Read about the sharing economy to practise and improve your reading skills.
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It's obvious that not everything we own is being used if we take a close look at the things we have acquired over the course of our lives: the heavy wool coat we bought because we thought it looked stylish even though we live in a tropical country, the smartphone we put away when we upgraded to the newest model, the weekend-only car we drive, or even the guest room in our home that ended up being used as a storage space.
Those underutilized items may seem useless to some, but could be an asset to others. Since the invention of the internet, online communities have discovered a method to make money by sharing those underutilized resources. Peer-to-peer sharing activities are now more accessible than ever thanks to websites and social media communities that make it easy to acquire and sell used items. The term for this is the sharing economy.
These democratic online platforms give users the possibility to make a few fast dollars. As an illustration, busy parents might not have previously bothered setting up a stall at the neighborhood market or car boot sale to sell their children's used equipment. However, thanks to online marketplaces, parents are now able to sell on the barely worn baby clothes that their children have outgrown as well as the pricey pushchairs and baby equipment they have invested in, in order to put some money back in their pockets.
Businesses are attempting to benefit from using those underutilized resources now that they are aware of the sharing economy's viability. A fast growing business concept involves corporations offering an internet platform that connects clients with people who can deliver a certain good or service. Companies like Airbnb serve as a middleman for people to profit from their vacant homes and rooms by renting them out as profitable lodging. Another illustration is Uber, which encourages users to make extra money during downtime by operating their own vehicles as taxis.
This transition to a sharing economy has its detractors. Unregulated individuals, unlike corporations, are not required to abide by certain regulations, which can result in lower and variable quality of goods and services as well as a higher risk of fraud. The increasing opportunities to sell our unwanted and underutilized items can, however, result in a reduced influence on our environment in the consumerist society we currently live in.
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