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Grassroots community sharing market saves people £407 a year

17th June 2016 Print

Like reward schemes and couponing, the sharing economy is one of the latest trends that consumers seem to be cashing in on. 

Last month revealed that those using the sharing economy keep up to £779 extra a year in their pockets. But new research from the UK’s most generous cashback site reveals that the grassroots version of the sharing economy, the community sharing market, is saving consumers a further £407 a year. The sharing market is made up of consumers sharing goods and services based on trust. Unsurprisingly, consumers are more likely to lend to their family, followed by friends and colleagues. However, while 92 per cent of consumers trust their family when lending to them, only 15 per cent trust their neighbours. This means fewer consumers share worry-free with their neighbours than with friends of friends (28 per cent), who they may not know that well.

The new age of sharing

When it comes to what consumers are sharing, it seems communities have entered a new age. Gone is the cliché of popping next door to borrow a cup of sugar or tool. Consumers are moving away from sharing necessities and are instead being savvy and innovative about what they share. Three in five (60 per cent) share money-saving tips and deals and just under half (47 per cent) share TV streaming accounts (e.g. Netflix) to bring down costs. People also share memberships (19 per cent) and subscriptions (14 per cent).

The sharing market is financially driven as nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of consumers join forces in order to save money. Appetite for risk is also an important factor as 64 per cent would only share what they are willing to loose. Almost a third (32 per cent) of consumers would only share what is replaceable and more than a quarter (26 per cent) would only share what they can financially cover or have insurance to replace. On average, people put the value of items they are willing to share at £128.

However, while many people initially purport to be happy to share with their family and friends, it seems their amicability has limits as close to three quarters (74 per cent) say there are certain things they would not share with their family and friends. The predominant reason for not sharing everything with family is because consumers want to keep their goods to themselves (66 per cent). But 24 per cent say they only trust others with certain possessions and eight per cent do not want their family to abuse the favour.

Of those who do not share anything with their friends and family (around 28 per cent of the population), half (50 per cent) prefer not to do business with loved ones and 16 per cent have been put off because they have fallen out with friends and family over sharing in the past.

Natasha Rachel Smith, Consumer Affairs Editor for said: “It’s the mutual ambition to keep spending down that means the community sharing market has moved into a new age in the UK and is at the root of why the sharing economy is growing exponentially. People don’t want to spend a fortune on new goods or expensive services when they can borrow from family and friends. Equally, it’s the same money-saving nous that drives consumers to use voucher codes, cashback offers and to always look for the best deals. Our members benefit from this and it only takes the click of a button. Members are also rewarded for sharing TopCashback with their family and friends through the Tell-A-Friend bonus.”