In the last few years, the concept of ‘freeshop’ has been more common among young people, especially those accessing social networks. Many groups of this type are established to connect people with the same wish to exchange goods, either directly in small get-togethers or indirectly through shipping services.
These groups normally gather regularly in such locations as coffee shops or parks in order to exchange their used items, and even to share their own experience on various matters like soft skills, life skills, tips for daily activities, vegetables and plant growing, sewing.
The most popular goods to be exchanged are clothes, furniture, cooking equipment, gardening tools, and children toys, with tens of accounts sharing them per day.
30-year-old Thanh Binh sited in District 8 of Ho Chi Minh City commented that after cleaning the house, he discovered the rarely used baby stroller, which was still in good condition. Not wanting it wasted, he posted the stroller onto his group in hope that someone would need it.
Similarly, 28-year-old Ho Tam from District 7 said that his participation in freeshop groups was because he did not want to throw away unused goods still in acceptable quality, fearing that they may harm the environment.
By joining these goods exchange groups, people make more friends with the same spirit.
Established since 2013, Freecycle Vietnam is a prominent group of this kind and has more than 40,000 members coming from many provinces of the nation. As stated by Mr. Pham Trung Kien, one of the founders of this group and who lives in Hanoi now, at first they did intend to open a real free shop at a fixed location. However, he discovered that since social networks were quite popular in Vietnam, using this channel would bring more advantages for all members. He added all exchange activities are non-profit, and members feel free to sharing their own goods.
To make it more convenient, this group also introduced certain policies to avoid the state of some people many gain too many while others do not have any chance to receive any. People who wish to exchange goods have a responsibility to upload appropriate information and a picture of the item, in hope that trashed ones would not appear in the group.
The most important value that these groups wish to obtain is the spirit to share and help others in need.