June 10, 2013
When I was an undergrad, I used the Facebook Marketplace to give away a few of my things at the end of every year. You know, stuff I had a difficult time selling, no longer had room for, but that still had some value – an older model of a class clicker used in an accounting course, random room posters, and even an extra shirt from that one Pi Phi event where everyone got crabs (to eat). It was a really convenient way to get rid of your things, since it reached out to your immediate network. Everything else inevitably ended up wasting away in storage somewhere or was donated to Goodwill. Well, now, there’s an app to help you out: Nifty.
“Our goal at Nifty is to help people reduce waste by extending the life of useful items. By creating a marketplace for simple, low-friction interactions focused on non-monetary activity, people can do this and more easily clear out clutter as well as find things they can use,” says cofounder Daniel Wang.
Nifty is an iPhone app that allows you to give and trade items you no longer want, need, or have space for, with people you already know. Nobody uses the Facebook Marketplace (because it’s confusing) anymore, and Craigslist forces you to have to deal with strangers (which is both risky and awkward). Nifty simplifies the task of giving away your things by making these transactions mobile and social. Simply take a picture of an item with your iPhone, add a description, and share your post with your Facebook friends directly from the Nifty app. Once an item is posted, your connections can simply hit the “Call Dibs” button on the app if they want to claim it. Additionally, you can choose to share these posts with people in Channels that you have joined. Channels are essentially groups that have common interests (such as parent groups, company sustainability programs, environmental clubs, military support networks, etc.).
“Our focus is on the social good and utility we provide our users. Nifty is a beautiful app and we strive to simplify everything. We create the tools people need to live life how they want and strive to live: socially and environmentally conscious,” says Wang.
More notably, Nifty gives people the opportunity to interact with charities. Through the app’s Channels feature, users can choose to connect with charities or NGOs (e.g., USD E-Waste Collection) currently partnered with Nifty. This connection allows a user to designate item donations to a charity, and allows the charity to “Call Dibs” on any items posted by the user – all from the convenience of a mobile app. Charities benefit from this direct and immediate medium of communication, allowing them to easily advertise their needs. Additionally, Nifty is developing a feature that will allow users to sell “benefit” items through the app, with charities as beneficiaries.
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