In the internet age, it’s possible to enjoy an unprecedented variety of luxuries and creature comforts without having to buy from a business.
Just take AirBnB, which allows you to rent other people’s homes when you travel – or Uber, which lets anyone with a mobile phone and a car drive others around for money. Both services have been extremely successful because they’re an affordable – and often better – option than hotels and taxis.
And that’s what “Peer to Peer Commerce” is all about: getting goods and services directly from other people and businesses. What most people don’t know, however, is just how many apps let you participate in Peer to Peer commerce. Below are our favorites for 2016.
A few of these apps and sites are completely new; several became significantly more popular this year; all of them are definitely a fun way to make and save money.
1. Dog Vacay
Going on vacation? Wondering where you’re going to leave your dog?
You could take your pet to an expensive doggie hotel, where it’ll live with dozens of other dogs…or you can save money by leaving your favorite canine with a caring, loving dog-sitter while you’re away.
You can schedule to get daily photographs of your dog playing, going outside and getting love from the people it’s staying with. Cool, huh?
Turo – previously Relay Rides – allows users to rent their neighbors’ cars via a convenient online website and mobile app.
This means you can get a car when you need it, and get access to a large S.U.V., a jeep or even a sports car without having to own one. And if you’re a car owner, you can make money by letting others use your car when you don’t need it for yourself.
TaskRabbit lets you hire people to run small errands, from grocery shopping to fetching coffee to your office from Starbucks.
Now you can feel like Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada – minus the aggressive demeanor – without having to hire a full-time personal assistant! Even better, you can trust more complex tasks – from cleaning and moving to home repairs and handyman work – to TaskRabbit contractors…
And, of course, make a side income in your free time while doing chores for other users.
4. Amazon Marketplace
Surprised to see Amazon on this list? Don’t be!
Amazon Marketplace allows businesses and individuals to sell their goods to each other. With eBay traffic falling significantly over the last couple of years, Amazon Marketplace is the hot new platform for P2P commerce.
And if you do end up enjoying how the platform works, you can easily transition from selling things you no longer need to running your own business with services like Fulfilled by Amazon.
Have you ever been in an unfamiliar city without an internet connection? Have you ever wished you could use one of the many password-protected WiFi networks around you?
With Fon, you can!
Fon is a little different from the other businesses on this list because it’s more about sharing than P2P commerce. It lets you use other people’s WiFis in different cities around the globe in exchange for them using yours.
Having said that, I love the idea behind Fon – and couldn’t not include it on this list.
Doing sports when you’re on vacation is fun. Unfortunately, some kinds of sports equipment – snowboards, high-end mountain bikes, surfboards – can be extremely expensive to buy, and difficult to take with you on vacation.
Spinlister solves this problem by letting you rent sports equipment from other folks when you’re abroad or at home. With users in 100+ countries, this is a great way to connect with locals and do your favorite sport without overpaying.
Tired of trying to find a parking spot near your home or job? Consider paying your neighbors – or the nice folks who live close to your office – to use theirs instead with JustPark.
Users report saving 60% on their parking fees on an average – not to mention that, in cities like New York, JustPark spots are often an alternative to circling the same block for hours, trying to find someplace to leave your car.
Featured photo credit: blog.bazaarvoice.com via blog.bazaarvoice.com