Although a relatively new concept, Sharing Economy is slowly taking over New Zealand’s market. Kiwis know numerous examples of successful peer-to-peer companies, ranging from local startups to global giants. And contrary to what you might think, the sharing economy is no longer limited to services like Uber and Airbnb.
“Collaborative consumption” concept is based on the premise that there is slack in our economy– resources that are not being utilized. Your car parked in the garage. Your mum’s empty basement. Your neighbours' house you have to keep an eye on while they are travelling abroad. Through the use of various websites and applications, people are able to rent those assets to their peers resulting in win-win transactions. Sharing economy platforms provide users more choices while attaining lower prices. Nowadays, this type of money-saving idea has created a massive impact on the lives of people.
However, the sharing economy is not only helpful when you need that one random thing — a car, pressure washer, a holiday home — but it’s also helpful when you need some extra money. Peer to peer platforms makes it easy for people to list their services or assets and make a profit, without having to incur the risky start-up costs of opening a new business. And a few companies even provide liability insurance, training and other entrepreneurial support services.
So if generating some extra income is on your to-do list for next year, here are six ways you might be able to profit from the sharing economy:
1. Share your houseDo you have a spare room in your house or a bach? Why not make the most of your vacant space by renting it out? There is always the well-known Airbnb and Bookabach; however, you may also want to look into local alternatives that will make sure your house is well looked after.
Look After Me is a New Zealand’s premium homestay network that is set to revolutionise accommodation industry by connecting people through old-fashioned, genuine kiwi hospitality. With Look After Me, you can rent out from the minimum of a spare room with a single bed to a self-contained unit or a sleepout on your property. The platform is designed to match hosts and renters with shared interests, allowing travellers to meet like-minded people, get local knowledge and pay fair prices for a home-cooked meal or a decent coffee. Think of it as 'homestay for grownups'.
Aside from sharing your living space, you can also share your office and other areas in your home. For example, peer-to-peer marketplace All Space lets you rent out your unused garage for storage space or your driveway for boat and caravan parking. It’s free to become All Space Host and takes less than 5 minutes to list your space on the website: you simply provide the details like dimensions, location, access type and upload a photo. Other examples of space that can be listed on the marketplace are storage cage, shed, warehouse room, basement, attic, or a city carpark.
2. Share your car
Do you need your car every day? When you go on vacation, does your car just remain unused? Maybe it’s time to start renting out your car when you are not using it. New Zealand based peer-to-peer cars rental companies like YourDrive or MyCarYourRental help people reduce the cost of car ownership and get cash for unused vehicles instead of bills.
3. Share your ride
How about getting paid for driving your car? The idea of ride sharing is not new; however, there are local alternatives to Uber and Lyft that are worth considering if you want to earn extra money while driving your car this summer.
Zoomy is a New Zealand based ride-sharing mobile app initially available in Auckland and Wellington. The company claims to change lower commission rates and also offers same-day payments of your earnings. Zoomy works with any individual willing to make some extra money either on a part or full-time basis. Drivers need however to hold all the relevant licences to carry passengers.
Regular commuters and occasional road-trip lovers that want to lower the cost of car-ownership may love the idea that Chariot is bringing to New Zealand. You’re already headed somewhere, why not pick up a passenger who can pitch in for gas? Maybe you’re driving from Auckland to Bay of Plenty. Or perhaps you’ve got a daily commute across the Harbour Bridge. If you have an extra seat or two, connect with a passenger in need of transport.
The new carpooling app connects people who are travelling by car in the same direction and is set to change the world of commuting. Users of Chariot can drive other passengers and can rent up to three seats in their car and share the cost of travel, while passengers can catch regular or one-off short trips and long-haul rides with others.
Any New Zealander with a standard driving licence can sign up to be a driver. Chariot drivers are exempt from special rules and regulations, as they are not transporting passengers for reward or hire - they simply receive a contribution towards the cost of the trip. Chariot has launched in Wellington and Palmerston North on November 26, with plans to launch in other regions in the near future.
4. Share your money
Without a doubt, money sharing is one of the best ways to save money and get an extra income source. Peer-to-peer lending has a higher rating from the rest of money-lending institutions since it’s very easy and convenient. Peer to peer lending helps you “make your money work harder so you don't have to”. However, the downside is that money sharing can be very risky. Hence, it is imperative that you join only reliable and credited money sharing marketplaces.
Harmoney and Squirrel Money are great examples of New Zealand’s peer to peer financial marketplaces where you can “list” your money and let others borrow from you. It’s a simple idea of “everyday people lending money to other everyday people”. Both companies have different models, i.e. Harmoney encourages diversification and spreading your investments in small increments over many different loans and choosing the risk grades yourself. Squirrel Money has stricter criteria for borrowers so there is no need for manual diversification, and also offers “Loan Shield”, the only reserve fund in NZ which is there as a buffer to cover any potential losses.
Another interesting concept in the financial marketplace space is PeerCover, a genuine alternative to insurance for crisis events. Peer cover offers financial assistance to its members in the event of life crisis. Members running crowdfunding campaigns will receive PeerCover top-ups: small auto-donations from all members, amounting to a material top-up. Peer to peer insurance provides a backup to cover gaps in your current insurance coverage and will support you if your friends and family do. You crowd aka family and friends moderates definition and severity of your crisis i.e. not based on predefined T&C’s. Members pay a one-off non-refundable $20 subscription, after a month they are eligible for PeerCover top-ups. For more information, head to http://www.peercover.co.nz/
5. Share your goods
Sharing economy is promoting an idea of ditching outright ownership in favor of borrowing or loaning goods which not only helps the environment but can also help make you some money. If you’ve got a lawn mower, barbecue, high-pressure hose, camping gear or electronics lying around that you barely ever use, you can actually rent these out using marketplaces such as Tribu.
Tribu is New Zealand’s first online community focused marketplace connecting kiwis to lend, rent and give. It’s not a typical business transaction in the typical sense, Tribu is more like neighbour-to-neighbour sharing, where people in need of a specific tool can contact someone in their area and rent it out for the weekend. And what sets the company apart from any other online marketplaces is that Tribu donates 5% of their service fees to a local charity. And for every month they complete 1000 shares, Tribu will donate an additional $250.
If you own construction equipment that is not being used 100 percent of the time, you might also like to check out EquipmentShare. The company specializes in peer-to-peer equipment hire and allows kiwis to generate revenue from investments in heavy construction equipment while remaining completely ‘hands off’. EquipmentShare enables you to keep assets generating their maximum income in between contracts.
6. Share your garden
Most garden owners have had the experience of having some flowers or shrub growing way too large. On the other hand, all garden owners have also had the experience of driving by someone else’s garden and think ’Oh, I would really like some of those plants in my own garden’. Floragora makes excess plants an asset, which can be used to swap with someone else.
In addition, it is very easy to make a little bit of extra money if you want a few extra dollars to buy new plants for. It can be as simple as harvesting some seeds, putting them in pots, waiting a year – then you have a product someone else would like to buy. Besides saving money, trading plants help establish new, meaningful relationships between people who will meet others with a shared interest.