Listia, a startup that allows users to exchange free goods, is expanding its model today by taking its new Rewards Store out of beta testing.
On the Listia site, people can give away things that they don’t want or need anymore. When you give something away, you earn points on the site, which you can then redeem for the goods that offered by other users. Until now, however, what those points actually got you depended on what other users were posting, and all the goods were used (unless, for some reason, you decided to give away something brand new).
With the Rewards Store, users can redeem their points for new goods in categories like DVDs and movies, electronics, and home and garden. Listia says it’s adding a premium rewards category today, with items like round trip airfare to anywhere in the U.S., gas money for a year, a luxury trip to Hawaii, and a Fiat 500. The rewards are supposed to run the gamut from $20 to $16,000 in value.
The company says that “by creating a Rewards Store, we hope to incentivize more people to unlock all the idle value sitting in their closets and homes.” That doesn’t necessarily mean the current model isn’t working — there have supposedly been 5 million items traded to date, and the gross merchandise value of items on the site has grown 400 percent in the last six months. But it doesn’t hurt to give users an even clearer reason to give things away.
Listia is backed by Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and others.