If eBay has taught us anything, it's that the phrase "gently used" is euphemistic language you certainly can rally behind. Sites such as eBay and Craigslist quite easily could be considered precursors for the "sharing economy" movement that makes saving money and still getting what you want possible.
If you've never heard of the sharing economy, the first question is an obvious one: What exactly is it?
In short, it simply means to take items and share or make them available to others to rent or borrow at a lower cost than having to go out and buy them.
Everything from a purse for an upcoming party to renting a vehicle encompasses the notion that swapping has almost usurped shopping as the means to get what you want for a whole lot less. While not everyone has embraced the sharing economy as the new standard of buying, it certainly makes for interesting competition for retailers and those who deal directly in brand new, higher priced fare.
What's additionally unique about the sharing economy is the variations it takes, whether it is a straight forward renting instead of buying or offshoots of the idea such as the aforementioned eBay or Craigslist, where buying used has transformed shopping arguably for the better and, at the very least, less expensive for a financially strapped consumer.
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And not much is off the table when it comes to what can be shared. Homes probably rank as the most popular within the sharing economy, whether that is one room or an entire place all to yourself. Plenty of start up companies have piggy backed on this growing trend to rave reviews.
There's still something to be said for buying new, but certain items lend themselves to this growing way of shopping, especially those that would be considered luxury. The flip side of the sharing economy, however, appeals to those types of items that don't have much staying power, but cost plenty new.
Like clothes for kids and babies.
Consider what the company Swapdom
has been able to do in that regard. They've taken the concept of the sharing economy and reached out to moms and dads who want fashionable, stylish clothing for their kids in exchange for things they might not need at the moment. Swapdom simplifies the process to the point that anyone can take part in it: request what you want, tell Swapdom what you want to give up and let the sharing begin.
Most parents find the idea of buying highly expensive clothes for kids ludicrous, simply because they grow up and out of them so quickly. Moms and dads are left with lingering bills associated with clothing costs, only to have to turn around and continue to buy as kids get bigger. A site like Swapdom fulfills parents need to keep kids looking the part, minus the overtly egregious spending that follows suit.
Curbing that spending comes a little easier when it comes to clothes or anything else you don't mind sharing with other equally price conscious consumers.
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