Gifteng is the Pinterest of the gift economy

gifteng
via Gifteng.com

One of the best ways to help the environment is to buy less new stuff, and make the most of older goods and products. Gifteng is a new website that hopes to make it easier to give away things you no longer need, and receive used items for free.

Craigslist already serves this function to some extent. However, Gifteng adds a social networking component, which makes the process feel more personal and transparent. Once you sign up, users earn a "Generosity Score," which is based on how many items they give away. This helps to cut down on the trolling that's so prevalent on Craigslist, where people pick up free stuff just to turn around and sell it.

The user experience is straight forward, and pretty too, which is why I compared it to Pinterest. Take a photo of the item you'd like to give away, upload it with a brief description, and choose if you want it picked up or if you're willing to mail it off. There's a filter for gifts, but in my experience it only takes a few minutes to get your gift approved. Once your gift has been shared, other users can request it, and you can pick which request to grant. If you see that someone has requested many gifts, but isn't returning the favor, you don't have to let them have your things.

Gifteng.com/Screen capture

To receive items, you can browse by the news posts or by category. The categories include apparel, accessories, books, pets, home and more. Each item is also tagged with its location, so you can see how far you will have to go to pick it up.

The site is currently in its beta stage, and is only operating in the New York City area. However, Gifteng is planning a nation-wide launch of the site for February 12. If you're feeling generous about the platform itself, you can also make a donation to cover their operations.

UPDATE [February 12, 2014]: As today, Gifteng is open to users throughout the United States!

Tags: Dematerialization | Gifts

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