When you give away “old stuff” on Listia, you earn points, which can be redeemed for items that other users are giving away, as well as new goods offered through the company’s rewards store. Those rewards already covered a pretty broad spectrum (when the store launched last summer, the goods were anywhere from $20 to $16,000 in value), but adding iPads, TVs, video game consoles, and other products from Best Buy can’t hurt.
The mix will change from day-to-day, according to co-founder Gee Chuang. Today, for example, the first items listed in the store include a set of Beats by Dre headphones and an iPod Nano — both products fulfilled by Best Buy. The store takes advantage of Best Buy’s API, but Chuang told me via email that it’s “a close partnership,” so users can have their items shipped from Best Buy or even pick them up in-store.
“Currently, other companies that work with them at this level are credit card rewards companies like Citi and Chase… but our partnership is unique in that people can trade actual goods and get Best Buy items in return (and not just use credit card points etc.),” he said.
The company says more than 2 million users have traded 7 million goods on the site, and that mobile usage has grown 500 percent, year-over-year.
Listia, which launched in August 2009, is eBay for free stuff. Unlike giving away stuff on Craigslist, where you get deluged by emails and have to let everyone know who gets the item, Listia manages that for you. Users get a certain number of credits which they bid for the item, so whoever wins the auction is the person who wanted it the most. Users get credits in three ways: every user gets a certain number automatically, and you...