Saturday, September 17, 2011

Collaborative Consumption: The Rental Society

Rental markets in everything, e.g. Toilets

In its October issue, Reason Magazine reviews the book "What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption," here's the Collaborative Consumption website.  The review is titled "Pimp Your Ride: Why own what you can rent? And why not rent out what you own?," here's an excerpt:

"Just a few years ago, President George W. Bush was still touting “the ownership society” as the surest path to prosperity and personal autonomy. But that was before we could easily search our cellphones for the nearest power drills, sedans, and spacious Manhattan closets for rent. What we really want, sharing evangelists suggest, is access, not ownership. And when we can use the mobile Web to pinpoint sharable goods, the burdens of ownership—which include maintenance, storage, and eventual disposal—begin to outweigh the benefits in many cases.

The emergence of new rental markets is also likely to exert a downward pressure on existing products and services. If the Web has taught us anything, it’s that consumers are quite generous in what they will tolerate if the price is right. The thousands of amateur hoteliers now offering couches and air mattresses in New York City and Paris for as low as $20 a night have the potential to undermine the prices that hotels charge in the same way that people who create content for free have changed the business model of Hollywood and the news industry. A space on the floor in someone’s living room flop house may not have all the amenities of Motel 6, but if it’s clean enough and safe enough and reliable enough to attract consumers on an ongoing basis, it will create competition for legacy hoteliers that will in turn create new waves of innovation and price reduction."

MP: Here's another example below: "Moms have swapped hand-me-down clothes with friends and relatives for years. Now a startup called startup ThredUP is trying to use the Internet to automate the process of sharing used kids’ clothes between people who don’t know each other."

HT: Steve Bartin


At 9/17/2011 11:24 AM, Blogger geoih said...

You can't rent something unless you already own it.

At 9/17/2011 11:27 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Let me clarify: you can't rent something to somebody else unless you already own it.

At 9/17/2011 12:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

CLOO, sounds like a great way for those who want to case places that might be ripe for burglary....

At 9/17/2011 1:12 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Craigslist is a fabulous resource as well. I stocked nearly my entire woodshop with used tools bought on Craigslist. It could have happened before with classified ads, but much more cumbersome.

Also, for lower-priced items, the classified were too expensive whereas Craigslist is free.

Indeed, many people simply list their furnishings for free on Craigslist when they leave town. A diligent person could just about furnish their home through Craigslist for free. You do have to have a car or preferably, p/u truck.

Geoih: You never heard of sub-letting? What if I rent a truck for one month, and then rent my services out for day-work (using the truck)?

At 9/17/2011 1:25 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"Collaborative Consumption"

Advertising will change from "I
we won't be undersold" to "we will not be underrent".

This is an interesting phenom, and with less disposable income at hand should keep growing.

At 9/17/2011 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched that Cloo video and am not entirely convinced it's not a joke. :) I found a recent LA Times article that says they don't launch till next year, so Cloo could just be one big prank, poking fun at how all these "collaborative" websites are springing up left and right to share the silliest things. However, such online sharing is an inevitable trend, even if people sometimes overdo it on silly things, that will no doubt lower demand for new products and services, just as the review says, and make our economy more efficient, as we are now better using idle resources.

What I'd like to see is a website where I could buy fresh food produced by good local cooks. Rather than having these local cooks rent a food truck or start a restaurant, they could just make double or triple portions of what they're making already and sell the extra portions online. Combine it with a delivery service and I could see that really taking off, particularly for ethnic or other uncommon food. The closest equivalent we have to this today is local caterers who advertise in local papers or online listings. The only big obstacle is that the food gestapo from the govt would inevitably get involved, making up scare stories about how people would get unsafe food if the govt doesn't get involved and take their cut of the proceeds.

At 9/17/2011 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't rent something to somebody else unless you already own it.

Not true, you only need the right to use and possess. Sandwich leasing is common in commercial real estate, for example.

At 9/18/2011 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, apparently I'm not the only one wondering if Cloo is a hoax, as it rated a post on Apparently it's still a "prototype" with no funding to go any farther, so why are people writing about it like it's real? I guess the gag value of the idea and that silly video they posted surpass any real possibility of it happening.

At 9/21/2011 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mutualists would be against this, right?


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