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MARKETING 101: Freebay

April 2009
By: Jerry Thacker
You've heard of EBay; why not hold a FREEbay?

You want to let people know about your services. You've printed and handed out referral cards. You've let appropriate social services agencies know. You've even advertised with billboards and on Christian radio. Here's an idea you might want to implement that will bring in your potential clientele.

Hold a spring and fall FREEbay event. How does it work? Quite well! You simply ask your friendly church constituents to bring in clothing, toys, and shoes—almost any useable items—which you're going to give away. On a Saturday morning you invite the needy to come in and take whatever they want. You can even include literature about your ministry in the bags of clothing that go out the door.

At the end of the event, keep any baby clothes you need for your regular distributions and haul the rest to your local Goodwill reception center. Of course, if you really want to be efficient, sort the clothing when it comes in and throw away items you wouldn't want to give anyone! Either way, you're ministering "to the least of these." You will also have opportunities for presenting the Gospel.

Jerry Thacker is President of Right Ideas, Inc., and Publisher of At the Center. He can be reached at

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