Weeks ago, we all wrote blogs on the topic “sharing economy”. Most of us had the positive comments on this model of economy. For the whole society, it is environmental friendly, since we could share instead of wasting, fewer natural resources are needed. Also for the consumers, less money is needed to be spent. At that time, when I wrote my blog on the “sharing economy”, I was acting as a big fan of it; however, when I follow this topic and do more research, I start to think the opposite way.
“Something Airbnb doesn’t tell you when you sign up is that you may be breaking the law and/or your lease (its spokesperson says that warning is in its terms of service, but I never saw it).” This is a quote from an article on San Francisco Bay Guardian. The author attended a dinner with representatives from different collaborative consumption start-ups, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Shareable, Vayable, and Getaround. It is interesting that when he asked something about the “tax”, he said there was an “uncomfortable silence”. This silence shows that they all knew they were doing something wrong about the tax.
Besides the tax, what about the hurt to the competitors? Such businesses usually don’t have many employees and even an office. Obviously, the cost is low. Their prices charged for the consumers must be lower as well. Also, Airbnb don’t have their real estates, but they have dozens of yurts, caves, tepees with TVs in them, water towers, motor homes, private islands, glass houses, lighthouses, igloos with Wi-Fi and tree houses on their website available. How excited! Owners of these properties are responsible to their own properties, not Airbnb! I feel sympathetic for those branded hotels. It costs them millions to build a hotel; however, it could be not attractable with their luxury facilities any more.
This unfair competition between Airbnb and hotels might not be that obvious since it is not advertised well. What if more people get to know it over years? I am afraid that it will “steal” more customers from the traditional hotels.
The Best Argument Against the Existence of Airbnb (gizmodo.com)
I Bought an Apartment Just to Rent Out on Airbnb (mashable.com)