FAQs

We hear you!

Will it be available on the web?

The initial Beta Launch in May will be a downloadable mobile app. However when we launch globally, it will be available on all devices, mobile phones, desktop, and tablet.

How can I become an early beta user?

So glad you asked! You can sign up to be a beta user and/or sign up to be notified of our global launch. Choose your adventure!

What's going to happen to the Facebook groups?

Nothing. It's up to group members to decide whether they prefer to stay on Facebook, and up to the admins to decide whether they will continue to admin their groups. 

As founders of The Buy Nothing Project, we believe all giving is good giving. We also believe the BuyNothing App we’re beta launching in May, and globally soon after, will collectively allow us to do amazing things, unencumbered by the commoditization and monetization of our usage on Facebook's platform. 

We will be able to make the experience possible for everyone, including younger generations and those who are not on Facebook. The new platform will give us the freedom to create experiences built explicitly for our sharing communities. It will enable us find new, innovative solutions to critical issues such as: community-building, sustainability, circular economics and reuse, accessibility, equity and income disparity. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US!

Are you a for-profit company? Will there be revenue generated?

We have formed a Public Benefit Corporation, called ShareThing, for building the BuyNothing App. It is essentially the best of both worlds, and allows us the flexibility and legal protection to pursue demonstrable public good. You can read more about B-Corps, aka Public Benefit Corporations, at https://benefitcorp.net/

Regarding revenue, our hope is that we can build a platform that is sustainable, on which we can grow, and that aligns with the Buy Nothing ethos and principles. We are exploring lots of ideas for how to do this and we are open to yours! Money is a fact of life and at some point, we will need funds to continue to support and evolve the platform to support our communities. Right now we are not focused on that. We have no plans to introduce ads, and will never sell your data! Privacy is one of our core values. 

What about Admins?

There will absolutely continue to be a role for Admins! As founders, as admins ourselves, as members - we are all so very grateful to the work admins do every day! 


Our goal is to have the app handle the not-so-fun clerical aspects (e.g., identity and location verification, assist with onboarding of new members, etc.) and instead build tools and features that enable admins to do the things they love doing to help keep their communities healthy, active, positive, welcoming, and safe. We see this role as being less of an administrator and more of a guide, host and mentor. No matter the title and exact responsibilities, we can promise that the Buy Nothing movement will always benefit from people who are skilled at building community and connections, welcoming people, modeling and explaining best practices, and inspiring others to give, ask, and share gratitude. This is a skillset that current Buy Nothing Project admins have and give to their Buy Nothing groups as a profoundly impactful gift. And we want them to be rewarded for their work! Our training for such community leaders will continue and be free for anyone who would like to take a lead role in spreading the good that can come from an abundance mindset.

Will there be group boundaries?

Yes and no. Let's face it, creating physical community boundaries is difficult. Dividing up communities, or Sprouting, is even more difficult, and can even be destructive. There's a better way.


We have listened and learned from members and admins over the last 8 years on this very topic. 'Community' can mean very different things to different people. Some want to share only with others that are very close, while others want to cast their sharing net farther out. The app is being designed with a more organic, dynamic approach that allows us all to continue sharing with the same folks we share with today, but also allow individuals to adjust how close or far their sharing net is cast, based on each individual's own sharing needs. 

So... how exactly will this work? And is this set in stone? Of course not! As we have done in the past, we will continue to listen, learn, experiment, and improve, collectively! 

How will the app ensure safety and privacy?

These are two core values and topics we take extremely seriously. We are working on our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service now. We will strictly enforce them.

For the beta launch:

  • We are launching to a select number of hand picked communities where the local admins are active and will be monitoring activity, as will we.

  • Users must sign up with Facebook, Google, or Apple logins. 

  • We (BuyNothing) are expecting most of the beta users to have come from the FB group.

  • Users must enable GPS to match their location to the community they are signing up to.

  • Users must agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. 

  • Any violation of either will result in swift action.

  • Users will be able to 'Report' any activity, and that activity will be reviewed immediately by our support staff to determine course of action.

  • We (BuyNothing) will always err on the side of caution and safety.

  • We (BuyNothing) will not share any of your personal data, contact information, or location information. Ever. 

Will the app have all the features I use currently?

You will be able to perform all of the core features: view posts, create a post, comment on a post, direct (private) message other users to arrange pickup, report activity, update your profile, turn notifications on/off, logout, etc.


You will also be able to do some things you cannot currently do! We are so excited to enable your 'My Posts' section where you can find all of the items you've posted, as well as an 'Inbox' with a history of private messages related to a particular post. There's more, but we don't want to give it away!

And we have SO many new features to introduce (very) shortly after the beta launch. <containing excitement emoji>

 

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We're here for you, and we're wearing our thinking caps.

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