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Hire is the new Buy

Thursday 8 April 2010, 3:12PM
By Hire Things

When it comes to goods and services, we've been programmed to believe that buying and selling are our only options. We live in a material world where our lives and our planet are cluttered with more and more stuff.

The world is changing. The current economy, along with environmental concerns has consumers questioning their spending and looking for smart alternatives.

We want more for our money and to increase the value of what we already have.

With many of our purchases, we don't want the"thing" – we want what it can do for us. You don’t want a lawn mower, you want shorter grass; you don’t need a drill, you just need a hole. There is an emerging line of thinking that there are great benefits in meeting the customer's needs in creative ways that don't necessarily entail ownership.

It’s this kind of thinking that has spurred the growth of websites such as Hire Things facilitates lending and renting within communities by providing an online resource where people can hire in what they need and hire out what they have.

Not only could this mean more savings and less accumulation of stuff but also provide access to goods that would be otherwise unattainable

We all have things we only use occasionally things bought for new sports, interests, projects – things we just might need one day. We don't need to own everything we want and we don't have to go without. Not everyone needs to own a lawnmower, a wheelbarrow, a trailer, that camping gear.

Hire Things is creating opportunities for people to make money from what they already have by giving them a channel to grow their own "micro business" from home. This is a huge growth area, as everyday people look for ways to make extra cash.

“One member built her own toy and party hire business online so she could stay at home with her kids and not return to work, another hires out his photography equipment so he can buy more gear( which he then hires out), another hires out her own wedding linen and decorations - there are many examples.” Says CEO Iona Elwood-Smith

With a rapidly growing 10,000+ members it seems that more and more consumers are looking to make smarter choices.

Rewards for hiring are not just financial. Reusing things by hiring them in and out delays them becoming waste and saves all the energy and raw materials that would have gone into manufacturing something new, and the emissions that would have been generated in the process. Hiring instead of buying would cut CO2 emissions by about 2 per cent a year, says a recent report Commissioned by the British government the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap). It also goes on to say that overcoming our obsession with owning goods could be a “secret weapon” in meeting climate change targets.

So, think hire not buy and make a difference to your wallet, the environment and the world we leave our children.