Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Buy and Share

Group buy of 1 quantity, shared among all
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Often I wish to read a book or view a film which is not available at my local library or video store, respectively. I am loathe to purchase something I will likely read (or watch) once, and the buy-it-then-eBay-it option is not appealing. I suspect others share this problem and I belive a solution can be found.

The answer to this conundrum can be found in the fact that others share this problem and taste in music, books, or movies. If I could find another who was in my situation and wished to acquire the same item, we could split the cost and share the item.

Unfortunately it might prove exceedingly difficult to locate this person. Enter my idea. A website that has a centralized database of "wanted" items allows people to find others who want the same thing. They sign up to split the cost of the object and share it with the like-minded.

Once a pre-determined number of people sign up to purchase an item, the business collects their money and buys the item. Then it is mailed to the first person who signed up. That person has some time with it, and then mails it back to the business to send to the next person. Thusly total strangers may share an item in a sort of loose cooperative.

Now there are a few details that must be worked out. The most important one is how much time is sufficient with a given item. Such a decision should be made democratically by all the buyers, before the purchase. Of course it could also be on the honor system, but I sincerely doubt anyone would agree to that in this cynical world. If anyone were to abscond with an item and not return it to the business, the participants would be refunded. This would be handled by a type of insurance that would be an additional fee. Obviously the theif's credit card, bank account, or whatever payment method would be blacklisted and prevented from using the business again.

I have had this idea for a while but finally fleshed it out recently upon finding Fundable. The Fundable site works as a small proof-of-concept for perhaps the most important part of my idea. I also optimistically take it as a sign that my idea will eventually be baked.

Acme, Jun 06 2005

Fundable http://www.fundable.org/
Not the genesis of my idea, but the catalyst [Acme, Jun 06 2005]

Freecycle http://www.freecycle.org/
Another way to get items you want, but free, and baked. [migennes, Jun 09 2005]

Copyright should be a flat 10 years. http://www.maxbarry...005/06/09/news.html
Nice little rant about why copyright should be shorter. By the author of 'Jennifer Government' (which I haven't read but have been told is rather good). [st3f, Jun 10 2005]

[link]






       I think eBay is the solution to the problem. You buy it, you use it and then you sell it; simple. The only down side I can see to this approach is the person who buys it new loses more money in the onselling process than the next person (however on the upside that first person gets the 'fresh-out-of-the-packaging' buzz).
xaviergisz, Jun 06 2005
  

       While your point is well-reasoned and I am very pleased someone else writes with proper capitalization and punctuation, I addressed that very idea in the first paragraph.
Acme, Jun 06 2005
  

       ...Now that I think about it, I think there's plenty of potential for sharing in local communities. Particularly big, expensive machinary that you only use once in a blue moon like chain-saws and lawn mowers. But even that is pretty much covered by rental companies etc...
xaviergisz, Jun 06 2005
  

       This buisness is for whatever rental services/libraries lack. If it's legal and can be mailed easily, it's OK to buy and share.
Acme, Jun 07 2005
  

       //I am very pleased someone else writes with proper capitalization and punctuation// That just leaves the spelling to sort out.
coprocephalous, Jun 07 2005
  
      
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