Giving and getting stuff for free

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freecycle, snaffle up and freally getting things for freeMost people by now have heard of Freecycle.

The Freecycle concept birthed by Deron Beal in 2003, is all about keeping things from landfill and protecting the environment while helping people out and saving money.

If you have items in your home that you no longer want but say they aren’t worth much in terms of money, what do you do with them?

Seven years ago, your only choice was to throw them away. With Freecycle you get to give them away to a new, loving home. This helps rebuild communities, gives you that warm fuzzy feeling from helping someone out and helps protect the environment.

Freecycle is massively successful with over 7 million members worldwide.

So great is the idea that people have started their own groups on a similar theme to Freecycle; each with their own unique variation on a theme.

Snaffle Up

With Freecycle, the platform is limited so you either get a flood of emails or none at all. With Snaffle Up you can choose the updates you get. If you’re only looking for a sofa then you only get sofa posts! You can sign up for keywords or a complete category, so you only ever get the mail you want.

The sign up procedure is simple with Snaffle Up: Pick a username, choose a password, enter your postcode, click on the confirmation email and you’re good to go.

Chris has built in some great features to the site such as the Top 10 items closest to your postcode.

Adding an item that needs a loving home couldn’t be simpler either: Enter the title, choose a category, add the description and upload a photo if you want one..

Freally

Eric Bae over in Sydney, Australia recently launched Freally.com.

He ‘freally’ admits the idea originated from Freecycle, but he’s made some differences to improve members experiences such as making Freally web based rather than email based, which cuts down on irrelevant emails.

Eric has enabled ‘one click’ re-offers on uncollected items and he’s included google maps to help users find the items they want.

In the future, Eric is hoping to offer tools such as an iPhone application along with recycling for small and medium businesses and industries so that more items can be available to people.

Listia

Listia is a little like eBay without the cash. You bid on other users’ items with credits that you earn.

There are several ways to earn credits; you get them for signing up, listing items and referring friends. If there is something you have to have, then you can buy credits!

The upside of using a credit system is that no-shows are virtually eliminated and you are not inundated with emails which do not concern you.

What about you – are you a Freecycle fan or have you found another gifting service we need to hear about?

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