In decluttering toys for the holiday, I've recently posted about 11 gently used toys on Freecycle. The daily email hasn't even gone out and I've already received several replies. One was from a freecycler I've dealt with before. Some people asked for 1 or 2 specific things.Some people offered to take everything. One man asked for a specific item and any toys I still have, as he said his family is poor (his words) and they would be Christmas gifts. I'm inclined to give to him, but I'm wondering what criteria others use to select freecycle recipients.
How do you choose the recipient of freecycle items?
Poll Results: How do you choose the recipient of freecycle items? Do you:
50% (5)Give the items to the first person who responds, even if the daily freecycle email has not gone out?
20% (2)Give the items to a freecycler that you've had previous dealings with?
30% (3)Give the items to the person who suggests a real need?
0% (0)Draw a name out of a hat?
0% (0)Give specific items to people who asked for them and then give everything else to a freecycler who offered to take everything (letting them know the items that would not be included)??
I go with whatever is most likely to get the most items actually picked up. (We've had a _whole lot_ of people flake out on us.) So someone who's reliably taken things before probably comes first, followed by whoever responds first, modified by whether they sound like they automatically respond to everything and therefore might flake on us, and also modified by whoever wants more stuff.
However, these days we don't do a lot of Freecycle - we mostly put stuff at the bottom of the driveway with a Free sign.
I want to get the most (preferably all) of my items out the door, so I select for people who will take more of it, and who I think might actually show up.
I select against entitled people or people I consider to be manipulative. I actually love it when people describe a specific need (for one thing, it makes me feel good to know the item will actually be used and appreciated), and prefer those. But when I feel like it's a manipulative sob story, no.
And I abhor things like "tell m were 2 pi3k it up" - they assume I've chosen them when I haven't, can't communicate, and aren't polite.
I don't give a darn about who replies first. In fact, oddly enough, I tend to wait 24 hours before making my choices.
I do prefer choosing people I've dealt with before if it's gone well.
So my criteria in order would be:
- Best chance of getting rid of all of it ASAP
- People I've successfully dealt with before (partly because of #1)
- Not rude, manipulative or entitled
- Share a specific need/use (but not in a manipulative way)
I haven't Freecycled in awhile, but I used to do it avidly. I had a crazy system-- basically, take the time to write a nice email, including punctuation. Second, be polite with please and thank you. Third-- sob stories were not a deciding factor. I could go on there tomorrow and say, "I have no home and I'm emailing you from inside a trash can," when, in reality, I'm sitting in a 2,000 square foot house.
I've dealt with the general public enough to know not to get too drawn in by these stories. It isn't that I don't believe all of them-- but I take them with a grain of salt.
I just say use your instincts. Play the game long enough and you'll figure out your own method.
I agree re avoiding the sob stories, within reason...if your gut tells you they are really in need then yes OK.
I am quite suspicious now about what people say on freecycle....my first time on freecycle I offered a dolls house and silly me thought i should give it to the first person who answered as she said she had a young daughter who didn't have one. The woman who turned up was really much too old to have a young daughter, she seemed quite dodgy, my gut told me she wasn't honest, but I still handed it over as she was on my doorstep...left a bad taste in my mouth.
I unjoined out local freecycle group because a few people were literally posting give aways like 3 times a day and really clogging up all the good stuff that could not get thru because of these 2 people who would if given the chance would post- free poopy diaper to give away.
After a few people who were great about picking stuff up left, I did the same.
I used to put in the email , the first person available to pick it up asap gets it. It would then be gone within 4-8 hours. If the first person wigged, I would go to the next person.
There was one family I received things from a couple of times and then she would just email me off freecycle with things her daughter outgrew. Did that for several months. I paid that forward doing that with a few other parents who would take my outgrowns as well.
I usually try to do "must take all". Did that with a bunch of cleaning supplies (many half-opened and advertised as such) from cleaning out my Mom's house because I _really_ didn't want to deal with people saying, "I'll take the Tilex, but I don't want the Comet. If you have Dawn, I want that, but not Joy, etc." I just want it gone to someone who wants it because that ain't me!
Occasionally, I will weed through the first couple and pick a particular one or two people. I did that recently with some booster seats. I knew one mom who responded 4th, but I saved her the seat she wanted and gave the other two away to someone else.
I usually do first response though if a few responses showed up in my inbox at about the same time I'd choose whichever I liked the sound of better or someone with whom I had previous dealings. And I might ignore an overly curt reply to see if I get a more polite one. But most people do first respondent, around here. I figure people who are on daily emails aren't as invested in freecycle. I expect people who are looking for something and prepared for a timely pick-up will check online. That's what I do on days I'm free to hang out online and drive around to pick things up. I have the suspicion that those on daily emails don't use the internet much and that there will be long delays in email communications dragging out the process of unloading my things for days.
In my offer email I ask people to given an idea of when they would be able to collect etc. When I get replies I tend to ignore those who haven't suggested a time. I don't like to leave stuff outside to be collected. I do tend to have a preference for people who have given me things or who have proved reliable in the past.
I also ignore the "yes please where do you live" type responses and (unless I've already offered) anyone who asks me to deliver stuff.
For toys/kids clothes and that sort of things where I've got similar stuff I will offer it in one email and ask that it all go as one lot and the recipient can pass on anything they can't use. I find it much easier than arranging several collections for different people who all want different bits and pieces.
Lately though, I've been avoiding Freecycle. I used to love it but now it's just annoying -- lots & lots of no-shows, people seem kind of picky (not that I blame them, but I'd prefer they just take everything, and no I can't text a pic!!) I sell what I can on Craigslist & bring the rest down to donate to the thrift store, which gets it out of my house much quicker!! Still use Freecycle for bulky things we can't drop off, like couches or large toys.