am i the only one with freecycle issues? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-14-2005, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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Old 11-14-2005, 04:43 PM
 
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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.

Miranda

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Old 11-14-2005, 05:00 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:27 PM
 
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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*

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Old 11-14-2005, 06:23 PM
 
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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.

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Old 11-14-2005, 07:39 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-15-2005, 01:35 AM
 
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Try sticking the item on your curb, around here it'd be gone before my next trash pickup.
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:40 AM
 
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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!!
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:08 AM
 
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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!
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Old 11-15-2005, 12:59 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-15-2005, 06:08 PM
 
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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

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 11-15-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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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.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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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??

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:11 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:12 PM
 
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Mama2babybeans: are ----you----kidding??!!!! She had no car to get to you---and wanted you--to--drive--it to--her????? Oh my!
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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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.

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Old 11-15-2005, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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. :

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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Old 11-15-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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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.
?!

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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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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Old 11-16-2005, 12:20 AM
 
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I've been pretty lucky with my local group. There are some people who just ask, ask, ask, and then of course there are the people who say they'll pick up, but never do. That's annoying. I think it's good to atleast give it a try though..
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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I have had success with ours; I do not give out address in original post, just to the "winner" of the item(s) through private email. Even then, I arrange a pickup time when DH is around or a friend will be over, just to be safe.
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Old 12-09-2005, 03:52 AM
 
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MY DH is our freecycle mod. He gets really frustrated with some peoples expectationn, and rudeness. We have had the best luck when looking for odd items, or things like 2 ft of chicken wire, or an old window frame. We usually donate things we are de-cluttering to St. Vinnies.
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Old 12-09-2005, 05:43 AM
 
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I unsubbed from my freecycle because it was a pain in the butt. The things I posted for free, people would make an appt with me to pick up then never show up.
The stuff people posted was complete trash, I could find better things at the dump. I think most people were looking for a way to get their trash hauled for free.
I give to the local thrift stores, and some things I give away online.
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:30 AM
 
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I've been Freecycling for several months now! I absolutly love the concept! I have given & received great things. I have always found a thank you e-mail after pick up (& I always send a thank you). I think placing a "Wanted" for any item is ok. At one point our old Mod. sent out a message to our group, saying please ask for things you need, many people have things around that they havn't posted but if they know there is someone who wants it then they will give it away. I know that things like Ipod's are pretty silly, but most other requests are ok. I've asked for things that no one has responded to, & I have received things that I asked for. You just never know if someone has something hanging around.

When we change to hot water basebord heat, we ripped the old duct work out of our house & posted it, thinking no one would want it, maybe someone with a scrap yard. Well we had to choose from a few peole who really wanted it. We ended up giving it to a very thrilled couple who just put an addition on their house & needed to cut costs, because they went over budget. I felt kinda bad because the stuff was filthy. I appoligised for the dirty ducts, & they didn't care, he said he could clean it & it was, well worth it. They we're very thankful! So junk to us was very valuable to them. You just never know.
Our Mod. also sent out a message to our group stressing the importance of showing up when you say you will. Thanking the giver after you pick up. Not asking questions about the condition of the item. -She said that this is rude. Consider it a gift. Now this I don't really agree with. If the item was described accuratly in the original post than this wouldn't be an issue. I have had lots of questions, but never thought that it was rude. I'd rather have them ask & give it to the person who still wants the item even if it isn't perfect, or whatever. I have also drove an hour to find an item not what I expected. It was a cordless phone, it didn't have the power cord or the phone cord. So I took the phone to Radio Shack. They found all of the stuff I needed to make the phone work & it was going to cost me $25 but the helpful clerk reccomended I purchase the phone that they had on sale for $14.99 instead. That is what I did, & it was a better Ghz.

My best experience ever was when I asked for "The Tightwad Gazete Book" A kind women had it & I picked it up. When I was there she showed me her gardens. She told me that she was going to be thinning the overgrown gardens & wondered if I could use some of her periannial plants. We we're only in our house for a month at that point, I was so thrilled! Most of our gardens were weeds, so I was very grateful to get plants & be able to start gardening. She had me come a couple times, I helped her dig up the plants. She also gave me house plants & surplus veggies form her garden. Oh and my girls got to explore in her pond, actually it was a mud pit. My DD caught a frogs & got all muddy, it was a blast!

It is hit or miss like anything else. But if your family really needs something than it is worth the time & stress that it might take to get something that you need but don't have the $ for.

Hi mama2babybeans, I was just thinking of you the other day! I will never forget you for being so kind to me! Thank you
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Old 12-09-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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LOL! If you think it's so annoying to be a member, try being a mod!!!

I started a group and mod'd it for a year in Colorado. The things folks post that never go through you would be amazed at! There are even yahoo groups just for the mods where they can talk about how crazy some of the members are and to figure out how to deal with problems, etc.

It is basically a rule that you shouldn't put any personal info in your post. Only give an address/phone # to someone who is going to pick up.

But on the otherhand, some of those outlandish posts actually produce! When I was a mod, someone posted they wanted a snowmobile... DH laughed and said YA RIGHT! Then they got 2 different responses (at least, this was in the beginning of our group when folks couldn't figure out how to respond directly to the person and our whole group got to see it) for working snowmobiles! So, maybe someone has an extra iPod and they were going to throw one in the trash cause the color didn't match their outfit or something and Freecycle would be a good place for it.

FC here in Ashe. has been more frustrating being in a city rather than rurally. The mods keep taking everyone on and off moderation for no reason (which has to be a PITB for them to moderate that many posts!). And then I just had to roll my eyes the other day when someone posted: "Wanted: Organic Unbleached Diapers ... my daughter is pregnant and we both only want the best for her baby - please give us your unbleached organic prefold or fitted diapers, please no stains for excessive wear" HA! Too funny! I'm sure there are loads of mamas who spent hundreds of dollars on their diaper stash, just to give it all away to some picky person!

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Old 12-09-2005, 06:23 PM
 
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I was really active in Frecycle and then I moved into a gated community. Now it's kind of hard for me to offer things because I don't want to give out the gate code. I feel that would be disrespectful to my neighbors

Given the amount of no shows, I sure don't want to make an appointment and sit at teh gate to wait for them!
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:33 AM
 
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I got a bunkbed on freecycle, then the guy kept on emailing me asking for my dh to help him with his motorcycle. Dh felt sort of obligated 'cause they guy did give us his bunkbed...but then he got sick and he never ended up getting over there to help. I gave the bunkbed away to get rid of the karma.
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Old 12-17-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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We've mostly had good luck, but I've only given things. I did post a wanted ad for a kids bike, not really expecting one -- later found one at a garage sale for $2.00.

I mostly donate to local thrift stores but some things I didn't want to haul (old screen door) or stick the charity with (broken computer) went very quickly and easily on freecycle. I've also repsonded to some wanted ads and the people were always very gracious, sending thank you e-mails after.

I always just leave things out on the porch for them, so it's no bother if we're going out. I also don't open the door to strangers as a general rule, so leaving things outside takes care of that.
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:23 PM
 
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Hi root children aka Dreadymama! I was wondering what happened to you- hope you like your new home since you moved.

My experience was just this week. I have never posted anything, just joined and I get about 15 emails weekly with some people I know from my town. Someone posted a wanted- rocking chair and/or recliner to rock her new baby to sleep. We have a rocker that DH hates and he wants to make me a new one anyway for the new baby. Well I responded I have one.

They responded that they need to come by and look at it first before deciding. I'm thinking no way! So I took a picture and eamiled it right back. She responded not what she was looking for. Like I would really let a stranger in my house to decide if the free thing she solicitated would work!!

I have better luck getting rid of stuff by asking other mamas around me, tp, or call St Vincent dePaul to come pick it up.

That lady posting for perfect prefolds makes me laugh out louder than I have in a long time!! I am currently building my stash for our spring baby and I have found such awesome stuff on our tp here and the mamas are so wonderful to deal with. I also see some of the same people on ebay (or as I say- my virtual garage sale) and I have gotten stuff there. But I have not spent that much money and my stash is growing!

But if freecycle works for you, great, but I can see some of the downfalls that is going to ruin a really good thing.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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