by Karen Swan
Does your pile of *stuff* you no longer need, use or want look something like this?
After a recent clean up and de-clutter, this is my pile of stuff that I was ready to take to my nearest charity bin or take down to the tip (since this picture was taken it has grown considerably!). But then I remembered that there’s a better way to connect with people and to give away my unwanted ‘stuff’ to people who DID want it!
A few months ago, I was interviewed about MamaBake on 666 ABC Canberra’s ‘Sunday Brunch’ program with Lish Fejer, (you can listen to the interview here), sitting nervously in my car in the radio station’s car park before my interview, I listened with great interest to James Bradfield Moody, founder and CEO of TuShare Australia. I loved what they were doing and soon after my own interview was done and I headed home, I gathered up all my stuff, took some photos, joined TuShare and within 24 hours, I had given away no less than four things! Some local, and some interstate! I was (and remain) hooked!
But first, the who,what,when,and hows of TuShare.
What is TuShare?
TuShare is an online marketplace where you can give away your unwanted household goods to people who need them. Think online shopping with a $0 price tag! All those things in the photo? That’s just a selection of my offerings and gives a good indication of some of the amazing things people are generously listing on TuShare in the Home & Garden, Books, Hobbie & Collectables, Kids, Womens and Mens categories, just to name a few.
How Does TuShare Work?
To Give Something:
Simply join, then click the “Give Something” button. Upload a picture, write a brief description and whether the item is pick up only or available for delivery and that’s it!
To ‘Buy’ Something:
Click the ‘Request This’ button under the item you want and you’re directed through the giving process.
What About Delivery?
Oh this is the BEST bit! TuShare work with Fastway Couriers for deliveries Australia wide and the process is all anonymous! At no stage do you have to give out any of your personal information (unless you’re arranging a pick up and even then, that’s arranged via private messaging and you can always arrange pick up from somewhere other than your home). After someone requests your item and chooses the delivery method (they pay a small fee for door to door delivery), you are given, wait for it, CODE NAMES!
Simply wrap up your item securely, address it using the code names given and leave it outside your door for the courier to collect at the arranged time. It turns a security and privacy issue into a game of “Let’s Pretend We’re Secret Agents’! The look on my courier’s face when he picked up my first TuShare parcel addressed, “To: Green Bull. From: Red Giraffe” was priceless!
Why Use TuShare?
A service like TuShare is very close to the heart of what MamaBake is all about; growing and nurturing the rising Sharing Economy and speaks to the shift in consumer values as modeled by the Collaborative Consumption movement (MamaBake is proudly listed as a Pioneer/Protagonist of this movement). Giving away your unwanted goods not only saves the people receiving them money, but it gives you a shot of ‘feel good’ chemicals that are proven to make you happier! Let’s not forget of course, the growing issue of waste and landfill in our country (around 4 trillion kilos of household waste is sent to landfill each year). TuShare lets you track just how much landfill you’ve saved by giving away your unwanted items instead of turfing them.
Plus there are so many amazing things being given away! My best friend received a RICKSHAW! A FREE RICKSHAW! Take a look at how cool this thing is!
My TuShare experience has so far been mainly giving things away (I am a compulsive shopper. It’s terrible. I’m working on it.), although just last night I found this rad little table from a person giving it away in my suburb! I think I’m going to paint it……..I can’t wait!
I’ve given my Tagine and frames to a lady in VIC, a bunch of clothes to two women in NSW, a citrus juicer and bike rack to a local friend and the oil heater to a local Dad who was helping his son furnish the flat he had just moved in to.
I’m about to list more clothes and loads of shoes (years of working in fashion retail mean I have a revolting amount of barely worn or as new stuff!) and help TuShare raise awareness of the 1 Million Women campaign.
In a nutshell, the concept is a little like MamaBake; if you over think it, it can seem complicated. The website is clear and easy to navigate, so if you just follow the prompts you should find the whole experience stress free and enjoyable.
My only negative, if you could even call it that, is finding the right packing materials, like a box the right size or bubble wrap etc, for packing some of my items to give away. But, knowing what I have in my ‘TuShare Pile” I’m now keeping any packaging that will be suitable for when the items get snapped up!
I’ve had lovely messages from the people who have received my items; it’s really true that giving to others makes you feel good! Given my addiction to online shopping, TuShare also provides a different kind of retail therapy, that I feel *much* better about. I write this post not as a sponsored or paid advertisment (it isn’t), but I have had such a wonderful experience using the site, and I feel so strongly about it’s merits that I wanted to share my enthusiasm with you. We’re kind of like best mates now, MamaBake & TuShare; do pop over and say ‘Hello’ to James, Anna and the team!
Want to get started? Join TuShare here