Author: Shruti Ajmera Reddy

Lucky no. 3

Yes, we have more updates swooping in for you! Next up our home on the web: Our Website

Built with so much love that wouldn’t be able to take your eyes off it! We believe in simplicity and want to simply share how to get RentSetGo to work for you.  If you’re interesting in lending or simply venting, use our “Chat Option” and our team will get back to you. If you just want to see us show off head over to the Media section at the bottom and become a fan 😉 Looking to work with us? Head over to the hiring section and drop us an email with your resume. IT’s THAT SIMPLE. Oh and if you want to download our New APP, the link is up top!

Our new website.

Our new website.


#Happy Experiencing


The Big Bang…

…and we are reborn! Our new and updated App is out now on Google PlayStore !!!

After all the blood, sweat and tears its finally here! And we invite you to try it out. Be generous with you tough love..we want to be the best we can be for you. Ask your friends, family, foes, neighbours and neighbours’ dog to try it out. We take your feedback very seriously! Write to us at

RentSetGo MobileApp

Our new Mobile App. Get it now on Google PlayStore!




Team RentSetGo

The currency of trust and how companies like eBay and Airbnb mint it?

Sharing economy or collaborative consumption opened doors to many entrepreneurs to fully utilize their underutilized assets, skills, space or time. It has created digital marketplaces for offline services through Uber, AirBnb, ebay etc to exchange value at an unprecedented scale.

Although technology plays a crucial role in this economy, the very foundation of it lies in something more human-Trust. This secret ingredient empowers users to identify and interact with each other safely. Since it’s such a crucial part of what we do at RentSetGo, I would like to share my two cents on it.

Before the Internet, the traditional way of building trust in retail transactions relied on 8 factors, identified in a paper by P. Resnick and R.Zeckhauser[1] (2001) titled: “Trust Among Strangers in Internet Transactions: Empirical Analysis of eBay’s Reputation System”. Quoting from the paper, the attributes of building trust traditionally are:

(1) Most retail transactions are conducted locally, which gives individuals the opportunity to inspect them, as say with fruit in a rural market. If quality is discernible, no trust is needed.

(2) Retail operations tend to be large relative to their local market, be they vegetable sellers or the local department store. Buyers have frequent interaction with the same seller, and learn whom they can trust.

(3) Even when one’s personal interactions are limited, given that a retailer’s sales are concentrated in a locale makes it easy to develop reputations so customers learn about retailers from their peers.

(4) Retailer reputations are borrowed from other contexts. For example, retailers are likely to be pillars of the church and community, and would be highly reluctant to sacrifice the status that comes from such reputations.

(5) Reputations are built over many years; witness the reputations of Sotheby’s and Christies, the leading auction houses, which are hundreds of years old.

(6) Reputations are borrowed from others. Thus celebrities will attest to the quality of products.

(7) New goods benefit from established brand names, and policing of quality by those who own them. The product, not the retailer, wins the reputation.

(8) Significant expenditures – e.g., building a fancy store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue– indicates that one will be reliable, lest this expenditure be wasted, a form of signaling.

However, with the advent of Internet, things changed drastically. Buyers-sellers or hosts-travellers or lenders-borrowers in a sharing economy don’t normally know each other from Adam or in most cases, never even meet. Products sold, at times, don’t even have brand names to back them while customers rarely repeat and do not run into each other. So how do online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon or sharing economy poster boys like Airbnb and Uber really work and build trust within their communities?

Lets take a quick look into how 2 top players in their respective fields have managed to crack this problem.


One of the earliest and best known Internet reputation systems is run by eBay, which gathers comments from buyers and sellers about each other after each transaction.

  • The feedback system allowed sellers to build their reputation from satisfied buyers and spread the word to a large population of potential customers through Internet at almost negligible cost.
  • Empirical evidence suggests that, more than half the transactions received buyer feedback, most of which was positive, fostering positivity and virality into the community.
  • Most importantly, as the participants believed this system was working, it deterred sellers from behaving badly, as it could result in a negative feedback and would be damaging to their reputation, hence future sales.


In addition to the perks of the Internet that eBay enjoyed, Airbnb benefitted from the rise of social networks, which added another layer of identity to its members, fostering trust in the community.

As Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky puts it, “Trust, mediated by technology, is making a comeback. It’s what’s motivating millions of people in tens of thousands of cities around the world to book lodging with semi-screened strangers through this service.” Recent updates to the Airbnb review and rating systems have been implemented to extract more honest and accurate reviews from both the travellers and the host, that in the end benefit the Airbnb community at large.

  • To enable both the host and the travelers to leave honest reviews (praise and criticism) Airbnb now reveals their reviews simultaneously to each other after the trip has been completed. That way neither is affected by the other’s bias
  • As 90% of their reviews come within 2 weeks of travel they have shortened the review submission period to 14days, so that all the feedback is based on recent impression

Like these companies, others such as Amazon, Uber, TaskRabbit, Etsy, Threadflip etc have built impressive reputation models to support their communities and foster a trustworthy environment. Similarly, RentSetGo tracks user behavior through multiple data points and assigns ranks to its members using a proprietary algorithm in the backend. This helps in weeding out poorly rated members from the system and rewards good behavior by assigning higher search ranking on the platform.

In many ways, these reputation models form the core of any business based on sharing economy. These models have evolved considerably over the last decade and continue to do so with help of network effects, mobile and Internet penetration leading to the growing acceptance of such peer-to-peer businesses, and creating a cyclical, snowball effect. Reputation models leveraged by technology are the essence of the sharing economy and the future of this industry depends on how well we are able to extract the value of this currency of trust for the community.


What connects the dots between Uber, AirBnB, Wikipedia and a Mumbai based startup?

It’s a concept called the Sharing economy. No, it’s not a new concept, in fact far from it. It’s one of the oldest concepts known even to the caveman. So to explain it simply, it’s an economy built on sharing— of underutilized assets and matching the needs of a user with that of an asset owner (peer to peer).

The term “collaborative consumption” was first coined by Marcus Felson and Joe L.Spaeth in their paper “Community Structure and Collaborative Consumption: A routine activity approach” published in 1978 in the American Behavioral Scientist. In 1995, 2 companies that disrupted the way commerce was conducted by developing a new economic model, made possible by the advent of Internet were EBay and Craigslist that allowed peer-to-peer exchange of goods.

Routine examples of sharing economy we all are familiar with are- libraries and public transport. I could go on about the evolution of the sharing economy but rather direct you to the Wikipedia link and not reinvent the wheel.

So, what’s all the hype about?

Even though sharing, renting, exchanging of stuff has existed in some form and shape since a very long time, a fundamental shift is being experienced today in the way sharing economy works and spreads. Rise of social networking and mobile penetration are the sparks lighting this explosion. Internet offers a stable long-term platform for sharing models. Trust and reputation form the foundation of this economy and play an instrumental role in its growth.

What’s sharing economy, in today’s terminology?

Basically, sharing economy is a socio-economic model based on trading, renting, sharing, exchanging- products, services, spaces, skills that enable access over ownership. One of the leading authorities on this subject, Rachel Botsman defines collaborative economy as an economy built on distributed networks of connected individuals and communities versus centralized institutions, transforming how we produce, consume, finance and learn.

The sharing economy can be broadly broken down into

–       Product Service Systems- where users pay for usage and access over ownership

–        Redistribution Markets- which is primarily bartering, sharing, trading, swapping goods

–       Collaborative Lifestyles- bartering, sharing, trading and swapping intangibles.

In simpler terms, it is the preference of “access over ownership”. Many consumers today are prioritizing performance and experience over possession. Information technology and peer communities power this model.

As evident from the above explanation, sharing economy is not restricted to a particular category of products/services. Below I would like to share some examples elaborating this point:

Market sectors Examples of companies
Preowned Goods craiglist,ebay,threadflip,yerdle
Loaner products shop it to me, renttherunway, RentSetGo
custom products Etsy, quirky
Professional Elance,Freelancer,
personal Taskrabbit,Angieslist,Instacart
Transportation services uber,lyft,sidecar
loaner vehicles zipcar,car2go
office place Liquidspace,sharedesk
places to stay Homeaway,onefinestay,homeexchange,Airbnb
Money Lending greennote,kiva,lendingclub
Crowdfunding Circleup, kickstarrter,indiegogo
Online content youtube, slideshare,Flickr, soundcloud
Information wikipedia


As you can see, this is a huge opportunity. To put in numerical terms, product rental marketplace valued at $85Bn, vacation rental space valued at  $80Bn, ridesharing valued at $117Bn (Source: Entrepreneur Magazine)

The sharing economy is producing some of the most explosive startup growth in the history of the technology industry. However, as recently witnessed, the growth of companies in this space is not without its own set of challenges. Regulatory issues of Uber have been widely publicized across the globe. Airbnb as well faced certain regulatory backlash in US and Europe recently. Having said that, these companies are now actively working with regulators to address the challenges that are brought on by these disruptive models and coming up solutions that in some cases have even brought modifications to the underlying law.

What’s next?

The next wave of opportunities in businesses, is predicted to be companies that will support development of the sharing economy. For eg: Guesty manages a users’ Airbnb listing starting with screening potential hosts, to answering queries to coordinating with cleaning staff pre and post guest arrival etc. Another trend being predicted is that of expansion. For instance, Uber venturing into delivery services. Finally, there are many traditional industries where peer-to-peer sharing can really disrupt the way business is conducted and many startups have started popping up catering to this need.

So come and join the revolution!

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