Zwaggle is a community of parents who gather online to share their children's gently-used toys, clothing, books, gear, and more with other families. Instead of using cash to buy or sell items, members post items to Zwaggle and use points, called Zoints, to release and/or accept items. By participating, parents de-clutter their homes of unwanted things that are still useful, and in so doing save money, conserve material/natural resources, and continue the life cycle of products instead of relegating them to a
Benefits and Outcomes
The impetus behind Zwaggle was to get parents all over the nation working together to proactively manage--and effectively celebrate--the "stuff" of parenthood. Although Zwaggling is a practice based on technology, its roots are steeped in more "organic," person-to-person and family-to-family community building.
A novel new adaptation of similar concepts, including
clothing swaps, swap groups, swap meets, flea markets, consignment shops, and cooperatives, the main difference between Zwaggle and some of these other methods is that while clothes and gear swaps are usually focused on the things being swapped, Zwaggling is focused on the family behind the things. The act of trading helps parents make the most out their things while aligning their interests with other parents in a way that's fulfilling, useful, and fun. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1738629,00.html Paul, Pamela, "Time", "Growing Up Green", May 8, 2008] ]
Some of the prime motivations parents have for using Zwaggle are:
*Acquiring "new" things without spending money, a principle otherwise known as collaboration, not cash.
*Practicing the "three Rs" of reducing, reusing, recycling in the interests of preserving the environment and reducing a family's impact on the earth.
*De-cluttering the home, as described and evangelized by
FlyLady, Oprah, and many others.
*Demonstrating values and lifestyles based on conservation and sharing.
*Participating in a location-independent community of like-minded families, even if one lives in an area in which opportunities for sharing goods and gear are limited, seasonal, or absent. [ [http://coloradostartups.com/2007/10/21/zwaggle-helps-you-trade-your-used-kiddy-gear/ Cohen, David. "Zwaggle helps you trade your used kiddy gear", Colorado Startups, October 21, 2007] ]
Zwaggle was founded in 2007 by [http://www.linkedin.com/pub/0/61a/941 Adam Levy] of
Denver, Coloradoand Andrew Hoagof San Francisco, California. [ [http://denver.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2008/02/11/smallb1.html Avery, Greg. "Bartering website is more than just kids' stuff", "Denver Business Journal", February 8, 2008.] ]
Using a points system (called "Zoints"), one can acquire things posted by other Zwaggle members who have assigned a certain number of Zoints to that item.
There are three ways to earn Zoints on Zwaggle:1.) Join Zwaggle2.) Post items and then share those items with another Zwaggle member3.) Refer friends and earn Zoints when they join Zwaggle
Posting Items, Finding Items, and Connecting With Members
Items are posted, organized, and listed by the following categories (sub-categories may apply):
* Arts & Crafts
* Baby Bedding
* Baby Gear
* Baby Safety & Health
* Bathing & Grooming
* Car Safety Seats
* DVDs & Movies
* Everything Else
* Musical Instruments
* Nursery Decor
* Pregnancy Supplies
* Sporting Goods
* Toys & Hobbies
* Video Game Systems
* Video Games
Members can also find items from members who are geographically close to them, and can use a Wish List to locate items. Groups with members of their own can create their own closed or open trading circles.
By assuming items from other families, members reduce the number of new resources their family consumes, and by sharing items, they ensure that their no-longer-needed apparel and gear find new homes. Similar to
The Freecycle Network, this type of sharing prevents unwanted items from ending up in landfills, and serving another family that needs it.
A Virtual Sustainable Community
Zwaggle contributes to lifestyles involving social responsibility, and a minimimalized participation in a more consumer culture. Further, Zwaggle is a location-independent community built on sharing, conservation, and families making a difference in their lives and the world. [ [http://www.news.com/Going-green%2C-one-crib-at-a-time/2100-11398_3-6220131.html Olsen, Stephanie. "Going green, one crib at a time", C|Net News, November 27, 2007] ]
Benefiting Charitable Organizations
Zwaggle offers members the ability to connect with local and national charities. Members can choose when listing each item for trade whether or not to donate the Zoints from that trade to one of several charities, and may be eligible to receive a tax deduction for their donation. (Members should ask their tax preparer, specialist, or the IRS about donation write-offs and charitable entities.)
Those 501(c)3 organizations who receive donated Zoints can use them at will to receive goods and gear through Zwaggle in furtherance of serving their own communities, clients, and facilities.
hipping and Handling
Members decide how their traded items make their way to their recipients. Where traditional
swap groupsand trading circlesare usually bound to their geographical locale, those using Zwaggle can opt for one or more delivery methods, including:
*Drop off at a member's home
*Pick up from a member's home
*Ship via FedEx or USPS, recipient pays charges
*Ship via FedEx or USPS, shipper pays charges
[http://www.zwaggle.com Zwaggle Web site]
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