By Alexis Maloney
The sharing economy is a system built around the sharing of physical and intellectual resources. It enables peer to peer exchanges through technology across all aspects of social and economic life. As an SMU student, I use many marketplaces in the sharing economy. On a college budget, I cannot afford to spend crazy amounts of money on things I use often and sometimes with a last minutes notice.
Here’s the inside scoop on how I save money and make money all while using these top 5 marketplaces:
#1: Uber and Lyft
Ridesharing and Drivers:
My main form of transportation is through Uber and Lyft. I own a car at SMU, but I don’t drive at night. It’s easy to use and convenient for traveling within five miles to uptown, love field and Greenville Avenue. Both services have economy and black car options. Usually there is a surge charge at prime hours. I reached VIP status with Uber while at SMU, which creates another car option called “VIP” when requesting a car.
· TapGoods – a peer to peer rental startup company located in Dallas.
You can rent all kinds of stuff off without breaking the bank: Mini fridges, kegerators, pull out couches, hanging racks, yeti coolers, tents, margarita maker, golf clubs, etc. It’s great for one-time use items or once-in-awhile items. My sorority uses TapGoods for philanthropy events and it saves us a lot of money and space not having to spend a lot or store the items. TapGoods also allows you to “put your stuff to work” by listing items that you don’t use on a regular basis. I have made some money and saved by renting things I won’t use more than once or twice with TapGoods.
#3: Favor and Postmates
· Favor – Headquartered in Austin with offices in Deep Ellum. Favor delivers almost anything with a $5 delivery fee plus tip. Delivery workers make about $15-$20/hour.
· PostMates – Headquartered in San Francisco. Postmates delivers food with a $4 delivery fee plus tip.
Favor and Postmates are my favorite sources for food delivery services. I constantly see the Favor drivers in their blue shirts walking around campus. Many students living on campus either don’t bring their cars to college or just do not want to go pick-up their food when they are studying at the library or watching their favorite TV episode.
· Turo – a car rental marketplace where travelers can rent any car they want, wherever they want it.
With Turo you can rent cars for as low as $20/day. I tried ZipCar my freshmen year when I didn’t have a car on campus, but I personally didn’t enjoy using this service. The logo on the car is an eyesore and there are only a couple of cars available on SMU’s campus. Turo does not have a logo and they are less expensive than ZipCar. SMU MBA student, Alex Candee, rents out his pickup on Turo on days he plans on studying. So, in a way, he is getting paid to study.
· Airbnb – a marketplace for people to list and book accommodations.
I have used Airbnb once before. I know some friends who list their house on Airbnb and make a lot more money doing this than subletting their place out. Airbnb is great for parents weekend, graduation and friends coming to visit. There isn’t much room for visitors in the dorms and the hotels can get expensive in Dallas especially during parents weekend and graduation.
These are all great markets to use because you can go to school, intern and work while using these sites daily. All of these are great ways to save money or just use as a convenience factor, but some of these sites allow you to make money in your downtime whether actually working for them or just simply signing up and using them.