Product Returns: An Opportunity to Shift towards an Access-Based Economy?
2. Literature Review
2.1. Sustainability Challenges
2.2. Access-Based Models
2.3. Libraries of Things (LoTs)
2.4. Barriers to Adoption of Access-Based Business Models
2.5. Issues of Product Returns
3. Provocation: From Product Returns to Access-Based Business Models?
3.1. Horizon Scanning
3.2. Examples of Access-Based Business Models
4. Conclusions and Further Research Directions
Conflicts of Interest
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|Sharing economy||Includes access-based approaches but also schemes where people exchange time, skills, or services and is defined as “services intended to replace ownership with the sharing and exploitation of under-used assets, ranging from cars, houses, and parking spaces to pets, books, clothes” .|
|Access-based economy/access-based business models||Includes all approaches to people or companies paying to use a product or service without gaining ownership [29,30]. Typical payment options are fees per use (e.g., Zipcar) or a subscription option (e.g., Spotify).|
|Collaborative consumption||Often used interchangeably with “sharing economy” and defined as “peer-to-peer-based activity of obtaining, giving, or sharing access to goods and services, coordinated through community-based online services” .|
|Product service system (PSS):||Ref.  distinguished between (i) “product-oriented” PSS, which focuses on selling products with service contracts attached; (ii) “use-oriented” PSS, where ownership of the product remains with the provider but the item is lent/rented/leased to the user for a period of time and the product–service mix relates to use/access to the product but repair, maintenance, and ownership is taken care of by the provider; and (iii) “result-oriented” PSS, which is focused on providing services rather than selling products.|
|Product stewardship||The manufacturer and/or retailer remain owners of the product and also take care of maintenance, repair, replacement, and remanufacture/recycling to produce future product generations .|
|Hiring/renting schemes||Often a short-term arrangement between providers and end-customers, whereby products are used without transfer of ownership and returned afterwards. These can be B2B, B2C, C2C, etc. This is also classified by  as peer-to-peer rental.|
|Leasing schemes||Like the above, but oriented towards a medium time frame and with the option to gain ownership, growing in popularity for goods such as electric cars, where innovation is rapid .|
|Library models||Specific libraries that allow users to borrow goods such as tools  or toys [34,35] or more general libraries of things that allow members to borrow items based on per-item fees and/or subscription models [36,37].|
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Baden, D.; Frei, R. Product Returns: An Opportunity to Shift towards an Access-Based Economy? Sustainability 2022, 14, 410. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010410
Baden D, Frei R. Product Returns: An Opportunity to Shift towards an Access-Based Economy? Sustainability. 2022; 14(1):410. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010410Chicago/Turabian Style
Baden, Denise, and Regina Frei. 2022. "Product Returns: An Opportunity to Shift towards an Access-Based Economy?" Sustainability 14, no. 1: 410. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010410