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A Snapshot of the Sharing Economy


What does the sharing economy really mean?

It is a new way of thinking that is disrupting traditional businesses driven by forward-looking entrepreneurs, startups and average citizens. Some have suggested this focus on sharing is just a return to an older way of thinking where people pooled their resources to achieve things they often could not do on their own. The sharing economy has a new spin however, with apps that use the Internet to easily enable anyone to become an entrepreneur by offering an underused resource or service online for a price.

America’s flourishing sharing economy with these innovative peer-to-peer businesses, however, brings new policy issues. Regulators should be thoughtful in their approach and allow new businesses to take shape, rather than allow entrenched special interests to try to stifle new competition.

CTA supports innovative businesses and is a leading voice for the sharing economy. On the federal level, CTA advocates for a forward-thinking approach, urging Congress to resist enacting preemptive legislation in response to “hypothetical” harms. On the state level, CTA’s grassroots public policy arm, the Innovation Movement, mobilized more than 1,000 advocates to protect ridesharing services by contacting their legislators in numerous states including New York, Illinois, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Following are some unique business models enabled by this new sharing mindset:

 

Airbnb

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Airbnb helps people list, find and rent lodging worldwide with listings in 190 countries.

 

 

BlaBlaCar

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BlaBlaCar is the world’s leading long distance ridesharing service, connecting drivers with empty seats to people travelling the same way.

 

 

Cohealo

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Cohealo is a technology company that helps health systems share medical equipment across facilities, so they can optimize spend, accelerate cash flow and improve access to care.

 

 

DogVacay

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DogVacay connects pet owners with petsitters, avoiding the need for a dog kennel. Dog lovers can open their home to visiting pets and earn daily boarding fees.

 

 

Etsy

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Etsy is a peer-to-peer e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique manufactured items.

 

 

JustPark

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JustPark solves the problem of finding a parking space by leveraging vacant privately-owned parking spaces in the city at rates that vary by demand.

 

 

Lending Club

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Lending Club is the largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors. It operates at a lower cost than traditional bank lending programs to pass savings on to borrowers.

 

 

Liquid

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Liquid, previously known as Spinlister, allows you to rent a bike from another bike owner in your city.

 

 

Lyft

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Lyft facilitates peer-to-peer ridesharing by connecting passengers who need a ride with drivers who have a car.

 

 

Poshmark

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Poshmark is a fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion. Consumers can make money from clothes that are sitting in their closet by using the app.

 

 

Sidecar

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Sidecar lets you enter your preferences for car type, driver, fare and ETA providing the advantage of knowing the price for the ride immediately.

 

 

SnapGoods

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SnapGoods is an online platform that allows individuals to rent and borrow gear from others in their neighborhood or network.

 

 

TaskRabbit

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TaskRabbit is an online mobile marketplace that allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks to others in their neighborhood. Users name the task they need done and the price they are willing to pay, and a network of pre-approved contractors bid for the job.

 

 

Turo

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Turo (formerly RelayRides) is a peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace. It allows private car-owners to rent out their vehicles via an online interface.

 

 

Uber

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Uber connects you with a taxi, private car or rideshare in minutes around the world.

 

 

Vayable

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Vayable allows you to book a tour with a local expert in cities worldwide or sign up as a host and earn money acting as a tour guide in your area.

 

 

Yelp

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Yelp has been facilitating online review sharing since 2004. Its online user reviews and recommendations of restaurants, shopping, nightlife and entertainment, help people search for everything from those hard to find running shoes to the best doctors.

 

 

Yerdle

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Yerdle is a peer-to-peer second hand store with a unique credit system where you can find everything from toys and electronics to tools.

 

 

Zaarly

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Zaarly is a peer-to-peer marketplace for people to provide services for others. It lets sellers market their services in a realtime, buyer-powered market platform.

 

 

Zipcar

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Zipcar is a car sharing and car club service and serves as an alternative to traditional car rental and car ownership.

 

Cindy Stevens, Sr. Director, Publications, Consumer Technology Association

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