Mums and dads, this Chinese New Year, how about doing your spring cleaning a little differently? Instead of dumping all your unwanted stuff at the void deck, why not give it away to someone in need?
A cool new app called “Freegood” lets you donate used items in Singapore for free.
Throwing something away is far easier than trying to give it away to someone in need. Freegood was created with the simple desire to make it easy for people/organisations to give away or request for goods for free with the huge benefit of helping others and the environment at the same time.
And guess what, Singaporeans have taken really well to this concept of ‘doing good for free’. 🙂
We ask founders (and brothers) Sidharth Bhasin and Yuvi Bhasin more about Freegood and how it actually works.
How to donate used items in Singapore using Freegood
How did Freegood come about? What motivated or inspired you to start this initiative?
Yuvi Bhasin says, “I recall struggling with ways to meaningfully give things away things when my daughters outgrew their clothes / toys / books, or when we moved house.”
“We tried various forums on Facebook and donation centres but those experiences were not very pleasant. Our experiences were not unique, in talking with others as well, it was very evident that that they were also looking for ways to easily give away or request for goods.”
“On the other hand, we also came across many community organisations looking for goods such as books, bed frames etc that were being thrown away. Creating an efficient, easy to use platform that would allow people to share is a gap that Freegood is closing.”
“Doing good for the environment and helping other people at the same time should be easier than it has been. Freegood helps achieve that.”
Co-founder Sidharth Bhasin adds, “It’s a known fact that the world has a waste problem that has been fuelled by commercialism.”
“People constantly buy things, sell things and throw things. We have countless apps out there that have made it super easy for people sell things with an emphasis on ‘me’ and making money, however there is nothing out there that makes it easy for people to help others by giving away unwanted items – and saving the environment.”
“So, we created Freegood and our mission is to ‘Inspire good in people through giving’ and that is exactly what our mobile app aims to do.”
Could you explain very simply how the donation and collection process in Freegood works?
“Using Freegood is simple and intuitive. Users list items they need or items they want to give away and mutually agree on a time and place to exchange.
Rate and review the transaction to ensure we are building a transparent and trusting community.
Step 1: List what you need or would like to give away
Use the phone camera to take picture, fill in defined fields like description, pick-up or delivery, and use the phone GPS to select your address
Step 2: Browse, chat and request for items
Browse what is listed on Freegood. If you see something you need, use the private chat to clarify or agree on pick-up details. Use the app functionality to formally request for the item.
Step 3: Rate and review your transaction
To build a trusting community, rate and review your transaction. As an option send a private thank you note to the person who gave you the item.”
Are there any donation rules, with respect to what can and what cannot be donated?
“First and foremost, Freegood is free to use and everything listed on it must be free with no strings attached so buying, selling, trading and bartering are not permitted.
Since there are no financial transactions involved between users, we find that there is greater honesty in describing listings which in turn encourages greater trust and respectful giving / receiving.
Naturally listing illegal items or using the app in a manner that is against our Terms of Service, and policies on the app and website is not permitted.”
How has the response been so far? Whats the best thing you have heard about the service?
“Freegood was launched on the Apple App Store in mid-December and the response has been extremely positive. Earthfest Singapore shared the news on its Facebook page and soon after we had our first users.
The user numbers continue to grow daily and we are encouraged by the loyalty we are developing. We are also proud that many of our users genuinely care about helping others and about saving the environment.
The Freegood community includes individuals giving away items such as toys, furniture, books and more so that it can be re-used. We also have users looking for things such as books for children in Cambodia and cut-off cotton fabric to make sanitary products for Kenya.
The unique mix of individuals and NGOs on the app makess sure that what people are giving away gets used by others in Singapore or beyond.
We also have seen several encouraging user comments such as “I love this app. I got exactly what I needed at no cost to me or the planet. Great work!”; “I made three requests for books and received good responses from other users each time.”
Is this service currently available only in Singapore? What are your future plans?
“We are a small social enterprise with big ambitions.
Right now, we are looking forward to launching the Android app in February 2018. We have many people asking for this and we want to get it out as soon as possible so that more people can give away and get goods for free.
We also want to ensure that as we grow, we build a community where there is trust and responsible giving and people are grateful when they receive things. The app currently has functions for this like reviews and thank you notes that users can write.
More broadly, our mission is to ‘Inspire good in people through giving”. While we have launched this in Singapore, our goal is to have the app used globally.
We are also actively building partnerships with organisations where users will be able to convert their giving to things they need! There are more exciting plans in store which include corporate tie-ups and more.”