Websites Spark Community Sharing - WSPA.com

Websites Spark Community Sharing

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It seems most people have something around the house they only use a couple times a year.

Now - a local man has come up with a way for folks to collect money instead of those items collecting dust.

Jody Burgess developed the website LendLocked after hearing about bike sharing programs from cities across the country.

"But then I said, why should sharing be limited to bicycles? Why can't we share everything?" Burgess explained.

That question turned into the sharing site LendLocked. People post the items they're willing to lend. Others can pay a refundable deposit and a small fee to use them.

"You've got all this stuff sitting around, why not post it and make it available for other people to use," Burgess said.

From borrowing a car, to leasing out an extra room this peer-to-peer sharing idea has taken off in recent years.

Dubbed the "share economy" websites like Relayrides and Airbnb are popular - especially in major cities around the world.

Economist Tom Smythe at Furman University says it's not surprising these kinds of sites are popping up.

"The model itself is the leasing version of ebay, and we know ebay works," Smythe explained.

In a slow economy, paying for access is cheaper than paying for ownership.

"10 years ago, it was cool to go spend a lot of money on getting your hair done, that kind of thing, now sort of the cool thing is to be frugal," Smythe said.

He says if these kinds of sites continue to catch on, they could force other prices to come down.

"Other rental companies could very well have to lower prices if individuals are now able to lease on some kind of level," he explained.

LendLocked launched just a few months ago, so only a few dozen items are available now. Burgess is hoping the site will grow as more people hear about it.

He says - there's an environmental cause too. Borrowing sites keep unused items from winding up in the landfill.

For him - it's not about the money.

"You don't post things on the website to make yourself rich," Burgess said.

He even put his own bike up for rent - hoping others will share in return.

"It all just made sense to me."



 

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