The Auckland shop that doesn’t want you to buy anything

September 20, 2022

The Auckland shop that doesn’t want you to buy anything

Take anything you need - it really is all free. Organiser says donations have been flying off the shelves at the monthly Really Really Free Shop.

After organising a couple of free markets with friends last year, Bode Riis decided to start the Really Really Free Shop where donated, second-hand goods are all free of charge.

The shop takes place in different suburbs at the end of the month in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Now, in its fifth month, Riis says the appetite for free goods is increasing and for the first time, they have had to organise volunteers to help with the workload.

“It’s got a lot of great feedback. It’s growing. I just went in this morning to get another storage unit because the other one was overflowing with donations,” says Riis.

A range of items are available at the shop, including clothes, books, electronics and children’s toys. Donations from the public are welcome and any leftover stock is stored until next month.

Riis says they were inspired by the free store movement in the US and Europe. After a bit of research, they realised there wasn’t anything similar in Auckland.

“I don't see any downsides to the Really, Really Free Shop. It's great for your wallet, it's time saving, [and] you don't have to put every single separate item on like Marketplace or Trade me,” they say.

The shop helps people who are short on cash, or just want to de-clutter without sending stuff to the dump.

“We had a couple of university students come in and they got a fan and a toaster and a kettle or something. And they were just so grateful."

Riis says young families can take children’s toys and bring them later if they don’t have room for them.

“It's sort of loosening up those ideas of strict ownership as well,” they say.

The shop can’t accept food or perishable items and all goods must be in a usable condition. Riis directs unwanted items to other charitable organisations such as the Repair Café and local food banks.

Riis ran a GoFundMe campaign last year and raised $765 to hire community venues and a storage unit.

They say they are happy to give their time for free, but have a dream of expanding the shop to be open three or four days a week in a permanent location.

The next Really Really Free shop will be on Saturday, September 24, from 12pm to 3pm at Neuro Connection, 2 Claude Brookes Drive, Henderson. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for any updates.

"Your community's got your back and if there's something you really need, you know, the community will provide," they say.