The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01703

Submission Number:
01703
Commenter:
Boyle
State:
Vermont
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
We have been using Airbnb since August 2014 at a time when my wife had medical issue and our income was not equaling the carry of our home from a heating, tax and mortgage standpoint. The income from renting several rooms in our home helped us offset these expenses and allow us to not have to sell our property. This worked out perfectly for us since our children had moved out, relocated and started families of their own.This situation was shared by many of our friends who also had trouble making ends meet and keeping their residence. As it turns out, Airbnb has allowed us to meet people from all over the country and world, share experiences and make new friends while at the same time affording them an affordable ability to travel, share our recommendations for local restaurants, shops, activities, which plowed money into the retail sector of our community.Showing them a good time and helping them enjoy the beauty of where we live means return trips. In addition, we pay additional taxes in the form of Meals and Room taxes, which is a win win situation; helps us make ends meet, helps our neighbors whose businesses they support and the community through our additional taxes. This is in no means a money maker, just a vehicle for us to offset our living expenses. As for Airbnb and the platform they provide. Of the many folks who have visited us over the last 9 plus months, we have never had a problem of any sorts. Airbnb allows you to screen your potential guest which we do, but the quality of people who use Airbnb has been amazing. People who don't want to stay in a sterile corporate environment, branded hotel, but prefer something different and unique.The vast majority have been well educated,polite, neat, respectful and appreciative. Without the Airbnb platform, which charges a nominal fee compared to real estate agents who provide much less service and organization, we probably would not have embarked on this venture on our own. Thank you for the opportunity to allow us to share our experiences and hopefully this platform will grow and allow people to share with each other and all benefit.