The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Hi there, I thought I'd provide a personal anecdote on peer to peer platforms like AirBnb and Uber. I started a small business 2 years ago and although it has been wildly successful, it's still growing and all of our profits must be reinvested into the business so it can grow. As a result, I have barely paid myself over the past few years. At one point, I was seriously considering selling my home to live off the money that I would make from doing that. It was about that time I discovered Airbnb. Once I realized that I could monetize on my extra bedroom, everything changed! I've met so many wonderful people through airbnb, and I bring in about 1100 a month through the website. my mortgage and house insurance is $1000 a month! I used to make smaller payments under their financial hardship package but now I cannpay the full amount. I work around the clock building a business that provides jobs and a valuable product to our community. It means so much to me to be able to pay my mortgage by myself. I also began using Uber recently. I sold my car when I started the business to get it started. My husband and I have shared a car until this point, but now that we are setting up a second location for the business, sharing a car no longer works out. A taxi is $20 one way, and honestly, Id rather walk. Im on food stamps - i dont have money to spare. Uber is $9, no tip! :) I still try to bike or walk, but if its raining, or if im in a rush, I utilize Uber and meet other wonderful people who are often unemployed, trying to make ends meet. I cant imagine my life without these platforms. For the first time in 2 years, my budget works. I'm the hardest working person you'll ever meet, but I started a business. Anyone I know would tell you it's risky in this country and in this economy to do so. It's nice to have some help From these platforms. You would only be robbing the unemployed and the self employed if you changed things. Leave the little guys alone!