Ladies and gentlemen, the Chuck E. Cheese version of eBay!
Yerdle describes itself as a marketplace where everything is free. Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s more like going to Chuck E. Cheese and handing in five tickets to get a spider ring, but instead of playing sweet games like Skee Ball (which cost money to play!) to get tickets, you’re giving away your own stuff (which you bought at some point!). With Yerdle, you post up anything you want to get rid of, which people will bid on using the app’s credits. You’ll get so many credits once that auction closes, which you can then use to bid on other things on Yerdle. It’s actually exactly like eBay, but if you could only use the money you get from eBay sales to buy other things on eBay. You even have the choice between bidding or paying the ‘get it now’ price. The transactions are essentially the same – Yerdle just sees dollars and cents as unnecessary middlemen.
Yerdle kickstarts the whole operation by giving everyone 250 credits for signing up – so, truly, you can get free stuff on Yerdle. Whatever 250 credits will get you, anyway. You will have to pay a real price for shipping, but otherwise, the transactions all avoid the use of money. So, it’s basically a giant bazaar for bartering, except it’s a lot easier to navigate than a real bazaar.
The basic idea here is sort of along the lines of what other apps are doing with the sharing economy – instead of shelling out big bucks for new things, you can easily find other people’s things to rent or, in this case, buy. There’s also a pretty decent chance that, if you’re committed, you can pull off one of those trading up tricks, like when you start by giving up a paper clip and keep bartering until you get a BMW or something. I think there’s a show on TLC about this. Anyway, the Yerdle app is available now for free for iOS, and service has just recently gone nationwide.