Turn trash into treasure with online swap groups

Pat McGonigle's been looking into the rapid growth of the online swap sites in our ways to save you money series.

KSDK - Everything from Halloween costumes worn only once, to basketball hoops and everything in between are changing hands at a rapid clip.

Websites like Freecycle.com and the private Facebook swap groups are seeing a lot of traffic and new members as we approach the holiday season.

"This is a Sprite costume from the 80's show Rainbow Brite," says one woman, beaming about her new purchase.

"I put a perfectly good stove up on Freecycle, and honestly within five minutes it sold," Katie Waller said.

The old expression "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is certainly true in this case. Typically, the private Facebook groups are limited to a certain community or suburb.

After an invitation to join the group, you can post an item you want to sell, list the price, and how a buyer can get in touch with you.

But you will need to know some of the lingo before you get busy:

  • 'PPU" = Porch pick up
  • 'ISO" = In search of
  • 'Bump' = Bringing up your post, putting your item back to the top of the feed to catch more attention
  • 'NIL’ = Next in line
  • 'Cross posted' = The item is also posted on another website

Most importantly, stay safe during these transactions!

Many local police departments will allow you to use their location to make a private transaction. If you can't do that, try to find a busy shopping area of grocery store.

(© 2016 KSDK)


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