Eight years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be getting into strangers’ cars to go around the city.
But now, I can’t count the number of times I’ve ordered an Uber or Lyft car to get from place to place. Plus, I’ve stayed in random people’s apartments all over the world, thanks to Airbnb.
Companies like Uber and Airbnb help people make money from sharing goods and services with one another, for a fee. If you have a car, apartment, or something else to rent out, you could get in on the sharing action.
Here are six ways to participate in the sharing economy.
1. Rent out a room or an experience
As the pioneer of vacation rentals websites, Airbnb makes it relatively easy to rent out a room, apartment, or house to people from all over the world.
The process for signing up as an Airbnb host and listing your home is pretty straightforward. Airbnb offers insurance coverage of up to $1 million, so your property can be protected. And for all this, it deducts a 3% service fee.
Airbnb’s earnings estimator gives you a sense of how much you could earn on your listing. In New York City’s Manhattan area, for instance, renting your apartment to two people for a month could generate $2,078. The estimator, however, does not indicate whether the earnings include the service fee or not.
You also can make money hosting an Airbnb experience, instead, depending on your area of expertise. Such “experience” hosts might guide visitors on a tour around their city or lead a cooking class to make money.
2. Turn your home into a dog hotel
Dog-sitting app Rover lets you open your home to canines. Through Rover, you can offer boarding services for dogs when their owners are away.
You can set your own schedule and rates, as well as determine how many dogs you wish to watch. You’ll keep 80% of the earnings while Rover takes a 20% commission.
If you want extra support, such as professional photographs and advice on how to book four to six stays per month, you could sign up for the company’s RoverGO program. RoverGO sitters can keep 75% of the earnings, and the company takes 25% for the extra benefits, the website says.
Some pet sitters can make $1,000 or more per month after Rover takes its share of the earnings, the company says. Rover’s insurance policy covers pet and personal injuries or damage to personal property.
3. Drive for a ride-sharing company
You can make money driving for a ride-hailing company such as Uber or Lyft if your car meets certain requirements. To drive for Uber, for example, most cities mandate that your car’s model year should be 2007 or later.
After going through an interview process with the company, you can start accepting rides via its app on your phone. Ride-share drivers set their own hours, so there are no typical schedules or earnings.
Neither company is particularly clear about the commissions or fees it charges. Both suggest the fees vary and sometimes are even different from trip to trip.
4. Lend your car to neighbors
You can list your car on the websites and set your price. Both companies let you select a drop-off and return point. If you don’t want a customer to come to your house, for instance, you could meet at an airport or a custom location.
Both companies offer liability insurance and roadside assistance. Getaround takes a 40% commission on your earnings, and Turo takes between 10% and 35%.
According to Turo, you could make an estimated $2,968 per year if you rented a $20,000 car for a week every month. However, it’s not clear whether that amount is before or after Turo takes its commission amount.
You can use the company’s pricing calculator to determine how much you could make, based on the value of your car and the number of days you rent it out each month.
5. Rent your boat to a fellow mariner
With people renting out their cars and homes, it should be no surprise to see websites for boat sharing.
GetMyBoat has thousands of boat rental listings in more than 180 countries. You’re responsible for setting up your listing and screening potential renters.
Although GetMyBoat provides some sample rental agreements, it’s your responsibility to complete the paperwork.
Plus, you’ll need to make sure your boat owner’s insurance covers any potential issues because the company doesn’t offer coverage to owners.
6. Lend your trendy outfits
Many people might not have a car or boat to rent, but you don’t need either to get in on the sharing economy. The clothes in your closet could be a money-making asset.
If you have a trendy collection, share your fashion love with those in need of an outfit. Style Lend lets you lend your clothing for a fee to people who need an outfit temporarily.
When someone orders an item, Style Lend will send you a free shipping label and return label. You also can request a free box for your item. All you have to do is pack up your article and drop it off at the post office or a postal collection box if it fits. You’ll get 80% of the rental fee and $6.50 toward dry cleaning.
If Style Lend doesn’t accept your listing, you could sell your clothes online on websites such as thredUP or Tradesy.
What can you share to start making money today?
You don’t have to sell your possessions to make money off them. Instead, you can rent them out for a preset period of time through peer-to-peer sharing companies.
The companies let you set your own schedule, so you can work out an arrangement that fits your lifestyle. If you decide that sharing your stuff isn’t for you, check out other creative ways to make $500 in 30 days.
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