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The New Era of Secondhand Shopping

Since developing the site, Krimmel says she has saved $4,000 by not having to buy things and has saved other users comparable amounts of money by lending out her own items.

According to Krimmel, most users on Neighborgoods tend to lend out household items such as power drills and ladders, as well as sporting goods such as bicycles and backpacks like her own. But every once in a while, something unusual hits the market.

"One of my favorites is that someone in my neighborhood put up his egg-laying chicken on the site, for people who might want to try having a chicken that makes eggs but aren't ready to commit to buying one themselves," she said.

As for Felice, he has saved a few hundred dollars getting items such as the mouse for free and borrowing other products, including a new scanner and a boxed set of Wonder Woman DVDs. Perhaps more importantly, he has helped others by giving out some of the odd items in his house, including a bongo drum, a 100-foot extension cord and a large blue tarp he bought one year when he had a leak in his roof.

In the process, Felice has met people who live within a few blocks of him. He recently lent a wheelbarrow to a man who lives around the corner.

"My backdoor is like 100 yards from his front door, but we never had any real connection to each other before this," Felice said. "Now I drive by with the kids and point out our wheelbarrow."

The New Faces of Thrift Culture

Neighborgoods is far from the only site to take an innovative approach to consumer goods.

Last year, Share Some Sugar launched with a similar mission to enable people to borrow items from people in their neighborhood.

Another site called ThredUp launched last year as well, allowing families to fill up a box of clothes their kids have outgrown or no longer want and trade them to a different family for another box of clothes. In less than two years, this site claims to have saved families more than $700,000.

Then there's SnapGoods, which launched this year to help consumers rent out goods they own but no longer need. Users offer up ice cream makers for $5 a day and video projectors for $25. This way, users can make a few extra bucks or stop themselves from having to buy something expensive they may only use once or twice.
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