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For those of you who do Freecycle

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Have you ever had any luck acquiring items? Every interested response I have ever sent in regards to picking up an item has disappeared into the black hole of nothingness. Nobody has ever responded back. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a science to getting stuff from Freecycle? Are people slipping one another twenties on the side?

I am always polite, and prompt to respond. I can pick stuff up whenever since my schedule is flexible. I'll drive wherever to get stuff. Easy peasy, right? Wtf?
post #2 of 32

I don't do freecycle anymore because of the amount of no shows I've had in the past, but I used to use it a lot.

 

Basically, when I was giving things away I noticed a trend. The same dozen or so people would promptly email me for the item. Like immediately. The same, exact, people. Every time! After a while I started ignoring those who were first and waited until others had a chance to email me and then just picked someone. I wouldn't say there's a science to it or anything, but I'd say the item(s) you're trying to get just have a lot of other people after it, too.

 

Sorry you're not getting any responses. :(

post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post

I don't do freecycle anymore because of the amount of no shows I've had in the past, but I used to use it a lot.

 

Basically, when I was giving things away I noticed a trend. The same dozen or so people would promptly email me for the item. Like immediately. The same, exact, people. Every time! After a while I started ignoring those who were first and waited until others had a chance to email me and then just picked someone. I wouldn't say there's a science to it or anything, but I'd say the item(s) you're trying to get just have a lot of other people after it, too.

 

Sorry you're not getting any responses. :(


Its funny you should say that because I was just talking to DH the other day about how Freecycle seems purpose built for horders. Many of the same people post item offers, and many of those state that the item is a previous Freecycle that didn't work out for them.
post #4 of 32

My freecycle is good :)

the really great items usually get swiped up, but most posters wait a while to gift the items(so you have a chance if you don't live on your computer) and I notice this when I post really good items. 

 

Being polite is usually what freecyclers are looking for, and some like to read a backstory. usually when I tell them what I plan to use the items for, I get them. 

 

But yeah, most of the stuff just collects in the house. :( Personally, I keep a look out for fabric(including clothing), sewing stuff, containers, or things that can be used to plant things in for my balcony garden. They're not usually things that other people want.

 

and I never expect a response unless I'm being gifted anything, because you rarely get one. I've noticed that when an item is really in high demand, you get way too many responses to it to send replies back.

post #5 of 32

I really only give stuff away with it.  And honestly, most of the time it is just easier for me to give it to Goodwill then post and then arrange a meeting time with someone.  And if it is something really good, I'll tell my facebook friends and see if any of them want it, and then give it to Goodwill.

 

Every time I try to get stuff, I generally get an e-mail back to that effect.  I also do not have the time to stalk freecycle, which here, that is what it takes to get anything that I would want.

post #6 of 32

OP, do you post many offers? I'm doing a big clean out right now, and I try to give stuff to people who are also active in the group. I usually get ten or so replies to each item, which is too many to send individual replies to.

 

I hardly ever get any thing from FC, either.

post #7 of 32

I have some beautiful houseplants and a baby carrier for hiking that we got from FC. This was during a period when DH and I basically babysat FC and were the first responders to a couple of ads. We have given away a lot of stuff on the same list and like a PP, we had to start ignoring certain people because they were always the first to respond to our offers, no matter what they were. DH suspected one person in particular of taking our items to re-sell on Ebay because they always immediately responded to any random item that we said was new in the package.

 

You have to be pretty quick on the draw to get anything from an FC list that has a reasonable amount of activity on it! 

 

When we post offers, we don't respond individually to people who asked for it, we just post back to the group saying that it's been taken and thanks for their interest. We don't have time to email every person individually.

post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
I don't expect to be e-mailed by every person I respond to. What I am baffled by is that I have never, ever, in the two years I have been babysitting Freecycle, been "chosen" to receive an item. Which I find very strange. And I am about done because it just seems sooooo not worth it.

I do use Freecycle to get rid of stuff. I think I am lucky because I have never had a no-show.
post #9 of 32

Our list has 700-ish people. When I post something in demand (baby clothes usually), I'll get 50 or so responses. Many times those responses are within 1-2 minutes of making the post. (I also notice the trend of it being the same people every single time.) It's overwhelming and why I prefer not FC and to use Goodwill or my personal email list first.

 

I don't care about back story. I'd rather not get it, to be honest, because (and yes, this sounds horrible), I'd rather you not expect that I care that you're asking for my toddler clothes because your 16-year-old daughter is pregnant by her irresponsible (duh!) boyfriend and you're going to be raising the child. (That's a real story I had. I'm not making it up for effect.) Then this woman picked her items up and wanted to talk to me about this impending grandchild and actually said (of her dd's pregnancy), "but what can you do? These things happen." Holy cow. I have no appropriate response for that, ya know. I know what I'm thinking. I know how I'd feel if my 16YO daughter said she was pg, but I don't want to go into that with the woman who's picking up my FC highchair.  

 

OT - but I also noticed frequent "items wanted" posts from people. These were often the same people who emailed instantaneously that they'd take whatever I had. One woman wanted everything for free. She posted that she'd moved into an apartment and needed every single item for her living room, dining room, and bathroom. Oh, and she had certain themes & colors she preferred, so if anyone had the green seahorse bath theme she saw at Target, she'd love it! That was so bizarre to me. I can't imagine posting things that specific and just...greedy there. 

post #10 of 32

I freecycle and have gotten some amazing things! Fabrics, yarns, scrapbooking stuff, it's great! Chances are you just aren't quick enough on the draw. I think there's a delay in the email's being sent. You gotta be fast! Perhaps go to the actual site.

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post

I freecycle and have gotten some amazing things! Fabrics, yarns, scrapbooking stuff, it's great! Chances are you just aren't quick enough on the draw. I think there's a delay in the email's being sent. You gotta be fast! Perhaps go to the actual site.


If it takes being a first responder than its never going to happen. I don't want the stuff bad enough to be checking the site every two minutes. I might as well just erase my membership now.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post

I freecycle and have gotten some amazing things! Fabrics, yarns, scrapbooking stuff, it's great! Chances are you just aren't quick enough on the draw. I think there's a delay in the email's being sent. You gotta be fast! Perhaps go to the actual site.




If it takes being a first responder than its never going to happen. I don't want the stuff bad enough to be checking the site every two minutes. I might as well just erase my membership now.



Most people do give it to the first person to reply, yes. SOemtimes preference is given to those who will pick up sooner/ take all. But I'm sure you've seen that in posts.

Do you get the emails? They may lag sometimes but I'm online a lot so if i get an email for something while I'm online, if I want it, I reply right away.

ETA. I probably actually receive the item about 25% of the time. Even if I'm quick to reply. There are a lot of other people online right now competing with me!

post #13 of 32

I never got anything for a long time, until I started checking that email account way more often... not every 2 minutes, but once an hour or so. I'm on the computer constantly anyway for work so it only takes me a couple seconds to check it.

 

I only give items I list to people who have very specific responses. So if they say, "I'll take it" - not even getting a reply from me. If they say something like, "I'm really interested, I can come by tomorrow around 3pm, here's my phone number," then they get the item. I'm not looking for a story so much as a commitment to pick the items up. (I've gotten TONS of no-shows, to the point that I now only Freecycle items I can't donate for whatever reason, and I've found one of the best signs of showing up is a very specific email.)

 

Oh also I get a lot of items by posting "wanted" -- and definitely not picky or excessive -- I can't believe some of the requests I've seen, from "ipod" to "running car in good condition" to "any baby items" (the last from a woman who has apparently been pregnant for the last 3 years or something, because every. single. month. she is asking for any & all baby stuff -- I suspect she's reselling). I usually request things like "sandbox - any condition" and make very clear that I am willing to repair/refinish/dig out/transport/etc. the item. I almost always get responses to that (and I post a 'wanted' maybe once every 3-4 months).

post #14 of 32
It is probably just that the person had a million responses. That is what happens to me. And the weirdest part is a lot of them are rude! And yes you do get no shows. I usually only do "curb alerts" unless it is something good and then I always screen for the most polite person, lol! But yea, you probably never hear back because the person has too many responses and doesn't want to reply to everyone. I am also convinced that there are a bunch of people to respond to just about every ad and they do it super fast, they are probably taking the stuff to sell it.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Oh also I get a lot of items by posting "wanted" -- and definitely not picky or excessive -- I can't believe some of the requests I've seen, from "ipod" to "running car in good condition" to "any baby items" (the last from a woman who has apparently been pregnant for the last 3 years or something, because every. single. month. she is asking for any & all baby stuff -- I suspect she's reselling). I usually request things like "sandbox - any condition" and make very clear that I am willing to repair/refinish/dig out/transport/etc. the item. I almost always get responses to that (and I post a 'wanted' maybe once every 3-4 months).


I was just going to post about people asking for running cars! Uh, seriously? Someone even asked for a late 90s or early 2000s VW or Volvo in running condition because her car was in an accident. Wow. Don't these people realize that if they've never seen a "received: running car" post that nobody is giving away a car???

post #16 of 32

I stopped using Freecycle because I got tired of no shows for things I listed- now I just donate our clothing and things of that nature to the local shelter. When I was using freecycle, I was fortunate enough to receive a really sweet hand operated egg beater and a wooden rocking horse for DS : ) 

post #17 of 32

Me too. I always ask in my offer that the person specifiy in their email to me when they can collect the item. If they don't state that in their email to me, I just delete it. In terms of small, non-furniture items, it is so much easier to donate to a charity rather than Free Cycle, so I feel all parties need to do what they can to make the experience smooth and pleasant for all involved.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

 

I only give items I list to people who have very specific responses. So if they say, "I'll take it" - not even getting a reply from me. If they say something like, "I'm really interested, I can come by tomorrow around 3pm, here's my phone number," then they get the item. I'm not looking for a story so much as a commitment to pick the items up. (I've gotten TONS of no-shows, to the point that I now only Freecycle items I can't donate for whatever reason, and I've found one of the best signs of showing up is a very specific email.)

post #18 of 32

I'm with you. I've given a lot of things away, but I've yet to be chosen to receive an item. I'm always polite when I respond, but I don't live on Freecycle and usually by the time I see an item has been posted (the day the email goes out), it's already been given away.

 

I used to give to the first person who responded, but then I decided to wait until the next day to see how many other folks responded and what their needs for the item were. For example, does someone just want an "extra" TV or do they not have one?

post #19 of 32

I echo what PP's have said. The few times I've responded to an offer I've never gotten a response. It does seem like to have to stalk your list to actually receive anything. I recently offered a vacuum and I got close to 40 responses within a hour. 

 

My FC list seems to have the same 10 or so people who list regularly for offers and they're gone very quickly. However, the wanted posts far outweigh the offers and most of them are for specific, big ticket items. I regularly see people seeking appliances, cell phones, kindles, and furniture. One person recently was looking for Bears tickets for the playoff game (these tickets cost about 1500 per person). eyesroll.gif

post #20 of 32

I used to use Freecycle quite a bit when I lived in the city - mostly to give things away.  I usually used it to give things that were maybe slightly flawed, so I didn't feel I could donate them, but I was hoping to keep them from the landfill (and I was always honest and clear about the flaws!).  Things like kids clothes with small stains or holes (but great for playclothes!) or worn out towels that could be used for rags (went to a woman who wanted them for a preschool to wipe down the playground equipment) or partially used paints/stains/etc (went to a couple completely remodeling their home). 

 

I never minded a tiny bit of 'story' - meaning, if someone just said "I'd love to use this for X".  I liked that someone had an intended purpose for the thing, instead of just those handful of people that will respond to *everything*.   I learned to wait a little at least and see what came up.  Whenever I responded to ads, I did something similar - like "I'd love that for my daughter's room!"  or "That would be great in my garden!" ....Not a big story, but letting the person know I really intended to use the item for something.  Also, being clear about when you are available to pick up the item is HUGE!!!

 

That said, I think I only ever got a few things from Freecycle, and those were usually things I posted a "wanted" for.  Right now I am seeing out of the corner of my eye a step stool I asked for.  I remember when DD was between 2-3 and wanting to use the sink herself, I was trying to find one, and offended by the cost of buying a new one  LOL.  I posted that I needed one for my child who was ready to use the sink herself.  Someone in my neighborhood responded, who had now grown kids and gave me the stool that had been theirs.  :)

 

I kind of miss it actually.  Now that I am in a more rural area, it doesn't make sense to have people drive to your place.   Instead I take everything to a great local thrift store that is associated with the food bank.  Haven't quite figured out what to do with the slightly flawed items though!!

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