Argh! I think I've had it with Freecycle! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 38 Old 11-13-2006, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to get rid of some stuff via Freecycle. Until now, I haven't really had any problems. A few people didn't show up the first time, were very apologetic, and came the second time. No problem. Fine. But for the last two weeks, I've been trying to get rid of a bunch of dishes, two bags of sheets (full sets), and a brand new footbath/massager. The dishes ended up sitting out in the rain for two days, and now I've got these dripping boxes on my landing. I have to take all the dishes out and repack them. The woman for the foot massager no-showed twice. And now the woman who wants the sheets has been dragging her feet for 4 days. On Friday, she said she could come get them Saturday, so I responded with my address and said they'd be bagged up on the porch with her name on them, come whenever she wanted. We were in and out all day Saturday. On Saturday night I find that she e-mailed Saturday MORNING and said she just got my e-mail, would I call her on her cell phone so we don't keep missing each other with e-mails? Um, we DIDN'T. Why didn't you just come and get them! So I called her twice on Sunday, no connection. I e-mailed her again to say I would put them out on Sunday and again on Monday for her, so just come whenever she can. She just replied to me AGAIN asking me to call her at a different number. I don't have time to call this woman repeatedly! I'm working and dealing with two kids and my mom.

I'm so irritated, I don't even want to call her again. I didn't want to call her in the first place! I mean, how hard is it to just tell me when you'll be here and then actually show up?

I've gotten rule smackdowns a couple of times in the last few weeks--once for trying to post a curb alert, when everyone else does it, and once when I submitted a Wanted for pajamas, right afterward there was a mass e-mail sent by the mod about not including "sob stories" in your Wanted posts (when all I said was, "My little one could use some warmer jammies. Thanks!")

:

OK, rant over. I'm trying so hard to put this stuff back out there for people who need it, but I guess I'm just better off hauling the whole shebang to Goodwill or having the Vietnam vets association pick it up. That's for charity anyway... [sigh]

Melissa, a homeschooling, caffix.gif-guzzling, SAHM of two: reading.gif (11) and joy.gif(8)
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#2 of 38 Old 11-13-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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I have the worst luck with freecycle. I gave it up. I give my studd away on Craigs List.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#3 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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I had similar issues, so now I just drop things off at the thrift store when I want them gone.

Sorry you're going through it.
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#4 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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Funny how it only takes a few (persistantly!) irresponsible people to ruin great things like Freecycle. Same madness around here, if you can even get a word in edgewise on the message list/forum. Sorry mama.

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#5 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 01:05 AM
 
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I feel your pain completely. I barely offer things anymore because of no-shows or ignornant people.
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#6 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 01:23 AM
 
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I respond to wanteds only and of course if someone is offering and then I go and get it or dh does. But, I responded last week to a need of 3-6 girls clothing which my dd2 is just out of. Some of which is brand new. She needs it, writes a sob story the whole thing. Then tells me 2 different days she is coming and at least told me thru email she couldnt make it. I said its here, if you want it next week. No reply. Oh well, another mom at the preschool is having a girl after having a boy and she is more than happy to take all of it!


For now on, if you do give it a try again, say no response to phone, email only. Also state- if you're not going to pick it up, please dont reply.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#7 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 01:31 AM
 
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I've had the same issues, I just donate my stuff to thriftstores now. I had WAY TO MANY no shows or just people say X day...no X day.. I dont want to hang onto this stuff I want it gone.
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#8 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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I usually list it and say whoever gets here first gets it.And I also list it on Craigslist as well as freecycle

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
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#9 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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#10 of 38 Old 11-14-2006, 07:24 PM
 
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I've had the same problem recently on our freecycle list. Like pp, I've started staing in my posts it is here and first come first serve. I have an old coal chute in my alleyway and can leave it there. I don't have time to run things to the thrift very often so I am reliant on freecycle (I'll have to start posting on craig's list too). I also am learning to specify pick-up only. The last few items I freecycled I have had 3 or 4 requests for me to drop off items. I'm sure this may be helpful to some people but I do not have the time or resources to go carting stuff ALL over this sprawled out city to people. A couple poeple didn't even ask, just replied "drop off to me tomorrow" with their address. Yeah, right! I'm suspicious of anyone giving me there address or phone number and insisting that I contact them. Maybe that's just the city girl in me ! And some people who no-showed then sent me these REALLY long and depressing sob stories about their lives falling apart. I'm not setting out to be calloused but I'm pretty cynical of anybody who feels the need to pour out their life's story to a stranger who is just trying to get rid of some old junk!

Guess I needed a little rant, too! I'm getting ready to bug our mods too. Sorry for your sour experiences mama! And goodluck decluttering!

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
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#11 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 04:38 AM
 
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My worst freecycle experience was that we posted an offer on our old washer. Made arrangements for pickup, an older gentleman came to pick it up with his truck and a dolly he borrowed from his neighbor. As DH and he were wheeling it out to his truck, he was giving it a yank to get over a bump and the handle of the dolly came off and he went flying backwards. I am in the house near the window, and I hear this "AAAAUUGGGHHHH!!" and look out the window to see this guy lying on my driveway clutching his elbow and my horrified DH going over and asking him, "Are you okay? Do you need an ambulance?" Meanwhile, I am grabbing the phone to call 911 and wondering if my homeowners insurance is going to cover this . . . ! However, it turns out that he was okay, no ambulance needed, and they finished loading the washer up and he left. It was really scary though!!!

I have to admit that I no-showed on a freecycle thing once--I posted a WANTED for a used exersaucer, the woman responded and I was going to go pick it up, but she lived all the way on the other side of town (like 45 minutes-1 hour drive) and DH wanted to go with me because he's convinced that I'm going to pick something up and it's really going to be a psycho ax-murderer, and then before I could actually make arrangements to pick it up the car broke down, and I just sort of put it on the back burner and then was embarassed to call back again! So I guess stuff does happen.

I agree though, that Freecycle does have its ups and downs, and sometimes it is more of a pain to try to give something away on it than to just drop it off to Goodwill. And aside from that one thing that I didn't pick up, the only thing I've ever managed to GET from freecycle was 15 narcissus bulbs!!!
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#12 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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Usually if a person's first response to me when I post an offer is "I want it. Can you give me a call at this number, xxx-xxxx", that even if they are the first responder, I just ignore that. I DO NOT want to be calling people, either. If people don't show up the first time to get it, I tell them I am offering it to the next person that had responded. They don't get second chances, which I know is mean, but I just don't have time to deal with it.

Using those rules, I've had OK luck with Freecycle. I've actually had better luck with Craigslist.
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#13 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 12:48 PM
 
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I've had amazing luck with Freecycle. Only had one no-show. I was offering my daughters exersaucer. This girl (first-responder) emailed me with long sob-story and went on and on about how much she needs an exersaucer. It really left me scratching my head when she didn't show.

In the end I gave the exersaucer to a friend and that was that.

P.S. That's insane that people actualy ask for the person OFFERING to deliver the item. I've never heard of such a thing! I think my response to such a request would be "Are you out of your mind?"
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#14 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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Kavita and baby hopes- could you both have been the two wanting and giving the exersaucer?? :

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#15 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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This is why all my stuff gets dropped off at a local Goodwill : I have to get it out of her once it's packed up. I can't wait around for someone to come get it.

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#16 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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I do a LOT with freecycle. Because of finances I really need to make it work for me.... I have gotten some great stuff and given some great stuff as well. A few tips-

-When you are giving away items, on the post for the "offer" state for them to include their phone number and date/time they would like to make the pick up. This usually saves at least one e-mail back and forth and by having the phone number, I find they are a LOT more likely to show- not always but more likely. If they blow you off call and ask whats up.... I also always ask them to please contact me if they change their mind or decide it is a hassle or something. Surprisingly by saying this I have had several people tell me they changed their minds et cetera and then I was able to move onto the second person interested.

- hope for the best but assume the worst- never leave damagable items where or in a way they can be damaged. I usually leave my things under an overhang and if rainy I put it in a white or black garbage bag and secure well so if I get blown off it is still able to be given to someone else.

-never use the terms "any time" as in "you can come any time on sunday" this somehow makes people less likely to show up.

Lastly I would say that some times when I have lots of stuff to unload and declutter, I just can't be bothered Freecycling. I try my best and especially when I think it is a valuable item or something someone could REALLY use- say blankets, quilts, kids clothes, then I do offer on Freecycle them but when it is assorted house wares or something and I really need to get a move on, then I do take them to the thrift shop to donate.

Having recived :
Clothing hangers
a great, sturdy drying rack like they sell in 7th generation
2 beds
one large dresser
a great fish tank set up
sewing machine
lots of beautiful wool yarn
a baby swing
set of duplos
2 lamps that use compact florescent light bulbs
lots and lots of kids clothing
legos for my sons
beautiful blankets for the baby
a dog house
a blender
a sleeping bag

and many other things I can't think of right now, it really is worth it for me to keep doing it. I hope you can find it to be as well.

Sheila
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#17 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 07:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
Kavita and baby hopes- could you both have been the two wanting and giving the exersaucer?? :
Nope! I didn't give a sob story, just posted a "WANTED: Exersaucer"!!
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#18 of 38 Old 11-15-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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I have mostly good luck with freecycle...I think in large part that's due to our great moderators, AND the key fact that we have a No-Show List! Maybe your moderators could start one? It helps keep people on their toes when they know they could get called out by name. I've never added anyone to the list - I know people get busy and forget or whatever - but I've been tempted to a couple of times. I do try to check the list when someone wants my item, so I don't waste my time.

What's almost worse to me is when you DO show to pick something up promptly at an agreed time and it's NOT THERE, nor are the people! Hahllooo, single mom, two toddlers, when do you think I can get back to your house again? It could be months! It's nice that you're offering...but please try to remember that you did so, and that someone's driving twenty miles with cranky toddlers to accept!

My all-time freecycle record is getting rid of a washing machine in *two hours* on moving day when it broke. I posted, and POOF, gone. That was awesome!
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#19 of 38 Old 11-16-2006, 02:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
Kavita and baby hopes- could you both have been the two wanting and giving the exersaucer?? :
Okay that would have been an awful coincidence and I would have felt horrible for having used the term "Sob-story." Trully a lesson in "think before you speak." LOL.
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#20 of 38 Old 11-17-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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I think it depends on your area...I have only had good experiences with our local freecycle. I also post a date that the item must be picked up by & if they don't I donate to the thrift store. My theory is that if they can't be bothered to pick up something when they say they are going to, I can't be bothered to hold on to it forever

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#21 of 38 Old 11-17-2006, 06:28 PM
 
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I too found it to be a hassle. I'm going to probably have a free garage sale soon and advertise it on craig's list. If it's on the driveway between certain hours on a certain day, it's free. First come first serve. The rest I will cart off to Goodwill.

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#22 of 38 Old 11-18-2006, 09:25 PM
 
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Yep. IMO--Not Worth It. This is a great list of reminders of why I DONATE things. Find a good org that gets stuff to people who really need it. We just took a box of DSs baby things to consignment-- $25. DH called me from the store, and was like-- dude. I'm just gonna take it to the Org we donate to. "I;d feel better knowing someone who really needs it got it."
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#23 of 38 Old 11-19-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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We freecycle. We have been really blessed but although I do freecycle when I can, I have got to the point where I will donate to the local women's or family shelter because of no-shows, etc.

 Mama to my tribe
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#24 of 38 Old 11-19-2006, 06:09 PM
 
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After a lot of trial and error, I have come up with the following system:

I post about the thing I'm offering and roughly where I am located, and let people know that first priority goes to the person who can pick it up first. I then wait one day, and then e-mail all the people who have responded and tell them exactly when and where I am leaving it out, and that the first person to get there can have it. I don't respond to people who have been no shows in the past, or people who want me to call them to work out a time.

So far this system has worked really well. Maybe it gets people's competive juices flowing. I mainly use it for stuff that is in high demand. If I don't think anyone is going to respond, I give it to the Salvation Army. Clothes go to our church's "Clothes Closet" ministry.

One other thing I do is to e-mail people who have been great about pickups in the past if I think I have something they would be interested in.

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and remembering: little turtle 5/23/2006 and poppyseed 7/15/2009
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#25 of 38 Old 11-20-2006, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone, good advice! Last night I freecycled our Exersaucer, and it went perfectly, so I'm just going to consider it a run of bad luck. However, I did decide that I'm going to take as much as I can to Goodwill, since it's for charity anyway.

So my faith in Freecycle is redeemed, for now anyway. Now, if I could ever manage to catch ONE SINGLE THING that I actually want to receive...

Melissa, a homeschooling, caffix.gif-guzzling, SAHM of two: reading.gif (11) and joy.gif(8)
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#26 of 38 Old 11-21-2006, 05:31 AM
 
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I don't let somebody take it if they promised to pick it up and then didn't show (unless they had a damn good reason.) You don't show up? I offer it to the next person on the list or repost the offer.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#27 of 38 Old 11-21-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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It's awful here too. Lots of no shows and way too many wanted posts.
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#28 of 38 Old 11-23-2006, 08:33 PM
 
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I have had good experiences on freecycle.
I had a Christmas tree I wanted to get rid of. I posted it and got it out of the house in 3 hours.

I think the reason for the good experiences is that most of us just leave it on our porches so they can come when they can.
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#29 of 38 Old 11-28-2006, 03:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray's Mommy View Post
I think it depends on your area...I have only had good experiences with our local freecycle. I also post a date that the item must be picked up by & if they don't I donate to the thrift store. My theory is that if they can't be bothered to pick up something when they say they are going to, I can't be bothered to hold on to it forever
I totally agree. We have great moderators, i really think that helps! I have been able to pick up some nice things.
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#30 of 38 Old 11-30-2006, 01:54 AM
 
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I've gone from eBay, to craigslist to freecycle, to goodwill.
Honestly Goodwill is the easiest for me. I can drop the stuff off when I want AND we get a tax write off.
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