With Chinese New Year just around the corner, Chinese families usually take this opportunity to do spring cleaning, a tradition passed down for centuries to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck.
Of course, it is usually this time too that you realize how much old stuffs you have, as well as all the non essential items you accumulated in the past year.
To solve this problem, there is now this movement called the sharing economy where companies exist to help you make money from sharing the things you don’t use most of the time .
It becomes win win win for all parties.
Owner Wins: You can make some money for something that is just lying idle there that you’re not using anyway
Renter Wins: It’s a win for the renter too because they don’t have to buy items for one time use, subsequently reducing the clutter. It is also cheaper to rent from private owners, and most of the time the condition is actually better. You can also see other people’s ratings and reviews on the products you are renting.
Environment Wins: Cars are known to be shared too. For every shared car, 13 cars will be taken off the road and there is a chance to reduce green house gas emission by to up 40%.
Government Wins: It supports micro-entrepreneurship and takes some heat off the government to create jobs.
So what are some of the companies who are involved in this movement in Singapore?
iCarsclub – Peer to Peer Car Rental/Sharing
This company is different both from traditional car rental companies and traditional car sharing companies. It has the best traits of the two.
It allows for flexible timings among those who wants to rent a car. What it means is that you are no longer being forced to rent a car for the whole weekend when you only need it for one day. You can pick up the car any time you want. This is made possible by iCarsClub’s mobile app where you can unlock the car door straight from your mobile phone.
Another benefit for iCarsClub is there due to its peer to peer nature, it doesn’t have any membership fees.
The only problem is that due to LTA’s ruling, private car owners can only rent their car out during weekends and public holidays
Sharetransport.sg : Peer to Peer Car Pooling
Looking for someone to give you a lift somewhere for a small fee? Or perhaps you want to share a cab with someone? Sharetransport.sg helps you to find that person. You can enjoy a significant cost savings when you car pool with someone. Launched back in 2012, there are over 15,000 users now using the website to car pool with car owners. The number is expected to exceed 20,000 this year.
Rent Tycoons – Peer to Peer Goods Rental
Ever wonder where to get extra plastic chairs for your 101 guests during Chinese New Year? Or perhaps an electrical drill to hang that new painting up?
This site allows anyone to list their idle items and rent it out to make some money and make some friends. According to Managing Director Fenni Wang, many of their users need some items only once a year during special occasions, so it really doesn’t make sense for them to buy the item. Users therefore turn to Rent Tycoons to rent the item they need, resulting in a significant increase in cost savings.
Block Pooling – Peer to Peer Goods and Services
If you need help around your block urgently, this startup totally makes sense as they allow you to find people who lives near you AND can help you with your problem. This is incredibly convenient as it totally takes out the need to travel far away. On top of that, it also allows people to list things to rent. Imagine going back to the kampung days, borrowing salt and pepper from your neighbour!
Leendy – Peer to Peer Barter Trade
Ever heard of the Singapore really really free market, where people meet and just give away their stuff FOR FREE and in the mean time take something that they want back? Well, Leendy tries to create and extend the experience online. Money is not really mentioned here, as it believes in the world of exchange. Users can just barter trade the items they want with one another.
Due to the relatively low barriers to entry, scalability of the business, coupled with Singaporeans love for travelling and trying out new experiences, there are no fewer than five startups in this space. Competition is tough in this industry especially with the Singapore government issuing a formal statement to state that it is illegal.
Home owners rent out their apartments to guests looking for alternatives to hotels.
And there you have it, some of the more relevant consumer facing companies driving the sharing economy in Singapore. There are others that caters to the business like:
- Wasteisnotwaste: Online waste exchange for businesses and organizations in Singapore
- Co-Working spaces: Non-exhaustive list
- Wearespaces: Marketplace for event venues
But that will be another article for another time.
Have we missed out any other start ups in the sharing economy that is consumer facing?