Are we ready for Collaborative Consumption?

Sara Ohlsson is CEO and founder of the HinnerDu.se platform. The text is taken from our publication “Access over ownership”, about the trend of wanting access to things instead of owning them.

Our service HinnerDu.se works better in cities than in rural areas. Maybe it’s because you don’t need Internet to connect people in the countryside. That’s despite the fact that neighbours are geographically further away, the obstacles for asking for help feel less than in the city.

This anonymity in cities and on the web is also our greatest challenge. How do you create the same trust between people who only met online as among people in rural areas. How do we get these people to feel
that getting help from a private person rather than an established company works equally well, perhaps even better?

To build confidence in private people let’s highlight Jonas, father of two, who enjoys DIY, and has put together a lot of IKEA furniture, and 25-year-old Cecilia who’s studying to be a landscape architect and gladly helps with weeding or chopping wood.

Asking for help from a private person rather than a company

A few weeks ago it dawned on me how much more confident you spontaneously feel when you use a large company. I needed to find someone who could go to IKEA in Copenhagen and buy, deliver and install a green Billy cabinet that was sold-out in Sweden. I took the opportunity to try one of the larger online quotation services. I put up my ad and thought I would be flooded with calls from different companies who wanted to help me.

After three days and I still hadn’t heard anything, I asked the same question on HinnerDu.se. It took just an hour or two and I had a reply from Fredrik who really wanted to help me. On his profile page I could see that he carried out lots of tasks in the past and his reviews were excellent. We agreed on a price and time and everything went very smoothly.

Some lessons learned

The most common requests are quite traditional. It has been shown that many people need help with walking the dog and the dog-sitting category is now our largest category. Craftsmen are most in demand on our sister site in Denmark, DenLilleTjeneste.dk. That’s possibly due to that fact that there is no tax deduction for craftsmen in Denmark (as they do in Sweden and Finland) which makes it very expensive to hire a craftsman in the traditional way.

Mind you, people are not as careful in making sure the dog to get its daily dose of exercise. What we see is that you mainly get help with things you can’t do yourself. You can’t be a dog-sitter for your own dog, you need help. It’s less common to ask for help because you feel you can’t do something yourself or want to buy your free time. Maybe it’s because it’s still seen as a bit of a “no-no” Sweden if you don’t do everything yourself.

Unfortunately, asking for help is something we are bad at, which is a shame because we see that people who do the job do it to feel needed, to be helpful and to make new contacts. Giving another person an opportunity to help and also make a small income is something that should be encouraged.

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  • Maack

    Lysande idé, jag som har en hel massa praktiska erfarenheter och prövat många yrken som jag idag sällan drar nytta av i min nuvarande yrkesutövning som copywriter/kontorsråtta. Jag har gått med. Så anlita gärna mig. Mvh Peter Maack