Peer-to-peer​ ​Guitar​ ​Rental​ ​Marketplace:​ ​An​ ​Introduction​ ​to​ ​Fretish

I’m excited to have a guest blog this week from Sam at Fretish℠.  Sam is the founder of the recent site,, which aims to make borrowing a guitar easier.  Talking with Sam this week, it was easy to see how bringing the sharing economy to guitars could immediately benefit guitar owners, borrowers (of course), and even guitar manufacturers.

So, just imagine you’re reading The Onion for a moment, as Sam explains to himself what this new guitar business model is…

A​ ​new​ ​solution​ ​for​ ​guitar​ ​porn​ ​addicts​ ​who​ ​want​ ​to​ ​try​ ​nice​ ​gear​ ​on​ ​a​ ​regular basis​ ​without​ ​visiting​ ​a​ ​retail​ ​store,​ ​getting​ ​divorced​ ​or​ ​going​ ​bankrupt.​ ​P2P guitar​ ​rentals​ ​is​ ​also​ ​a​ ​great​ ​way​ ​to​ ​earn​ ​money​ ​from​ ​your​ ​current​ ​guitar collection,​ ​but​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​for​ ​everyone.

Name​ ​of​ ​condition:​ ​​Guitar​ ​Acquisition​ ​Syndrome​ ​(aka​ ​G.A.S.)

Symptoms:​​ ​Depleted​ ​bank​ ​account.​ ​​ ​Angry,​ ​frustrated​ ​spouse.​ ​​ ​Inbox stuffed​ ​with​ ​sales​ ​alerts​ ​from​ ​Sam​ ​Ash,​ ​Guitar​ ​Center,​ ​The​ ​Music​ ​Emporium and​ ​five​ ​billion​ ​other​ ​retailers.​ ​​ ​Spare​ ​guest​ ​room​ ​contains​ ​shrine​ ​to​ ​Jimmy Page​ ​and​ ​15+​ ​hardshell​ ​cases​ ​stacked​ ​floor​ ​to​ ​ceiling.

Is​ ​there​ ​a​ ​solution​ ​to​ ​G.A.S.?:​​ ​​ ​Perhaps.​ ​​ ​There’s​ ​a​ ​promising​ ​clinical​ ​trial underway.​ ​​ ​It’s​ ​called​ ​Fretish℠​ ​(located​ ​here:​ ​​​​ ​).

Age:​ ​​ ​​Weeks​ ​old.​ ​​ ​Born​ ​July​ ​2017.

Appearance:​​ ​​ ​Similar​ ​to​ ​a​ ​typical​ ​guitar​ ​website,​ ​except​ ​it​ ​doesn’t​ ​use​ ​the color​ ​black.​ ​​ ​(Is​ ​there​ ​a​ ​law​ ​that​ ​every​ ​guitar​ ​site​ ​must​ ​use​ ​black​ ​as​ ​the main​ ​color​ ​motif?​ ​​ ​But,​ ​I​ ​digress…)

And​ ​what​ ​is​ ​it,​ ​exactly?​ ​​ ​​A​ ​peer-to-peer​ ​guitar​ ​rental​ ​marketplace.

Come​ ​again?​​ ​​ ​It’s​ ​a​ ​place​ ​where​ ​people​ ​who​ ​own​ ​musical​ ​instruments​ ​list their​ ​gear​ ​to​ ​rent​ ​to​ ​other​ ​musicians​ ​for​ ​short​ ​periods​ ​of​ ​time.

You​ ​mean​ ​it’s​ ​like​ ​AirBnB​ ​for​ ​guitars?​ ​​ ​​Ding.​ ​Ding.​ ​Ding.​ ​​ ​Exactly.

So,​ ​I​ ​can​ ​rent​ ​a​ ​guitar​ ​or​ ​an​ ​effects​ ​pedal,​ ​take​ ​it​ ​home​ ​and​ ​play​ ​it for​ ​a​ ​few​ ​hours​ ​or​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days​ ​without​ ​having​ ​to​ ​buy​ ​the​ ​equipment outright?​​ ​​ ​Yes,​ ​that’s​ ​how​ ​it works!

Sounds​ ​pretty​ ​cool.​ ​​ What​ ​does​ ​it​ ​cost​ ​to​ ​rent​ ​an​ ​instrument?​​ ​​ ​Each owner​ ​gets​ ​to​ ​set​ ​their​ ​own​ ​price,​ ​so​ ​it​ ​depends​ ​on​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​factors. However,​ ​the​ ​current​ ​average​ ​cost​ ​per​ ​night​ ​is​ ​approximately​ ​$25.

What​ ​if​ ​I​ ​rent​ ​some​ ​gear​ ​and​ ​decide​ ​that​ ​I​ ​really​ ​like​ ​it​ ​and​ ​want​ ​to buy​ ​it?​​ ​​ ​I​ ​thought​ ​you​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​get​ ​rid​ ​of​ ​G.A.S…?

I’m…..asking​ ​for​ ​a​ ​friend.​​ ​​ ​Well,​ ​it​ ​depends​ ​on​ ​the​ ​owner​ ​of​ ​the equipment​ ​from​ ​whom​ ​you​ ​are​ ​renting.​ ​​ ​They​ ​may​ ​be​ ​open​ ​to​ ​selling​ ​their instrument.​ ​​ ​And,​ ​if​ ​so,​ ​they​ ​can​ ​sell​ ​it​ ​to​ ​you.​ ​​ ​Moreover,​ ​they​ ​can​ ​adjust the​ ​sales​ ​price​ ​downward​ ​to​ ​reflect​ ​the​ ​amount​ ​you​ ​spent​ ​while​ ​renting​ ​the gear.​ ​​ ​But,​ ​they​ ​may​ ​want​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​their​ ​gear​ ​and,​ ​in​ ​that​ ​case,​ ​you’ll​ ​need​ ​to return​ ​the​ ​equipment​ ​when​ ​the​ ​rental​ ​period​ ​expires.

Okay,​ ​let’s​ ​say​ ​I​ ​already​ ​have​ ​a​ ​decent​ ​guitar​ ​collection.​ ​​ ​Can​ ​I​ ​rent my​ ​instruments​ ​through​ ​Fretish℠​ ​to​ ​nearby​ ​musicians?​​ ​​ ​Yes.​ ​​ ​It’s​ ​free to​ ​join​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​free​ ​to​ ​list​ ​your​ ​equipment.

So​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​pay​ ​anything​ ​to​ ​rent​ ​my​ ​equipment?​​ ​​ ​Whoa,​ ​that’s​ ​just​ ​crazy talk.​ ​​ ​There​ ​is​ ​an​ ​11%​ ​service​ ​fee​ ​(which​ ​covers​ ​payment​ ​processing​ ​and platform​ ​administrative​ ​costs)​ ​that​ ​gets​ ​charged​ ​to​ ​you​ ​for​ ​each​ ​transaction. Example:​ ​If​ ​you​ ​listed​ ​a​ ​Gibson​ ​L-5​ ​Archtop​ ​Guitar​ ​for​ ​rent​ ​at​ ​$200​ ​per​ ​night and​ ​someone​ ​rented​ ​the​ ​instrument​ ​for​ ​one​ ​night,​ ​you’d​ ​make​ ​$178.

Seems​ ​reasonable.​ ​​ ​So,​ ​if​ ​I​ ​rent​ ​my​ ​instrument​ ​out,​ ​I​ ​could​ ​actually earn​ ​money?​​ ​​ ​Yes​ ​you​ ​can.

​What​ ​should​ ​I​ ​charge​ ​for​ ​my​ ​instrument?​​ ​​ ​Are​ ​you​ ​a Guitar​ ​God​ ​like​ ​Jimmy​ ​Page,​ ​Edward​ ​Van​ ​Halen​ ​or​ ​Jeff​ ​Back?

Yes!​​ ​​ ​Charge​ ​whatever​ ​you​ ​want!

No.​​ ​​ ​Whatever​ ​you​ ​think​ ​is​ ​a​ ​“fair”​ ​price​ ​for​ ​the​ ​equipment​ ​available​ ​for​ ​rent. There​ ​are​ ​some​ ​industries,​ ​like​ ​professional​ ​photography​ ​cameras,​ ​which rent​ ​out​ ​gear​ ​for​ ​approximately​ ​33%​ ​of​ ​the​ ​retail​ ​value​ ​of​ ​the​ ​equipment.

By​ ​that​ ​benchmark,​ ​you​ ​would​ ​list​ ​your​ ​$1,000​ ​Stratocaster​ ​for​ ​$333/night. However,​ ​that​ ​“feels”​ ​high​ ​to​ ​most​ ​people.​ ​​ ​Try​ ​starting​ ​at​ ​a​ ​nightly​ ​rate which​ ​seems​ ​reasonable​ ​to​ ​you​ ​and​ ​your​ ​friends​ ​(and​ ​then​ ​you​ ​can​ ​adjust the​ ​price​ ​higher​ ​or​ ​lower​ ​based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​response​ ​you​ ​get).

Are​ ​there​ ​other​ ​marketplaces​ ​where​ ​I​ ​could​ ​rent​ ​my​ ​gear​ ​out​ ​to other​ ​musicians?​​ ​​ ​Certainly,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​online​ ​marketplaces​ ​for selling​​ ​gear,​ ​including​ ​(but​ ​not​ ​limited​ ​to):​ ​eBay,​ ​Craigslist​ ​and​ ​Reverb.​ ​​ ​But, there​ ​are​ ​very​ ​few​ ​options​ ​that​ ​specifically​ ​allow​ ​you​ ​to​ ​list​ ​items​ ​for​ ​rent.

How​ ​about​ ​the​ ​safety​ ​of​ ​my​ ​gear?​ ​​ ​Can​ ​I​ ​ensure​ ​that​ ​my​ ​gear​ ​doesn’t get​ ​damaged​ ​when​ ​it​ ​gets​ ​rented?​​ ​​ ​There​ ​are​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​options available​ ​to​ ​you​ ​to​ ​reduce​ ​the​ ​risk​ ​of​ ​damage​ ​to​ ​your​ ​equipment:

  1. Only​ ​rent​ ​to​ ​people​ ​you​ ​know​ ​and​ ​trust.
  2. Only​ ​rent​ ​to​ ​people​ ​who​ ​have​ ​previously​ ​rented​ ​through​ ​Fretish℠​ ​beforeand​ ​have​ ​high​ ​ratings.
  3. Structure​ ​the​ ​rental​ ​period​ ​to​ ​be​ ​supervised​ ​(at​ ​a​ ​location​ ​and​ ​time/duration​ ​of​ ​your​ ​choosing).
  4. You​ ​have​ ​up​ ​to​ ​3​ ​days​ ​to​ ​review​ ​a​ ​rental​ ​booking​ ​request.​ ​​ ​During​ ​thattime​ ​you​ ​can​ ​communicate​ ​with​ ​a​ ​potential​ ​renter​ ​through​ ​the​ ​Fretish℠ messaging​ ​system.​ ​​ ​Ask​ ​them​ ​anything​ ​(e.g.,​ ​Are​ ​there​ ​small​ ​children in​ ​your​ ​household?​ ​​ ​Is​ ​your​ ​place​ ​climate​ ​controlled?​ ​​ ​Are​ ​you​ ​a smoker?).​ ​​ ​If​ ​something​ ​doesn’t​ ​feel​ ​right,​ ​then​ ​you​ ​have​ ​every​ ​right to​ ​reject​ ​the​ ​rental​ ​request.

Should​ ​I​ ​list​ ​the​ ​“crown​ ​jewel”​ ​of​ ​my​ ​guitar​ ​collection​ ​for​ ​rent?​ ​​ ​My grandfather​ ​gave​ ​it​ ​to​ ​me​ ​and​ ​it​ ​has​ ​significant​ ​sentimental​ ​value. It’s​ ​really​ ​like​ ​my​ ​baby.​​ ​​ You’d seriously consider renting your baby?

Well,​ ​no…​​ ​​ ​Look,​ ​start​ ​off​ ​by​ ​listing​ ​an​ ​instrument​ ​in​ ​your​ ​collection​ ​that you​ ​rarely​ ​play​ ​and​ ​perhaps​ ​you​ ​had​ ​considered​ ​selling​ ​to​ ​“thin​ ​the​ ​herd”.​ ​​ ​If renting​ ​out​ ​that​ ​instrument​ ​starts​ ​to​ ​make​ ​money​ ​for​ ​you,​ ​then​ ​consider listing​ ​other​ ​guitars​ ​in​ ​your​ ​collection.​ ​​ ​Or,​ ​consider​ ​listing​ ​that​ ​effects​ ​pedal that​ ​you​ ​never​ ​use.​ ​​ ​Just​ ​take​ ​it​ ​one​ ​step​ ​at​ ​a​ ​time.

Do​ ​you​ ​have​ ​any​ ​additional​ ​suggestions?​​ ​​ ​Before​ ​checking​ ​out​ ​Fretish℠, ask​ ​yourself​ ​this:​ ​Am​ ​I​ ​like​ ​​Nigel​ ​from​ ​Spinal​ ​Tap​?​ ​​ ​If​ ​you​ ​can’t​ ​stand​ ​the idea​ ​of​ ​someone​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​your​ ​guitar,​ ​then​ ​listing​ ​your​ ​gear​ ​on​ ​a peer-to-peer​ ​rental​ ​marketplace​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​your​ ​cup​ ​of​ ​tea.​ ​​ ​But,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​like the​ ​idea​ ​of​ ​meeting​ ​fellow​ ​musicians​ ​and​ ​passively​ ​earning​ ​money​ ​from​ ​your guitar​ ​collection,​ ​then​ ​give​ ​it​ ​a​ ​try.


About​ ​Fretish℠​ ​


Founded​ ​in​ ​July​ ​2017​ ​and​ ​based​ ​in​ ​Boston,​ ​Massachusetts,​ ​Fretish℠​ ​is​ ​a trusted​ ​community​ ​and​ ​peer-to-peer​ ​marketplace​ ​for​ ​musicians​ ​to​ ​list, discover,​ ​and​ ​book​ ​unique​ ​guitars​ ​and​ ​gear​ ​for​ ​rent.​ ​​ ​Whether​ ​the​ ​available instrument​ ​is​ ​a​ ​Martin​ ​flat​ ​top​ ​guitar​ ​for​ ​a​ ​night,​ ​a​ ​Dunlop​ ​Wah​ ​pedal​ ​for​ ​a week,​ ​or​ ​a​ ​Fender​ ​Jazz​ ​Bass​ ​for​ ​a​ ​month,​ ​Fretish℠​ ​is​ ​the​ ​easiest​ ​way​ ​for people​ ​to​ ​showcase​ ​their​ ​instrument​ ​collection​ ​to​ ​a​ ​wide,​ ​yet​ ​qualified audience.​ ​By​ ​facilitating​ ​bookings​ ​and​ ​financial​ ​transactions,​ ​Fretish℠​ ​makes the​ ​process​ ​of​ ​listing​ ​or​ ​booking​ ​musical​ ​equipment​ ​effortless​ ​and​ ​efficient.

Currently,​ ​Fretish℠​ ​serves​ ​musicians​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Boston​ ​and​ ​greater​ ​New​ ​England area.​ ​​ ​By​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​2017,​ ​we​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​expand​ ​into​ ​New​ ​York.​ ​​ ​And,​ ​assuming all​ ​goes​ ​well,​ ​we’ll​ ​spread​ ​to​ ​Nashville​ ​and​ ​Los​ ​Angeles​ ​by​ ​the​ ​middle​ ​of 2018.

The​ ​company​ ​is​ ​privately​ ​held.

To​ ​contact​ ​Sam​ ​T​ ​at​ ​Fretish℠,​ ​use​ ​the​ ​contact​ ​form​ ​at

You​ ​are​ ​also​ ​welcome​ ​to​ ​follow​ ​Fretish℠​ ​via​ ​these​ ​social​ ​platforms:
Instagram​ ​​@fretish_com​​ ​|​ ​Twitter​ ​​@fretish_com​​ ​|​ ​FB​ ​​@FretishMusicRentals