The Times recently named it as a “movement that’s going to change the world.” Entire marketplaces have been influenced by the incredible ideas that have generated from it. And when it comes to consumer spending, there’s nothing that compares to the economic power of collaborative consumption websites.
Not quite sure what this means? Not to worry: chances are that if you’ve indulged in a bit of Ebay shopping or have rented a new apartment from Craigslist, then you’ve indulged in what’s known as “collaborative consumption.” Collaborative consumption is a name that’s given to the movement where consumers purchase goods and items from each other, rather than from a third-party store or traditional merchant. Also known as “peer-to-peer spending”, collaborative consumption relies on the concept that consumers should be free to name their own prices on the goods and services that they use the most.
In terms of the World Wide Web, collaborative consumption has become the order of the day – and it’s highly likely that you’ve indulged in this movement yourself. So which websites are the heralds of the collaborative consumption movement? Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax, because this article will highlight the ten most innovative collaborative consumption websites:
- Ebay: Undoubtedly the granddaddy of all collaborative consumption websites, Ebay has been connecting consumers the world over for over a decade. Ebay members can upload items and set their own prices, while buyers can bid against other users to make the final purchase.
- Craigslist: This online marketplace is known as one of the greatest websites for collaborative consumption in the 21st century. At Craigslist, users can surf through listings for apartments, vehicles, and other items that have been uploaded by members.
- ParkatmyHouse: If you’re looking for a place to park your car and commute into the city, then Park at my House will let you rent out another user’s driveway or parking space for a set price. Users can save plenty of money by paying for parking through private users, rather than through traditional (and expensive) parking garages.
- Carpooling: If you want to do your part to protect the environment, then consider finding your carpooling buddy at Carpooling, a collaborative consumption website that connects users who want to share the commute to work.
- CampusBookRentals: If you’re sick of experiencing sky-high bills from buying your college textbooks every semester, then you can visit CampusBookRentals, where you’ll find several users who are willing to rent out their textbooks for a small fee.
- Swap: Have a few DVDs that you’re not interested in anymore? Are you looking to upgrade your music collection without spending hundreds of dollars for the privilege? Then head to Swap, where you’ll find a community of users who are looking to exchange their social media (such as DVDs and music) in exchange for your own. Grab the DVDs and music you don’t want anymore and list them to start swapping for the latest songs and movies.
- CouchSurfing: If you want to travel without racking up a major credit card bill, then head to CouchSurfing, where you’ll find users from different countries who are willing to let you sleep on their couches in exchange for a small fee or the promise of similar services. It’s a great way to see the world without making a major dent in your bank account balance.
- BarterQuest: Consider yourself to be a great barterer? Do you pride yourself on your ability to drive a hard bargain? Then grab the gear you want to toss and head to BarterQuest, where you’ll find users interested in exchanging their goods in favor of your own. You have the freedom to determine what you receive from your bartering skills, so be sure to sharpen up on your haggling before making the deal.
- GrubWithUs: If you’re looking to enjoy the local restaurant scene with a new group of people, then join up with GrubWithUs, a collaborative consumption website that allows you to connect with fellow foodies, post reviews and share tips.