THE internet is tearing up many traditional business models, bringing down costs, along with barriers to information-sharing and market entry. We look at four sites that could change your life (or at least your bank balance):
This new mobile phone comparison website uses technology developed over the last four years by Oxford University statisticians.
Unlike other price comparison sites, its algorithms work by analysing online mobile phone bills and patterns of usage (voice, SMS, MMS, data and roaming habits), before it recommends the best phone contract for you.
This free-to-list delivery auction website connects people who need items moved cheaply with transport providers already travelling in that direction.
Users can save up to 75 per cent compared to hiring a firm to do the job as a one-off. Since launch a year ago, it’s saved users £1.2m. Some have moved antiques from auction houses and hot tubs to Spain, while others have simply moved house.
Started by Camilla Shaughnessy, a former management consultant who invested in property just before the credit crunch, this site allows people to rent out their homes for special events. The founder earns £3,000 for two nights for her barn conversion in Banbury, Oxfordshire, which comes with a swimming pool, gym and helipad, and can sleep up to 14 people.
Currently listed on the site, alongside events such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Edinburgh Festival, are an Elizabethan manor house near Henley and The Underground House in Cheltenham, which featured on Grand Designs.
Can’t live without your gadgets? Many standard home insurance policies won’t cover gadgets taken away from the home, but this new online gadget insurer is here to help.
It gives the first month free, as well as data back-up and worldwide cover as standard. You can insure a single gadget from £1.49 a month, with discounts for multiple gadget cover.