Long before she became the marketing director for UsedEverywhere.com, Lacey Sheardown was a borderline-obsessive user of the classifieds site.
“I was always on there — I was an avid user,” she says with a laugh. Her Victoria home is filled with furniture and other unique items she bought or found for free on UsedEverywhere. “So when I got this job, my friends were like, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’”
But what drew Sheardown to the site was more than the satisfaction of treasure hunting. Unlike other classifieds sites out there, this was a place where she could look for a new coffee table without stumbling across an ad for a casual NSA encounter at the local park.
“We’re actually family friendly,” she says. Across more than 80 cities and towns, the site has a real, live monitoring team, checking ads every hour of the day, ensuring quality content and dependable transactions. “Your kid can surf our site and you can be comfortable with it.”
UsedEverywhere.com is now owned by Black Press. It has as many unique visitors in Canada as Craig’s List and is the number one free classified site in Ottawa, Victoria and PEI. The site includes an informative blog and Facebook page.
As much as the site is about buying and selling, it’s also about connecting people, building community, on and off-line, with a flesh-and-blood UsedEverywhere community coordinator working locally.
Following the flooding in Alberta, the site encouraged Albertans to donate items for flood victims on its four sites in the province: UsedCalgary.com, UsedRedDeer.com, UsedCentralAlberta.com and UsedEdmonton.com.
In Vancouver, you might find the community coordinator at the farmer’s markets or most recently at the Vancouver Children’s Festival where UsedEverywhere was a major sponsor. They are also involved with projects such as a car and booster seat recycling program that took place last month (they recycled 83 expired seats) as well as a new initiative in the next month to work with local business, allowing them to advertise on the site and connect with buyers.
Their community coordinators even look for personal opportunities to help locally through the Angels program. Last year, for instance, they helped a Vancouver woman undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer by finding breast milk for her baby.
Sheardown says community involvement is a big component of the company’s DNA.
“It’s a social responsibility,” she says. “Our site is about reusing, reducing and recycling and so being a part of the community and helping in other ways is connected that.”
Even though the site has been embraced mostly by professional mothers like Sheardown, she says it appeals to other demographics as well.
“My husband is on his site, on his phone, hitting refresh every 10 minutes,” she says laughing. “We think he has a bit of a problem.”
So what’s the coolest thing she got on UsedEverywhere?
It’s a large stereo cabinet that was brought over from Europe after the Second World War.
“They had the clothes on their backs, 20 bucks and this giant, enormous stereo cabinet. And we got it for free!”
It’s the bonus of hearing a story or meeting new people that Sheardown appreciates about using the site.
“There’s always history with the item or you meet an interesting person,” she says. “Hearing those stories is great.”