each fulfillment. So if you’re a parent with some baby equipment you’re not using, here’s what you need to know to become a baby-gear renter.
How Baby Gear Rental Services Work
When a family places a rental order with a service like BabyQuip, a local provider — an independent contractor — receives the reservation request.
These orders vary in quantity and type of gear. Each reservation includes a delivery charge, and every item has a specific per-day rental rate. Madrid says a typical order consists of portable cribs and car seats, but it can also include strollers, high chairs and playpens.
On the day of the order, the provider loads up their car with the equipment and delivers it to a predetermined location such as an airport, hotel, Airbnb or private residence. Madrid says she helps set up more complex items, like cribs, if the renter or the Airbnb host is there. Otherwise, she leaves them at the front door or check-in desk.
At the end of the rental period, the provider collects the items and takes them home to be cleaned before the next rental.
Rafi Zait has witnessed the growth of the industry since founding Traveling Baby Company in 2004. Despite an uptick in awareness, he says many people still don’t know this service exists.
“The main reason is that unless you have (a) small children, and (b) [are] traveling somewhere, you’re not going to think about it,” says Zait, 48, who is now a Traveling Baby Company customer manager and company affiliate based in Los Angeles and Orange County, California.
Kristen Knorr was one of those people who didn’t know the industry existed until about a year ago. She discovered stroller rental services when researching websites in preparation for a family vacation to Disneyland. Space was limited in her family vehicle, so she opted to place a reservation and leave the stroller at their home in Provo, Utah.
When Knorr’s family arrived at their hotel near Disneyland, a double stroller from City Stroller Rentals was waiting for them at the front desk. “That was really great, and it was a better stroller than the one we had [at home],” she says.
Having the double stroller made a three-day Disney trip with a then 2 ½-year-old and a 9-month old easier. When it was time to drive back to Utah, Knorr left the stroller at the front desk for the baby-gear service to pick up. In the past, Knorr says, she would bring her own baby gear on trips but is now open to renting, especially when her family goes back to Disneyland in February.
What Are the Pay and Hours Like?
Madrid and Zait both say they earn 80% of each order, and their companies keep a 20% service fee.
Zait says there are many factors that go into how much someone can earn, such as the affiliate’s location, overall demand and competition. He says the business is busier during the summer and holidays, and order requests are higher in major cities and near popular tourist attractions.
An affiliate with Zait’s company can spend about three to four hours per average week delivering, picking up and cleaning the equipment and more than 10 hours a week during the holidays. A typical affiliate with his company can make between $800 and $1,200 per month.
Madrid says she receives an average of two orders per month and spends between eight and 12 hours fulfilling orders around the Tampa Bay area. In addition to the 80% take on each reservation, she gets to keep 100% of the delivery fees.
Some Baby Gear Companies to Consider
Now that you know the basics of what to expect doing the job, here are some of the best baby gear companies to consider joining. These are companies with a national presence, but there are more companies out there. Zait says most of the industry consists of mom-and-pop providers that operate in smaller areas, such as a specific city. So also consider checking if there is a company in your area that may need extra help delivering gear.
Founded in 2012, Babies Getaway’s services are available in every city in the continental United States, according to its website. Click here to find out how to become a partner with the company. The application asks which city you wish to service, whether you have a secure location in which to store the equipment and how far you are willing to drive for deliveries.
BabyQuip has providers in 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Canada. An initial sign-up fee of $100 covers your administrative expenses, general liability insurance and your first month of insurance coverage. Click here to sign up and learn more about BabyQuip.
GoBaby began in New York City before expanding nationally in 2016. Now the company operates in 35 states, according to its website. Equipment owners snap pictures of their gear and list it on the goBaby marketplace for renters to reserve. Click here to find out more.
Traveling Baby Company
Traveling Baby Company currently operates in 30 locations in 15 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Zait says people interested in becoming an affiliate can contact the company via email at [email protected] or call 800-304-4866 to set up a phone interview.
Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers side hustles and the gig economy. Follow him on Twitter @MattReinstetle.
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