Social Startups

Ecomodo : Borrowing is the new Buying

Ecomodo is an online marketplace that lets you lend and borrow each other’s everyday objects, skills and spaces with confidence. Why would one want to do that? Here’s why.

Consider that an average drill is used for 10 minutes of its lifetime. Most people that own a drill don’t really need to own a drill; they simply wanted to drill a few holes.

Or say you were really desperate to wear a pair of ‘60s white boots to a theme party. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could rent someone else’s for the weekend rather than buy a pair just for the day?

That’s where Ecomodo comes in. Ecomodo (a social enterprise) wants to help people do good, make some money as well as save the planet. By borrowing instead of buying, people can save money, time and storage space. By reducing consumption people can also help minimize the impact of industrial activity on the environment.

How it works

Users logon to and choose to lend their objects, skills and spaces. Or search for items they may want to use.

If you are a lender, you can set a price and a lending duration for your items or skills (e.g. help with Twitter & Facebook) If you’re worried about lending your stuff to strangers, you can control who can borrow your items by joining or creating trusted lending circles. And if you still don’t fully trust that your items may be returned by the borrower, you can choose to take out insurance cover against loss or damage, or hold a security deposit for extra peace of mind.

As a borrower you can login, search items by location and price, as well as create a list of items you are wanting to borrow.

Ecomodo facilitates these transactions by collecting the money from the borrower, and holding this in escrow. The borrower uses the goods or services, returns them and both lender and borrower provide feedback on the transaction and the lender receives the money in their accounts. For facilitating the transaction, ecomodo charges a 6% transaction fee.

Doing Good and Saving the Planet

Lenders can make money by listing their not-so-frequently used things on ecomodo. But they can also choose to donate the money they make to a good cause. Ecomodo partners with charities and provides lenders the opportunity to donate the proceeds from their lend to a charity of their choosing.

A positive side effect is that by pooling resources and reducing consumption, the environment is benefitted. Less consumption means less production, transportation and packaging – and more efficient use of goods and services already present within the local community.

Ecomodo is truly bringing back the old lending and bartering systems, but using technology to make these systems relevant and viable in todays world.