We are living in changing times. Things are slowly changing, decentralising, and morphing into a different way of life. The shared economy and on-demand services are both growing beasts. But what do these terms actually mean? And how is it changing the way that we are doing things?
The shared economy & on-demand services
The shared economy has many examples. We now have Bla Bla Car, a European ridesharing app. Crowdfunding to raise an amount of money for some common goal. You can even buy property with other people in a pool.
On-demand services are often a crossover, but sometimes not. We have Netflix so we can watch TV on demand. We can order an Uber straight to our door from our app. Some crossovers from shared services and on demand services are Airbnb, which is a way of renting people’s homes when we need a place to stay and the bike and car rentals dotted around the city, so we don’t have to buy our own.
We now realise that there are some things we don’t need all the time. Some things we can go without for stretches. We are more transient as a people. We are hopping from city to city, country to country. We don’t need the encumbrance of material goods. They are too grounding, too frustrating to deal with.
Furniture rental and the new wave
Furniture rental is becoming popular due to the changes in the dynamics of our day to day lives. When you might only be in one house, one city for a year or less, why on earth would you have your furniture? When it requires an obscene investment each time that you move, why would you want to shackle yourself with that cost – and the physical objects? If you are going just to have to sell it for a ridiculously reduced price afterwards, or pay hundreds or even thousands to move it around – why would you do that?
For the increasingly transient masses – especially professionals and millennials – renting furniture makes for a far more economical, easy and stress-free choice.
How consumers of furniture rental are changing
Furniture rental traditionally has been a rent-to-buy type of arrangement, with many choosing to rent furniture because they couldn’t afford the cost up front. Other consumers of rental furniture have been companies seconding their employees to remote locations.
Now, the face of the furniture rental consumer has changed. It is no longer those who cannot afford to buy furniture, on the contrary. Renters now have the disposable income available to buy furniture; they just realise that owned furniture does not fit their lifestyle. Furniture rental is now rising as a lifestyle choice rather than a perceived necessary choice.
And the furniture that available to rent reflects this. While there are still basic, standard models of furniture that you can rent, there is now far more choice, and far more items chosen for taste and style rather than merely basic function.
As the world is changing so too are the ways in which we are living our lives, and that is why we see a resurgence in furniture rentals as a viable alternative to purchasing our own furniture. In a world where we don’t know what is around the corner, temporary and on demand services are on the rise. We want it now, but we don’t know how long we’ll need it for. Some may it is leaning towards commitment issues, but when you don’t have to commit to something when you can go on adventures at the drop of a hat, why would you have it any other way?
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