Buy Nothing. Get Something. For Real.

The other day, I posted a story about Goodwill. A reader complained about high prices at the local “thrift shop.” Many readers agreed.

A few days later, alert “06880” reader Libby Kole emailed me about a less expensive alternative.

In fact, it’s free.

There’s no physical location. Instead, you find “Buy Nothing” online.

The Westport Facebook group is part of a national movement. It helps people trade, share, give and get just about anything.

Kole cited one example. She picked up boxes from a woman who just moved here. In return, Kole posted a rocking chair. (She’ll give the boxes away too, when she’s done moving herself.)

Nothing is for sale. There is no bartering. It’s just free.

The national site for Buy Nothing Groups lists things that can be given. They include clothes, dinners, plants, rabbits, laundry detergent, antiques, bikes, canoes, kombucha, flowers, eggs and beds.

People offer services too: nursing or childcare. A resting place for a dying dog. An arborist checking on trees. Guitar lessons.

Users have requested over-the-counter medicines in the middle of the night. Books, rugs and stuffed animals for a 1st grade classroom. Blackberries for wine-making (the recipient then shared his wine with the entire community). A home, while an apartment is being renovated.

Though the Westport group is just getting started, it quickly zoomed past 250 members.

The list of offerings is not as clever as the national examples. But it is typically Westport.

There’s a Sub-Zero dual zone wine cooler (“worth 4K” — though it needs $1,300 worth of evaporators). A kids’ scooter. Size 6 Crocs (“rejected by my child”). Carry-on luggage. Lice shampoo.

The $4,000 wine cooler.

It’s all there for the taking.

What gives?!

(Click here for the “Buy Nothing Westport, CT” Facebook group.)

9 responses to “Buy Nothing. Get Something. For Real.

  1. Janette Kinnally

    I gave someone a bunch of preschool toys and games for their school. She came to pick it up within the hour.
    I also gave carry on luggage and 2 kids booster seats. People came to pick them up within 24 hours of posting it.
    It makes you feel good to clean out items you don’t use anymore and give them to people that will use them again.
    I highly recommend joining the online group.

  2. Tom Broadbent

    I really like 06880 and all it represents, so there’s no negativity in my comment. Goodwill takes the money it makes from donated items and does career counseling, serves food to the hungry, gives people down on their luck temporary paying jobs, and I’m sure more benefits I don’t know about. If we get a little gouged in Westport, where’s the harm? My daughter came out to my car to go to a bar mitvah years ago in a stunning dress, and I said, “Man, you look amazing where did you get that dress?” She proudly said, “$3.99 at Goodwill, Dad, and if you tell anybody I have to kill you.” Free is good too, but Goodwill pinches every penny they earn.

  3. Laurie Goldberg

    Another option that has been around for a long, long while: Freecycle. Keep stuff out of landfills. I have been a member for years and have happily sent athletic equipment, magazines and plants (my irises go wild every year) to appreciative homes in Fairfield County. Things can be offered or requested and no swap is expected or required. (In the past there was some etiquette about not posting a ‘Want’ unless you had posted an offer, but that’s not true anymore.)
    https://groups.freecycle.org/group/Westport_CT/posts/all

  4. Vanessa Weinbach

    Thank you for sharing info about our new group!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Vanessa Weinbach

    Hi Dan. Thank you again for publicizing our new Buy Nothing Westport Facebook group. With your help, we have seen another huge influx of new members today. Just one quick clarification. There is no caveat to being in the group. Members are not required to give anything after they’ve received. Of course we encourage sharing of all kinds, but there is no requirement. Thank you again! 🙂

  6. I support Laurie’s comment about Freecycle.com. It’s the best. I wish they had a poster at the Transfer Station telling folks about it. I see so many usable items tossed into the pit. Westport doesn’t send to the landfill, but to the power-producing incinerator in Bridgeport. Just last week, brand-new looking furniture. Breaks my recyling heart.

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