Recently I lent out some of my own equipment to a buyer after closing, and last night a former client asked me if I had a jointer or if I might know a contractor who had one available to borrow or lease. In the latter example, I reached out to a contractor who I have done more work with than any other in recent history. The contractor, despite being class A (which means they must have a high volume of equipment, one of the requirements for being Class A), didn't have one. After that, I started scouring the internet looking for alternative solutions for them & for other clients of mine in the future. Here are the results of that investigation as well as my recommendations for future clients.
General items to note
Keep in mind that if you purchase something, new or used, for a good deal, you may be able to sell it for a similar amount or even for a profit after you are done with the job.
Consider safety. Especially if you're a female, it's a good idea to have a male spouse or friend on location with you at the time that you acquire something, unless of course you have taken extra precautions like concealed carry &/or self-defense &/or significant strength training. It happens in Hampton Roads too. Consider this recent post on a local trash and treasure group where it appears that the seller was a catfish:
It's not a bad idea to look for signs of someone selling on social media being a catfish when no reviews are involved. For instance, check them out online to see if they have much info about them, strict privacy settings, and plenty of friends/tags in photos with friends who don't appear to be catfish themselves.
Consider reviews, ideally on multiple sources. For instance, this Jointer/Planer looks pretty good on Walmart with a review average of 4.3:
If you go to Amazon, it's a different story for the same product, at 3/5:
How geographically far you look is significant. With a more obscure item, you might be able to find it, but it could be over 500 miles away, such as this option on the Idle app (one of the additional options on the spreadsheet) I found for a jointer:
Check locations to rent online.
Reach out to those you know in the industry or friends who have a lot of tools.
Check for new options to purchase.
Check for used options to purchase.
Consider hiring someone else for the job.
Consider another tool.
Post a wanted ad online on places like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, & Facebook Trash or Treasure Groups.