Friday, April 29, 2005
7 News Features: Free For All
Rich or poor, everybody's always looking for a deal. That's why all this month, every Friday, we're going to show you some incredible bargains right here in South Florida. We're talking gourmet meals, spa service, even furniture - all for a fraction of the cost. Here's the Nighteam's Lynn Martinez with free for all.
WSVN -- Tonight, it's our favorite word - "free." As in free appliances, clothing, toys, and books.
A South Florida service is proving once and for all - one man's trash is another man's treasure.
If you can think it, you can likely get it without paying a cent... And it's all perfectly legal.
Forget free. In South Florida, everything has a price.
Just try going to the beach, the sand and surf wont cost you, but soaking it all in on a Lounge chair will. Get thirsty. Sure, there's plenty of water, but drinking it could be pricey.
But what if we told you that there is a place where the price is right. Think everything you want and need from toys to tools.
No money down, no payments, no credit cards. Heck -- no cost.
Michelle Blanchard: "As long as you've got a computer and you've got stuff."
Welcome to freecyle -- the world's greatest yard sale minus the effort and the price tags. Think e-bay turned freebay.
Michelle: "Its a way to get rid of that stuff without throwing it in the trash."
Michelle Blanchard runs the freecycle Hollywood chapter. She primarily uses the web site to find clothes for baby Katherine. Her club is one of 84 in the state and there are 2,500 nationwide.
All you have to do is sign up where you live - and you guessed it everything is free.
Michelle: "The main thing about freecycle is sometimes the person cant afford to buy this stuff and they need it."
And just about everything has been given away from dirt - yes dirt - to mobile homes.
So we thought we'd see if somebody would like this microwave.
Michelle: "I think as long as it works somebody will definitely be interested."
But there's only one way to find out. Michelle posted the microwave by offering a brief description. After that, we just wait to see if there any takers.
Ben Goldberg: "Some people prefer to give it to the first person that responds or sometimes some people have a little lottery."
Ben Goldberg knows how it goes. He got this bike on freecycle a few weeks ago but now he's giving it away.
Ben: "Use it for as long as i need it then pass it along to the next user."
Today, he gets to meet that next user. Ben chooses a mother of two from a pool of five responses.
For Ben, it's as much about helping others as it is about helping the environment. He looks at freecycle as the ultimate recycle.
Ben: "What motivates me is the landfill issue. There's an awful lot of stuff that's usable that ends up getting thrown away."
Our microwave won't be thrown away. After a week, Michelle chooses a young professional who just moved into her own apartment.
And with that, another satisfied customer. But then again, who wouldn't be satisfied when all sales are free and final.
Michelle: "It's nice to be able to give it to somebody who needs to it. I feel good about it."
The only downside with freecycle - its not tax deductible. Most members however say its better than a charity because they get to choose who gets their possessions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: