Note: This story part of a paid promotional partnership with Freeya.
Free piles, freecycling, recycling — they all go very well with bicycling. Not only do many people ride bikes because they want to have a lighter footprint on the earth and because they like how much money it saves them over driving; but when you’re on a bike it’s much easier to scope out free piles and pull over quickly to pick something up.
Add into this mix a boom in bikes that can easily carry extra cargo and you’ve got a free-cycling revolution.
All this is partly why I was happy to hear about a new app called Freeya that helps people donate and discover free items. You’ve seen their banners on our site already and this story is part of that same advertising partnership. The folks who created Freeya happen to be Portlanders who love to bike, but the app isn’t just for bike lovers.
Here’s how they describe it:
“Freeya helps people donate or discover free items through 1:1 connections that require no contact. Freeya is like an infinite free pile in the palm of your hands. A place you can say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Our mission is to free up your time, space and wallet.”
The idea behind Freeya is to make finding and getting rid of free stuff easier than it is today and keep stuff out of landfills. Co-founder Bryan Kappa also created ChipDrop, a service that connects arborists and gardeners to set up the free exchange of wood chip mulch.
To launch the app, Bryan and Andrea Kappa (his partner and co-founder) are partnering with local businesses to stock the app with free stuff, like bike lights from Metropolis Cycles. To redeem the free goods, app users simply claim the item in the Freeya app as they would with any other posted item. For example, on free bike light day, just find one of the lights in the app, claim it and scoop it up at Metropolis (2249 N Williams Ave). Freeya will share who their partners-of-the-day are on their Instagram. The items will also show up in the feed alongside everything else in the app.
The Freeya folks will also lead a Pedalpalooza ride on August 27th where folks will round up items with the app and donate them to a nonprofit.
And if you use the app in the month of September, you’ll be entered to win some big-ticket items, including a custom built (by Metropolis Cycles) Surly Ogre or a Rad Power Plus e-bike.
Visit Freeya.com to learn more and be among the first to download the app when it launches August 15th.
And thanks for supporting a business that supports BikePortland!
Apart from the app-ness of it, it’d be nice to know what distinguishes this from other longstanding options like Freecycle, the Craigslist free section, the free section on Facebook marketplace, etc.
Also curious to know more about their business model; if they’re “partnering” with businesses then I assume they have some profit motive. Is it just ad-selling, or is there more? Does the app require location to be turned on in order to claim and/or pick up the items, and if so is it selling that data?
I get that this is a promotional post, but even so wish there was a little more depth here.
Those are good questions Ivan! I’ll make sure the Freeya folks see it.
Great questions, and thanks for your interest! Freeya will be different from the services you mentioned in many ways, primarily in that the app will handle much of the logistics and overhead of the exchange. Craigslist, Buy Nothing, Facebook Marketplace are all platforms that connect parties together, and expect them to sort out the rest. The best corollary to Freeya would be how Postmates or Door Dash facilitate food delivery.
Our partnerships are a way to promote the new service to the new local communities where we are launching. Since we’re born and bred in Portland, we’re stoked to be starting here first. We pay local businesses as a way to support them, and also for them to support us.
We will not sell personally identifiable information. Ever. It’s not our jam. We don’t do that with ChipDrop. We may sell aggregated data at some point down the road, but again, PII will be stripped out if and when we do decide to do that.
The app may require your location for some functions in the app, but currently it does not.
Hope you’ll check out our app once it’s live in the app store and give us your feedback!
When I read about FreeYa, I was (and am) very excited. As a deep Craigslister / OfferUp-LetGo-er apps user for home and business I hope Byan’s team take what works well with both apps and avoids the bad. OfferUp is really bad about having very stale (already sold/ gone) items listed for sale – so bad that I aways assume its gone unless its a fresh ad – and Craigslist is almost impossible to know how much exposure your ad has…or the flaky folks who never pick up or those who post dozens of ads for the same thing using every work in the bible…
ChipDrop has been a mixed bag of chips, as a long time user…some of this is due to the randomness of the product availability (long waits – months) and how chip delivery cancelations are communicated. And then there is some confusion with the donation payment system (at least from the arborist who I spoke to after they cancelled on me after sending me a “delivered’ message + the invoice I got). All and all ChipDrop has helped convert our backyard into a green fertile space from the gravel parking lot it once was when it was a rental house with four cars. Its also amazing how many conversations with district neighbors we have had based on folks asking is we had some chips to spare.
Been excited – like Christmas week – to see Freeya launch on Apple store or Freeya website. Its now 16 August and no update. Best just push it back to 7 September…let your team enjoy summer and roll out a rock solid great App … the first time.
This feels very transactional. As a die hard buy nothinger, im in the belief that creating a mindful community will do more to change habits and set a new standard. This indeed feels like a big virtual free pile.