Peer-to-peer marketplaces are all about eliminating the expensive middleman. Instead of paying some large, soulless corporation whose only interest is the bottom-line, you pay hard-working micro-business owners whose careers rest upon your satisfaction. In the peer-to-peer economy, the customer and the provider of a service are equals.
The smartphone is the driving vehicle for peer-to-peer marketplaces, and smartphone apps are the storefronts. Here are six best peer-to-peer marketplace apps for Android that you can use right now to experience what the economy of the future might look like.
Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency in the world, and it’s also the first major application of a public distributed ledger, called blockchain. Bitcoin is used every day by millions of people around the world to transfer money across borders and to pay for things and services in physical stores and online. Blockchain, on the other hand, is expected to revolutionize entire industries, transforming the way we vote, store medical and personal records, and manage data in the public sector, among many other things.
Just like the Internet has brought the entire world closer together by shattering communication barriers, Bitcoin has democratized finances, allowing anyone to instantly send money anywhere in the world without paying outrageous fees. Since its release in 2009, Bitcoin has become the lifeblood of many peer-to-peer marketplaces, and it has also sparked the global cryptocurrency revolution.
Interested in investing in Bitcoins or other Altcoins?
The Bitcoin exchange Coinbase is the best option how people living in the West can exchange fiat for Bitcoins. Coinbase is one of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, serving over 4 million customers in 32 countries. You can buy Bitcoins on Coinbase using your PayPal account, credit and debit cards, and even by linking your bank account directly with your Coinbase account. The excellent Android app doubles as a highly secure Bitcoin wallet with price charts, price alerts, and NFC support.
Since 2006, your short-term lodging options are much more varied than they’ve ever been. You can spend a night in a cozy treehouse, rent a cottage on your own private island, or try what it would be like to live inside a shipping container. All this thanks to Airbnb, an online marketplace and hospitality service that allows people to lease or rent vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms.
Airbnb connects hosts with properties for rent with guests from around the world. The service has well over 150 million users and features in excess of 3 million lodging listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries. Airbnb hosts and guests pay a 3–5 percent host service fee and a 6–12 percent guest service fee respectively in exchange for the comfort provided by the Airbnb platform and the mobile app.
Airbnb is entirely community-driven, with user reviews playing a vital role in helping other users discover outstanding Airbnb rentals and avoid hosts who don’t put in as much effort into their work as they should. Airbnb also facilitates online payments, maintains a private messaging system using which hosts and guests can communicate with one another, and offers insurance which covers damages caused by guests.
The Android app is a perfect extension of the website. It clearly displays all Airbnb listings, offers convenient search filters to help users find what they’re looking for, and its user interface design feels fresh and modern.
Turo is an innovative carsharing service that’s currently available in over 4,700 cities and 300 airports across the US, Canada, and the UK. Unlike ridesharing services such as Uber, which allow you to rent any seat in a car beside the driver’s seat, any car you rent on Turo is yours for the time you pay for.
Let’s say you’re moving to a new apartment and are taking some large appliances with you. Because your Corolla isn’t exactly fit for the job, you go on Turo and rent a Volkswagen Transporter or even something bigger. Since Turo connects you directly with car owners, you pay up to 35 percent less than what it would cost you to rent the same car from a traditional agency.
Older sedans and hatchbacks can be rented for a day for as little as $20, while most newer vehicles are between $50 and $100. People who rent their cars on Turo are covered by $1 million in liability insurance, and their cars are protected against physical damage. You can also find many luxurious rides on Turo, which may come in handy when you’re looking for that perfect last-minute gift for a close friend or family member.
Because Turo isn’t yet as big as some of the leading peer-to-peer marketplaces, not all requests are fulfilled instantly, especially in less populated areas.
Since its launch in 2009, Uber has been the subject of numerous protests, legal actions, and media controversies, but it has survived them all, becoming the most popular ridesharing company in the world. Every day, millions use the Uber app as a more comfortable, more convenient, and often also cheaper alternative to taxis and public transportation.
When you request a ride with Uber, you know beforehand how much the ride will cost you and how long it will take to reach your destination. The app automatically sends your location to your Uber driver so he or she knows where to pick you up. Even before the driver arrives, you can see his or her personal information and track the driver’s arrival on the map. You can pay using your PayPal, credit card, and sometimes even cash. After you’ve reached your destination, you can rate your driver and provide him or her with helpful feedback.
If you want to pay even less, you can take advantage of the uberPOOL service, which lets you travel with other riders headed your way and enjoy a lower fare. Uber is currently heavily testing self-driving vehicles on the streets of Arizona, so the chances are that you are soon going to be rating AI drivers instead of real people.
Postmates is the ultimate peer-to-peer delivery service that allows you to order anything from anywhere, provided you live in one of the areas where Postmates is currently available.
Are you baking a birthday cake for a friend but don’t have some necessary ingredient? Make an order using the Postmates app and have it delivered to your home quicker than it would take you to go to the store yourself. If you happen to have one of those lazy days when you don’t feel like cooking, you can use Postmates Plus to order food from selected local restaurants and pay low, flat-rate delivery fees.
Postmates accepts orders around the clock, and the app offers real-time tracking, allowing you to see where your order is on the map. Should something go wrong, you can contact a customer service employee right from the app and instantly receive support.
Hopefully, Postmates will soon be available around the world, saving people time and giving your entrepreneurs the opportunity to earn a good income by providing first-class service directly to customers.
Currently available in San Francisco (Bay Area), New York City, Los Angeles & Orange County, London, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, and Seattle, Task Rabbit is a peer-to-peer market for services.
On Task Rabbit, you can hire a person for house cleaning, repair person services, moving, errand running, grocery shopping, waiting in line, and much more. All tasks are insured up to $1 million, and TaskRabbits, as the people who offer their services on Task Rabbit are called, have been background-checked and carefully screened and interviewed to ensure that customers receive excellent service.