Friday, August 9, 2013

They told me when growing up that sharing is caring so we shared our toys, our books and even our lunch. It was a good way to make friends and a way of keeping them because we shared stuff. Now a large population of people are sharing stuff because they can’t afford to buy stuff they want. The Bush era put many people’s finances into a downward spiral that they still haven’t recovered from.
People were told they could buy homes they really couldn’t afford so now they are in foreclosure. People used to have so many credit cards in their pocket it looked like a magic act when they would peal out 10 or so cards they used often. Now without paying them all off people don’t have any good credit and walk around with a debit card with limited funds in it. No one still can afford to purchase stuff but they still want stuff.

Now share and share alike is much more meaning than just a way to get along with your friends and family. It is now good advice on how to do business with perfect strangers. With the help of the Internet, people are offering their stuff for rental fees to just about anyone for just about anything you might want to try out for awhile. It works for everyone. You get to drive that expensive car for awhile you may never be able to afford to own and the guy who owns the fancy car gets a rental fee rather than just have it sit there in the garage. Everyone wins.
You might want to do something crazy for fun. There is a guy who owns a tree house with a great view of the San Francisco Bay area. He rents it out on a web site called Airbnb that is a web site that makes it possible for anyone to rent a room for any night even if that room is in a romantic tree house. Airbnb handles the bookings and the payments so the tree house can go for about $200 a night. The owner makes money from his very oak tree property and you get to do something different for a night. It is all part of the new sharing economy.

With the Internet acting as a matchmaker, people can now rent out almost anything to anyone. There are car sharing services like Getaround that is an online car sharing or peer-to-peer car sharing service that allows drivers to rent cars from private car owners, and owners to rent out their cars for a fee. Or the site that boasts that you can make Hundreds Per Month On The Relay Rides Car Sharing Marketplace. Let’s say you want to pretend to own a hundred thousand electric Tesla car, well the owner will share it for about $25 an hour.
If you need some unconditional love and affection, you can share a pet for awhile from a site called It is a free dog-sitting co-op which organizes localized facebook groups so that people can connect and help each other with their dog Zaarly where you can share your services like finding a good chef for a special dinner. Go to the Tie Society and share a bow tie that you really don’t want to own but would try out occasionally. Sharing sites offer everything from parking spaces in large cities to electronics. 
Individuals are increasing to do business with each other instead of with large companies. With more than 300,000 items listed Airbnb rivals many hotel chains. Forbes Magazine recently estimated that $3.5 Billion Dollars will flow through the sharing economy this year. By bringing people together, sharing our resources more efficiently we have a better economy and are able to live better. Lending Club is in the business of letting people share their money giving both lenders and borrowers a better deal than what they would get at a bank.

Shareable is an online non profit web based magazine that features new places to share. The editor estimates he saved $17,000 last year by using sharing people for cars, travel, child care and more. Older people who have properties are renting out spaces and are able to keep their homes and make a profit in the sharing economy. It reminds you of how people in small towns in the past opened up boarding houses so everyone could make ends meet. What is old is new again I guess.

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