Earlier this year, during a dinner party, the door bell rang, and our friend disappeared momentarily to answer, returning to the kitchen with a can of beer in hand.
“Successful trade!” he declared.
Our friends began to explain that the haul of wine filling their bookshelf, and beer in the refrigerator, was mostly the result of a then-secret trading group on Facebook, known as Bunz.
Today, the group is not-so-secret after the Toronto Star reported on Bunz Trading Zone, earlier this month. Its Toronto membership has over 17,000 members (by the time this blog post goes live).
My friends had traded unused household items, clothes, and furniture, for, well, wine and beer.
A great idea.
The group was invitation-only, so a few days later, through their invitation, I was approved for membership. Suddenly my news feed started populating with the trades of other Facebook friends, “secret” Bunz members: ISO (In Search Of) puzzels for new puzzles; roommates; or tokens in exchange for leftover sushi.
A curious glimpse in to things that people no longer want.
And we all want booze and TTC tokens?
But even with the added security of knowing peolpe (who know people) on the Facebook group (unlike mainstream marketplaces like Kijiji or Craigslist, when you likely won’t know the person coming to your door), I felt a little awkward that my friend feed would see the old junk I was trying to part ways with.
So I held off.
And then I finally took my chance.
With the husband abroad, it was my time for extra fall cleaning. Due to part with a few things I’d held on to for too long.
See Un-Fancy for an enviable take on minimalist wardrobes and life
The brown vintage traveling case I acquired around the age of 12, and used for the storage of acrylic paint supplies, had been left empty for several years, after all the paints had dried-out.
I like it. Do I use it? Do I need it? No. And I admit… It’s old. And kind of smells.
So the case went up on Bunz, late on a Friday night (on the day of the Toronto Star article) with an ISO request for a bottle of wine.
I was taken aback when the trader asked me what type of wine I would prefer, so I requested Blu Giovello Pinot Grigio. (This is my go-to pinot, and no longer available at the Dundas/Ossington LCBO, so you can imagine how happy this trade made me, when it was brought direct to my door.)
A plain black wool dress that had been collecting dust my closet for years… A token and a tall can.
A sequin dress from a Fake Prom I attended 9 years ago, that err, no longer fits… Finally gone, for two tokens.
My transit costs were covered for the week and we enjoyed the bottle of wine over dinner at home.
Some items had no takers, including a TV/VCR combo (from my undergradute days in residence) that I expect will end up in electronics recycling in a week or two. Other clothing and household items I donated to the Diabetes Clothesline, a free, home pick-up service, with the profits going back to the chairty.
Up next: I want to try the VarageSale app to sell some leather vintage goods, and see if I could collect some cash, before I retry Bunz (and restock my bar).
Wish me luck.
Which online marketplaces or services do you like best?