July 12

New Career Path – Rental Friend



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A new career is out there that I guess shouldn’t shock me: you can now sign up to be a platonic friend for rent via a new site called RentAFriend! You can be the person who keeps someone company for an hourly fee that you negotiate, typically between $20-$50/hour. For those who don’t want to see movies or go to the gym or attend weddings alone, for travelers who want a tour guide, or business travelers who don’t want to eat alone, they can now rent a friend.

My first thought was that RentAFriend must be an escort site, in which case I would not allow its name on Careers Out There. However, founder Scott Rosenbaum of New Jersey says he has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual solicitations. He reviews every profile before it goes live and will take the profile down if he hears about any sexual solicitations.

RentAFriend receives 100,000 unique views every month and has around 2,000 members who pay $24.95 a month, or $69.95 a year to look at the photos and profiles of over 168,000 potential friends.

I have no affiliate relationship with RentAFriend and am not endorsing it. I’m simply fascinated by it. Has our society become so lonely, disconnected and isolated that renting friends is necessary? Is a temporary friend for hire really going to solve a disconnected person’s issues? This concept is already popular in Japan and China. Maybe the U.S. is next!

The reality is that it’s probably a fun way to get paid a decent hourly rate to meet new people and participate in the activities that you said you enjoy in your profile. In these challenging economic times, I’m sure there are worse ways to earn a living (assuming your “friend” isn’t a cannibal or something). Based on the number of people using the site, it sounds like it would be tough to get enough rental friend requests to build a full career as a rental friend, but who knows! You just might be the most popular rental friend around…

Would you ever rent a friend? Would you be a rental friend?

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Image courtesy of Jfgornet


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Leave a Reply
  1. What a nice service for lonely people! What can't you find these days on the internet?

  2. I think it's great. Certainly worth a try (for rentor or rentee) and who knows maybe real relationships can grow out of these meetings. If not, no emotional attachment or hard feelings since it was just a business transaction to begin with.

  3. Not a bad idea, especially for a wedding or other similar function. I just hope the payment situation is handled before the fact. It'd be pretty awkward to have to show up with cash or have the “friend” have to swipe your debit card.

  4. Great idea. Great concept. Kinda scary for a single woman. Even more scary for a mother of a single woman

  5. Interesting feedback. I wonder how many people who aren't lonely would actually focus on being a regular rental friend as a career…or at least a part-time career….

  6. I think this could be a great job for someone straight out of college who's still searching for their path… You'd definitely meet some interesting people!

  7. Seems like an unique job for the rental friend but I have some concerns about who the renters would be!

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