Houston: Least-Generous City (When it Comes to Free Stuff on Craigslist)

Categories: Whatever

kids-sharing020911.jpg
These kids are obviously not from Houston
Houston is many things, but one thing it apparently isn't is one of those hippie, commune-type places where people dig the vibe of being generous with things they no longer want.

In short, we are not Portland or Seattle. Or Detroit, for that matter.

Author Dan Ariely, a Duke University professor of psychology and behavioral economics, has a post on his blog where he rates cities' generosity by a method he admits is not foolproof: Craigslist listings.

He compared the number of items being offered away for free to the number of furniture items on sale.

In Portland, for instance, for every 100 items of furniture being sold, 6.8 percent of that is being offered for free on the site. In the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston, it's 6.5 percent. In Seattle, it's an even six.

In Houston? Cringe away: 0.7 percent. It's the worst of the 23 cities surveyed, the only one to fall lower than one percent. Miami and Phoenix also scored low.

Ariely implies he's not sure if his method is a valid way of measuring "generosity," and commenters agree.

dailygazing said:

he reason people in Miami, Phoenix, and Houston don't use Craigslist to give items away is fear. It is safer to call one of the recognized charities to come and haul stuff away. In Portland, they trust everyone. They have all bonded over the amount of rain they get, their love of lattes, and locally sourced food. Mr. Ariely, your measure of generosity is silly but I may buy your book just for fun.
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4 comments
CathyMat
CathyMat

People in Houston just stick stuff on the curb. It's always gone within the hour...

He all Dat
He all Dat

I must disagree, I've been offering free slightly used Obama birth certificates (they come in rolls of thirty to forty sheets tear offs). As well as Home made Obama birthing dolls ( I try to make three or four a day) all are unique various colors and sizes just like the people Obama represents.So there, Charity is alive and well in Houston as is diversity ain't it great !!!!

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Exactly! Why go through the trouble of taking pictures, posting it online, arranging a meeting, etc. Recently got rid of my old POS dresser this way.

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