Markets in Everything: Rent-A-Friend
Scott Rosenbaum, 30, has a database of 218,000 men and women who members of his site Rent a Friend can hire "to hang out with, go to a movie or restaurant with," or be "someone to show you around an unfamiliar town." The US-based site already has around 2,000 members, each paying up to $25 to access the site.
When they see a friend they like the look of, they can rent them for as little as $10 an hour. Rosenbaum said he wanted to "go a step back" from dating sites and offer a service that was, in the words of his website "strictly platonic." He told The Times: "No one was offering friendship."
The service is not just about getting people to meet up for a drink or a meal. It lists a host of diverse activities that members might like to hire friends for, including "teaching manners," "snowboarding," "family functions" and just "hanging out."
HT: Steve Bartin