When it comes to the sharing economy, things are often very transactional. However, Gifteng, wants to make social sharing more about generosity and giving away high quality items.
The site was born out of a bout of Spring cleaning, when Co-Founder Agota Correa discovered, as so many of us do, that she had lots of unused items in her closet. She did an internet search for a place to give away this surplus but couldn’t find what she was looking for. She connected with a developer friend and together they launched Gifteng.com August 2013 as a beta test in New York City.
“The earth is running out of resources and people are looking for ways to save money,” Correa says.
What makes Gifteng different from other social sharing sites is the “Generosity Score” model. When an item is listed, the “Giftinger” must specify the gift value and they earn points based on the value of the gift given away. The higher the value of the gift, the more points the gifter receives. The most expensive gift so far was a $200 Michael Kors bag. However, Correa says that some of the most common gifts include shoes, books, clothing and accessories. People have even started listing furniture and electronics.
The site includes a Top Giftinger page, which serves as a leader-board of sorts. According to Correa, the idea is to inspire people to be as generous as possible. “The most generous people are higher on the list,” she says. When the sponsorship model is implemented, Giftingers will be able to use their Generosity Points to request gifts from sponsors.
So far 1600 gifters in New York have given away more than 500 items and there are more than 2500 more people waiting for the nationwide launch, scheduled for February 12, 2014.
Correa sees the national launch as a boon for the sharing economy. “We’ve already had one user post 87 gifts and received 50 in return,” she says. “Because of the way people are already using the website, we feel like this launch will bring more benefits for everyone who signs up.”