One night I had a dream that I walked into a store and saw rows and rows of merchandise. The beautiful part of the dream was that everything was free. Only it wasn’t a dream. It was the Really Really Free Market right here in Bloomington, Illinois.
So what is the Really Really Free Market? It’s a movement. It’s a market. It’s a way of life. It’s a spontaneous gathering of goods, skills, talents and ideas offered to anyone at a price that can’t be beat – free. At a Really Really Free Market members of the community support a gift based economy by bringing goods or offer services and offering them to others at the low, low price of free. The central theme is to build a community where resources are shared.
The concept of the Really Really Free Market isn’t unique to McLean County. You can find similar offerings in cities throughout the country. All are dedicated to supporting a sustainable and cost-less economy. If you’re not from Bloomington-Normal just search Google, Bing or Facebook using the term “Really Really Free Market” and the name of your town, city or county.
So what can you acquire at the Really Really Free Market? The answer is, almost anything. You might find books, clothing, housewares or furniture. You might find someone offering free bicycle repair. Because the event has no official organizer, the community decides what goods will be brought to the table. The only rule for the Bloomington based market is “no used undergarments please!”
The Really Really Free Market in Bloomington-Normal takes place the first and third Sunday of every month from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. The standard location is at the back of the Market St. Food Market located at 1002 W. Market St. Bloomington (west of Main Street). Check out the RRFM Facebook for more details and information.
The event is open to anyone in the community. It doesn’t matter who you are. You don’t have to bring goods to share. It’s OK to just come and shop. If you do have items to share bring them along. You may have something that someone else can use.
There are no rules at a Really Really Free Market. But there is some etiquette to consider. First, only take what you need. If there are 10 pencils on a table and you can use 2, don’t take all ten. Leave some for others. Second, only take for your need. It’s bad form to take items so you can stock them in your e-bay store, especially when there may be others who have a need for the items. Third, understand that there are no warranties, guarantees or returns. What you see is what you get. Finally, be courteous and polite. Remember, the event is intended to encourage a spirit of charity and giving.
So if you are looking for a real bargain that can’t be beat, stop in at the Really Really Free Market. You may be surprised at what you find.
Since no one owns or controls the Really Really Free Market, it’s hard for me to say that I don’t know anyone who’s affiliated with it. Technically, it belongs to the community so I guess I must know someone involved. While I haven not taken home any free goods from RRFM at this point, I can’t promise that I won’t. But since the free offer is open to everyone who attends, I’m pretty sure I’m not getting any special treatment.