The “share” economy: Consumers who sell

Trendwatching.com the self-styled independent and opinionated trend firm notes the rapid growth in a variety of fields where consumers also sell and coins the term "sellsumers" to describe them.  The firm points out that "whether it’s selling their insights to corporations, hocking their
creative output to fellow consumers, or renting out unused assets,
consumers will increasingly become SELLSUMERS." 

Trendwatching makes an interesting observation about sellsumers.  The Great Recession has left "consumers strapped for
cash" which is what is prompting them to think out of the box and look to monetize any and all assets. That may be true in many instances but perhaps not so for many owners of high end condos and townhouses listed on airbnb.com' New York City site some of whom charge higher rates than storied and upscale hotels.

Perhaps the most widely read if less well known examples of sellsumers are travel bloggers who while traversing the globe, often for pleasure, sell their experiences to underwrite the cost of their peregrinations. The New York Times' Intransit blog recently carried a story on the travelblogging phenomenon noting how a parks manager sought to "balance a work-slash-writing career without selling her soul". 

Sellsumers who resort to travel blogging to finance trips or even to make a living walk a fine line between advocacy for corporate interests and serving as a genuine reference point about particular attractions or services.  Sponsorship has evidently reached such elevated levels that the Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines that necessitate full disclosure at the top of a post on whether or not the trip was paid for by a sponsor who, most likely, features in it. Nevertheless, travel blogging is here to stay and companies like Instagram just made it easier and more appealing with its new feature whereby bloggers can embed photos and videos on to their blogs using the embed button that will make travel video blogs more commonplace and appealing. 

Other examples of the share economy likely to gain momemtum include Relayrides a portal that enables sellsumers to earn money on their parked cars, particularly attractive in New York City where garage rental alone can top $500 per month with many car owners leaving their autos parked and unused during the work week.  Now tourists and business folk can hope to explore surrounding areas or make sales calls while on a visit to the Big Apple without paying a small fortune to legacy car-rental companies.

 

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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