Many See Sharing One’s Belongings Online as a Great Way to Earn Extra Money

Majorities of Those Who Have Shared Their Belongings or Property Online Would Recommend It

Monday, May 20, 2013

New York, NY – Nearly six in ten (56%) U.S. adults agree that being able to borrow or rent someone’s property or belongings online is a great way to save money, according to a new poll of over 2,000 adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Airbnb. Similarly, nearly half of U.S. adults (47%) agree that sharing one’s property/belongings online is a great way to have an extra source of income.

Though many see online sharing as having financial benefits, only one in six (17%) of all respondents have shared something online with someone they didn’t previously know, such as skills (10%), tools (7%), a room in their home (6%), their car (5%), their entire home (3%), or something else (3%). Over eight in ten (83%) have not shared any of these items with others online.

  • Adults under 35 (30%) are much more likely to report that they have shared something online with someone they didn’t previously know than are those aged 35-54 (15%) or 55 and over (8%).
  • In addition to younger adults, men (21% vs. 14% of women), those with children in the household (23% vs. 15%), and those who are not married (20% vs. 15%) are also more likely to have shared their property or belongings online.

Though few say that they have shared their own property or belongings in this way, many do see it as an up and coming concept; six in ten (60%) see the “sharing economy” as a new trend.

Among those who have shared, over half (55%) say they would recommend sharing property or belongings online to others, which may help to expand the “sharing economy.” Those most likely to recommend this experience include college graduates (64%), parents (63%), and those under 35 (59%).

Receptiveness to Sharing One’s Property and Belongings

Among those who have not shared their property or belongings online with someone they didn’t previously know (“non-sharers”), four in ten (43%) say they would like to learn more about how the “sharing economy” works, though nearly six in ten (57%) are not interested in hearing more about it.

  • Those who are most receptive to learning more about it include younger adults (57%) as well as those aged 35-54 (46%), compared to only three in ten (30%) of those aged 55 and over.
  • Those with children in the household (52%) and those with a college education (50%) are also more likely to express an interest in learning about the “sharing economy.”

Motivations to Share

Among those who have shared their property or belongings online with someone they didn’t previously know (or “sharers”), the top motivation for doing so is more philosophical, tied to the ability to help others (36%). This would be less motivating to those who have not shared their belongings online (i.e. “non-sharers”) (18%).

Rather, non-sharers are most likely to be moved by the financial reward or compensation (42%), the number two reason among sharers (31%). Other reasons to share online include the chance to support or promote sustainability (24% of sharers vs. 12% of non-sharers, respectively), social reward such as the chance to meet people (25% vs. 8%), or some other reason (17% vs. 4%). A quarter of sharers (25%) and about half of non-sharers (49%) would not be motivated to share their belongings online for any of these reasons.

Six in ten sharers (61%) also agree that earning extra money was the main motivation for sharing in this way. Many sharers put the money they’ve earned from sharing their belongings or property online toward basic expenses, such as paying bills (46%). Others say that they have put this extra income towards savings (27%), used it to go shopping (26%), to fund travel (17%), to support charity (17%), or to start a business (13%) Six percent of sharers say that they used this money in some other way, while three in ten (30%) did not select any of these options.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted April 16 – 19, 2013. For the survey, a national sample of 2,103 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 2,103 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire adult population of adults in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Rebecca Sizelove
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
New York, NY

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and the Hispanic polling partner of Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBC Universal providing Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world.

Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 85 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,789 billion (2.300 billion USD) in 2012.

Many See Sharing One’s Belongings Online as a Great Way to Earn Extra Money

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Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America