What is the sharing economy?
The sharing economy is defined as a peer-to-peer (P2P) activity, often over an online platform, that connects people, such as buyers with sellers or a service provider, to provide, acquire or share access to a service or goods.
With new apps constantly being developed offering to connect you with babysitters, dog groomers and handymen who’ll help you (and your similarly not-so-handy, lawnmower-less housemate) tame your yard, there are very few industries left untapped by the sharing or gig economy.
We know you’ve heard of Uber and Airbnb, so we went further afield to bring you ten sharing economy apps you might not have heard of that are currently helping folk outsource things you don’t want to, don’t have time to, or aren’t skilled to do.
This one is a bit of a win-win for both busy dog owners and time-rich dog lovers. BorrowMyPooch connects dog owners with local dog lovers for walks, dog sitting and even play dates for when you need some dog love in your life. You can make sure your doggo has some company when you’re busy, and for those who want a bit of puppy happiness, you can borrow a pooch for an hour or even more and get paid for the pleasure of it all.
One that is possibly for the high flyers, Airly connects travellers with owners of luxury private jets for what can essentially be described as the Uber of the skies. The company started as a dream of Melbourne-based founder Alexander Robinson to make private aviation accessible for everyday people. The sharing economy nature of Airly means easier access to a first-class service usually at a more affordable price than previous models, so you might be able to feel like royalty even if you don’t wear the crown.
"@flyairly will take your Melbourne Airport commute to the next level- flying high over a beautiful sunny ice cold Melbourne today was pure magic. I cannot recommend this service more highly."
More: https://t.co/cQAj0hq8CT pic.twitter.com/cL6zYUlZDU
— Airly (@flyairly) May 31, 2018
Back down here on the ground, Spacer connects those with spare storage and parking, of any description, with those who need it. With over 30,000 units available to rent, Spacer represents the largest marketplace for space in Australia at the moment, so you’re likely to find somewhere to park your car or store that collection of antique spoons you’re just waiting for Antiques Roadshow to discover.
Have spare space? Rent it out to a neighbour in need today! https://t.co/WB4aEQ3QlJ
— Spacer (@SpacerAU) March 4, 2018
If you’re a music festival or road trip regular, this one could be for you. Forget borrowing your uncle’s elaborate 18-man tent that takes four people and a small crane to set up, Camplify is here to connect you to a whole new world of caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes and campervans. According to Camplify, there are over 500,000 registered recreational vehicles (RVs) in Australia, used on average for only six weeks a year. This includes a selection that can be driven by almost anyone on almost any kind of license. So why not make use of them? This platform can help you experience a new style of holiday with your choice of destination. You just enter your location, or the area where you want to collect the caravan from, and peruse your options for your home away from home. You’re welcome.
Continuing the ‘like Uber, but different’ theme, GetMyBoat connects boat owners to boat seekers. With over 100,000 listings across 184 countries, serving over 9,000 destinations with a range of options from kayaks to catamarans, water sports to fishing charters, there’s not a whole lot of water-based activities that GetMyBoat doesn’t cover. The company says it’s easy to add a listing for your own watercraft, so if you casually have a luxury boat lying around or even a kayak that you really don’t get around to using often, GetMyBoat could float your boat.
Taking Airbnb to the next level, Houst is the self-proclaimed ‘largest homestay management firm’. The company recently expanded into Australia and New Zealand and claims having a presence here will allow it to increase its support for neighbouring regions. Houst is set up to help customers take the reins on their Airbnb listing or rental property to help maximise their rental income. The team covers everything from professional cleaning and supplying hotel-quality towels and linens, through to tenant vetting and communications and restocking of refreshments.
If you’ve got a car, a desire to make a few extra dollars and don’t mind the idea of being a moving billboard, Wrappli could be the app for you. The premise is simple: you sign yourself up as a driver and Wrappli will wrap your car in paid advertisements, giving you an ongoing income based on how far you drive. Your vehicle may become a brand ambassador, but you can earn up to $600 a month.
— Jobs for NSW (@JobsforNSW) May 14, 2018
No list of sharing economy apps would be complete without at least one rideshare. And while Shebah does share a lot of similarities with Uber, it differs fundamentally in the types of users and drivers it targets. Shebah is Australia’s first and only all-female rideshare service, to help overcome potential vulnerability women may feel when using other rideshare apps. The cars are also chosen to be friendly to mothers, with most cars featuring fitted baby seats, and a focus on the safety of younger, primary-school-aged riders. The service has also given peace of mind to many women across Australia getting home safely after a night out.
I jumped in a car with an all female rideshare service. The story looks at why this service exists and the freedom it’s giving to female passengers and drivers. Thanks to @shebahrideshare #uber #women #rideshare https://t.co/8v5vDxZWss
— Taylor Denny (@taylor_denny) June 8, 2018
Formed while contemplating a house overloaded with baby equipment, Kindershare’s founders sought to create a community of parents who were willing to lend out baby equipment they weren’t using to new, travelling, or product-testing parents, helping them free up some of the clutter of their homes and earn a little cash on the side. A simple idea done simply, you either list or search for a product, and wait for the requests or options. A clever idea that could help reduce the wastage and costs that can come with buying items for fast-growing children, and to help parents make back a little money.
Kindershare is a peer-to-peer network facilitating the rental of baby equipment: https://t.co/nMr7S586sM
— STARTUP DAILY (@StartupDailyANZ) January 22, 2018
10. The Volte
An online community connecting savvy Cinderallas to a community of Fairy Godmothers, The Volte allows you to borrow and hire designer clothing and accessories for any occasion. The creators of The Volte used the sharing economy model to enable individuals to experience high-end fashion on a budget and also utilise their own wardrobe to generate income. Anyone familiar with online shopping will likely find it easy to navigate the website to browse new clothes to borrow or upload their own clothes to lend. It’s a way for savvy fashion lovers to extend their wardrobe for particular events, profit from outfits they may not wear very often and reduce waste. Now that’s an ethical approach to being fashion forward.
Cover image source: Shutterstock