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NeighborGoods: Community Sharing

February 8, 2010

If you’re anything like me, there’s at least one space in your house or apartment where you put all your miscellaneous stuff. You know, that stuff that only gets used a few times a year? Maybe it’s a hammer, tent for camping, a ladder, a drill . . . whatever it is, you need it, and at some point had to go out and buy it, but now it’s just sitting in your garage (closet, attic, basement, etc.)

Micki Krimmel recently founded NeighborGoods in response to this issue. She set up an online community to help people borrow, rent and buy from their neighbors to save money and extend the life of things that people already own. Say you have a ladder . . .  you can put it on NeighborGoods and if someone in the vicinity needs a ladder for a weekend project, they can borrow it from you. NeighborGoods also allows members to rent or sell their stuff in order to earn a little bit of cash.

The idea is similar to the Craigslist and Freecycle models, in that it promotes sharing and community. I think these online networks are a brilliant way to reduce waste, save money, and promote interactions among neighbors.

Though NeighborGoods is still testing its model in the L.A. area, I’m hoping it’ll expand to the rest of the country soon enough that I can rent out some of my tools that seem to be piling up in the closet!

What do you think — would you be willing to rent out your lawn mower? Share ownership of a bike? Buy a grill from your neighbor?

photo credit via flickr user tashland

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian permalink
    February 8, 2010 4:11 pm

    Sounds like a cool idea, I wonder how they plan to keep people honest i.e. return tools in working order, or return them at all.

  2. lizabean permalink*
    February 8, 2010 4:15 pm

    Good question — this is what they say:

    NeighborGoods also tracks and shares the transaction history of each member. Neighbors can rate each other and even flag another member’s account if something goes wrong. Through transparency and peer ratings, NeighborGoods provides members with all the tools they need to share safely and confidently.

    So hopefully that system would keep people honest!

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