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Listia is like EBay, except everything is free (almost)

August 5, 2009 |  9:36 am

A new auction site, Listia, allows you to bid on items using no-cost credits instead of money.

You get 500 credits just for signing up, and you can use them to bid on a variety of items including used books and televisions. You can also sell your own stuff on the site -- the number of credits you get from the high bidder can be tucked away for your own bidding.

And so on and so forth in this kind of utopian version of EBay.

Except there is one situation for which you might have to spend money. Let's say you really, really want the pair of snowboard boots listed on the site, but the bidding has gone beyond the amount of credits you've accumulated. In that case, Listia will be happy to sell you credits at the rate of $1 per 10 credits. 

There are no fees to buy or sell on the site, however. The buyer and seller have to work out shipping or delivery between themselves.

It's no surprise that most of the stuff up for bidding on the site, which does not sport any advertising as yet, seems to be items that people want to clear out of the house. And that's the idea, according to the site's FAQ, which states it's for "stuff you just don't need, but have a hard time throwing away."

Some people are perhaps taking that too literally. One of the items currently up for bidding is an "Old Sock," which is indeed described as "an old white sock."

No need to rush over to try and get it. So far, no one has placed a bid.  

To encourage bidding of a more serious nature, the site occasionally throws in new "rewards" items. Currently, it has listed a Flip video recorder and a Samsung 32-inch LCD TV. 

-- David Colker
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