Say what you will about the sharing economy — from their questionable ethics to the hassle of living one floor below a rotating cast of annoying AirBNB guests — it can be a great side hustle if you’ve got something people want to share.
Typically, the two things people think of off the top of their head when they hear “sharing economy” are cars and places to sleep (thanks, Uber and AirBNB). But you could also make use of similar platforms that are designed to share your skills with people who need them, by signing up for services such as Taskrabbit, Upwork or even Mechanical Turk.
Before you dive into the wide world of the sharing economy, here’s what you’ll need to know to make sure it’s a profitable, legal and enjoyable side hustle for you.
What is the sharing economy, exactly?
That term, while super-vague, is used to describe any transaction that takes place primarily between two people, in a private exchange of value that used to happen between a company and a person.
So instead of paying a cab company, you pay your Uber or Lyft driver using the apps they’ve so helpfully provided for you.
Instead of paying a marketing agency to build you a website, you can connect with a person halfway around the world to build it for you and pay them directly.
And instead of paying a giant hotel chain exorbitant prices on your Euro-trip, you can pay to sleep on some…