Give used items a second chance

Every unwanted item should have a chance to be used again.

The object was once created with energy, resources and labor. So we owe it to our planet to treat things with care and only recycle them as a last alternative.

All items that are collected by PeekUp employees go through a sorting process. This aims to identify all items that are still good enough to be processed as the pure material they are consisting of. In this way, a well-preserved box made of wood should be reused if possible and not immediately end up in the waste wood and thus in incineration – technical term "thermal recycling".

Many of the items can even be resold individually or grouped together. Significantly more items are given away, however, with an average of over three items per PeekUp to date. 

Pictured above is a selection of the items we were able to give away from the first 25 PeekUps. They were all given to individuals.

Donating things is actually not that easy

Many objects still have a value at first glance, but they have to find the right person to make use of it in a meaningful way. There are a number of hurdles that unfortunately often make giving them away a bit tedious:

For some things it is simply the wrong season. An item may even still be as good as new and in its original packaging. Nobody needs an old but still functional fan in the summer season. It is difficult to give it away during the winter.

If the items are given away via internet classified sites, the communication and the process until the item has actually left your home can be quite complex. Anyone who has tried it once knows: either nobody answers an ad at all or so many people that some have to be rejected. This quickly turns into stress.

For many small things, even the effort to put them on the Internet "for free" is too great.

A handful of well-preserved screws is hardly ever posted on it in the classified ads. Even more, the effort on the side of the person searching is already quite high compared to the alternative - buying new screws in a DIY store. 

PeekUp sells collected items as well

We are not hiding it: PeekUp also sells items from the collected PeekUps. Either individually or bundled with others. For example, books are collected, separated from damaged and obviously worthless books and sold by the box to specialised booksellers. The sorted out books go into the paper recycling loop.

Why doesn't PeekUp give away all items that are still good, but sells them? There are several – in our opinion – good reasons for this:

  • We would like PeekUp to remain an economically sustainable company. Economical and ecological sustainability go hand in hand. Without being dependent on subsidies and government grants, we want to offer fair and decent paid jobs and still offer our customers a service that is permanently cheap, environmentally friendly and comfortable at the same time.
  • When getting rid of items, a (small) price can be a good filter to get the item directly to a future owner. There are specialised traders who permanently monitor categories of the “for free” section of the classified ads and collect everything they think they can resell. This may lead another person, directly in need of that item, empty-handed as it is hard to beat the professional traders who often react in seconds on fresh classified ads. So, a small price can help as a filter against resellers. In this way we have already been able to sell a used baby buggy, a well-preserved electric toothbrush, an old poker case and many other items into apparently good hands.
  • If we process a group of materials in larger quantities – such as books or clothes –, sustainable use is very important to us. LEt us know if you know any organisation that has a proven track record of sustainable reuse of a particular group of materials. For instance, corks and acrylic glass are materials we are on the lookout for a matching partner. It does not matter whether it is a non-profit or commercial organisation. It is important to us that the materials are reused or recycled in the best possible way, i.e. that they are not subjected to so-called "thermal recycling", i.e. burnt.

We really hope that this overview gave you a better insight into PeekUp and the way we're doing things, why we're doing and how we want to contribute to a better future.

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