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3 Things to Try in 2012, Collaborative Consumption Edition

At BeenVerified, we’re sort of in love with a little thing called collaborative consumption. Collaborative consumption is a global movement to encourage the sharing of goods and services directly with people instead of through the traditional middle man (i.e. mega-marts and more established corporations).

So, while you’re writing those new year’s resolutions, why not throw a little collaborative consumption into the mix? Here’s how:

Rent out your services

Need a little cash here and there? Got a knack for fixing things, taking care of pets, or perhaps you’re a savvy personal assistant? Here’s the beauty of collaborative consumption: you can essentially rent out whatever you’re good at for some sort of compensation. So, if someone needs help shopping for that prom dress, your neighbor needs their front door fixed, or a traveler needs their dogs to be watched for a month, you can rent out this service.

Essentially, you are leveraging your high points (whatever they may be) for compensation, which is probably cheaper than using a third party. Everyone wins!

Think of traveling a little differently

Traveling is an important activity for many people, whether you’re going down the road or across the world. So, why not think of traveling in conjunction with collaborative consumption? Here’s the thing: you’re going to be renting cars or staying in hotels, so what’s wrong with contributing to this movement while you’re at it?

For example, CouchSurfing let’s you “bypass the typical hotel experience by staying at the home of a local and learning about their culture.” ZipCar let’s you rent a car whenever you need it, while at the same time saving your dough. AirBnB let’s you rent a place to stay from real people. All of these resources allows you take control on your travels, while at the same time contributing to the beautiful movement. In essence, you can have a richer travel experience if you are using these collaborative consumption friendly resources since they make your adventures a little less boring and little more appealing.

Start A “Consumer Co-op”

Aren’t there things that you need once in a while, but not all the time? Things that you really wish you had once or twice a year, that at most times sit idle? For example, certain tools like a power drill, an air mattress, or a camping stove. Well, instead of buying each of these items and watching them take up precious space in your home, start a consumer cooperative with your neighbors. All you need to do is figure out a way to share things that fit this category. (I know my wife only uses that bulky crock pot three times a year!) It is a great way to connect with people that live close by and helps everyone save money and space.

What do you guys think? How will you try a little collaborative consumption in 2012?

6 thoughts on “3 Things to Try in 2012, Collaborative Consumption Edition”

  1. I agree… while having your “Consumer Coop” I suggest you head over to ToolSpinner.com and rent out your power tools. We are launching in 2012 so it would be a great new years resolution.

    1. Daniel- just took a spin around toolspinner… Such a great space! Best of luck to you in the New Year and keep us in the loop as things progress.

      1. Thanks! We will be launching in the coming months locally and then expanding during the summer. Very excited to get it going and see what will happen. Join our mailing list for updates about our launch. I’ll check back later.

  2. Great Article!
    We agree access is better than ownership, however these #Collcons #Startups do ease the pain of ownership. That is why we started Fun2Rent.
    If you own a boat, a jet ski, snowmobile, or a similar recreational vehicle, there is a good chance that you use it only for a short time in the year. The remaining days, your vehicle remains idle, without being used by you or anybody else. An easy way to make some extra cash would be to rent out your vehicle to others and earn some money while you are not using it. To do this, the online platform Fun2Rent was created. Owners are using this extra cash to help with payments and tucking a little away to rent other fun stuff on the site.

    Fun2rent.com is the answer to the high cost, no insurance model offered by traditional rental outlets today. We provide a safe, insured environment where owners can profit on their vehicles and renters save 50% on average.

    Other Great Collaborative Consumption Startups are Getaround.com, Zimride.com, Thredup.com, Taskrabbit.com, and our friends at ToolSpinner.com.

    1. Yes indeed Shawn, getting the most out of idle resources, sharing with neighbors, maximizing your investment in an asset — win-win is actually possible- unless you are the one trying to sell as many things as possible… tough break for them

  3. Great post…a hat-tip for helping wave the Collaborative Consumption/Commerce flag.

    Much appreciated.

    We’re a Zaarly-esque Australian start-up looking to free people from the mundane chores that stop them spending time with the people they love, and from doing the things they’re passionate about.

    Wish us luck!

    TaskBox – Help for busy people.

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