Call it the sharing economy, call it peer-to-peer commerce, call it collaborative consumption, but no matter what you call it, it’s having a massive impact on how we do business and disrupting established industries at a breakneck pace. I’m talking about the renaissance of people doing business with people — instead of giant companies — a movement facilitated by an ever-growing array of marketplaces and apps.
If we think back in time 200 years, almost all commerce was peer-to-peer, right? We traded in small town squares and knew our neighbors. Then big corporations came in and took over the world.
The “sharing economy” — with the help of websites and apps — is displacing some of those corporations and getting us back to our roots. The premise is we have underutilized assets in our lives, and we can sell or rent those assets to our neighbors in win-win transactions.
Want your piece of the pie? Here's how you can get in on the action.
1. Share Your Art
Creative Market: Sell your designs, website themes, fonts, photography and more on CreativeMarket.com.
TurningArt: TurningArt is a unique art rental marketplace for homeowners and workplaces. Artists earn royalties each time their work is rented, or when prints or originals are sold through the site.
Minted: Minted offers wedding invitations, stationery, home decor and other items from independent artists and photographers like you. Earn cash prizes for one-off contests and commission on on-going sales of your work.
Redbubble: Join the network of more than 350,000 independent artists selling their creative work on Redbubble. You have control over the price of your work, with most artists earning 10 to 30 percent of the retail price.
Cafepress | Zazzle: These are a couple of the largest print-on-demand t-shirt and other merchandise sellers: Cafepress and Zazzle. How it works is you upload your designs and create your own storefront. When someone buys, you earn a royalty on the sale, but never have to touch the inventory or ship the product; the company does it all for you. I think this has the potential to be a really cool passive income stream, especially if your designs can begin ranking on their own in Google.
Teespring: With Teespring, you create your own unique t-shirt designs and then market them to relevant audiences, earning the spread between your purchase price and the cost to produce. The interesting thing about Teespring is unless your campaign hits a minimum critical mass of orders (that you set), nothing gets printed and nobody gets charged.
Threadless: Create your own store and submit your t-shirt designs to a fun community of independent artists and fans. Like other print-on-demand clothing sites, Threadless allows you to make the spread between the purchase price and the cost, usually around $10 a shirt.
2. Share Your Boat
Boatbound: How often do you really get out on the water? With Boatbound.co you can rent your boat to you landlocked peers. A quick search of boats nearby yielded plenty of results with rates ranging from $300 to $2500 per day.
GetMyBoat: GetMyBoat.com is another peer-to-peer boat rental platform with listings all around the world.
Tubbber: You can find peer-to-peer boat rentals, primarily in Europe at Tubbber.com.
3. Share Your Car
Uber: Uber is the proverbial 800 pound gorilla of the sharing economy. Their ride-sharing platform offers the opportunity to essentially start your own taxi service and earn money on your own schedule driving your neighbors around. On average, Uber drivers earn between $20 and $25 an hour.
Lyft: If your car qualifies for Uber, you might as well join Lyft too. This ride-sharing service is branded more as "your friend with a car," perhaps a little more personable than the Uber behemoth. Because of that, I actually prefer Lyft as a rider.
Turo: Turo is a leader in the peer-to-peer car rental space. If driving people around Uber-style isn't your jam, you might consider this as an alternative. Your car probably sits idle at least some of the time and the idea behind Turo is to put that idle time to use by letting someone else use it. They've even got a cool little calculator on their site to estimate how much you might earn. Naturally, the nicer and newer cars in popular travel destinations earn the most, and I've actually heard of people taking out leases on cars specifically to rent them out on Turo.
DropTrip: This platform matches travelers with people who need stuff shipped. Got extra room in your trunk? Offset the cost of your trip by delivering something that's heading the same direction using DropTrip.
Wrapify: When you sign up with Wrapify, your car gets covered with a giant advertisement and you earn money based on how far you drive. A typical commuter in a popular area could earn $50 to $100 a week.
4. Share Your Care
Care.com: With more than 19 million members, Care.com is the largest marketplace for child care, senior care, pet care and house sitting.
UrbanSitter: If you love kids, this could be the perfect side hustle. Set your own babysitting rates, availability, and geographic area you cover. Because UrbanSitter charges parents a monthly membership fee to access the directory, you keep 100 percent of your earnings.
SitterCity: This is a huge marketplace for child care. With parents posting jobs every two minutes on SitterCity, it could be the perfect side hustle to find a fun gig near you.
Talkspace: Talkspace is the platform where you can chat directly with licensed therapists on demand. On the flip side, if you're a licensed therapist, you can set up your profile and begin earning up to $3,000 a month taking your practice online.
5. Share Your City
Vayable: Vayable is a cool marketplace of unique travel experiences hosted by local insiders. If you have a passion for your city, love meeting new people and have always wanted to be a tour guide, here's your chance.
GetYourGuide: Become a tour provider in more than 2,300 locations around the world. Get paid to show off your city to travelers using GetYourGuide.
ToursByLocals: If you already are a professional tour guide, you can use ToursByLocals to connect directly with your customers and earn a better living.
Withlocals: Host food and tour experiences in your city using Withlocals. So far, this site has more traction in Europe and Asia.
6. Share Your Clothes
Style Lend: Rent your designer clothes ($200+ retail) through this new fashion sharing platform. Style Lend will store your clothes for free and pay you each time someone rents an item of yours.
Swap.com: Sell women's and children's clothes through this online consignment store and earn money for each box of clothes you send in to Swap.com.
SwapStyle: Save money by borrowing or buying used designer clothes on SwapStyle or sell from your own closet.
ThredUP: ThredUP will send you a free "Clean Out Kit" to send in your unused clothes for consignment sale. You can even use their online payout estimator tool to see what your items are worth.
Poshmark: Sell your designer clothes through the Poshmark app, which makes it easy to photograph and list an item in just 60 seconds.
7. Share Your Creations
Etsy: Etsy is the largest peer-to-peer marketplace for handcrafted items. You'll find thoughtful pieces for your home, office, kids, closet and more. And if you've got an artistic and crafty side, you can tap into Etsy's wide audience of buyers and set up shop to sell your own handmade items.
Storenvy: Sell your own unique clothing designs, jewelry, crafts, art and more at this growing peer-to-peer platform for indie artists. It's free to open your own Storenvy shop, where you can upload your items, set your own prices and get discovered by buyers on the platform. Storenvy takes a 10 percent cut on whatever you sell.
Zibbet: This marketplace features the work of more than 50,000 independent creatives in categories like home, jewelry, handmade and kid's items. Create your own online Zibbet storefront for $4 a month and they even have a tool that lets you syndicate your Etsy listings.
Envato: Envato is a broad family of brands that connects creators of digital assets with those who need them. If you can create website templates, WordPress plugins, stock videos, jingles, graphics and even 3-D models, this is the place for you.
8. Share Your Data
DataWallet: This startup promises to let you "reclaim the profits made with your data," including what you choose to share on networks like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Choose what you share and what companies you share it with using DataWallet, and earn up to $50 each time your data is sold.
9. Share Your Designs
DesignCrowd: DesignCrowd is another crowdsourced graphic design marketplace where you can submit your creative design ideas based on client specs and win money when they choose yours as their favorite.
99designs: This is a well-known crowdsourcing marketplace for graphic design. If you're a talented designer with a competitive streak you can enter design contests on 99designs and win cash prizes if your design is chosen.
ZillionDesigns: Another crowdsourcing marketplace, ZillionDesigns allows you to sell your logos, emblems, monogram designs and more.
CrowdSPRING: In addition to graphic and web design contests, CrowdSPRING also supports business naming contests, product naming, taglines and marketing copy competitions. Creatives keep 100 percent of their winnings.
10. Share Your Eagle Eye
Scribendi: Scribendi hires proofreaders and editors to work remotely and correct client documents.
11. Share Your Expertise
The Expert Institute: The Expert Institute connects subject matter experts (you!) with attorneys and corporations who happily pay for your analysis and opinions as an expert witness.
PopExpert: Create an account on PopExpert to provide live one-on-one coaching and advice on whatever topics you're qualified to assist with. The platform seems oriented toward health, wellness and mindfulness, but does have experts in other areas as well. Set your own rates and conduct virtual sessions from your home or office at your convenience.
12. Share Your Food
EatWith: "Bringing chefs and foodies together one meal at a time." Set your own menu, schedule and dining experience and earn up to $700 per event with EatWith.
Feastly: Put your culinary skills up for sale by hosting group meals on the Feastly platform. During my discussion with Glenn Carter, he shared the story of one New York chef earning $1000 a month part-time on this site.
BonAppetour: Get paid to cook and host meals for travelers in your home with BonAppetour.
CookUnity: Freelance chefs in New York City can join this online marketplace that delivers locally sourced food right to your door. CookUnity provides the cooking space and chefs provide you and your family a delicious, gourmet meal.
13. Share Your Friendship
Rent a Friend: According to Rent A Friend you can earn up to $50 an hour on this strictly platonic matchmaking site. You might get hired to accompany new friends to the movies, dinner, the gym, shopping or whatever you include in your free profile. And you choose who can contact you, whether it's only women, only men or either.
14. Share Your Good Taste
Kit: With Kit, you can share your favorite items without ever letting them out of your sight. You simply create a kit — that includes the essentials you bring on every business trip, for example — and make affiliate links to buy the products on Amazon. Earn money whenever someone buys the products you recommend.
15. Share Your Handbags
BagBorrowOrSteal: Sell your designer handbags and accessories on consignment or take a lower offer price and get paid right away with BagBorrowOrSteal.
16. Share Your Healing Touch
Soothe: Soothe operates by sending licensed massage therapists directly to the customers who request them. According to their website, Soothe therapists earn up to two times more than they would at a traditional spa and have more flexible work hours.
Zeel: Zeel is the Uber for massages. Licensed masseuses can fill their unbooked time on Zeel and set their own schedule. Therapists earn 75 percent of the sticker price (around $99 for a 60-minute massage), plus an automatic 18 percent gratuity.
17. Share Your House
Airbnb: Airbnb is one of the most well-known sharing economy platforms and is disrupting the entire hotel industry. I'm a fan of Airbnb as a user (I've stayed in Airbnbs in Philadelphia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Japan) and think it's definitely a great way to monetize an underutilized asset under your own roof. We've even seen people buying investment properties solely for the purpose of turning them into Airbnb rentals. Your rates are going to be dictated by your local competition, which could be anywhere from $40 to $300 a night.
Home Away | VRBO: These well-established vacation rental sites — Home Away and VRBO — specialize in rentals of entire homes and apartments. Making it easy for you to find a place to stay or make money at your own home while you're on vacation.
Roomorama: Another site like Airbnb with rentals worldwide, Roomorama lets you find vacation rentals for any occasion worldwide.
Homestay: Homestay focuses on booking stays where the homeowner is present, where most of the Airbnb stays I've booked have been for the "whole" house or apartment. When I ran a search for an upcoming trip to San Diego, I found rates from $27 to $65 a night.
Wimdu: This Airbnb clone, Wimdu, has a heavier presence in Europe if you're looking for stays there instead.
18. Share Your Ideas
Namestation: New companies are often looking for help coming up with names for their businesses or product lines. Namestation lets them crowdsource suggestions from creative people like you. They say their top contributors earn up to $300 a month part-time.
InnoCentive: Win cash prizes for your game-changing problem-solving ideas. InnoCentive has a more science and invention angle.
19. Share Your Investment Strategy
Motif: Motif Investing lets you create your own mutual funds — buckets of up to 30 stocks — and share them with others. When you join Motif's Creator Royalty Program, you can earn $1 for everyone else who buys your Motif.
Instavest: This site makes it easy to replicate the stock picks of pro investors. If you're an experienced investor, Instavest says you can earn up to $5,000 per investment thesis by sharing it on their site.
20. Share Your Knowledge
Udemy: With Udemy you can create a video course in your area of expertise, set your own price (up to $50) and put it up for sale on their platform of more than 10 million students. Udemy recently made some pricing and promotion changes that have dramatically cut earnings, but I've still earned over $10,000 on the platform and was consistently earning $200 to $600 a month. I like Udemy and platforms like it because you can create the asset once, and sell it again and again.
Skillshare: I've also syndicated my courses to Skillshare, where they don't earn as much, but still bring in some incremental passive income.
Coursmos: A growing online education database where you can set your own prices for your course without any limits. Coursmos is an open education platform.
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