The collaborative economy encompasses all those activities that involve an exchange between individuals of goods and services in exchange for a compensation agreed between them.
In many cases they are goods or services that were not being fully used and thanks to the collaborative economy a person can benefit from that good or service, while the owner makes a profit. Therefore, the consumption of goods and services collaboratively between individuals is known as collaborative consumption .
Previously, collaborative consumption was limited to our geographical area and closest circle. However, thanks to the internet, it is possible to connect with people from all over the world with common interests. The digitalization of society and the economic crisis favored the development of new business models and new forms of consumption.
Advantages of the collaborative economy
The collaborative economy has several advantages:
- Resource optimization:We can output goods that were not used before or that did not have 100% use
- Greater offer for the final consumer:The consumer finds a wider offer between what traditional shops offer and what the collaborative economy offers. You can make a wider comparison in qualities and prices.
- Savings: Thanks to the supply of second-hand goods and services, consumers have access to lower prices than those of the market, which allows them to save. In times of economic crisis, this advantage was key to the proliferation of collaborative consumption.
- Generate an ecosystem based on commitment, solidarity and the generation of ideas: These ideas go hand in hand with entrepreneurs with new businesses, generating employment, wealth and innovation in our business fabric
Disadvantages of the collaborative economy
As it is an economy agreed between individuals, it has a series of drawbacks:
- Lack of legislative regulation and unfair competition:We are facing a sector without regulation that leads to complaints and protests from the affected sectors, since they believe that unfair competition can be incurred because services cannot be offered under the same conditions.
- Unprotection of the consumer:The final consumer does not have guarantees of the quality of the product, or that the people with whom it is being shared, are trusted and do not generate problems. They are risks that are run in exchange for a lower price.
Examples and sectors of collaborative economy
As examples of the collaborative economy we have the following:
- Collaborative transport:Share your trip by car. Examples: BlaBla Car or Uber
- Collaborative accommodation:Share a room in your house or the entire apartment when it is not inhabited. Examples: Airbnb or HomeAway
- Collaborative financing, which manifests itself in various ways:
- Crowdfunding: allows to finance entrepreneurial projects based on small contributions from several people. Example: Verkami.
- Crowdlending: loans between individuals that allow financing projects or facilitate consumption and investment at lower rates than banks. Example: Zank.
- Currency exchange between companies. Example: Kantox.
- Collaborative trade:Purchase second hand sale. Examples: Ebay, Wallapop or Chicfy.
- Collaborativeknowledge: Share knowledge altruistically. Examples: Wikipedia, perform MOOCS in Coursera or exchange and learn languages in HelloTalk.
- Collaborative spaces, in various aspects such as sharing luggage with Shipeer, sharing storage with LetMeSpace or sharing work space and experiences in coworking.
- Other types, where we have examples such as Comprea (make the purchase and receive it at home, the shopper earns extra money and the convenience buyer) or Compartoplato (share your food).