The present application provides an automated device, including a corresponding network system, that dispenses and receives shared/rental equipment such as umbrellas, sporting equipment, safety accessories and consumer electronics. The device preferably has a mechanical guide that is used to hold the shared/rental equipment or its packaging by using an anchoring structure. A tracking system can be used to track the return and rental processes. Ideally, the device utilizes a central database which can be accessed through internet for administrating the transactions (e.g. rental and return processes) with the device as well as tracking the users, inventory and locations..