Sonoma Hitch and Barter, what have you got to trade?
Got some extra electronics but need some yard work done? Or maybe you're looking for another person headed to SFO for a carpool?
Sonoma Hitch and Barter, a new page on Facebook, seeks to connect those who have something with those who need something. Think a digitized version of a flea market, but with rides and services as well - completely based in Sonoma.
"People always have stuff they don't need, lots of it. But then there's always more things people are looking for," said Angela Sharp-Sabatino, who with her partner, Corey Sharp-Sabatino, created the completely free-trade based Facebook page.
The pair said the idea stemmed out of necessity - the usual mother of invention. "Corey was sitting at her computer one day and she had an old Blackberry and an old Ipod. She said 'I don't need these, but I do need a new set of tires for my car,'" Angela Sharp-Sabatino said. "With this economy, people are short on cash, but not things."
The idea was further propelled by the Sharp-Sabatino family business: Clutterbug Professional Organizers.
The couple works across Sonoma County to help individuals and businesses get the old clutter out, leaving behind a clearly organized system for offices, closets, storage rooms or anything else in need of order. But all that clutter has to go somewhere - and as the old adage goes - one person's junk is another person's treasure.
"The sheer volume that Clutterbug comes out of these houses with is overwhelming. We had one client who had this TV he wanted us to take out. It was a perfectly working TV," Angela Sharp-Sabatino said. "So we took it home and traded it to our neighbor, who came over and removed our weeds."
The barter part was clear, but the couple added the hitch part after attending a concert at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma. They were surprised to find three other people from Sonoma at the show. "We all said, 'Why didn't we carpool?'" Angela Sharp-Sabatino said.
Since opening a month ago, the site is steadily growing with photographers offering portrait sessions for trade, the Epicurean Connection seeking business barters and carpools organizing to local events like the Butter and Eggs Festival. With the prom season approaching, more listings to trade manicures, hairdos and limo services are popping up. "It's completely open, anyone can post on it. And it's all local to Sonoma," Angela Sharp-Sabatino said.
Unlike Craigslist, which also has a trade and barter section, the Facebook page is exclusive to Sonoma and also allows users to clearly see who they are doing business with, decreasing the anxiety of working with complete strangers.
"The nice thing about Facebook is that you know who you're dealing with before you commit," Corey Sharp-Sabatino said.
Search "Sonoma Hitch and Barter" on Facebook to find the page or just click here.