We're all a little shorter on that liquid capital than last holiday season, and our calls to the bank for a credit limit increase aren't being returned. Here at FastCompany.com we've devised a solution for holiday shoppers who still want to look like a millionaire without having to go broke. Yep, here are 8 great things that you can rent.
Depending on your recent circumstances you might have a lot of time to kill over the holidays — maybe you want to catch up on all those Chess games you missed or that plot to overthrow the government. Well, now you can. For $2.77 per- hour, Interactive Supercomputing, Inc. will outfit you with your own supercomputer. (Of course, if you're looking to rent the whole supercomputer, with all of its cores, it'll cost a bit more: $465 per-hour.) Can't figure out if your brother-in-law is a terrorist? Can't afford anyone to do your taxes this year? Enter the figures and let the supercomputer do the rest.
Ready to do your share for the environment by driving a green machine, but didn't get that big bonus this year to make it a reality? The Tesla Roadster and the Gibbs Aquada, the fastest and most street-and-water-legal boatcar, should both be available to rent the beginning of 2009. eQocar.com, which rents hybrid vehicles, promises to have them in stock. That'll save you from figuring out new energy tax credits or purchase incentives. And just in case green isn't your thing, Gotham Dream Cars can put you in the seat of, well, your dream car. Try a Lamborghini Murciélago for $6,900 a week in New York and a Bentley Continental GTC for the same rate in Miami.
Your Very Own Circus
Forget Britney Spears and T-Pain's brands of circus, why can't you open your own big top? If the theory that people with pets live longer is actually true, then going all-out by renting exotic animals ought to get you over those recession blues. Hollywood Animals will gladly bring Madagascar to your corporate event, party, or even offer a private animal encounter with a lion or a bear— and that's nicely priced at $495 per person.
With our addiction to oil crippling the economy, why not go solar and show those nosy neighbors that you're really part of change. The Citizenre Corporation's REnU Project offers a cheap, solar panel rental plan. The company will pay for, install, operate, and maintain your solar equipment. And all you have to do is pay flat monthly rent of $100.
Big Screen TV
Buying a 61" plasma screen TV will cost you around $5000, but renting one? You can rent one for only a day at $1K or a week at $3K from Meeting Tomorrow — or just enough time to get you through the Super Bowl. And if you've got a Brady-Bunch-sized family, how about a Jumbotron mobile LED screen? Only $9000-a-day! What a bargain!
Hey boss, offer your employees something to look at other than their diminishing 401(k)s. Art Rent & Lease is just one of many sites that offers flexible, tax- deductible, no-interest leases on fine art for offices and professionals. Or go the cheaper route: become a member of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and rent in three month-cycles for as little as $17 a month. Pretty cool, huh? Now you can pretend that you're a serious art collector, when all you really need is a bailout.
Ice, Ice Baby
Michele Krause, founder of Bling Yourself, Inc. — a site that rents blinged-out jewelry and other accessories — says that the economic slowdown has "no impact" on the company's customer acquisition rate or even the number of rentals. Don't be bashful, rent a little jewelry over the holidays to impress your in-laws or better yet, to convince your kids they'll be going to private school next year.
Phone For The Holidays
Since the company took back its BlackBerry, you've been fiending for around-the-clock contact. Besides, you'll probably need one for your new job quest anyway. Here's how you can get a fix. RentCell, rents BlackBerry Curves for $84 a week with unlimited calls and email, while InTouch USA offers iPhones at a weekly rate of $89 plus $0.79 per minute for each call.