Peer to peer sharing, also known as “collaborative consumption,” is part of the booming sharing economy. The concept has seen tremendous growth in recent years. With the chest-beating success of companies like Uber and Airbnb, hundreds of copycat startups are looking to cash in on a piece of the growing pie.
Thankfully, there are also ways for average folks to cash in as well. Ordinary people are utilizing these platforms and services to make extra cash that can help make ends meet, afford luxuries andhome improvements, and even help them tackle student debts or other loans.
The typical sharing economy sectors include car sharing, music sharing and downloads, peer-to-peer accommodation, staffing, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer lending.
But there are other niches as well.
Here are eight sites you may not have heard of that can help you put your skills, services, and assets to good use.
Fon is a global WiFi network of aiming to connect the world and provide sharable access anywhere and anytime. With Fon, you can list your own location with the site and also take advantage of a network of 20 million global hotspots.
Companies like RVshare offer a platform for owners of recreational vehicles, travel trailers, and other camping vehicles to list their fully insured assets for rent to their peers. CNBC reports that peer-to-peer RV rental is a fast growing industry. Many younger families are willing to try out various models and rent for their vacations in order to test the waters. Fewer millennials are ready to buy their own used travel trailer or RVwithout knowing if the lifestyle suits their family.
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Spinlister, currently rebranding as Liquid, is another company that aims to make recreation more accessible to all. The site makes it easier to rent out sports equipment you’re not using to your neighbor. The sharing startup, which started out with just bicycles, now hostswater, surf, and snow equipment.
AnyHire is a site that specializes in the lending and borrowing of householditems such as cameras, tools, electronics, or even musical instruments.For example, if you have a band but don’t use your equipment year-round, you can list your things for rent on the website when you’re not at band practice or playing gigs.
Websites like DogVacay offer services that are cheaper than a kennel and offer a more home-like and cozy environment for pets. For animal lovers, it gives the pet-sitters the chance to house animals for as long as needed, and provide extra tender loving care to creatures who are missing their owners. Plus, you’re getting paid. That means you’re making some cash on the side of your other responsibilities by just being a good pet parent for a few days.
TaskRabbit, is an online marketplace for people to post their profiles and locate local helpers to assist with needed tasks. The platform connects users to reliable and safe help right in their own neighborhoods. The helpers known as “rabbits” are interviewed and given background checks before being added to the website. The platform currently boasts over 4000 nationwide "rabbits" bidding on tasks.
Poshmark is a peer to peer sales clothing site that lets users shop both ordinary and boutique-like curated closets across America. Photos of items or outfits are uploaded to the site and available for sale. The site also boasts closets of celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, who donated all the money from his closet sales to one of his favorite charities, Thorn.
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Zaarly is our final peer to peer marketplace. It focuses on facilitating the creation of user-constructed “stores” for their skills and services. Whether you’re great at making homemade cakes and cobblers, or know how to repair dishwashers, as a user you can market your services via the Zaarly website. Beware that with this site the store ratings and feedback are both monitored. Users are removed from the platform if they don’t meet high standards of service on a consistent basis.
Of course, always use your common sense. Avoid offers that seem too good to be true, be sure to check ratings and recommendations on both sides of any transaction, and stay safe, smart, and alert when meeting anyone new in public.
If you are looking to serve, rent, or borrow, and are especially keen to connect with your neighbors and put money in their pockets, then taking advantage of the sharing economy is right for you.