Sometimes I wonder whether the internet is a good thing or a bad thing. When it comes to making smart money moves, the internet has opened up a realm of possibilities making it easy for people to buy, rent, barter, or sell their goods on the internet to almost anyone anywhere in the world. I hear people comment sometimes that they think the internet can be creepy with all of the social media and access people have to personal information at the touch of their fingertips.
With websites like eBay and Craigslist, the buying and selling of goods became painfully easy. You really only need a decent digital camera and some imagination to get people excited about the piece of merchandise you are selling, and you can make money on just about anything in a short period of time. However, we quickly realized that people on Craigslist may have opened an invitation to sell other things that the website wasn't really intended for in the first place.
With the world of bartering becoming more and more popular through this recession, there have been a litany of websites springing up from Trashbank to U-Exchange to PeopleTradingServices all with a focus on helping put together people who want to barter for deals. You can trade item for item on some of these websites or items with cash for your bartering deal.
The last area I see more of now is to rent items from somebody else versus buying it new. A great website for this is called Loanables. On Loanables, you can loan something to anyone for a period of time for set fee. How does this one grab you? Someone in Rochester, MN recently put this one up. New 5 qt. stainless steel Rival Crock Pot with Little Dipper, carrying case and owners guide. Great for roasts or any other slow cooking ideas you have. Hmmm…. Is it a good time for some good old fashioned franks and beans?
All of this buying, trading, and selling is all good, but now the line has officially been drawn for me. I recently read about a new website called www.RentAFriend.com, where you can literally rent a friend if you need one for a few hours. I get the idea of renting a lawnmower, a ladder . . . you know anything that is kind of an inanimate object. People however. . now we've gone too far this time. Have you really sat home one afternoon on a Saturday and thought to yourself, I'd like to take a nice bike ride today if only I had a friend to share the experience with this afternoon? What a scary thought.
Here's a better money making idea. Since Pet Rocks (c'mon those of you in your 40's had one at some point) were a big money maker for a really silly idea, why don't we start rentanimaginaryfriend.com next week? It's real simple. You tell us how many hours you need a friend for and we'll give you the name of an imaginary friend you can have for more than just a day. You can have them forever! And . . . just for a fraction of the cost of getting a real friend.
The internet has certainly been more good than bad in my opinion, and you can make a lot of smart money moves if you use the right websites. Rent furniture, cars, hotel rooms, but think twice before your rent a friend!
Visit to www.oxygenfinancial.net to request a free consultation with the leading financial experts for people in their 20's, 30's, and 40's in the country.
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc - The Leaders in Gen X & Y Financial Advice
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