Should You Rent Before You Buy?

This is a question I have been asked time and time again. What makes sense? Should I rent this projector or just go ahead and buy one. Should we own cameras or just rent them? These are great questions to ask. You need to consider many items, most that will be specific to your situation. Below, we’ve compiled a few of the questions that everyone needs to ask when making your next big equipment purchase decision.


Test Equipment and Setups

One thing that so many folks forget is to test equipment. I don’t know about you, but I spend crazy amounts of time researching products before I buy anything. Even that sometimes isn’t enough. You can research, compare prices, and look at alternatives until you’re blue in the face. Nothing compares to seeing a product in use in your room.

Renting equipment is a great way to overcome obstacles and avoid the unknowns. I love renting equipment, especially large pieces like projectors, sounds systems, and lighting consoles. These items cost thousands of dollars. I’ve saved myself plenty of time, hassle, and money by simply renting for one event or service to know if the particular piece of equipment is what I really need.

Renting also helps ensure that the equipment will fit in your space and with your setup. You want to be sure that the new 20k projector will fit where you can put it…leadership won’t be impressed when you add a $10,000 building renovation to accommodate a projector.

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Unless you’re going to be using this equipment daily or at the very least weekly basis, you’ll need to figure out storage for your equipment. As with most churches and venues, I’m sure you’re just looking for new items to fill up all your empty storage rooms. Right?!? No.

Honestly, if you’re like any church or venue I’ve worked with, storage space is at a premium. Anytime you hear “Capital Improvements” you cringe a bit inside. What will you have to move, stack, sell, or toss in order to store this new “need” you have for one service or event?

Storage is a critical piece of the puzzle to consider when thinking about purchasing equipment. Renting gives you time to see what space you need when you add cases, cabling, etc.


Technology Changes

Before you’re finished reading this article, new technology will be changing the way we live, work, and play. So, how do you keep up with it? You buy the latest iPhone and 10 minutes later your next door neighbor has a newer model.

Technology is constantly changing and evolving. If you’re looking at utilizing a new technology, find a way to rent it before purchasing. This will give you the best idea as to how you can use this piece of equipment in your community and whether or not it makes sense to have in your inventory.

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Cost Comparison

Cost is usually a major factor in considering whether it’s worth renting or buying new equipment. I’ve done it before. It costs $1,000 to rent a piece of equipment for a week or $1750 to purchase that same piece of gear. This is hard to justify the cost of rental versus purchase. And sometimes, you’ll just go ahead and buy the gear.

However, some pieces of gear can be rented for pennies on the dollar. When looking at large format projectors, lighting consoles and fixtures, and major audio components, renting is a great idea before you buy.


So, lets say you’re approved for purchase. You can’t get any more money for rental. What do you do? Find a reputable A/V integrator in your area and get them to consult with you. They’ll more often than not bring in demo products so you can make an educated decision before finalizing your purchase.


Have any questions? Shoot us an email and let us know what you’re looking at adding to your inventory. We’d love to help!

Tim Southwick

Author Tim Southwick

Tim is the Brand Manager for TripleWide Media. He has 10 years experience in the event management world and has a strong desire to see visuals and media used to increase the user experience.

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