Thursday, August 20, 2009

Listia for Free Stuff

There's a new place to go to get rid of your stuff when you want to give it away for free. It's called Listia. When I think free, I think Freecycle and Craigslist. Where both Craigslist and Freecycle are more geared toward giving and receiving free stuff within a relatively local area, Listia knows fewer geographical bounds (although you can choose to give and receive only in your area, which would be most economical).

So, how's it work? It's free, sort of. Listia works like Ebay in that you bid for an item, but you bid with credits, not money. So how do you get the credits? When you sign up and list an item, you receive 500 credits (equivalant to $50). When you a refer a friend to Listia, or your stuff "sells," you earn credits. You can also just buy credits for 10 cents each. So, as you can see, Listia has a slight trade tinge to it, since you must give stuff away in order to keep a good bank of credits. So what about shipping? Well, Listia assumes that you'll want to do things locally so there is no shipping. If not, you and the seller can work out the shipping.

Freecycle and Craigslist are still free, more so than Listia, but I can see some perks to Listia. The biggest benefit I see to Listia is the potential broadened inventory. The bidding aspect of Listia makes sure that the person that wants the item most gets it, in theory. Plus, you can view the feedback of other Listia users which is a perk compared to Craigslist of Freecycle, if you are concerned about safety. And, at the end of the day, it may take off just because of it's novelty. I may go ahead and try this with some of the dorky books I have that I can't sell... If I do, I'll let you know how it went.

So, now that the details are out, the jury is out too.

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