the VOA Special English Economics Report.
said you cannot get something for nothing has not searched the Internet
lately. An increasing number of Web
sites offer users a chance to give things away and get things for free. The goal is to keep useful things from being
thrown away. This helps people and
keeps waste out of the environment.
largest give-and-take Web site is Freecycle.org. Deron Beal started Freecycle as a non-profit organization in two
thousand three. The site says it has
more than five and a half million members in more than seventy-five
countries. Joining is free. And all the goods offered on the site are
free without any conditions.
group is supervised by a small number of moderators. They enforce the rules.
For example, members can only make a request for something once a
week. And everything on the site must
be for all ages.
to a moderator in the Washington, D.C. area.
She told us that there were about one hundred members in her local group
when she joined in two thousand three.
Now there are more than fourteen thousand members. In addition to
Freecycle, there are many similar Web sites such as reuseitnetwork.org and
Web sites let users exchange goods and services, or barter. In this ancient form of trade, no money
first, bartering took place as an exchange between two people. But modern bartering is more complex and is
commonly done between businesses. It
uses a third party -- a trade exchange company -- to help carry out the barter
deal. Trade exchanges permit users to
trade goods or services for credits.
Businesses can trade these credits for other goods or services. Trade exchange companies usually make money
from fees paid by members and by receiving a percentage of the value of barter
deals. Bartering helps companies save money, move unused products and connect
with new buyers.
trade groups serve the barter exchange industry. They are the National Association of Trade Exchanges and the
International Reciprocal Trade Association.
Both have separate systems of credits that make bartering easier. It is estimated that more than four hundred
fifty thousand businesses use bartering in some form.
that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.