The sharing economy continues to boom as innovators find new ways to harness excess capacity. Airbnb continue to empty hotel rooms worldwide and London cabbies devise new solutions to Uber’s onward drive. The idea of renting out your car parking space is becoming increasingly popular too; JustPark have unlocked over 200,000 parking spaces across the UK to provide more convenient parking for over 1 million drivers nationwide. But one obvious commodity is as yet comparatively untapped by people-powered platforms: our stuff. And new research suggests that a platform for peer-renting one’s belongings could bring significant financial benefits.
When you’re not using your professional speakers, why not rent them out and earn some extra income? If you only use your roof box once annually, why not see if someone else needs it through the rest of the year? The bike you never ride, the tent that you’re yet to camp in and the pair of skis you stare at longingly for 50 weeks of the year… A report carried out by Oxfam earlier this year suggested that each household had an average of 143 unused items lying around. Isn’t it time to start harnessing your own excess capacity?
Here in the Fat Lama research lab, we’ve analysed category-specific trends in both the B2C rental industry and peer-rental marketplaces to estimate out how many times you’d have to rent out different items to make back your money. And the results suggest that a P2P stuff-sharing platform could soon provide item-lenders with a substantial additional income. Assuming a two-day rental period, you would only have to rent out your ski jacket 2.21 times in order for the jacket to ‘pay for itself’. Your tent would only have to be rented 2.94 times, your leaf blower 3.95 times and your drill 4.26 times. Say you buy a roofbox for £110; rental at £10/day would mean you’d only have to lend it for a handful of weekends in order to make your money back. Any time you rent it out after that you would then be making money.
We’re excited to see the impact on our users’ personal finances. Students, for example, are always on a tight budget and in need of some extra money (whether it’s to upgrade from a baked bean diet or to buy a few more Jagerbombs on a night out); not only will they will be able to rent out the belongings they already own, but consider all of the house-party-enhancing items they could borrow too. Freelancers, one-man-bands and other small businesses could also benefit hugely from the ability to lend and borrow. Picture a small film or music production company; with Fat Lama, their abundance of production equipment becomes a great way for them to earn money and help kickstart their business.
The money-making potential of renting your stuff is exciting. Start thinking about the assets that you might be sitting on in your home and get listing.