Your local Freecycle group could be a valuable way to market your business to your community for free.

I’m a member of the Pleasanton FreeCycle Group, a forum for people who live near me to give away used goods instead of throwing them away. It’s a great service that promotes “green” living. Every day I get an email with a list of items that people want to get rid of. If there’s something on it that interests me I send the posting member an email and then we arrange the exchange. I use it mainly to dispose of stuff that I don’t want to store or throw away. Over the past year I have given away a crib, tons of baby toys and my favorite of all, boxes. The service is simple, fast and extremely satisfying.

The Pleasanton FreeCycle group has 1,196 members and I am guessing that most check these listings at least once per week. That is a huge group of people that you can communicate with in your area about your business. Here’s how:

1. Join your local freecycle group and make your member name the name of your business or a name that describes your business such as “Pleasanton Plumber”.

2. Any time you have extra boxes post them. Any time I have posted boxes they have been taken within 10 minutes. The demand for empty boxes in Pleasanton seems so great that there may in fact be a business giving away boxes with ads on them. anyone?

3. When business is slow post an offer for a free service. If you’re a plumber it could be a free rooter. A florist could post a free bouquet. Make sure it’s something that’s meaningful but won’t cost you too much.

4. Rinse and repeat.

The key is to do this in a way that’s not too in-your-face salesy. You should operate like a solid citizen who is sharing stuff the same way as everyone else. Be respectful of the community and the moderator.

I believe this tactic could introduce your business to a large group of people who at some point in the coming year will need your service. You’ll also be able to get rid of a bunch of boxes in the process.

To find your local freecycle group check out

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5 Response Comments

  • David Saunders  January 7, 2008 at 8:39 am

    That Andrew – is brilliant – we have a ton of stuff left over from our move from CA (Walnut Creek ;0) ) to Charlotte – it’s going to be posted.



  • Matt McGee  January 7, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve been bugging my wife to start using Freecycle for a while now. Plus, in our area at least, there are two sister lists: getconnectedtri-cities and tradingtri-cities. Other areas might have similar options, too, Andrew…

    Oh, look, there’s my wife in your MyBlogLog widget now. Cute. I suggested she read this. 🙂

  • David Melamed  August 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Brilliant idea. Now I need to figure out how to leverage this to find junk cars. Do you ever see people posting junk cars in these networks or is it mostly free stuff people put on their curb.

  • Ralpheal Jackson  September 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Nice thanks for sharing with us, i’ll certainly take a look at this, and maybe even contribute as my mother, girlfriend, and myself have many clothes, shoes, televisions, etc. thanks