Saturday, January 30, 2010

From eCommerce to eBorrowing

I rencently guest blogged about eBorrowing on Here's the article:

From eCommerce to eBorrowing
January 28, 2010
OpEd Guest Post By Keara Schwartz, Founder of Share Some Sugar 

So you’re a business owner and DIYer and you’re planning on painting your office this weekend. What do you need to complete the job? A paint roller and extender, a drop cloth, a ladder, paint brushes and of course paint. Head to a local or online hardware store and your tab can easily run you upwards of $150. That’s a lot of money to spend when you end up using these items so infrequently. 

But what’s the alternative? You already saved yourself lots of money by signing up to paint your living room yourself rather than hiring a professional painter. Think about all of the people that live in your neighborhood who probably already own these painting tools. How do you know who has what? If you could type in ‘ladder’ on Google Shopping and you get approximately 128,000 search results on ecommerce sites, you should be able to do the same thing in your own community and find neighbors and friends who are willing to lend you what you need. 

Welcome to the world of eBorrowing. An online world full of items that people own and are willing to share with people who need to use them. Lots of people own items that collect a lot of dust because the items don’t get used very often. These people are usually happy to share things, like a ladder, with someone who needs it for a weekend project to paint their living room. 

A new era has emerged. An era of C2C or consumer to consumer sharing sites which finds someone in your neighborhood who is willing to lend you something that you need. Sharing or eBorrowing sites leverage consumers’ existing inventory, or items that people already own. 

The concept of eBorrowing is not new. B2C services like, the car sharing service, a site that lends out designer purses and accessories, have recently been gaining critical mass. Why? Because it doesn’t make much sense to purchase and own something that you don’t use all that often. But why are these sites gaining popularity now? Well this reasoning is rooted in the current economic climeate where consumers are consuming more consciously. These sharing services have a high capital investment in inventory and the consumer pays directly to a business. 

These days, consumers are asking themselves if they really need to buy that ‘ladder’ that they will use once or twice a year. Or if it makes more sense to borrow or rent it from a friend, neighbor or another small business, use it and give it back when they are done. Borrowing and sharing isn’t for everyone. It is however one economic and environmental solution that fulfills your need to temporarily use an item. Next time you consider buying a durable item that you may use infrequently, ask yourself if you really need to own the item or if you could just borrow it instead.


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