Switched-on businesses around Australia are hiring out instead of selling big-ticket consumer goods, as the economy continues to take a battering.

With consumer confidence reportedly at its lowest in 15 years, householders are refraining from making major purchases such as fridges, TVs and gaming consoles and are renting them instead from so-called ‘rent-repreneurs’.

Now, these tuned-in rental businesses can market goods and services, using Australia’s first dedicated online rental directory RentOrHire.com.au

“Our customers knew they needed to advertise online – they just didn’t know where,” said Ben Morgan, a director at RentOrHire.com.au 

“There was nothing like Rent Or Hire before we launched. The nearest comparison is an online phone directory, which doesn’t let businesses display as much information or branding, gain advanced statistical reports, or generate quality web-based leads like we do.”

For a low monthly fee, businesses can create a virtual shopfront on RentOrHire.com.au to advertise their goods, places or services for hire. Meanwhile, visitors to the site can freely browse exact images, pricing, rental conditions and other information for around 12,000 goods, as well as get quotes, make booking requests and conduct transactions however they choose – phone, fax, email or via online forms. The area-specific searches can be state-wide, or refined to within a 50km radius of the customer’s desired location.

Since its launch in February 2008, RentOrHire.com.au has grown by an average of 33 per cent each month to attract almost 30,000 visitors a month in August. The site expects to triple that by its first anniversary, in early 2009, to achieve 90,000 unique visitors every month.