Buy Nothing

This past weekend I was at a friend’s house for a catch-up with a small group of close friends when mid-meal there was a knock on the door. My friend who was hosting made the comment “oh that must be someone picking something up” (I thought this was strange). She then proceeded to open the door, greet someone who she didn’t appear to know whilst handing over salt and pepper grinders. The woman at the door then promptly left and that, as they say was that!

I, however was not going to let this unusual interaction pass without comment. I was just bursting to ask what had actually just taken place as it’s certainly not everyday you have a stranger call by to pick up kitchen related items.

Fortunately my friend was able to offer an explanation and proceeded to tell us all how she was part of a ‘buy nothing’ Facebook group. Apparently this is a community group consisting of people who live in her immediate area who offer out free things to one another. The idea is you offer up something you don’t need (but is still good) and someone who is in need of that item comes and collects it from you. There is no payment, no swap no nothing it’s simply free. But in turn, if there is something you like that someone else has posted you have the ability to accept an item from them.

What an great minimalist concept! A particularly wonderful alternative to an op shop/thrift store or the bin. My friend offered me her phone so I could have a browse of the sorts of items that had been posted and I was very pleasantly surprised. These were high quality items that people clearly just wanted to go to a good home. Apparently there are many of these groups in existence throughout various areas.

In particular, I noticed there was an abundance of kids toys, bikes and books. I thought to myself that this is a great concept- to swap children’s items seeing as they often outgrow things quickly. Even cheaper than buying second hand, why not just share with people who live in your area seeing as you don’t need to travel far? There is always discussion about the ‘sharing economy’ and clearly it is starting to grow particularly with the rising cost of living, people living in smaller dwellings and unable to purchase or store large amounts of stuff.

I have never participated in such a venture but I am definitely curious and will be doing a bit more research into this concept which I’m sure will become a burgeoning trend.

Have you used a platform like this to share/swap items?