The Wall Street Journal, that chronicler of markets, says that buying and selling is passe. Borrowing is chic.
Not only does the paper have a psychology and marketing professor discussing the trend (“Younger generations have grown up sharing clothes and media”), but it lists a whole bunch of Web sites that now facilitate borrowing. They fall into two rough categories: social network-ish communities of borrower friends, and, more usably, simple databases of stuff people are willing to lend.
On NeighborGoods, a quick search shows, there are now roughly 460 users offering things in and around the city. Some are useful: dtomback has a “slightly dented” power drill; EStan, in Brooklyn, is offering a sewing machine, “like new.” Some are whimsical: ezrabg offers a “pink pony,” which “can wear a pointed hat to pass as a unicorn. In great shape.” And some are modest: dmtorrance offers a “small travel-sized hookah. great for small get togethers!”
Luckily, ShareSomeSugar lets you search by zip code. In the Upper West Side and Morningside Heights, 10025, all of the 16 available items are being offered by one user, named Aldenwicke (no relation to the author of this post). The bounty includes: a drill (again!), drill bits, a tape measure, a drop cloth, a cupcake pan, a food processor, a juicer, a mop, an inkjet printer, an unspecified Wii game, an unspecified DVD and an unspecified book. Likewise, in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, 11211, the four items are all offered by a user called Dei. They are: an ice cream maker, a juicer, a kayak paddle and a “BBQ.”