do you free cycle? what good or bad experiences have you had?

United States
February 18, 2007 6:50pm CST
Personally I do not freecycle anymore. I don't think it is an objective way to give to a needy person. I once gave a used couch to a former free cycler, it cost me a grand. granted it was very used...but I never heard hyde no hair from that person again!
4 people like this
9 responses
@ossie16d (11826)
• Australia
20 Feb 07
Actually I had never heard of freecycle before this forum but it is an interesting concept, if people turn up when they are supposed to and accept that they are getting something for free. Then they should remember their manners, because not everyone is so lucky to get what they want for nothing. Generally if we have anything that we no longer need, we will check around our friends first. If they can use it or know someone who can, then we will give it to them because we know the gesture will be appreciated. However if nobody wants the item, then it is either donated to St. Vincents de Paul or the Salvation Army. Both of them help the needy and also sell things through their Opportunity or Thrift Shops. No matter what they do, we realise that they money goes to good causes and people in need. Like many others, we would rather give something away to someone who will appreciate it, or at least do some good with the item, rather than throw it into landfill. I have often seen people at the various tips, scrounging around through stuff which they can recover. A neighbour of ours many years ago actually managed for the next shire along from where we lived. He had it all sorted out as to how things would go, and made an absolute fortune from the stuff they he could and did sell. It was not unusual for him to make in excess of $1000 a week and over the whole year he would average at least $600 per week from stuff that was thrown out. This is in addition to his wages of course, and as he didn't really declare the stuff he sold for cash, it was probably more than he was telling, just in case someone reported him to the Tax Office. So this is why I say that people should give away what they cannot use, if they cannot sell it that is, rather than throw it into landfill. Certainly a lot of the things that are thrown to the tip are retrieved, but there are charities and people that need it more than someone who manages a tip. :)
• United States
2 Mar 07
was this stuff he found scrounging throught the trash? Free cycle strictly prohibits reselling of items, at least most do. Don't get me wrong, I am not a freecycle police, but if they ever find it out, they will be less likely to give your friend anything in the future.
1 person likes this
@trinihd (996)
• United States
28 Feb 07
You may be right, especially when you consider that perhaps the really needy people generally do not have regular access to the internet or maybe don't even know about such a group, to be able to respond to offers that you may post. I feel it is probably important to have someone who is like an agent for needy people in each area who can access the FreeCycle group and access items for the needy people in order for the Freecycle concept to really help needy people in an area. It is unfortunate that you never again heard from the person who got your couch, but you shouldn't really have expected to hear from them. Perhaps they felt it wouldn't be right to bother you? You never know what some people are thinking. You may feel they are ungrateful but they may feel that contacting you again could be misconstrued -it's a possibility. Although I suppose they could have sent a postcard, something innocuous yet effective. But the truth is, in spite of the fact that good manners should have prevailed, I wouldn't really expect any kind of further communication after I give away my "trash" to someone. I mean, it would be ideal that they would acknowledge and say "thank you," more than once, but I don't think it is in the Etiquette Guidelines, so ... no one has to feel obligated, and you know once there is no obligation, they're not going to do it! If it were me, I would have sent you a postcard!
• United States
2 Mar 07
okay, well you are entitled to your opinion, and I suppose being good to others has been lost in our society. However, I didn't just give this person MY TRASH! I gave her a 3 peice couch set. It cost me 1,000 dollars, and granted it was 10 years old, and not in the best condition, it still looked great, and was functional! I did hear that the couple loved it, but that was it. I think the reason she didn't contact me ever again was because I sold avon, she said she would buy, and when she didn't she felt ...I dunno... in any case, soon after that a bunch of trouble ensued with freecylcers and the like and I do believe she was caught up in it. Things were said about me and a very good friend of mine, and to be honest, jealous petty people start trouble! so that is my opinion. I guess I am a little old fashioned to expect that when one gives you an item such as that, you should receive a little appreciation, despite what others think. I don't know how the woman is now, but I do wish her the best.
• United States
2 Mar 07
I just want to say one more thing. Most people aren't throwing away TRASH. They are giving away stuff that is in pretty good condition, generally. And generally, more than not, most people expect a Thank you. Look at the complaints about free cycle. You will see people are disgusted because too many take things for granted and are unappreciative. I don't know what your parents taught you, but my parents always taught me to say Thank you, and more than once if it was necessary. I teach my daughters the same.
@breezie (1247)
• Canada
19 Feb 07
I am a member of a few freecycle groups, but like some of you am getting a little frusterated with it. Almost every time I post an offer people don't show up or expect me to drop the stuff off at their house even though in my post I say for pick up only. I rarely ever recieve a thank you from people either. I once offered a set of golf clubs that were left behind by the last person to live here ( 5 years ago), so many peole responded rudely , for example just saying things likr " I can pick them up tomorrow just email me your address". Finally the person I chose said he could pick up right away and didn't show up for 2 days, when he did I recieved no thanks at all. Whenever I recieve something I always thank the person when I pick the item up and email theym when I get home to thank them again. There is one girl that is also a memeber and I know that she is really nice and polite and always picks stuff up on time so if she responds I almost always choose her.
2 people like this
@trinihd (996)
• United States
28 Feb 07
That sounds very frustrating! I can imagine how discouraging it is to deal with people like that. Unfortunately if they are the only ones who respond then what do you do? Perhaps like one other responder suggested you can try giving to a charitable organisation as well, especially if the nice girl doesn't respond! I know that if I were offered a set of golf clubs, I'd move hell and high water to collect them as quickly as possible (before you change your mind!) or if I was late, I would be very apologetic, and very profuse in my thanks for your patience! These people don't know what a good thing they have!! I think I want to move to your neighbourhood so I can be part of your Freecycle group! lol
• United States
2 Mar 07
sometimes things come up, and people can't pick things up as they want. It is common courtesy to let people know what is going on, but again, sometimes that is not possible. I'd repost the item then, and if it happened again I would donate the items to charity. There's no saying that you HAVE to free cycle to be a good person. I have a problem with people being 2 faced and unappreciative. I also don't like too many strangers coming to my house anymore...too many weirdos.
1 person likes this
@rusty2rusty (6760)
• Defiance, Ohio
19 Feb 07
I do freecycle. But not through the regular freecycle. But through a group that we call re-cycle. Because the freecycle affiliates were causing problems. Let's just say most of the freecycle site sout there are not ran by people from the same town. But from a different state. Freecycling is a great to get rid of something for free. Without filling the land fill up of something someone else can use.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 07
I've had too many trouble makers in my town where free cyclers are. Istill belong to the group, but I rarely give anything to those people anymore. Instead I give it to charity.
@BarBaraPrz (25366)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
5 Mar 07
We had the same problem in my area, and we, too, set up our own Re-cycle group. I've obtained some useful stuff, and given away even more.
• United States
19 Feb 07
I am pretty new to freecycle. About once a week I will check out what people are looking for or what others have that I might need. More often I look for items that my children may be in need of. It is a great program.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 07
It is so good to see that you are not jaded with the program yet. Good luck to you, not every free cycle is filled with trouble makers, cons, and greedy unappreciative people.
• United States
2 Mar 07
I give all my things only to charity. I don't take any money. Or, I will give it to someone who is in need for it.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (25366)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
5 Mar 07
Were you supposed to? Did you ask to keep in touch so that you could know how your old couch was doing/feeling?
• United States
6 Mar 07
you know this kind of response is EXACTLY why I don't free cycle anymore! Keep your sarcasm to yourself.
@BarBaraPrz (25366)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
7 Mar 07
I'm sorry to have offended you, but the purpose of freecycling is not to "give to the needy" or make friends, it is to keep useful things out of the landfill. Even things some people might feel have no value, such as candle ends (can be melted and reformed to make new candles) or broken china (can be used to decorate a mirror that ends up being "art") can be and are offered this way. Sure, there are some Greedy Guses out there, but we are getting rid of things we don't want, so should just be happy to have it gone.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 07
I actually started the local Freecycle group. It's now run by two other folks who had the time and were willing to deal with some of the stuff that goes on on the lists. A lot has to do with the people running it and the feel of the individual group I think. Not all Freecycle groups are created equal. We're pretty lucky that the one here is a good one, but I know several others have had problems in the past. As far as not hearing from the person you gave the couch to I'd say that's actually pretty normal. Once it's their property there is no obligation on either side to keep in contact. Now, that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen (I've met a few good friends through it), but it probably shouldn't be expected.
@sarcos (201)
• New Zealand
9 Mar 07
I am actually not sure what afreecycle is but I do give things away to people that are needier than myself. Well as long a the thing I give away is of any use to them why not.