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How to Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce

When there is a temporary need of something, renting is an easier way out. Gone are the days when you actually went to the stores and rented out an equipment for your use. There are so many new businesses providing these services where you just have to visit their websites & rent your desired items.

If you have a rental business, you definitely need a inventory-based rental system to handle all the bookings of your items. In this post, we will see how to set up the same using Fixed Block Booking with WooCommerce Booking & Appointment Plugin. This tutorial is for cases where the rentals are of fixed duration and those of varying duration will be taken up in another blog post.

Admin Experience: How to Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce

Step 1: Create your equipment product in WooCommerce. You can do that by going to Product -> Add Product. You will find a Product Data metabox under which you can set the regular price of your product. For this post, I have considered the example of Party props which can be rented on weekends.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Product Settings
Product Settings

Step 2: On the same page you will also find a Booking metabox that allows you to setup your rent options for party props. I have enabled booking date and multiple day booking. The field Lockout Date after X orders lets you set a limit which will block the booking once it is reached. I have set it as 5. Once 5 props are booked for a particular weekend, it will not be available for booking.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - General Booking Settings
General Booking Settings

Step 3: Under the Bookable Time Period tab, you can set the advance booking period so that there are no last minute reservations for the product. I have set it to 24 hours so that the earliest booking can be done a day prior to the booking date. You can set it to any number of hours based on how much time you need for delivery of the product.

The Number of Dates to choose lets you set the maximum number of days from today which you want to allow booking for. You can set it for a month or even a year. I have set it to 365 days which means the calendar will display dates for a year from today for booking.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Bookable Time Period Settings
Bookable Time Period Settings

Step 4: All the above steps constitute the general booking settings, however for setting up a fixed block go to the Fixed Block Booking tab and create a new block. This tab allows you to create blocks of varying periods. You can create a block for any number of days.

To add a new block, you should click on “Add New Booking Block” button. You will be able to create one block at a time & save it. Saving it shall show that block details right below it in the “Booking Blocks” table.

Below I have created two fixed blocks, one for weekends and another for weekdays. In the “Start Day” and “End Day” fields, there is an option called “Any Days”. This means you can either select a specific weekday on which you want your block booking to start or you can choose “Any Days”. If you choose “Any Days”, then your booking can begin on any weekday. In either case, the end date shall be populated based on the “Number of days” for that block.

In below example, Weekend bookings can only be done from Friday to Sunday, with Sunday as end day. Weekday bookings can only be done from Wednesday to Friday with Friday as end day. Both the booking costs £ 50.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Fixed Block Booking Setting
Fixed Block Booking Setting

Step 5: Finally, the field names that appear on the frontend can be changed. Go to Bookings -> Settings -> Booking Labels and change the names. Once you are done, save the changes.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Changing booking labels
Changing booking labels

User Experience: How to Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce

Once you have covered all of these settings, the frontend would look like:

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Frontend
Frontend

Only the “Start Day” will be shown as enabled in the “Start Date”  calendar. It shows the available dates in a week and the user will have to select one according to his/her plans.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Available calendar dates
Available calendar dates for December 2015

When you choose the start date, it will automatically set the end date. You do not need to choose the End date by clicking on the End Date calendar. It is automatically populated. Even if the user opens the End Date calendar, they will only see 1 end date enabled.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Choosing the dates
Choosing the dates

Once the start and end dates fields are populated, the “Add to Cart” button is visible. When you click on that button, the order is added to your cart and there is a button to “View your Cart”. On clicking that, you are redirected to the cart page which will show the booking details.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Cart Page
Cart Page

When on the cart page, unless you don’t want to update your cart, you can go to the checkout page by clicking on “Proceed to checkout” button.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Checkout Page
Checkout Page

The checkout page will show the booking dates you have chosen and the total amount for your order. You can place your order if everything seems fine. Checkout page is a dress rehearsal of the actual order. Please ensure you check everything and then click on the “Place Order” button.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Order Received Page
Order Received Page

After placing your order, the order details are shown on the Thank You page. Email notifications are sent to the customer and the administrator with the rental booking details.

Rent Inventory based Equipment with WooCommerce - Email
Email

Conclusion:

WooCommerce Booking & Appointment Plugin is a very flexible and easy way out to all kinds of booking and appointment procedures. Fixed block booking is also useful for selling vacation rentals and all the other types of renting equipment like movies, games, books, party equipment, etc.

This setup is almost similar to Fixed block bookings and will take about 25 minutes to get it up and running.

WooCommerce Booking & Appointment Plugin is a multipurpose booking plugin & can be used for a variety of booking needs. If you haven’t bought it yet, get it from here.

Browse more in: Booking, Documentation, How Tos, Tutorials

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