The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Reasons I host on AirBnB: 1. I was posting ads to rent a room on Craigslist where there is no vetting of people; therefore making my person vulnerable and my property as well. 2. The AirBnB website allows me to earn income through sharing my unique home. Benefits to me are that my guests are vetted. Their identities are checked, as well as, their ability to pay. I do not have to cope with issues of sharing my home to a permanent roommate, less risk of theft/harm, no risk of not getting paid, and I can potentially earn more money. 3. The benefits to those staying in my home are that their property is more secure than in a hotel. I can comfortably host a wheel chair bound person. There is a level of comfort, like staying with family, that eases the tension of a stressful trip. 4. I pay Taxes on the income earned through the website, but it also encourages me to buy much more than I earn. For instance: new bedding; new bath towels; new flowering plants; food for the flowering plants; additional landscaping; new carpet; paint; artwork; dishes; etc; etc. Sure I intend to offset my income on my taxes, but the fact remains that I would have never bought a new comforter, sheets, towels, paint, and chainsaw this month if I had not had interest in the room. 5. I will do what it takes to keep my home and that includes doing odd jobs found on Craigslist or other forums. Because the site is an open platform I am vulnerable to injury; robbery; carjacking; and rape. Although most of the people I come in contact with are good, decent people, it's the 5% we all are afraid of. If I had more guests from AirBnB these risks would be gone. Because of the extremely poor amount of Unemployment Compensation the State of Georgia is allowed to pay I am forced to make money any way that I can. Websites like AirBnB make it SAFE for me to earn money. Not to mention it makes me shake off the depression from lack of employment and clean my home just in case a guest comes to stay. Although I realize the FTC's mission is commerce, I must say that if there were not so many VISAs inundating the Technology Industry in Georgia; I would be able to find continuous employment and would not have to try to make money other ways. Let another area bear the burden for a while. Georgians need a break!