EU Consumers Associations study on #collcons effects

Pioneering research on CC effects on consumers

Four EU consumers associations – OCU (Spain), Altroconsumo (Italy), DECO-Proteste (Portugal) and Test-Achats/Test Aankoop (Belgium) – in collaboration with Cibersomosaguas Research Group (Universidad Complutense of Madrid) and Ouishare Spain, came together to undertake a pioneering research project on the collaborative consumption phenomenon from the point of view of its effect on consumers and society.

4 consumers associations and OuiShare

This research looks into questions that the organizations thought were important to resolve:

  • Do P2P collaborative consumption (CC) platforms add value for individual consumers?
  • Are CC platforms a safe environment for users?
  • Do P2P CC platforms produce the beneficial impacts that some claim they do at economic, social and environmental levels?
  • Are they creating value for society as a whole?
  • Does the CC phenomenon represent a paradigm change or is it just a different way of doing the same business?

The research employed a multi-method design that involved 33 CC experts, over 8,600 consumers (users and non-users), and a sample of 70 platforms across the four participating countries.

A Few highlights

Legal analysisThe research concluded that CC platforms appear to be a safe environment for transactions. Users reported no major conflicts, although better conflict resolutions systems should be put in place by the platforms, as current systems seem not so effective.

Additionally, some legal issues need improvement and clarification, particularly as the observational study of the legal dimensions of the platforms found different levels of compliance with the appropriate regulations.

Determining the social, economic, and environmental impacts of CC is a difficult and complex exercise where, with the help of leading experts an initial set of potential indicators is proposed. See page 39 onwards.

The research also provided important information about the structure, governance, and environmental awareness of the responding platforms. From the research data, it is clear that CC platforms are efficient but their governance models are still far from being collaborative.

We encourage to dig deeper on the research results by getting the complete report here.

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