Craigslist and eBay are great for finding items you want at a good price, but a new website called Givmo lets you give away or get used items for free…from anywhere in the United States. All the person receiving the items has to do is pay for shipping.
Givmo goes the extra mile by donating $1 to charity for each item given away through their service.
Q&A with Dustin Byrne, Givmo’s president
When did Givmo launch?
We soft launched in March. Right now we’re trying to get the word out, build up the user base, and collect feedback on the service.
How are you funded?
We’re currently self funded and running on a shoestring budget.
What is your level of funding so far and what are your funding goals?
We’ve tabled the decision on funding for now. We will probably seek external investment in the future, but for now we’re trying to collect data and feedback about the business and figure out where we fit into the world.
What inspired the idea for Givmo?
I’ve moved around a lot. Boston, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York again, and I moved several times within each of those areas. Every time I moved and had to pack up all my stuff, I found many things that I hadn’t even thought of, let alone touched, since the last move. Old electronics, computers, kitchen tools, toys, sporting goods, you name it. This stuff still had intrinsic value, just not to me. No one wants to throw away something that still has value, so what do you do with it? I tried eBay, Craigslist, garage sales and was able to get rid of a lot of stuff, but the effort involved is substantial and the money from selling the stuff was negligible. You can only take so many quarters from old ladies at a garage sale before you realize you’re not doing it for the money. I wanted an easy way to get my old stuff to a new home where it could make someone else happy, and so Givmo was born.
How do you feel like you compare to and differ from other similar services like Freecycle groups?
Freecycle is a great service, but there’s a couple ways that we differentiate ourselves.
- Freecycle is a local, where the audience for Givmo is national. This means a potentially larger and more diverse marketplace for free stuff. It also means an opportunity to participate in suburban and rural areas where the sprawled population means getting something from someone locally might mean driving 40 miles or more.
- Another difference is in privacy. Not everyone is comfortable having a stranger coming to their home or going top the home of a stranger. Since Givmo items are shipped, there’s a level of anonymity that’s not available with other services.
- Lastly, there’s the amount of effort involved. With Givmo, there’s no fielding emails, haggling over price, scheduling pickups, etc. Just send us a picture and a few days later when the item is won, we’ll send you a shipping label. This is a stark difference between the experience with eBay or Craigslist.
What do you think about Givmo’s business model? I think I’m going to call them a Freecycle on steroids with a charitable twist.