How to make cash on the side with the shared economy
American entrepreneurs are making a killing out of our growing shared economy, and it looks as if Australian companies are starting to follow suit.
Back in 2008, Airbnb was a small American start-up. It now has over 25 million members and is now estimated to be valued at around $US20 billion ($26 billion).
The ride-sharing service Uber was founded in 2009 after the company's CEO struggled to find a taxi on his way home from a conference. Uber is now worth an estimated $US41 billion, and provides its peer-to-peer (P2P) service in 58 countries.
With a range of new technologies now up our sleeves, making a bit of extra money has never been easier. Australian start-up AirTasker managed to raise $6.5 million in new capital in May alone, adding to the $10 million it received in venture funding in 2011.
AirTasker allows its members to trade menial labour in exchange for cash, with the company currently processing around $18 million in P2P transactions each year.
If you're looking to make some money on the side, there is a great range of P2P start-ups available in Australia:
If your house is in a popular spot, you can rent out your backyard as a camping spot for tourists.
Homecamp is available in seven countries, so there are plenty of cheap accommodation options available. The site has recently taken off in Australia, with campers discovering that they can score a picturesque view of Sydney Harbour for about $30 per night.
Car Next Door
Available in Sydney and Melbourne, Car Next Door allows you to rent out your car when it's not being used.
For users, the costs can add up (from $5 an hour or from $25 a day). But all in all it is still cheaper than buying and maintaining your own car.
If your apartment isn't animal friendly, you can have a close - and rewarding - encounter with a neighbour's dog.
Get paid for taking a dog for a walk while its owners are at work.
You can rent literally anything on Open Shed. This Australian website allows you to share your possessions with the outside world and lease them out on a daily basis.
The Clothing Exchange
While The Clothing Exchange doesn't offer much variety yet, the site is such a great concept that we predict it will boom in the coming months.
Sick of your old clothes? Upload them to The Clothing Exchange and see if you can attract a buyer.
The option is also available to swap garments with other users, so you don't have to pay a cent.