first there was “buy nothing” now there is “gifting with gratitude”

I started a gifting group after complete and utter nastiness exploded within a local Buy Nothing group. Buy Nothing Malvern if you are curious.

The nutshell version is a couple of years ago there were women who were like power-hungry or social media glory hungry, I’m not exactly sure what the case was, but they offered to “help” an admin who has started this particular chapter of a Buy Nothing group I had belonged to and then they did a hostile takeover for lack of a better description. I kind of sat there and went “HUH” when it happened, and thought well isn’t that nasty?

I decided after what happened with our local Buy Nothing group that we could build our own group and carry on what the woman who originally founded the Malvern Buy Nothing Group intended.

Our group is called Gift and Gratitude. We are predominantly hyper-local, but depending how close to our home area a person is, we will consider people outside of our immediate ZIP Code. And that is not a flexibility that the named Buy Nothing Groups offer. We also got rid of silliness like leaving posts up forever. And we are more cognizant of people who try to work the system of gifting to get things they can sell for their own profit and there are things that we don’t allow that we don’t feel other gifting groups are clear enough on. It’s responsible gifting.

And right or wrong, we also keep an eye on people who always seem to have a hand out versus ever offering a hand up. We will work with local nonprofits and food banks, and things like that if asked if they are in short supply of something, we will put it out there in our group to help. We take the spirit of community seriously. We know we can’t help everyone, but we do what we can.

Over the past couple of years, I have heard tales from friends of mine in other areas about their local Buy Nothing named groups imploding. Then I heard about the original Buy Nothing founders launching an app with pay walls, etc. so I kind of think that for whatever reason, and I’m not judging them, these original founders, who inspired us sold out for lack of a better description.

OK that’s kind of a bummer, but people have to make a living, right? And the thing about Buy Nothing is it inspired us to try to be better, to help. I don’t know if any of you read this article from 2022, but it was a good thing to read when you’re talking about these groups:

Philadelphia Magazine: How My Local Buy Nothing Group Made the Suburbs Feel Like a Real Place
The gifting economy offers exactly the kind of low-stakes engagement I never knew I needed before COVID.

by JASON SHEEHAN· 7/16/2022, 8:53 p.m

Washington Post STYLE
Buy Nothing is everything
The best things in life — a bag of guinea pig poop, a sex tent, a screeching animatronic chimpanzee head — are free

By Maura Judkis
February 6, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. EST

Today Show: How the Buy Nothing Project taught me to rethink how I shop

The Verge: Buy Nothing exploded on Facebook — now it wants a platform of its own

Well, most people I’ve spoken to don’t like the app as in the Buy Nothing app. Mostly they don’t like it because they can’t connect to their local group via the app and the pay walls.

So what else has happened? Well, it’s getting like the Hatfields versus the McCoys and the Sharks versus the Jets. Now people are starting and / or rebranding their Buy Nothing group into Gifting With Gratitude. Now this has all started since I created our group with my friends, called Gift AND Gratitude. We are not them and they are not us.

Someone said to me recently that I should trademark my group’s name, etc. but I think that defeats the purpose of a gifting group in the first place. Just like I think the people who literally shop gifting groups, so they can resell items or take advantage of people deserve a special place in hell.

So I’m going to chalk up Gifting With Gratitude groups as simply not us. We are a one off, not playing follow the leader whomever that is.

I even found a post on an unfamiliar blog about Gifting With Gratitude.

Gifting groups are supposed to be a good thing, not a reason to be competitive with women you don’t like on social media on a hyper local level. Not that I’m not unfamiliar with that, because people have tried to do that with gardening groups who didn’t like my gardening group, also on Facebook.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I suppose. Mostly, it just amuses me. I didn’t start a gifting group to sit at the popular girls lunch table, after all. I started a gifting group because I thought it was the right thing to do. And that’s why you should start a gifting group, to pay it forward in your community as opposed to making it pay.

Thanks for stopping by.