Buy Nothing: A Craigslist Alternative

Posted on April 6th, 2015 by Freebie Felicia

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Craigslist and other local online buy-and-sell pages are good starting points for buying things on the cheap, or selling things you don’t need any more. And those are good ways to be frugal and save money! But what if you could just… not buy anything at all?

That’s the idea behind “Buy Nothing” groups that have popped up on social media sites lately. Unlike other buying and selling groups, these are often local to certain neighborhoods. People post items they’d like to give away for free. In the words of buynothingproject.org:

“Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share amongst neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, we’re strictly a gift economy.”

Since these groups are primarily on Facebook and local, there’s another sense of safety involved. You’re more likely to know some people in the group, and know that they know other people in the group as well, so there is more of a sense of trustworthy community and less fear of strangers. Of course, always remember to use common sense to be safe when you are meeting someone for the first (or second, or third) time! People want to get rid of the most unusual things at the weirdest times, so maybe a dresser will pop up just when yours breaks, or someone wants to unload a bunch of maternity clothes for free and you’ve just found out your best friend is pregnant. Score!

And remember, while this isn’t an official “pay it forward” type of thing, it’s always good to rack up the good karma and post some things you’d like to give away for free, too. Don’t just take—give as well! You never know when someone just happens to be looking for that creepy taxidermy squirrel that’s been sitting in your attic for years!


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