Have you heard of Ecofreek, the new search engine that scans sites like Craigslist, Kijiji and Classified Ads for free and swap/trade items people no longer need? We hadn’t either, and maybe there’s a good reason for that. The site promises “the most diverse and accurate results anywhere in the world,” and after running a few test searches, we can confirm that the results are diverse indeed.
I typed in “bedside lamp” (because I need one). Two lamps were listed, then a TV, then a boat, then a 5 foot red tail boa. I typed “celeb status” and got a nursing program in Flint, Michigan. We have different dreams, Ecofreek. “Free Puppy” showed me that there are lots of found hounds in middle America. Narrowing my search to things I really need, I tried “desk—Brooklyn” and got two desks in Rochester and a roommate needed in Brooklyn. “Microphone—Brooklyn” got me a microphone in Connecticut and a puppy in New Haven. The site also searches for swaps, which seems really Brokelyn-y. I searched “resume skills” and got lots of swaps. Skills for Laptop. Skills for Vehicle. Will Trade Roofing Skills for a Boat. And, for some reason “Down’s Syndrome Books.”
OK, so maybe there are a few kinks to work out, but Ecofreek‘s heart is in the right place and we’re going to check back soon. In the mean time, we can’t resist a little plug for Brooklyn Free Cycle, an all-free, and, obviously, all-Brooklyn listserv that is as entertaining as it is helpful. Once you sign up, you get emails (multiple, daily, my one stipulation) with WANTED or OFFERED postings. Last spring I posted that I wanted a tennis racket, and I got three responses in an hour with people who had a tennis racket to just give me. Today there are offers for a scrap-filled sewing basket, $25 in coupons from Lands End and various baby clothes. Someone wants men’s cologne, any kind, and someone else is asking for a microphone and a desk (okay, that’s me). Also, all posts are moderated by the Free Cycle people, so you won’t find swinger invitations or other crazy stuff. But they don’t monitor the person who comes to pick up your half-used bottle of Drakkar (cue scary music).