Here’s a nifty infographic on all the online services that make it easier for people to share the stuff they rarely use, and in some cases, make some serious cash. It’s a powerful visual reminder of all the things in your house that aren’t being used most of the time—cars, spare beds, weed whackers, backcountry skis, DVDs, the dollhouse your kid never liked, the clothes in your closet that won’t actually ever fit you again. (h/t to Sightline Daily reader Callie Jordan).
(For another version of the graphic, click here.)
The graphic comes from the Collaborative Fund, investors backing the start-ups that are making this new sharing economy possible on a broader scale. They include companies that help you rent out your garage or driveway, share your backyard with a greener-thumbed gardener, swap books, get some new threads, loan a band saw or simply get rid of stuff you don’t want. But lest you think that this communal sharing still carries the whiff of hippie-dippie-dom, these numbers merit the attention of the clearest-eyed capitalist:
- $15,000 is the average amount that someone who volunteers to do someone else’s errands and chores on taskrabbit.com makes in a year (Most common request? Assembling IKEA furniture).
- $21,000 is the average annual amount a New Yorker makes renting out a spare bed or apartment on airbnb.com.
- $200 is the average amount someone makes in a month renting out video game systems on rentoid.com.
- $8,931 is what Relay Rides’ frequent renters make in a year letting other people drive their cars when they’d otherwise just be sitting idle in a parking spot.
That’s real money—just for renting out the stuff you’ve already paid for and don’t have any intention of using. Sure, there’s time involved in managing the transactions, and some risk that your fishing waders might come back with a hole in them, but anyone who uses consignment stores or Craigslist knows there are savings to be had for that effort. Plus, how many people on the same block really need (much less want) to buy a power washer?