RentAFriend.com is a new website that was designed for allowing users to rent some local friends from all around the globe. Why? Well, you could rent one for going to a restaurant or a movie with, just hanging out with, or someone to attend an event or a party with. You could even try renting a friend for the purpose of teaching you a new hobby or skill. And, one very popular and useful reason is for showing you around a new and unfamiliar city or town. After all, nobody likes to be alone in a new place with no idea of where to go, so this one is a really big help.
What is the company?
Founded in 2009 in New Jersey, RentAFriend is a relatively new service in the US market, however, it's been available in Japan for several years where it's extremely very popular as a service that is catering mostly to single parents. As of 2018, it was actually the largest platonic friendship site in the entire online world. It's definitely not an escort service or a dating website. No physical contact is allowed between any friends and members of RentAFriend and it's intended only for platonic companionship.
Who owns it?
The owner of RentAFriend is 30-year-old entrepreneur, Scott Rosenbaum. According to RentAFriend Press, the idea for RentAFriend came to him from the premise for the wildly popular Japanese "rent a friend" companies. He noticed that those companies in Japan catered mostly single-parents and families by offering stand-in family members. Let's say, there was a death in the family or a divorce where one parent wasn't available,. Members could hire an individual to play the part of that family member. When a Japanese child had to attend a school activity where his or her parents had to attend, it was a very common occurrence for the single parent to go to the site for the purpose of hiring a spouse for filling in at the school event.
He further stated that, after he read about the Japanese companies, he realized that there were absolutely no companies that catered to the special friend market in the United States. In fact, there are dating websites by the thousands, but none that offer the option of hiring a local friend who is purely platonic. So, he did some market research and came to the realization that there were a number of reasons why people might be wanting to rent a friend.
How is it used?
People use RentAFriend.com for a wide range of friendly activities. And, anyone can submit an application to become a friend on RentAFriend.com. It's 100 percent free and, as a friend, you can keep 100 percent of any money that you earn. With RentAFriend membership, any member can contact friends directly for the purpose of arranging price, time, and activities. All of the profile info is public with the exception of each friend's contact information. Everybody has the ability for viewing the friends' photos and basic details as well as reading their profiles, however, you have to become a new member for contacting the friend.
Membership costs $24.95 monthly or $69.95 for the entire year. Friends are generally charging between $10 and $50 per hour, however, the majority of them are more than willing to negotiate with you or perhaps even waive the usual fee. This depends on what activity the member wants the friend to do. After becoming a member you can feel free to contact any friend(s) by telephone or by messaging them via the RentAFriend anonymous messaging system for discussing your plans.
One of the best things about RentAFriend.com is your ability for viewing all of the friends' photos and profiles absolutely free of charge. This gives you the singular opportunity for finding one or more that you're interested in meeting prior to joining.
In case you're wondering what the difference is between Member accounts and Friends accounts, here's some info about that:
- A Friend is somebody who wants to start getting paid for their companionship.
- A Member is somebody who wants to start hiring Friends.
- Being a Friend is 100 percent Free
- Friends get to keep 100 percent of any money they earn.
- You can find out all about becoming a Friend on their website
- For becoming a Member of RentAFriend.com so that you can hire Friends, you need to pay the Membership fee. There are two subscription plans and both allow you all of the exact same access Friends on the RentAFriend.com website. There's only one difference between them and that is price/number of days regarding the Membership.
Plan #1: $24.95 per month, automatically renewing every 30-days. You may cancel your membership billing at any time. If you do, your account will still be active until your 30-day term is up. In addition, you have the ability to cancel the subscription right after joining and you'll only be charged $24.95. Your account will only become inactive after your 30 days is up.
Plan #2: You pay a one-time annual fee of $69.95 and it's good for one year (i.e. 365 days). This plan will not renew because it's a one-time fee. Once the year is up, your account becomes inactive. If you want to renew your account at that time, you have to re-enter your payment details manually. You can do so quite easily. Just log into your account and click on "Subscription" (on the left-side menu of the dashboard). All fees are in US Dollars.
A few examples of how RentAFriend can be used include:
- Traveling to a New City - When individuals are traveling to a new city, they can hire a local resident for showing them around the town. It's always a good idea to be acquainted with someone from the local area who can provide first-hand info about where you should and shouldn't go.
- Attending a Special Event - Another common request involves a Member who has received an invitation to a wedding, a work party, or some other social event and simply doesn't want to be attending the event all by themselves.
- A Movie or Dinner - On the other hand, a RentAFriend Member might want to go out an see a movie or eat out at a restaurant but has nobody to go with. They could simply choose to "Rent a Friend" to go accompany them.
- Learning Unique Talents - A number of Friends on RentAFriend.com possess some very unique skills and talents. They could teach you a brand new language that you've been wanting to learn. Other activities and talents could include tutoring you in a specific subject, sharing a new hobby with you, or teaching you some area of art form or even dancing, just to name a few.
- Meeting People from Different Cultures - It's also an excellent way of meeting people from different religions and cultures.
- Sports Tickets Sharing - People who are traveling all the time for business are often looking for local Friends for going to a bar with, having dinner with, or even watching sports with. Maybe you have an extra ticket for a concert or a local sporting event but don't want to go alone. If so, then just rent a friend to go with you.
- Workout Partners - You might need a workout partner for going to the gym. After all, nobody likes working out alone and a workout partner from RentAFriend could help and could also be much less expensive than if you hired a personal trainer.
- Personal Advice For Rent - Maybe you're simply looking for somebody to provide some personal advice. You could be one of many individuals who want to get some real advice regarding a particular situation and it's usually a good idea to be getting it from the point of view of an impartial outsider.
- Friends in Different Cities - It's always good having plenty of Friends in different cities.
What have reviews been like so far?
The majority of reviews have been quite positive and the general consensus is that RentAFriend is a good legit site for making money and having fun doing it (for Friends) and also for finding friends for a number of different occasions. The only negative reviews include the occasional unsavory member who is looking for friends with benefits, which RentAFriend is 100 percent against. Others include the fact that the site doesn't yet have a Smartphone App but that's probably something that's coming soon along with an update to their rather dated website.
Rent a Friend is quickly becoming quite popular. In fact, it has been mentioned everywhere it seems, including:
- CW News
- Fox News
- The Guardian
- The Star
- The Telegraph
So, what are they saying about it?
Well, according to the Telegraph article from July 19, 2010, the company has a database consisting of 218,000 women and men (in 2010). These individuals are members of this site and members can hire any one of them for hanging out, going out to a restaurant or movie, or just for showing other members around a city or town that is not familiar to them. The US-based RentAFriend website already had approximately 2,000 members and, each one paid up to $25 for accessing the website. How it works is that, when a member sees a friend that they like, they can start renting him or her for a price as low as $10 per hour.
Here’s a list of the ways that many people have chosen to use RentAFriend.com:
- Introducing you to people (excellent for shy people)
- Poetry/Art/Drawing (for the creative spirit in you)
- Coffee House (for live entertainment and relaxation)
- Book Stores (for lovers of reading)
- Bowling (for some healthy exercise)
- Sightseeing (for exploring new places)
- Hiking (for some healthy outdoor activity)
- Hot Air Balloon (for a wonderfully exciting adventure)
- Photography (for a super-popular hobby)
- The Zoo (to see new and exotic animals)
- Live Music (for enjoying different types of music)
- Teaching Manners (for those special social situations)
- Workout Partner (to help you train)
- Pottery (a great hobby and stress-reliever)
- Baking/Cooking (for sharing different kinds of meals and ethnic recipes)
- Museums (for widening your imagination)
- Amusement Parks ( for a day of excitement)
- Golf or even miniature golf (for playing and enjoying)
- Friends with Seniors (for learning and doing a good deed)
- Wine Tasting (for expanding your palate)
- Going To the Park (for a long stroll in the great outdoors)
- Prom Dates (for the perfect platonic date)
- Personal Advice (that’s authentic and not sugar-coated
- Business Events (for a plus+ who fits in with your coworkers)
- Parties (for a good time celebrating)
- Hanging Out (for watching TV, talking or watching a sporting event)
- Snowboarding or Skiing ( for enjoying the outdoors in the wintertime)
- The Beach (for relaxing in the sun)
- Giving Tours (for seeing a new place with a local)
- Movies (for sharing your cinematic interests)
- Dinner (for a good time dining out)
- Clubbing ( for great atmosphere and loud music)
- Going to Bar (for socializing, meeting new people, drinking beer, or shooting pool)
- Sporting Events (for the thrill of live sporting events)
- Family Functions (for bringing a friend along to make the event easier)
- Travel (for visiting new places by boat, land, or plane)
- Outdoors (for dog walking, hiking, sightseeing or just enjoying a beautiful day)
- Swimming (for enjoying the fresh cool water)
- Arcades & Video Games (for enjoyment and learning a few new tricks and tips)
- Picnics (for enjoying lunch outdoors)
- Casinos (for a fun place to relax while having fun and maybe even win)
- Psychics (for sharing a unique experience)
- Biking (for fantastic exercise and relaxation)
- Yoga (for a wealth of benefits for your body and mind)
- Religion (for studying a specific religion or learning an entirely new one).
- Comedy Club (for a good laugh)
- Shopping (for fashion advice or to be your ultimate shopping partner)
- Phone Friend (for just picking up the phone and talking)
- Email or Penpal (for discussing your interests)
- A drivers license (for allowing you to get around and see new places)
- Friends With Disabled or Handicapped (for a positive learning experience)
- Martial Arts (for staying in shape and healthy while promoting self-confidence)
- Playing Sports (for staying in shape or learning a whole new sport)
- Dancing (for learning a new dance from jazz to ballet or Hip Hop)
- Teaching you a new language (from someone fluent in that language)
- Wingman/Wingwoman (for a platonic friend to help you with meeting someone special)
So, it looks like RentAFriend is a trend that's here to stay, based upon its popularity. Check it out if you're in the market for making some money by being a friend or making a friend for any one (or more) of the above activities.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker