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am i the only one with freecycle issues?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
i see a lot of people recommending freecycle, but i found it to be wayyyyyy more trouble than it was worth.

i just take my stuff to VOA (volunteers of america). they will give me a tax reciept when i ask.

what have other people found? maybe it just depends on the area you live in.

post #2 of 37
Freecycle doesn't work much for me either. The nearest group is an hour and a half from me, and while I'm a member, it's rarely convenient to either get stuff of give it, because of the drive (even though I make the drive once a week anyway). Follow-through isn't great at freecycle at the best of times, and the distance makes it doubly difficult.

We have a local donation store and that's where I tend to take things. Community run, very bare-bones. You donate stuff if you want. When you 'shop' you are just asked to donate some cash to help with community fundraising and to help offset the rent the volunteer-run organization pays for the space -- no price tags. I like the concept and I love knowing that things I donate are finding new uses in my own very small community.

post #3 of 37
You are not the only one w/ Freecycle issues. Because of past bad experiences and new fears I no longer freecycle like i used to. I personally do not wish to give my home address out to strangers. One thing i've noticed on my local freecycling list, craigslist and other community lists is that some people get free stuff on freecycle then sell them. There is one individual who has been doing it in my area for at least a year now. Because it is so easy to get a new email address i do not want to find myself giving out personal information to a person who does this sort of thing. What if they also get into taking things from people's homes? It concerns me mostly because i have offered baby/kids items and i do not wish for my home/family to be a target. I realize my fears may be a tad irrational but there are other issues as well. I also no pick up freecycle items from a persons home. About 2 months ago i was attacked by a dog when picking up some freecycled books. I have always loved dogs, had them as a child, was a dog caretaker........but i now have a fear of dogs. I had absolutely no fear before this incident. I had been raised with and worked with aggressive dogs and had never had issues.

Anyway......those are my freecycle issues.
I do think it's a great idea but difficult when put into practice....like so many other great ideas.
post #4 of 37
I worry about giving out my address but otherwise I have any real problems. I did give out my address a couple of time without any problems but I kind of new the people through some friends of mine. It is always sad when people mis use a good thing....*ugh*
post #5 of 37
I'm really torn about freecycle here. When I first started out with it, I LOVED it probably because DH and I really needed the help - it was right when we first found out that we were having a baby, and we had no baby stuff, and nearly no money. Almost everything that we have for the baby with the exception of a few things from the shower or my mom's garage sale habit is from freecycle, and we're still hugely grateful.

On the other hand, I'm really offended by the way some people 'use' freecycle. We've been offering a lot of stuff lately as we've been cleaning out our basement, some of it pretty good -- an older computer that we didn't need, a printer, DH's old camera, etc. and people have been MEAN and PUSHY when replied to the offer and didn't get the item. I got a several nagging e-mails from one guy about how he should get the computer because he knew he was "First" and I wasn't being fair, in spite of the fact that there is no rule that you have to give an item to the first person who replies.

Many of the same people have been posting 'wanted' ads that are just disgusting; things like "Wanted: new ipod", or "Wanted: Everything for a baby, new or in perfect condition only, please!"

I'm not so worried about giving out our address, because we usually leave things for pick-up on the stoop or the porch with curtians closed, and I've never had a problem picking things up, but I'm usually getting baby/kid related stuff. But I really liked freecycle 'cause it wasn't about materialism and was about sharing and I think the shine has really worn off.
post #6 of 37
I have joined two different FC lists in the last 2 years and it didn't work for me. I'd have dozens of people scrambling for the stuff I offered and then NOONE would show up for it. Much easier to just load it up and take it the missionary thrift store.
post #7 of 37
I've found it works GREAT for stuff you can't imagine anyone wanting. Stuff I would have thrown away because it's not even donatable gets taken (like a hole-y wool blanket someone wanted for Civil War reenactments) and people pick up stuff that's a pain to haul (like a 15-foot flagpole). But yeah, for clothes and books and stuff it's much easier to donate through traditional channels.
post #8 of 37
Try sticking the item on your curb, around here it'd be gone before my next trash pickup.
post #9 of 37
I am getting very disappointed with ours for a number of reasons.

I'm uncomfortable the way people give their personal information out freely on the list. I wonder if they realize that anyone can get a hold of that info.

When I have given stuff, I only got one person who actually said thank you. One day I gave away about 8 different things (including several garbage bags of clothes) and only one thank you. That was discouraging!!
post #10 of 37
Wow, I've had good experiences with ours. I make note in my post that I will give to the first person who can pick up and then go from there. Everyone has been thankful and responsive. There have been a few people who have wanted me to do work for them (detailed descriptions, RTA directions to my house, etc.) but I just blow them off and everything turns out fine. I do have a large, barky dog so that does give me some sense of security at having people come to our address. I Freecycle!
post #11 of 37
I like it for giving away items---but I haven't had to experience a mass of people replying---we are in a rural area--so usually 1 or 2 reply. I like that I can give something to a specific person who needs it---whereas donating--you never know if it'll get used--and if there is someone in my community who can benefit, I'm all for that as a 1st choice.

I don't spend time on the freecycle board reading because I know I would get very annoyed--there are posts here also, with WANTED items that are way off base from what I think the point of freecycle is--which is recycling & keeping usable items out of the land fill---some people are asking for new & expensive items which just aren't typical--and I think it adds an odd flavor to the boards when there is someone who is Greedy and looking for a benefactor or something.

I have received some wonderful items--so thankful---like a leather sectional sofa---(like I said we're in the country--it wasn't snapped up until I saw the posting a day or 2 later) and tickets to see a play at one of the summer theatre festivals out here--tickets are @ $45-$60 , so I would'nt have been able to go otherwise...........and it was an experience. Very nice.
post #12 of 37
I've had pretty good luck with my local freecycle.

There are those annoying 'wanted' posts with far-fetched, greedy requests, but those are usually new people and the more seasoned freecyclers just ignore them. I think the people on our list tend to remember which people have offered things and are more likely to give to those people.

I'm not too worried about security issues, etc. but I haven't thought much about it.. I suppose it could be dangerous, but I've only really dealt with other moms. I guess that makes me feel a little safer, although I don't know why
post #13 of 37
I've had some really good and pretty bad freecycle experiences. It tends to be too much of a hassle for most things, so I just donate to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters thrift store.

But if its an item that wouldn't work for them, or a highly sought after item, I may try freecycling it. Right now, I've got a stack of magazines ready to post - I've received and given away magazines on freecycle. I've also got some books that I was going to try to sell on half.com, but they aren't worth the postage... Due to 'no shows,' I now have people come to my work. DH got too annoyed with our junk sitting out on the porch.

The last item I received, the giver kind of flaked out and it took three tries for me to pick it up.

But I've had some really wonderful experiences with giving items to people - some lovely in person and email thank you's for was at best a little tax writeoff and at worst my trash. And I've received some nice things - a set of Medela pump accessories, just when I found a problem with my current set, and 40 sheests of iron on transfer paper.

I've been overwhelmed with my email recently, so I switched to the 'digest' format of the emails. Sometimes I read them, but mostly they get deleted.
post #14 of 37
I jinxed myself!

I offered a men's coat this morning on freecycle and had a few responses, so I picked someone and then posted that it was taken. I asked her what time she would be over and where she was coming from so that I could give her directions...then she e-mailed back that she doesn't have a car, so she would like me to bring it to her house- over an hour away! Umm.. hello?! I don't think so!

I would never expect someone to do that! What is wrong with people??
post #15 of 37
I have had a few people not show up, others be rude and pushy in emails ie: instead of asking if still available saying "I will be there at x time to pick up, tell me where" and that is it, no asking, no nothing. I am not asking you to kiss my butt and I don't really want or need your sob story but basic politeness is necessary if you think I'm giving you my address and item!

I also know of a few resellers, I rarely bother anymore with it. I only offer things I don't want to haul off (like larger toys or when I had extra bags of soil) everything else gets donated locally.
post #16 of 37
Mama2babybeans: are ----you----kidding??!!!! She had no car to get to you---and wanted you--to--drive--it to--her????? Oh my!
post #17 of 37
So far I've had pretty good responses with our Freecycle. Most of those I've met are other moms. I've gotten several baby outfits, childrens books, and a brand-new still in the box IKEA bookshelf. I've given away matenity outfits and books. If I'm giving stuff away I meet them in a public place like the entrance to a supermarket. If I go to pick up something at their house I bring DH along. My last Freecycle experience wasn't so hot. I offered a prenatal yoga DVD and the person who responded wanted me to take a photo of the cover (this after I described who made it and what company etc.) and then she wanted ME to drive 40 minutes to where she lived. WTH? Needless to say I refused. If anyone wants a Gaiam Prenatal Yoga DVD with Shiva Rea let me know. It's yours.
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BookGoddess
If anyone wants a Gaiam Prenatal Yoga DVD with Shiva Rea let me know. It's yours.
i love that video, except that it's filmed inside. :
post #19 of 37
Amy- yeah.. I might have considered it if she asked me nicely, or told me why she needed it, etc... assuming she lived somewhat near my town. But, yeah.. an hour away. And she just sort of expected me to do it.
post #20 of 37
It kind of makes you wonder...are we all on the same planet?

I would--never--ask someone to drive an hour to bring me something---for---free!!

I guess you have to just find the humor in it... but....is there any??
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