Nowadays not only businesses, but also individuals can easily trade products and services online. Platforms like eBay, Airbnb and Uber bring together suppliers and demanders who trade products and services on peer-to-peer markets. These online marketplaces become increasingly accessible and transparent as search facilities and reviewing systems became more sophisticated. Initially peer-to-peer markets were mainly used to sell and buy used goods, but nowadays there’s a wide array of possibilities to borrow and rent products, to trade services, and to borrow and lend money.
Use of peer-to-peer markets
Because regular statistics do not accurately reflect these peer-to-peer transactions, a survey was held among the members of the CentER consumer panel in December 2016 to gain insight in the size and use of peer-to-peer markets.
First of all, the results show that 47% of the Dutch population use online peer-to-peer markets, with 40% of the population buying products and 35% of the population selling products via these markets. Significantly fewer users use platforms to borrow (6%) or rent (1%) products, with the same figures applying to purchasing (6%) and offering services (1%). Platforms are still hardly used for crowdfunding.
The survey results also show that the number of peer-to-peer market users is expected to increase over the next five years, most notably those segments where users borrow and rent products. (Link to ESB.nu in Dutch only).
Factors that affect the use of peer-to-peer markets
Respondents were given a list of factors that could affect their current and future use of peer-to-peer markets and were asked to select the two most important ones. In the same way, they were asked what the obstacles are that prevent them from using peer-to-peer markets. Figure 1 shows the most frequently mentioned reasons.