SINGAPORE - Instead of leaving the stuff in his storeroom to gather dust, media and events company owner Lyndon Yeo has found a way to make money from it.
Using the online platform renttycoons.com, the 46-year-old rented out items from tentages to air pumps, which he used only occasionally, and earned more than $1,000.
For Mr David Thomson, renting Mr Yeo's tents for an event last September saved him the hassle of storing and maintaining an item which he needed to use only once. "It is more convenient that way," said the banker, who is in his late 40s.
This is the sharing economy - a marketplace where ordinary people rent and share anything from plastic stools to homes and cars. And going by the figures, Singaporeans are taking a healthy interest in this new form of consumption.
Renttycoons.com, which lets people rent anything from drills to flipcharts, has picked up 1,700 users since it was launched in January last year.
Meanwhile, BlockPooling.sg, a similar service which allows people to rent their neighbours' tools or even pay them for services such as computer repair, now has about 3,500 users since launching last March. iCarsclub, a website where people rent out their cars, has 220 cars available and about 6,500 registered users. Sharetransport.sg, a carpooling service, has about 16,000 users.
Since around 2010, about 20 co-working spaces have also mushroomed, enabling people to share workspaces with each other instead of having to bear the full cost of renting an office.
Said Mr Eugene Tay, 36, who runs a co-working space called Ecosystem: "When you buy a drill, what you want is the hole, and not the drill. The old model is buy and throw away, but if you use it once, why not rent it from a neighbour who has it?"