Back in December, Muncie Voice ran an article on a new revolution that has quickly been gaining support all across the country – collaborative consumption.
According to Wikipedia, collaborative consumption is defined as:
The term collaborative consumption is used to describe an economic model based on sharing, swapping, bartering, trading or renting access to products as opposed to ownership. Technology and peer communities are enabling these old market behaviors to be reinvented in ways and on a scale never possible before.
The so-called collaborative consumption movement has really taken off over the last few years due to one of innovators of the concept, Rachel Botsman. Her influential book, What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, has sparked the growth of emerging companies to facilitate peer-to-peer sharing.
In the sharing economy, owners and service providers make money, renters and clients save money, and the environment benefits because fewer resources are consumed.
Collaborators are delivering unique product ideas and concepts that satisfy this new appetite for sharing, bartering, exchanging, etc. These pioneers are reinventing not only what we consume but how we consume by focusing on the power of the community to barter, share, and swap products and services. There are so many great examples of collaborative consumption at work.
Several firms are revolutionizing these new economies within their own communities. Here are a few, and we will hopefully see more coming from the innovators coming from Ball State’s entrepreneurial school:
Airbnb offers a compelling alternative to hotels. The site lists accommodations in more than 19,000 cities and 192 countries. Owners of apartments, houses, villas, and even castles, list their properties for rent on Airbnb and users can choose where, when, and what they would like to rent, while enjoying significant savings when compared to the cost of a hotel room.
Getaround eliminates the need to own a car, an item that is typically expensive both to buy and maintain. Members of Getaround can list their car on the site and interested parties can safely rent a car directly from the owner. Cars are available by the hour through the Getaround website or iPhone app.
Zimride reduces the need for people to own their own vehicle and helps reduce the cost of transportation. The site facilitates ride-sharing between friends, classmates, and co-workers. Users can book a ride to their desired destination with a simple click of the mouse (and can potentially make a friend in the bargain).
With thredUP, users can save money by buying gently used children’s clothing on the company’s website or can earn money by selling the clothes their children have outgrown to thredUP.
Fun2Rent connects owners of powersport and recreational vehicles with qualified renters. It is an easy, affordable way to rent ATVs, jet skis, boats, dirt bikes, and more close to home or in a popular vacation destination. Owners can also earn some extra cash by renting out vehicles that would otherwise sit idle in their garage.
Instead of booking an expensive package tour, more and more people are turning to Vayable for authentic trips, tours, and activities. Members from all over the world can offer an experience on the site, and travelers can book the experience of their choice, all while spending less money than many comparable offerings from tour companies.
People requiring their home cleaned, their dry cleaning delivered, or their errands run can save time and money by outsourcing these and other jobs through Taskrabbit. The site connects users who require a job done with a pre-vetted person in their area willing to complete the task reliably, quickly, and relatively inexpensively.
Parking fees at stadiums, airports, train stations, and in the city can be outrageous. Parkatmyhouse was created to lower parking fees by providing a platform for people around the country to rent out their parking space, garage, or driveway. Parking fees listed on the site are significantly lower than those charged by traditional parking venues.
Rather than purchasing a blender, lawn mower, or ladder that may be used once and then stored in the garage or closet for years, members of Neighborgoods can rent items directly from their neighbors when they need them. It is a great way to save money, garage/closet space, and planetary resources.