If you have ever hired a ride from Uber, rented an apartment or a room via Airbnb, or paid for some freelance work on a site like Fiverr or oDesk, then you are already an active participant in the so-called “sharing economy” or “gig economy.” But have you ever considered being on the other side of the exchange?
The sharing economy offers a wide range of opportunities to generate some extra cash by making use of your time, expertise, labor, or idle physical assets.
What is the Sharing Economy?
The concept behind the sharing economy is relatively simple: some people have valuable assets that they don’t use all of the time. Meanwhile, other people are in desperate need of those assets, but don’t require them on a permanent basis. Buying them, in this case, would lead to the costs outweighing the benefits. So, to make the economy more efficient, those with valuable assets can rent them out to others during their downtime.
Then there is the gig economy. From a distance, the gig economy and the sharing economy look pretty different. The gig economy is about freelancers offering their services part-time in exchange for cash while the sharing economy is about sharing assets for cash. However, what freelancers are offering is their individual talents and skills as well as their labor and idle time. These are assets, too!
Perhaps the best part about the sharing economy is that it is centered online via the Internet and mobile apps. This means financial and sometimes common administrative transactions can happen much more efficiently and fluidly than it ever could in the offline world.
For these reasons and others there has been a virtual explosion of services that have all but revolutionized, and in many cases disrupted, their respective industries.
5 Ways to Earn Money in the Sharing Economy
That said, here are some ways you can take full advantage of the opportunities the sharing economy offers and use them to put some cash in your pocket.
1) Ride-Sharing. These include Uber, Lyft, Gett, and many others, depending on your location. Ride-sharing services have become the new way to hire a ride.
One of the most famous ride-sharing services in the world is Uber. With this service, you can earn a lot more per hour than the average taxi driver in fees alone. You also don’t have to spend an insane amount of money obtaining a taxi license as it’s entirely free to join Uber. All you need is a car, be above a certain age, and depending on your location pass a few other requirements, like passing a standard background check.
Services such as Uber considers their drivers as contractors. The benefit to this is you get to choose the hours you work and can earn as much or as little as you want. There are also lots of ways you can use Uber to your advantage, based on which of their services you want to sign up for. Ever wondered: how does UberX work? How does Uberpool work? All these are potential opportunities you could use to put more money into your pocket!
2) Space Sharing. If ever there were a poster child for the sharing economy, Airbnb would be it. But, space sharing actually includes many different kinds of property, including:
- Office sharing- Got an unused desk and/or office equipment? Why not rent it out to another professional or business in need?
- Parking- If you have a parking space that you don’t make much use of, you could now rent it out via services, such as ParkingSpotter.com.
- Events- If you have a large space or a unique venue, you can earn some extra cash by renting it out for parties, meetings, festive occaisions or other events.
3) Freelancing. If you have a professional skill or a unique talent, you can earn a decent income from joining a freelance platform, such as:
- Upwork – One of the biggest marketplaces for professional freelancers.
- Guru – Another market place for professional freelancers
- Fiverr – A big marketplace for a range of services, such as design, writing, translation, IT, and video editing.
- People Per Hour – Another big freelancer marketplace, primarily for smaller jobs
- 99designs – This site is geared to graphic design.
4) Delivery services. If you have a car or you own a bike and like to use it, then you could earn some money transporting food or other items to those who need them. Some of the biggest names in this space include:
- Instacart- deliver groceries
- AmazonFlex- package delivery
- UberEats- food delivery
5) Equipment rental. If you have any valuable, yet idle equipment that others may need to use, then you can rent it out on a short-term basis for a little extra cash. Some examples include:
- Kitsplit- for photography equipment
- Threedigo- a marketplace that connects 3D printer owners with those who are looking for a 3D printer to use
- Snappcar- rent out cars and other vehicles
In short, the sharing economy is a serious option to consider for those looking to to make money out of their assets without having to invest too much upfront.
***This post was brought to you by hyrecar.com
Nice article Susan.
The sharing economy has actually been around longer than people think. It’s a sublease, 2.0
Anyways, great blog.