Should You Sell Restrooms to Your Customers?

Selling versus renting may sometimes make sense, but it really comes down to what makes more profit for you

Should You Sell Restrooms to Your Customers?

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Buying versus renting is an age-old question. Most people prefer to own what they are using. Ownership gives them a feeling of pride, and it gives a sense of freedom. You can do whatever you want with that object. You can hold onto it forever and know that no one can take it from you. 

Recently, ownership became passé. Why buy a dress, when you can rent one for a weekend wedding? Why buy a car, when you can lease or even use ride-share programs? When you rent, there is someone to fix the item when it is broken. When it gets old, you swap it for a new one. Sounds pretty nice, right? 

That is what I would say to my customers. Why buy your own toilets, when you can rent mine? Every week, we come and clean them out. When a door breaks, we replace it. If it gets old and shabby-looking, we bring you a new one. Still sounds good, right? 

So which one do you pick, renting or selling? That depends on a couple of things. How long is the job? What is the cost of service? If a customer rents a toilet at $100 per month, after four to five months they have surpassed the actual cost of a standard toilet. For a year, that rental costs around $1,300, if you are using a 28-day billing cycle.  

If a customer buys a toilet, it will generally cost around $450 and a year of services would be $780, assuming $15 per service. This costs the customer $1,230 for the year. So they actually save $70. Obviously pricing changes a lot based on where you are located and what you charge, but you can see that owning the toilet will typically cost less than renting. 

Why would you want to sell off your equipment, costing yourself a customer? There are a couple of reasons. It is a great way to get rid of older equipment, which can free up some space in your storage yard. You can charge a higher price for the service, depending on location, frequency of services, etc.  

Selling versus renting is a never-ending debate, and there is really no right or wrong answer. It always will come down to profit and loss, and figuring out which scenario makes the most sense and makes the best profit for you.  

About the author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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