An online retailer launched by a non-profit, Buy Young exclusively sources its extensive product offerings from companies founded by Americans under the age of 35. All of the site’s proceeds go to support (non-partisan) voter registration efforts by Our Time, the non-profit that operates the retail site. With merchandise ranging from fixed gear bicycles to dress shirts to jewelry, Buy Young offers a plethora of goods to get shoppers supporting young entrepreneurs and civic engagement (the center of Our Time’s overall mission) with a single purchase.
The site promotes word-of-mouth advertising with a standing, $5 credit offer for friend referrals. In keeping with contemporary daily deals culture, signing up one’s email address yields alerts on exclusive, varying discounts. Buy Young bills itself as a members site, but accessing the site’s products (which are all offered at some sort of discount right off the bat) merely consists of registering one’s email address. And when you do sign up your email, that $5 referral credit gets upped to $10.
Beyond mere online commerce, the site is a great means for learning about young entrepreneurs. All product descriptions link back to a short bio on the item’s creator. Those company profiles include the founder’s name, age, and number of employees, along with when and where the company was launched. The companies range from having single employees, like Rachel Pfeffer Designs (Pfeffer, 25, is her jewelry line’s own sole employee) to around a dozen, like the Arizona-based State Bicycle Co.
While Our Time promotes civic engagement, they’re equally avid about the economic empowerment of young Americans. And they’ve certainly stepped up to the plate by launching a site solely devoted to promoting companies from under-35 founders. (Our Time itself was founded by a team all under the age of 30). Even better, if you or someone you know has a company with a business model that would fit Buy Young, the online retailer invites audience recommendations. From the deals to the non-profit aspect to their youthful creators, Buy Young might just be the most positive, civic-minded way to shop — at a discount, no less — that we’ve heard of.