Years ago, while in the bathroom at a previous job, I overheard a radio interview about bartering services and was very intrigue.
What is bartering some people might ask? Well when I hear the word barter I will always remember hearing or learning the meaning of the word from my history classes. Back in the olden days when money was not around bartering was the only means of trading. Bartering is simply trading goods or service with someone else.
I was intrigued because I never knew people even thought about this or was even kind and honest enough to do this. My first thought was who does this? According the interviewee it was very simple… If I had a service that you wanted and could not afford and you had a service I wanted we could trade… No money involved.
So being the nosy (not really.. Lol) person that I am, I started researching the idea. What I found did not appeal to me except for one site…. Freecyclers.
So back then the used things snob in me went ewww.. Heck no! No way. And I left my email unattended…. 2 years later, I have 51,889 email all from freecyclers. What!!! Are you serious?? This system was different though, in that you were not required to trade anything to get anything, you simply place a wanted or offer advertisement and people will find you.
For example: If I have a baby stroller I no longer need, I place a offer ad. You would describe the stroller, brand, color defects or if it is in good condition (give as much details as you possibly can). State a pickup time, location and sit back…you will have so much people replying its ridiculous. You would do the same for something you actually need. The skies the limit…Just ask because you never know.
So in keeping with my project I decided to take another look this time a real hard look. I think I’ve overcome my used clothes snobbishness and really put into retrospect that there are really people out there that would be glad for even a shirt that was already worn. So goes the saying “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”
First I had to clear out my email and signed up again as I couldn’t access my freecyclers account (probably closed for inactivity). 51,899 email is a lot of mail to get rid of, but as I went through I realized that some of the stuff offered was actually new.. There was clothing, Knickknacks, toys, kitchen items, TV, printers, VCR, you name it it’s there.
I’m thinking these people are crazy, giving it away… why not sell it ? Who knows what each individual reasons were…. It’s great!!!! Everyone in need of something has a chance at it.
So of course I am not going to recommend something if I haven’t tested it. So with iPod and notes in hand, I logged in and requested a small flatscreen TV and later an insanity workout video.
Okay, now I didn’t receive any of these items…. Well not yet, but I’m still hopeful…:-). It cost nothing to hope, trust me it’s free.
However, there were plenty of clothes, food, books, kitchen items, household items. Yes there were a few TV’s but the bulky type ( older type TV), Computers etc.
Try it, you never know what you might end up with. However, be warned that you will have a overwhelming ton of email of offers and wants, basically telling you who is in need of what and wants to giveaway. Also if you want something and ask for it, it may take awhile. If you offer something, there will tons of takers.
It about sharing and being frugal. These days we work basically to keep the needs of our family met. However, our jobs ( if you work for someone else) is designed to have you work yourself to death and never meet your needs.
Sign up. You never know, the clothes your toddler needs is in a bag waiting for you… Best if all it’s free.