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Topic: Surprised by Freecycle

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Subject: Surprised by Freecycle
Date Posted: 1/18/2009 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 189
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After reading some suggestions, and my desire to do some cleaning today, I listed a few items on freecycle today.  I was bombarded with emails for one of my items.  I was surprised, because I had been trying to sell it for a while on craigslist (for a low price).  Now, I'd like to just get rid of it but I hate to throw it in the trash.  I was bombarded with emails within minutes of the post.  3 people asked me to hold it for them, but I said it was first come first serve.  I told one gentleman that I would hold it for him until 5:00 today, but I couldn't promise any longer than that.  When I called him at 3:00, his wife answered and told me there was a change in plans.  I thought that was weird.  I did end up giving one thing away, but I had listed and received responses on five different things.  I'm a little surprised, but I wonder if it has to do with the fact that everything is free.  Do people assume that the value is inferior when it is free?  I know I'm being impatient, because they were only listed today.  I'll wait a little longer, but the stuff needs to GO!

Date Posted: 1/20/2009 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Freecycle is great!  it is amazing what people will take.  They do not assume that the quality is inferior just because it is free.

When you say first come first served, are you saying first email or first person to get there?  I never give it to the first person that responds because no everyone can access their email or is on the PC all the time.  I like to give it to the best "story" for some items (not everything).  I gave a fishing pole to someone that wanted to take their daughter fishing.  I gave some stuffed animals to someone that was collecting them for a school fair/festival.

lately I've been donating items to get the tax write off. 

Last Edited on: 1/20/09 11:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/20/2009 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 189
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I say whoever picks it up first gets it.. but if we have made an arrangement, and someone is on their way, then I will not give someone else directions in the meantime.  I just feel like I'm begging people to take my stuff....  but I'm not.  I'm bombarded with emails.

Oh well:)  It's something new for me and keeps the landfills from being full of my stuff!!

Date Posted: 1/20/2009 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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that is good to hear, I was imagining you giving 3 people directions.  I know if that happened to me I would be pissed for spending the time and gas to drive if it ws first come first served and whoever got there faster!

if you are bombarded with emails, read through them first, see if maybe someone wants to take several things. that is less you have to deal with because it is fewer people.  just a suggestions any way.

a lot of times I will leave things out for a porch pick up, this way I don't have to worry if I'm in the bathroom or have run out or whatever.

Date Posted: 1/20/2009 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 54
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I have used freecycle for a few years now myself. I know some people are using it for good reason, but some DO use it for shopping too. I get lots of emails too most of the time that I post things. We have several local trading groups too. I will try to sell the same things on them, with no or little response. Some times it is all about it being free.

I usually wait until I get a few responses myself. Since I have been a member for quite sometime, I recognize some of the email addresses that just want want want. It is sad when some people take advantage. I know that the moderators are suppose to enforce that members post offers as often as the try to post wants. But they can't control replies to offers posts. Freecycle is wonderful though.

Date Posted: 1/20/2009 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 189
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Thank you for refreshing my faith in freecycle:)  I'm hoping that I also find a couple of things that I'm looking for:)

Date Posted: 1/21/2009 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
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I love freecycle.  Usually when I offer something I never say first come, first serve.  I am hesitant to give out my address to that many people.  I usually wait until I get a few people interested and then go from there.  When the interested party narrows down a date/time for pick up if they don't make it then it goes to the next interested party. 

I have received some great stuff from freecycle and given folks some excellent things too.  We had an extra bag of leveling sand and a bag of unopened cement mix left over from a do-it-your-self project that people had picked up.  Clothing, videos, some kids stuff...etc.... 

I love the fact that these things on freecycle are not ending up in the landfill. 

Date Posted: 1/21/2009 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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Freecycle is not supposed to be moderated, so the owners don't get to weed out the ones who are always wanting. I used to be one of the owners :-)

I do not like to say first email gets the item, because I know some people have their email to automatically reply, asking generically for the items. I also know some names/emails of those who are greedy, or who take the items and then sell them. They tend not to get my items.

I use Freecycle quite a bit. When there's a problem with something, I mention it right up front, and often I still get requests. We painted the children's bathroom, and when we took out the mirror, it cracked. I put it on Freecycle, and almost immediately someone requested the broken pieces! She does mosaics, and wanted the glass scraps for that. It ended up that her parents took the main mirror, cut it in half for two more children, and gave her all the scraps from that. If it weren't for Freecycle, that would have gone into the trash.

More recently, my daughters cut our garden hose, and claimed it couldn't be fixed. I posted it, and several people responded. The lady who took it was able to repair it, and has become a friend.

We have also posted a toliet, and it had several requests, yet there are nice items that just don't get requested. I try something a few times, like once a month or so, and then try another anvenue. I am on a couple of for sale loops, and I also donate to charity. But Freecycle is Nice!

Date Posted: 1/23/2009 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 178
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Just a suggestion, according to the emails we get from our local moderator, unless you need something to go very quickly (i.e, if you're moving the next day), you're supposed to wait at least 24 hours before choosing a response, to give everyone an opportunity to reply.  I don't know if this is a rule for all freecycle, or if its just our local area, but it seems fair to me.  I've seen items posted at 11:05 pm, and then the very next post is a "Taken PPU" as of 11:08 pm.

To choose a recipient, I normally list all of the people who have requested an item and number them.  Then I choose a random number to see who gets it.  I normally don't choose based on the story, because I've gotten several "sob stories" for in-demand items, and I find it hard to believe that they're all true.

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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First, our Freecycle is moderated. They limit the number of WANT posts vs. OFFER posts.

Second, when I post a free item to give away, out of all the people that email me, only 25% actually show up. It didn't used to be this bad 3 years ago. But this is just a local thing I think. And frequently, people will set up a time to get something, I stay home and wait for them, and they never show up or call!

Craigslist is much better about people picking things up.

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 1,728
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chuck, thats why i just tell them i will leave it on the porch. i give them a certain amount of time i will hold it for them (24 hours usually) and then i will bring it inside and offere it to the next person.

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 13
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I used to own a Freecycle site and I could definitely monitor our members. In fact, everyone got monitored until they had posted a few offers ahead of their wants. Once I could tell a member was responsible then I released him/her to post as they pleased.

Now I'm just a member in a larger town and I'm very pleased with my new group. The day I joined I had the chance to pick up a 1970's bicycle--talk about a blast from the past! Then I felt obliged to immediately offer some things in return and I searched the house. My cats agreed to let their beds and condo go since they never used them, and I posted those offers. The woman who picked them up said her mother had received a kitten for Christmas and the little one was driving her nuts, trying to climb her legs and ride her shoulder all the time. He took to the new play and sleeping arrangements immediately and she sent me copious thanks.

I turn a lot of recyclables over to my local thrift shop, but they are often filtered through Freecycle first. I'm a believer!!


Date Posted: 2/11/2009 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 21
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I love freecycle. Although it has its ups (people picking up when promised!) and downs (flakes). Either way, I'am happy that i'am not throwing it away and someone will get use out of the stuff!

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I am a Freecycler too.  I love it.  I have given away small stuff such as individual specialty Christmas ornaments to big things.  The biggest thing I gave away was a lidded sand box with the sand in it.  That was in response to a want.  I have picked up a few things myself from Freecycle.  But mostly I have given away.  I would never sell what I get from Freecycle, but I recently posted some books I received from Freecycle (in like-new condition) here on PBS.

Date Posted: 4/12/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2008
Posts: 687
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i just offer it on there and state it is on my carport free to the 1st person who gets there to get it

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,775
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I tried to join my local Freecycle list once but they rejected my request.  Never did tell me why.  I had things I wanted to give away too.  Figured if they weren't even going to explain, I'd just find another way to give away unwanted stuff.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2009
Posts: 53
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I joined one in my area but got frustrated because even though I got emails pretty regullary every time I tried responding they said the stuff was gone so i stopped doing it.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2005
Posts: 404
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 Freecycle works great in some towns and doesn't in others.  My friend said people only advertise junk for the dump in his town.  He lives in another state from me.  I love it here.  Most of the areas are moderated well and a couple are not.  We are not allowed to say it's out there and first come gets it.  Fights can break out.  We are going to pick up some video tapes today.  I was the first to respond by e-mail. 

We had a garden area to get rid of.  It had no sprinkling system and I got tired of standing around with a hose.  Last week we gave away some garden dirt.  Ten people wanted my dirt!  Five people wanted the cememt blocks surrounding the dirt the month before that.  When we sold our home 1 1/2 yrs ago I didn't have good enough health to have a yard sale so I gave away tons of good stuff, even furniture. 

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 55
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I LOVE free cycle... and I also post items for free on craigs list.

I've gotten rid of nice cribs that I just couldn't sell, and were taking up HUGE amts. of space. I get rid of children's clothing, bag at a time. I managed to get rid of a used matress cover (we had already gotten ride of the bed) and during our move, someone spilled soy sauce all over it. No idea how that happened. It was scooped in about 10 minutes.

Although, right now, I'm sitting here a little bummed about giving away a box full of books... OMG... If I only knew then! OH... and the paperbacks I got rid of when I cleaned out my grandmothers house... 100's!!!!

Oh well... I'm sure they're in a good home now! I'm laughing about the dirt. It's funny what people want!

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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i acutally just signed up the other day after i was doing some cleaning and had a stack of empty cd cases. i'm meeting someone tomorrow to give them to her ... hopefully i'll have some good experiences with the site. great way to get rid of stuff.
Date Posted: 6/2/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 19
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I can relate to wanting the dirt! LOL! I built raised vegetable beds in my front yard because the soil is just barely good enough for grass, underneath its fill gravel. I could not BELIEVE how much good dirt it took to fill those things up! I was digging in dry creek beds, asking the stores for their half-price ripped bags of soil.

Date Posted: 6/6/2009 2:22 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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i love it, i had my second transaction today and i was giving away a practically brand new pair of shoes. i decided to give it to this woman who was looking to get a new pair of walking shoes as she walks daily during her lunch break. i met her, she tried them on and loved them. she said that she walks with a couple other folks on her lunch break because she is trying to work off her weight that she gained after she broke her knee.

it was really nice to make her day, especially after seeing how used her current shoes were. it made my day to see how happy she was. :)

Last Edited on: 6/6/09 2:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/6/2009 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 233
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Do you live in CS?  There's a Jari on my freecycle group, and what a unique name for 2 people to have! 

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 6:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,371
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People tend to place a lesser priority on things that are "free".  It doesn't mean that they are worthless or are of lesser quality.  It merely means that because there is no $$ tag associated with obtaining the item, they do not feel obligated to "follow through".

Moderating the Wants vs the Offers tends to be a group specific decision.  I'm a backup mod for a group back east and it has a 3 wanted per month rule (voted upon by members) and we do not take a new member off of moderation until they post an offer/taken.  It helps to control people who join and post their shopping list.

I am also a new  mod for the "new" SA group.  At this time, there are significantly more wanteds than offers, however we intend to manipulate it the other way around via ways aside from posting restrictions.

AFAIK, the 24hr thing is a recommendation, not a set in stone rule.  Realistically, Moderators cannot control who you decide to give your item to.  However, we can recommend tactics to help you have a successful transaction.  The 24hr thing is the first step to that.  Be wary of an instant reply that says someone is "interested in your item".  It means that they aren't -really- there, they are using an auto-responder in order to get first "dibs", then will cherry pick what they truly want.

It also tends to not be a good idea to do unsupervised porch pickups.  You've invited someone to your abode - is there anything else on your porch you do not mind them making off with?  Items labeled for other people? 

"Here's my address, come and get it" somewhat defeats the purpose of Freecycle.  Even if it is one extra person, you have one disappointed soul who just wasted time and fuel to get to an item that wasn't there.  A few years ago on a group I do not recall the name of there was an instance of someone posting a "curb alert", giving an address, and stating that there was tons of stuff.  It was the belongings of a kicked out husband.  Or the address posted by a mischief maker to come and get everything they were "moving" and to take what you could carry.  Wasn't their house.


Once the kids start school I get to go through their toys and unpack some boxes we haven't touched in nearly 2 years.  Using Freecycle will be somewhat of a challenge as we live in a gated community and I have no intention of giving out our gate code.  I'll probably be using the Walgreens parking lot as a rendezvous point.

Last Edited on: 8/11/09 6:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/12/2009 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 112
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I've used Freecycle in our area to get rid of stuff and to pick up some things I wanted.  Interestingly enough what I wanted was mostly rocks and dirts, while I gave away hundreds of iris plants, wall insulation, ducting, light fixtures.  I've found that there are flakes (a lot!), and I try to be patient.  If I get multiple requests, I will e-mail back and tell them that, if the first person flakes, I will let them know in order received.  So far has worked.  I have a big pine tree at the end of my drive, and I just leave the stuff there for pick-up.  So far it has worked well...