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Photos by Saehee Yoon

I think it’s safe to say that as students living in Toronto, we all have at least three things in common: we’re broke, we’re starving, and we don’t have enough space in our apartments. For all of those problems, Bunz is here to help.

Our Music Editor, Chantel, introduced me to this incredible community last year, and I’ve been completely obsessed ever since. The concept is simple; everyone has stuff around the house that’s just taking up space. Bunz facilitates the concept of trading in a completely cash-free environment (when everyone follows the rules). It’s a modern day bartering system, except it’s more fun! I’ve heard of people having not-so-stellar experiences, as is expected from any kind of human interaction, but so far everyone I’ve met has been super friendly.

As a student, this is a heaven-sent premise, especially since trading consumables is not uncommon. Consumables can be anything from food to toiletries—basically anything that you’d need as a basic necessity. I’ve seen people trading beautiful and fresh veggies from their gardens.

It’s also a great way to express your crafty or artistic side and share it with the public. Just last week, I traded some crochet patterns that I was never going to use for a mason jar full of homemade pickles from someone that mostly trades handmade items. While there are more high-priced items on the market, the most commonly circulating currencies are subway tokens, bottles of wine and snacks, all of which can always be put to good use.

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We all have things that hold little to no value to us— things that we could throw out and not think twice about. Bunz has harvested a non-wasteful community that encourages us all to be more aware of where our unwanted items go, because as much of a cliché as this is, it’s true: one man’s junk really is another man’s treasure. Even the things that mean a lot to you but you just can’t keep can find a good home.

Bunz facilitates trading through its iPhone and Android apps, as well as its starting point, a Facebook group that is over 56,000 members strong.

Here are a few points on how to get started (because why wouldn’t you get in on this ASAP?):

1. Download the app or request to be added to the group (“Bunz Trading Zone”), make a profile or post and start taking pictures of all the items around your house that you have to trade.

2. Scroll through your news feed and look through all the wonderful things that people really don’t want anymore.

3. Contact them and set up a trade, whether it be about something from your profile or something specific that they’re searching for.

4. Make an ISO (In Search Of) list so everyone knows what to offer you to trade for one of your items.

5. Don’t be discouraged if someone flakes on you, it’s bound to happen at some point when everyone is on a busy schedule. Don’t take it personally and move on to the next trade.

6. Give some items time. You never know when someone will be looking for the exact thing you want to get rid of the most. Be sure to add a description and hashtags to increase the visibility on your items, and if you’re looking for something specific there’s over 90 subzone Facebook groups to join!

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Most importantly, remember that this is supposed to be a fun way to maybe save some money on something you would’ve bought anyways, so don’t take it too seriously.

Happy Bunzing!

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