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ConsumerWatch: Sharing Websites Helping Bay Area Consumers Save

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Getaround website

The Getaround car rental website. (CBS)

Julie-Watts_BIO-HEAD Julie Watts
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MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS 5) – In effort to save money and resources, some Bay Area residents are turning to sharing and borrowing instead of buying, using sharing websites to help them along the way.

Mountain View resident Neil Gorenflo said he began sharing seven years ago. “I just thought sharing was really smart and I wanted to try it,” he said. For instance instead of renting an office to run his online magazine Shareable he shares an office for $195 a month.

When it comes to driving, Gorenflo doesn’t drive. “I just decided to do without a car and last year I calculated that it saved me $4,000 a year,” he said.  But if he needs a car for something, Gorenflo turns to Getaround, a website where he could find a rental from a neighbor for as little as $6 an hour.

“It typically saves you money to rent from a neighbor and it also can be more convenient and fun then going to a rental office,” he said.

Gorenflo has also found a way to share a nanny. For instance rather then paying $16 an hour for a private nanny, he and other parents share a nanny which allows him to lower the hourly pay to $10. At 32 hours a week, that’s a savings of $216. “Child care is really expensive and we wanted to raise our son with other children and so we nanny share and that way it’s less money for us,” he said.

Rather then buying clothing for his son, Gorenflo shares clothes through threadUp. Gorenflo also shares his Wi-Fi service with nearby neighbors as well as tools. According to Gorenflo, sharing has saved him more than $15,000 a year.

Consumers who would like to share could use Neighborgoods, a website where users are willing to share their personal goods to nearby neighbors at no cost. Consumers could also share DVDs, CDs, books and more through Swap.

 

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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