The inescapable result of a world full of consumers and products is the collection of stuff. In the words of George Carlin, “That’s the whole meaning of life: trying to find a place to put your stuff.” But what if there was an efficient way to share stuff you don’t need with friends who do?
Ordering new stuff is easy. With 1-click ordering on Amazon, you can buy things in seconds and have them delivered in a day or two. However, many of these items are actually sitting in the garages and under the beds of your friends, you just don’t know it. That’s where Yerdle comes in – connecting you to your friend with the book, tools or equipment that you need.
Yerdle has found that members can find 20% of what they’re searching to buy in their Facebook friend network for free, saving money and environmental resources. Items can be shared permanently or temporarily, by mail or in-person. You can let other users know if you want the item back after some time, and whether you’re willing to mail it to them. Shipping costs are paid for by the recipient.
Many people do this already on Craigslist, but Yerdle eliminates many of the pain points of Craigslist by making it more streamlined, like Amazon. Craigslist users are not vetted and are completely unknown, while Yerdle connects you via your Facebook network to people whose online profile you can see. In many cases, this risk is entirely eliminated by allowing users to ship goods to their friends and pay for shipping securely online. On Craigslist, users spend hours looking through listings and checking back for new posts. Instead, Yerdle allows sharers to post ‘have’ and ‘want’ listings, which are connected automatically if there’s a match.
Recently, Yerdle was a finalist in the Cleantech Goes Social contest sponsored by Facebook and the Cleantech Group. Yerdle’s success demonstrates people’s interest in the sharing economy,and how new platforms will help us go beyond Craigslist to share goods, save money, and reduce the amount of stuff we buy.
Peter DiPrinzio is an International Economics student at Middlebury College and former Fellow at Mosaic. He is a 2013 Venture for America fellow and has worked at Gates Capital Management, and the New York City Parks Department and on Middlebury’s house into the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition. Peter also DJ’s a weekly radio show and cooks for friends.