The sharing economy has BOOMED over the last decade, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Peer-to-peer platforms have revolutionized the way we look for products and services.
These decentralized platforms empower everyone involved. They allow us to buy products and services from others in our community rather than using a middleman or buying from a large corporation.
This creates a closed-loop system that gives power back to the people – and it reduces overconsumption and consequent use-based waste.
One of the most successful and ubiquitous examples of the sharing economy is ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber. With these apps, people can get a ride anytime, anywhere, from others in the community; and the price is often much more affordable than a cab. Also, this gives anyone with a car an opportunity to make money by driving their neighbors where they need to go. (Helpful to ride sharers, empowering for drivers – win-freaking-win.)
But that’s only the beginning. Peer-to-peer platforms go far beyond ridesharing. In fact, there are now sharing platforms for almost any product or service you can think of! Here are some of the most exciting and innovative peer-to-peer platforms in 2022.
Home and Vacation Rentals
Home sharing services have quickly become a great alternative to staying in a hotel. They let hosts rent out an extra room in their home — or even an entire property — to travelers. Many people prefer home sharing because it often provides more affordable prices, as well as the comforts of, well…home!
For example, most home share options include a kitchen, while many standard hotel rooms don’t. (Do those free-standing coffee stands with a bread box for a refrigerator really count?) What’s more, many homes on these platforms have unique design features you just won’t find at your destination’s local Courtyard by Marriott.
It’s small, yet essential, details like these that help us feel more like members of a community — and less like tourists.
Airbnb is the most popular of these services, but there are many others on the market as well. VRBO and FlipKey are two well-known alternatives. There are also plenty of home sharing services that cater to specific types of travelers. For example, families with children might consider Kid & Coe, while academics-on-the-go might opt to check out SabbaticalHomes. And sites like Love Home Swap allow you to swap homes with someone else for $15 per month — or less!
Peer-to-peer fashion platforms are a great way to give your wardrobe a refresh. They’re also a great alternative to fast fashion, which negatively affects the environment.
There are quite a few clothes-sharing platforms — many with unique features outside of just helping you cop that drool-worthy new pair of shoes. Some great examples include Nuw, Swap Society, and Rehash. Each platform has its own system for swapping. Some of them give you credits that you can use to “purchase” items from others based on what you’ve uploaded, while others allow you to connect directly with like-minded users and barter.
Popular sites like DePop and Poshmark allow people to create their own “store” and sell their used clothing. This allows you to shop a curated collection of pieces at affordable prices. Other similar platforms include OfferUp and Mercari which allow you to sell clothing, home goods, and more.
Pet Care and Products
We love pets! Being a pet-parent to our fuzzy buddies is love! But let’s be real, it’s also…work. And a lot of it.
Peer-to-peer services for pet care have become incredibly popular in recent years — and with good reason. (See: Work…lots of work.) Sites like Rover make it easy to find a qualified pet sitter when you’re out of town, and Wag lets you schedule a walk for your pup while you’re at work. These various sites offer easy ways for people to find experienced and trustworthy pet-professionals at affordable prices. And hey, job-seekers: Pet sitting and dog walking are also great ways to make some extra money if you’re an animal lover!
Peer-to-peer lending platforms allow people to borrow money from people — rather than a bank, credit union, or other institutional lenders. Some great examples include Peerform, Payoff, Upstart, and Funding Circle.
These peer-based-loans work similarly to a personal loan from a bank, but they often provide lower interest rates. And, again, these platforms are based on people helping people, cutting predatory institutions out of the picture entirely. Some peer-to-peer lending services even cater to those with lower credit scores who might struggle to get a traditional loan.
We all have jobs, and keeping your home in order is, in and of itself, a full-time job. When things get busy, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little help from friends! (Er…friendly strangers.)
Peer-to-peer service platforms like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack make it easy to find the best help available in your community! On these sites, users can advertise the services they offer and their rates. You’ll find everything from furniture assembly, to yard work, to grocery delivery — to name a few popular options. Just pick someone within your budget, and hire them directly. Easy peasy.
Hey, maybe you want to do a job yourself and need some tools. Maybe it’s a one-time job; and you’re a super smart person (duh) who doesn’t want to create waste by purchasing something you won’t ever use again. To top it all off, just maybe you’re a person who values community and likes to keep things close to home.
If this sounds like you, we’ve got one last tip!
If you have a DIY project you’re looking to tackle but don’t have the tools you need, there’s a peer-to-peer platform for that too! With the Sparetoolz app, you can rent the tools you need from your neighbors, or make money by sharing tools you’re not currently using.
TL;DR, choosing peer-to-peer wherever possible is a great way to keep the local economy firing, bond with those around you, and reduce use-based waste by avoiding over-consumption.