Listia is a unique auction website that lets users get something for nothing. Rather than using real money, the site uses credits that users can earn then use to bid on items. The user can also post items they do not want while Listia adds a few brand new items or gift cards to entice more user participation. The site uses a proxy bid system but also includes a few other fun, unique bid systems. Some auctions require users to sign other users up, so each new member is essentially the user’s credits for that auction. Other auctions on Listia are tiered, which means that as the bid amount increase, the item is changed. Listia is intended as a fun way to get and give new things and possibly earn the occasional brand new item or gift card. Listia calls itself the “Ebay for free stuff.”
Listia was founded in June of 2009 by Gee Chuang and James Fong in Sunnyvale, California. The site has received Seed and Angel funding and is constantly growing and improving. Users can really enjoy the no money required approach of Listia. By allowing users to offer up the items they no longer want, Listia also helps prevent items from becoming household clutter or winding up in a landfill.
Listia is unique because it has removed the need for actual money in its auction system. Users can essentially barter using credits and old items they no longer want at home. Listia also participates by throwing in a few brand new items or gift cards to further entice users to earn credits and participate. Ne users are given credits as soon as they sign up and can earn more by referring friends.
The Listia website uses a brightly colored design that gives the site a lighthearted feel. This works really well given the fun, free nature of the site. Users can easily search for items and use location to narrow down their search. Full color images are provided for auctions, with highlighted items presented on the homepage.
A new user can become a Listia member by clicking on the aqua blue “Sign Up” link at the top right hand corner of the homepage (inside the yellow navigational tabs). Users can sign up through an existing Facebook account or go the traditional route and fill out the short Listia registration form. The form asks for very basic information, including username, email address and a password. After clicking the bright yellow “Sign Up” button at the bottom of the form, the user is advised to check their email for an activation link which must be clicked to complete registration.
Listia calls itself a free auction site, and it seems to live up to that claim. There are no fees for creating an account and no subscription payments required to maintain accounts. The actual actions involve credits earned through activity on the site, so users do not have to spend real money. User can offer up their old, unwanted items and companies are invited to provide new items for auction as a way of promoting their brand.
Thrifty shoppers looking for a fun way to buy online can really appreciate Listia. The site is not really designed for serious shopping, but instead a fun way to see what a user can get for free. Since there is no money involved, users can buy and sell as much as they like (as long as they earn the credits to do so).