Ride, accommodation and task sharing
The sharing economy is an online marketplace where operators connect consumers with people who have goods or services to sell, rent or lease - eg Airbnb, Uber, Airtasker. The operators provide administration tasks, such as processing payments and posting reviews.
Businesses that simply help to connect buyers and sellers - eg Gumtree, EBay - are not part of the sharing economy.
Selling through sharing economies
When you sell goods or services through a sharing economy you must obey Australia Consumer Law. Goods must be:
- of acceptable quality
- fit for purpose
- match the description.
You must not mislead the consumer by:
- making false statements or claims that aren't completely true
- writing inaccurate reviews which don’t reflect your actual experience
- hiding information in the small print when the overall message suggests something different.
You must notify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission if you recall a product or if you become aware that a product you supplied has caused a death or serious injury.
As a seller, you have rights under Australian Consumer Law, including:
- your consumer guarantee rights apply for the services you purchase from the operator
- operators must not mislead or deceive you
- you don't have to offer a refund if the consumer simply changes their mind.
Sharing economies often have their own internal resolution processes you can access if the consumer doesn't honour a contract. Check the community rules and resolution guidelines to help you solve any problems.