American culture is full of wasteful thinking. We consume fast food in Styrofoam containers, we buy bottled water (seriously, that’s incredibly wasteful), and we throw out perfectly good clothes if they go out of style. Most of us have heard of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” concept, but how many of us care enough to participate? Thankfully, this movement is growing. What would you do if recycling your unwanted items became super easy? Would you actually do it? What would you do if that recycling system rewarded you for your efforts? I know it’s cliché to say an app can fix some of those problems, but I’ve found that to be true… at least in this case. Yerdle is a free iOS or Android app that created a way to easily reuse almost anything around the house – free. Granted, their app has its fair share of bumps and crashes, but the concept is worth the trouble.

Buy and Sell Stuff with Yerdle

ShippingYerdle’s mission is to “reduce the number of new things we all have to buy by 25%.” You do this by purchasing used items from Yerdle rather than buying them new. If it weighs less than 10 pounds, you can sell and ship it to anyone. If you have a larger item, such as a couch or bike, you’re limited to local pickup. Shipping is simple because everything ships with flat rate labels. Buyers pay for shipping and typically end up spending about $4 or $5 (of real money). I do have to issue a warning here: shipping is cheap, which is great; however, almost every item I’ve purchased has taken at least a week to arrive once it lands at a UPS location. The seller also has one week to ship the item. If they procrastinate, you could be waiting two weeks to get your item. It’s not exactly two-day free shipping with Amazon Prime.

reuse dollarsI know what you’re thinking. “I thought you said you could get stuff for free.” Well, yes and no. You do have to pay for shipping with your own cash, but you will never use actual money to pay for the items. Yerdle gives you $25 (or $35 if you’re referred by a friend) in “Yerdle Reuse Dollars” to get you started. You cannot buy more Reuse Dollars with real money. The only way to earn more is to sell your stuff. In actuality, you’re selling your items to buy other items. That basically makes this a virtual currency.

It’s easy to post items in the app. Just take a few pictures of the item you want to sell, then put some info in the form provided — title, description, category, price, etc. Depending on your item and the price you choose, it could sell in a matter of hours. I posted a set of hot curlers and received a notification ten minutes later that someone purchased them. On the other hand, I’ve been trying to get rid of some old bridesmaid dresses for a few weeks and haven’t had any nibbles yet. There’s probably a joke there, but I’ll let it slide for now.

Once your item sells, you’ll get a notification in the app and your email. Box up the item, print the label, and drop it off at UPS. You and the buyer can track the package until it arrives at its destination. If you do not get the item to UPS within 7 days, you lose the sale and get a ding on your profile (only seen by Yerdle). The buyer also gets a complimentary 5 Reuse Dollars for the trouble. The first Yerdle purchase I ever made was never sent to me, and I was so disappointed! Don’t be that person.

If you have a question about an item, you can contact the seller directly. I also suggest reaching out to sellers of multiple items to “bundle” them together. Let’s say one person has four items that I like. I don’t want to pay shipping four times, so I can contact that seller and ask them to sell me all the items together as one sale. It takes a little extra effort, but it’s worth it if you want to save the extra cash.

Try it out, and let us know what you think in the comments. You can also commit to taking the Unshopping Challenge — go 30 days without buying anything new from a store, except food and necessities. I’ve saved a boat load of cash by getting things from other people rather than running to the store. Start saving money, and happy yerdling!

Laura Carr
Laura is a work-at-home mom with a passion for children. She wants the best for her children -- which requires the best equipment -- so she came on board as our lifestyle and family editor with a focus on product reviews for new parents... you know, baby stuff. She's not as much "geek" as the rest of us, which makes her our voice of reason.