The Best Deals Around Are in Your Local ‘Buy Nothing’ Facebook Group

Need a pair of cleats for your soccer-obsessed kid all of a sudden? An alternative fridge because your fridge is on the fritz? How about a blue sofa to beautify your living room?

Before you pull out your credit card, take a second to check in with your neighbors.

This is the idea behind Nothing to buy, a massive grassroots movement led by Facebook encouraging communities around the world to participate in the sustainable gift economy. About 5.3 million members in 44 countries have joined 7,000 local online groups as they order, offer and exchange items, forming valuable connections in the process.

Chances are, it is within walking distance of you.

“It creates a network of people who are committed to sharing with one another, giving, asking, and expressing gratitude without restrictions,” says co-founder Liesl Clark.

They also, of course, save a lot of money. In the nine years since the project began, Buy Nothing groups have quietly grown to become the best place on the web to strike a deal on anything you could want for free.

Keeping rubbish away from landfills and avoiding them record inflation rates They are just added benefits.

From cribs to fresh produce, “we all need things,” Clark says. “You’ll inevitably find people who have exactly what you’re looking for.”

Basics of buying nothing

The concept of Buy Nothing is so simple you’d think there was no way it could work… until you saw it in action.

Transactions usually occur in in one of two ways. happens first When a person has something they want to get rid of. They post an offer, usually with a photo and a brief explanation of why they are making it – “Ikea full size sheet set, never used, light tan (purchased the wrong size and no longer returns window)“- and their location. Then the comments are displayed, direct messages are exchanged, and the transaction takes place offline.

The other happens when a person wants something that he does not have. They post a question – Does anyone have an extra set of shower curtain hooks? My clothes didn’t come with any” – How far are they willing to travel. Comments are displayed, direct messages are exchanged, and the transaction is executed offline.

Buy groups are none site-centric and ultra-specific. In fact, many cities are divided into neighborhoods – Austin, Texas, has about 70 alone. Upon joining, members are required to prove their residency by answering a set of questions. (Although it recently launched an app, many Buy Nothing groups are still working Facebook social networking site.)

They also have to agree to a set of Rules. The Buy Nothing Principles expressly prohibit the buying, selling, trading, bartering and exchanging of money for goods and services.

“The whole philosophy is that there is no one with one. People take what they need and give what they can,” says Stanzy Littlefield, an official with the Portland, Maine, Peninsula Group.

Elements are often used – “A variety of working DVDs, about 150 or so I try not to put them in the trash– or has a slight defect – “cA ruthless void, given to me by a friend. It works but not well? “ Sometimes the descriptions are funny—”The lucky recipient will also get a white, odor-free votive with some dirt sticking to it because my cat kicked it around the floor a little bit.”

Clark says newborn clothes, products and furniture are exchanged regularly between members. Littlefield says people who move to Portland often use Buy Nothing as a way to outfit their apartments on the cheap, by making a call to get coffee tables, lamps, and spare plates.

Both women are personally involved in “buying nothing”. Clark, who has chickens, says she “always offers a dozen eggs here and there.” Littlefield remembers the time she got a $60 ceramic bowl for her jade plant for free from a stranger.

“It was a great way for me to get something for free and take it out of their yard,” she says.

How to buy nothing becomes everything

In Lynnwood, Washington, someone is disposing of five pedicure chairs. In Deltona, Florida, a kids’ Spider-Man backpack. In Akron, Ohio, infant formula is made from soybeans.

Any of these would be a hot result. But for Clark, it’s not the things that make buying anything so special — it’s an opportunity to make connections at a turbulent time.

think about it. If you pick up a baseball glove for kids from a neighbor, chances are that you’re meeting another parent who has kids about the same age and interests as you. You probably know they have a coffee shop in town, so the next time you’re shopping for Starbucks, visit their little business instead.

Just like that, Buy Nothing made a difference.

“The bottom line is very real savings. Not only are families and individuals able to save, but they also get a little extra income, and we find that they put that money back into the local economy,” Clark adds.

However, there is a delicate balance in the Buy Nothing combinations. If you’re interested in getting involved, Littlefield says it’s critical to find the right group for your site. When you post a request for an item, skip the squawk story and focus on the facts.

From there, maintain a degree of self-awareness of your role in the group. If you always take and never give, change it. Be generous.

Littlefield’s favorite interactions happen When someone asks for something, and the members are quick to respond: “Yeah, you can have my microwave.” “I already have an extra baby carrier.” “Do you need clothes for a size 14 kid? We can clean out our closet.”

Both are Mali And I feel good.

“When someone needed it, they realized they didn’t need it themselves,” Littlefield says. “That’s when the warmth and mystery kicks in.”

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