Local Acts, Global Impacts? Examining the Pro-Social, Non-Reciprocal Nature of Freecyclers

Recent research has shed light on the sharing behavior of members of Freecycle.org, a pro-social, online community that facilitates exchange of goods with the goal of generalized reciprocity and the more global intent of promoting environmental responsibility. What started out as a group of friends in Tucson, AZ who used an online discussion board to advocate for and facilitate the “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” principle, quickly blossomed into a community of over 5 million members in over 85 countries. This presentation investigates how Freecyclers’ participation in this activity serves to increase community cohesion and personal and social sustainability goals.


Zeynep Arsel and Susan Dobscha (2011) ,"Local Acts, Global Impacts? Examining the Pro-Social, Non-Reciprocal Nature of Freecyclers", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 7_8.


Zeynep Arsel, Concordia University, CA
Susan Dobscha, Bentley College, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Consumer Responses to Premium Framing: Better to Offer the Target Product as a Free Gift?

Maggie Wenjing Liu, Tsinghua University
Lu Yang, Tsinghua University
Yuhuang Zheng, Tsinghua University

Read More


H2. Influencing Consumer Response to Products with High Styling: The Role of Mindsets

Ying-Ching Lin, National Chengchi Uniersity, Taiwan
Angela Chang, Northeastern University, USA

Read More


More than just a number: The negative effect of 100% claims

Nira Munichor, Bar-Ilan University
Liat Levontin, Technion University, Israel

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.