TORONTO —; Whether it’s a suitcase, furniture, or clothing —; or bizarre items such as deer bones —; you can find them for free in a Canadian online store.
Free, that is, of a monetary cost. You will, however, have to trade something of your own for what you want.
“The first thing I traded was for a can of tomatoes, I wanted to make pasta,” said Emily Bitze, the founder of Bunz Trading Zone, an online invitation-only Facebook bartering group in Toronto that is popping up in cities across the country.
She says after moving to Toronto from Montreal, she was able to fully furnish her apartment at almost no cost, by trading unwanted items she brought with her.
Bunz started with a few friends, but now there are more than 20,000 members across the country, including Jamal Watson, a small business owner who operates two bars.
“It clearly is a one man’s trash, another man’s treasure thing,” said Watson.
He says when he rented space to establish his first venue, he traded a working espresso machine left behind for bottles of alcohol. He’s been trading ever since.
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Colin Hudzan is an avid trader, too.
“It’s more difficult to get cash for niche items,” he said.
“Someone might not be willing to pay cash for it but will part with something they don’t use.”
Hudzan’s Toronto apartment includes a substantial collection of items acquired through the Bunz Trading Zone, including incense, food and furniture.
“I had a pair of jeans that no longer fit but were still pretty nice and I traded them for five bars of handmade soap someone made himself,” Hudzan said.
Most traders are between 25 and 40, according to Bitze, who says shoppers will soon be able to sort for available items using a new Bunz Trading app.
She says consumers can register for the app now.
A scan of the Facebook group offerings reveals a wide range of available items: Christmas trees, shoes, bikes, gift cards, and furniture items.
It also includes strange items like a rusty nail and a set of deer bones.
The owner of the bones is asking for “several bags of frozen pineapples” in exchange.