Case Study: “Giving and Receiving on Freecycle.org”
Freecycle.org or as nicknamed by users, “Freebay” is a great way for individuals to give away items that they no longer want. It is very apparent that this website has achieved such high levels of success and growth in such a short period of time, due to the fact that they are different from all other sites. Everyone has become accustomed to a world where nothing is free. Human beings are used to to having to pay for anything they receive. Most people are even leery of the fact of receiving something for free. The common question behind something being given away for free is “what’s the catch?” The same is true for websites. As consumers, we are programmed to believe that when signing up for a website, that there must be some fee involved. Even if there is no membership fee, consumers use the various websites to make purchases. Freecycle.org is successful because it breaks the mold of what consumers are used to. It is very similar to an online Goodwill. Many people tend to take time at various times throughout the year to clean out closets, garages, etc. to get rid of items that are no longer useful to them. But in this case, people really have no idea who is actually receiving the items they are giving away. Freecyle.org actually provides the warm feeling of providing someone with something they actually want or need. Upon reviewing the website, the homepage shows their slogan, “changing the world one gift at a time”. The fact of thinking of something as a gift automatically draws people in. From there, the website asks for your location, to find a group near you, which in turn takes users to a site that shows all the items that are either wanted or being offered. The locations vary across the country, providing an opportunity for just about everyone to be able to give and receive. Items include old cell phones, Christmas trees, clothes and books, to name a few. These are common household...
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