We’ve been talking a lot about Collaborative Consumption over the past few weeks, thanks to new reports that discuss how bartering and swapping are taking over the shopping trends. But we wanted to dig a little deeper, so we asked the demographic who is coming into this ‘economic revival’ for their opinion. Here’s what Swaptree all-around ‘anything you need guy’ Jeff Rosenstock has to say about Collaborative Consumption among college grads…
With the economy still in shambles, people just don’t have the extra money to be spending on big ticket items like televisions, cars, electronics, etc. This is where collaborative consumption comes into the picture. People need new ways to get the things they need without having to spend the large sums of money like they would have in the past.
But, what is collaborative consumption anyway? The concept is a socio-economic phenomenon that is comprised of traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping redefined through technology and peer communities, according to experts Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. “Collaborative consumption” is disrupting outdated modes of business and reinventing not just what we consume but how we consume. It has the benefit of being in the users’ own self-interest, which is why several of the shared consumption programs are on the cusp of going mainstream.
The focus is on the individual taking care of their needs versus just sharing something in order to benefit the good of many. People are inherently individualistic in demeanor, and therefore aren’t always open to the idea of sharing a product with someone else. They do not want to have to depend on someone else to give them what they need, but they also sometimes are unable to acquire the goods or services they want. This is where collaborative consumption really comes to shine as a major business sector. It provides people of all kinds the ability to get exactly what they need at a fraction of what it would normally cost.
For example: In an attempt to remediate the aggressive deterioration of the environment, younger individuals, who are progressively becoming the core target market for the automotive industry, are pursuing alternative means of vehicle ownership and utilization as a means of lessening their cumulative ecological footprint. The yearning to take up less space and conserve natural resources, as well as cost-effectiveness, has given way to the modern movement of “car-sharing.”
Zipcar was one of the first car sharing services to enter this market, and members of Zipcar pay an annual fee as well as hourly fees to use the company’s cars. Part of the unique service of Zipcar is that there is no central location to rent their cars, but instead there are designated parking lots that hold each car. The sharing model trusts that the member who uses the car will take care of it and leave it in good condition for the next driver. This contemporary phenomenon of “car-sharing” will completely reform the way modern society rents their automobiles out to one another for years to come.
Collaborative consumption is essentially a retro-style trend that has reacquired and cultivated a vast popularity within various industries. It offers consumers the opportunity to participate in a capitalistic lifestyle while budgeting personal resources and engaging in eco-friendly incentives, enabling them to make smarter financial decisions by sharing their options.