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Welcome to the “Share Economy”

01.30.2013

In challenging economic times, people become more resourceful, finding creative solutions to fill gaps in their living conditions. A recent Forbes article ‘“Airbnb and the Unstoppable Rise of the Share Economy” highlights how the Internet is playing a prominent role in helping Americans identify such solutions.

For example, Airbnb invites users to rent all or part of their dwellings like a hotel with nightly rates. The site has also expanded its offerings to include rentals of everything from Airstream trailers to scenic tree houses. As referenced in the article, one San Francisco Bay area resident rents both his Marin home via Airbnb and his Prius via Lyft, an online car-sharing service. Between the two rentals he nets an average of $3,000 per month – a big help since being laid off from his job.

Today, a vast array of websites allows users to rent all kinds of property to make extra cash. Have access to a parking spot? Your driveway may be able to net some income by listing the space on Parking PandaLiquid invites folks to rent bicycles from individuals and bike shops across the U.S.  And say you want to borrow or rent a drill, Snapgoods offers a community of shareable goods.

Whether for financial or environmental reasons, the Internet offers a powerful platform through which to share, save and preserve.

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