Sharing economy is an idea built on collaborative consumption in which people can share their possessions or services with others. This collaborative economy has brought upon a sharing culture where you do not have to own an item to experience the joy brought by it and you can even earn extra money from it.
Sharing economy apps and platforms are great ways for normal people like you and me to earn some extra income with our unused or spare resources.
The Benefits of The Sharing Economy
A. Extra Income Source
Earning extra income is the most attractive benefits that many individuals are interested in. As long as you have the necessary resources, you can create a multiple stream of incomes in the sharing economy. However, be mindful that the income earned via the sharing economy may not be consistent and stable as earnings are hugely dependent on the number of completed transactions. For example, the current pandemic has resulted in fewer travelers, which led to a drop in the number of Uber and Airbnb bookings.
The sharing economy not only gives flexibility to consumers, it also enables providers as well. For example, with ridesharing, you can choose when and where you’d like to share your ride based on your own schedule and location. Some other sharing economy opportunities like renting out your room does not even require providers to commit long hours to make an extra income.
C. Easy To Start
As compared to the traditional way of how people start up a business, the peer to peer sharing economy sector requires lesser capital. Being a provider, you can simply share your resources to others through sharing economy platforms. In this case, you are just renting out your unused/spare resources to earn extra money.
So, whether you’re looking to make a few bucks on the side, or earn a full-time living, the following types of sharing economy apps and platforms can give you a great place to start. So let’s get started!
Share Your Accommodation
1. Rent Out Your Room
Decorate and furnish your empty rooms to earn extra money by leasing it! The well-known platform does not charge an additional cost to list and advertise your properties to their already strong based global community. While renting out your rooms, you may get an opportunity to expand your social circles through meeting people with diverse backgrounds and nationalities.
Opportunities: Airbnb, Booking.com etc.
2. Rent Out Your House
Short-term vacation rental platform for entire house will be great for homeowners and investment property owners seeking to monetize their vacant real estate asset. To cater for larger groups, such sharing economy apps is a better fit for property owners who can rent out entire house.
Opportunities: Vrbo.com, Expedia.com etc.
Share Your Car
3. Rent Out Your Car
Just like your vacant room, you can also rent your car out when you are not driving it. There are peer-to-peer car-sharing apps that allows car owners to rent out their car to other drivers, such as Uber drivers. This can be another way to earn some extra money to cover your petrol or car insurance expenses. Your car needs to meet certain quality standards and may also need to install additional device required by the car-sharing app or platform in order for users to lock/unlock the car.
4. Turn Your Car Into A Moving Billboard
If you are comfortable sharing your vehicles with strangers, why not consider sharing the exterior of it as well? This money-making method is known as car wrapping. Car wrapping businesses pay advertising fees to people who are willing to use their car as billboards. It is a common way for businesses to advertise and reach out to more audiences.
Opportunities: Carvertise.com, Wrapify.com etc.
5. Be A ride-sharing Driver
When you're on the way to somewhere, why not consider driving someone living within the same community? As you are driving the person to their destination along the way, you can earn extra money that can cover fuel costs without making extra turns to drop them off. The best part of being a ride-sharing driver is having the flexibility to choose the passenger based on their drop off location.
Opportunities: Uber, Lyft, etc.
Share Your Belongings
6. Rent Out Your Clothes
Statistics have shown that we only wear 20% of the clothes in our closet and the rest of the 80% remains stuffed in it. You may be one of the culprits of owning a lot of clothes and belongings but only utilizing a small amount of it. To get started, you can declutter unused items in your room and sort them out into categories such as "rentable", “sellable” and “non-sellable”. Lastly, create your listings on an online platform to rent or sell your clothes!
Opportunities: stylelend.com, tulerie.com, rentmywardrobe.com, poshmark.com, thredUp.com etc.
7. Rent Out Your Sport Equipment
There are also sharing economy companies that specialize in connecting owners of sporting equipment with short-term renters. For renters, they may be just picking up certain sport and don't want to commit to an expensive sport gear first or they simply want to try out a sport gear before buying it. For owner, they could make some extra cash by renting out the unused gear. Usually the platforms would include damage protection insurance to protect the owner's equipment.
Opportunities: spinlister.com, friendwitha.com etc.
8. Rent Out Your Handy Tools
Have you ever bought tools such as electric drills for a DIY project and ended up chucking it aside after successfully building it? Instead of leaving your tools or equipment lying around, now you can generate some extra income by renting it out through online peer-to-peer tools sharing platforms. Tool renters can save money by renting at reasonable rates instead of buying, avoid the clutter and hassle of storing a bunch of infrequently used tools, and support their communities at the same time.
Opportunities: tooltribe.com, loanables.com, rentnotbuy.com, sparetoolz.com etc.
Share Your Time
9. Provide Food Delivery
You can earn extra money by picking up food for consumers. In general, the responsibility of food delivery personnel revolves around picking up orders, queuing for food and delivering takeaways to consumers. The salary earned by food delivery personnel varies among various food deliveries companies as there are many different ways in paying the staff which include commission-based, completion of per delivery or per hour rate.
10. Provide Moving Delivery
Do you know that delivering parcels can be one of the ways to make extra money based on your own flexible schedule? You can sign up with delivery service apps to become a service provider, you can deliver as little or as often as you like at your convenience, and you can accept or decline any order you’re assigned. You can also do it without a car - bikes, scooters, rollerblades and even your own two feet are acceptable modes of transport.
Opportunities: Postmates etc.
11. Provide Grocery Shopping and Delivery
The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the demand for grocery delivery services as many consumers want to reduce the chances of exposure. With grocery delivery apps, you can earn extra money by picking and delivering grocery items based on customer’ grocery lists during your free time or when you're shopping for grocery! Set your own schedule, be a household hero, and get paid to shop.
Opportunities: Intacart, Shipt etc.
Share Your Opinion
12. Give Opinion To Market Research Studies
Brands and companies are constantly running market research studies to understand consumers’ reactions and feedback towards their product or service. In exchange for their opinion, feedback and effort, market research companies pay survey participants as a token of appreciation. As a market research studies participant, you're rewarded by sharing your opinion through surveys, focus-groups, mystery shopping etc.
Share Your Money
13. Invest in peer-to-peer lending (P2P)
A peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a personal loan made between you and a borrower, facilitated through a third-party intermediary. As a lender, you can earn interest on the loans and usually the interest rate is better than conventional banks. But because most of the loans are unsecured, there is still risk involved. Having said that, many of the peer-to-peer lending platforms accept relatively low minimum investment amounts to keep the risk low for individual investors and some platforms also back the loan with collateral to protect lender's investment.
Opportunities: Prosper, lendingclub, MyConstant etc.
Share Your Space
14. Rent Out Your Space
If you are not comfortable renting out your room and stay with stranger, you could still make money with the extra room at home. Here is where space sharing comes in. You can rent out extra or underutilized space for others to use. There are peer-to-peer space sharing platforms that connect users to rent spaces that not only available at home but also include office space, warehouse space, event space, studio and many more! With many unused and underutilized spaces around, space sharing apps help hosts put their spaces to good use and helping them earn a bit of extra cash without much effort too!
Opportunities: neighbor.com, stashbee.com, peerspace.com, stache.com, storable.com etc.
15. Rent Out A Parking Spot
If you happened to have an unused parking spot, you can now simply renting it out to other drivers and make some extra money. This is probably one of the best ways to earn some passive income without needing to do any work! But for those who live in an apartment or a condominium, do check with the management before renting out your parking space as some proprietors have a strict policy when it comes to parking.
Opportunities: neighbor.com, stashbee.com, spacer.com,findparkstash.com, justpark.com, parqex.com etc.
Share Your Meal
16. Host A Memorable Dining Experience
Do you enjoy food? Are you a fan of meeting new people? Now you can share the food you enjoy cooking with eager diners via the meal-sharing economy! The meal-sharing economy connects local hosts with guests, for home-cooked meals in the comfort of someone’s home. The hosts set their own rules, set their own menu and share it on meal-sharing platforms for diners to see. The diners then book and pay through the meal-sharing apps. At the event, the host welcomes the guests into their home to enjoy the tasty meal that they have prepared. Many successful hosts even turn meal-sharing into a respectable profession!
Opportunities: eatwith.com, travelingspoon.com, bonappetour.com etc.
Share Your Knowledge and Talent
17. Sell Your Courses Online
If you're an expert in a particular field, you can share what you know with others by creating online courses and coaching services. But having the knowledge is not enough, you'll need to know how to put it into a course and teach something that people will pay for. Online course platforms in the sharing economy help course creators to bring their courses to life. They provide the technology and the tools that help creators to create engaging, multimedia lectures, videos, coaching sessions and even the sales page to acquire customers. Sharing your knowledge is a great way to transform your knowledge, experience and how-how into a knowledge business, a potential business with a passive income stream.
Which Type Of The Sharing Economy Apps Interests You?
Similarly to gig economy, the sharing economy business surely is one type of business model that you can tap on for its economic benefits. As a sharing economy service provider, the low investment capital requirement has reduced the financial risk greatly. At the same time, this can be one good way to build a passive income stream for rainy days.
Share with us which sharing economy opportunity interests you the most and your experience with it. If you realize that I’ve missed an sharing economy app, website or startup – let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to include it!