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More Freecycle craziness!

Posted by bonniepunch USDAz4 AgCanz5a (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 14, 06 at 12:58

My pile of stuff to give away got to the point of overflowing, so I offered it up on Freecycle. It was like opening the gates to hell! Two people obviously looked up my number in the phone book and called me, most people assumed that by asking for it they could have everything and they'd be by shortly to pick it up. Umm... How about - "No"?

Some people got upset that I didn't reply to their demands (four emails from one person!), but I got over two hundred replies for all my stuff. I'm not going to answer all that! No way!! And I'm especially going to ignore people that are getting aggressive about it. So I waited out the gimme people and waited until someone asked nicely for particular items and they got them.

I've been using Freecycle for a couple of years, and I love it, but I am always surprised at how greedy some people are. I don't mean that wanting free stuff is bad (I'm firmly in the 'free stuff is great' camp), but some people are really expecting to get what you're offering and are getting upset if you don't give it to them! If I get something I can use for free I'm thrilled, but I'd never expect or demand it!

The Montreal group has over 7000 (yes, thousand!) members, so the chances of any one person getting any particular item isn't great. I guess that's why people have gotten agressive. But some people are just plain crazy!

Oh well - I won't let a few idiots stop me from using a great service. I'll just rant about them ;-)


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: More Freecycle craziness!

I know what you mean Bonnie. I have had similar situations with Freecycle. It's almost as though some people are grabbing up all of the stuff all of the time .. maybe they are Freecycle addicts or people who are planning a huge yard sale in their neighbourhood in the summer:o) I sometimes wait at least 24 hours and then contact the last person who has responded ..they are usually the newer people and much less freecycle crazy :o) I too love the who concept ..and its easier for someone else to cart the stuff away than to pay the dumping fee at the dump:o)


RE: More Freecycle craziness!

  • Posted by billl1 6b Ontario (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 17, 06 at 11:23

I am relatively new to Freecycle. We just started using it last year ,with great results I might add. All the folks that contacted us regarding our postings have been a plaeasure to deal with.

I would not have much patience With aggressive responses. Folks need to remember to recieve a gift is not a right,but a gift.


RE: More Freecycle craziness!

I think it really depends on the size of your group. In my opinion, the Montreal one is way too big, and it attracts people who are taking stuff to sell at flea markets and the like. And there are a TON of people asking for stuff like TVs, computers, and even cars. And the number of people that play netcop and shriek out about how you are in violation of the rules... Of course they are also in violation since only posts offering or asking for something are allowed, but the rules don't apply to them...

I used to give items out to the first person to respond, but there are a good dozen responses within the first ten minutes, so I now pick the recipient a little more carefully. They have to be polite, and not in the least aggressive about it and they have to be someone that will make use out of the item. I had a style guide that was only good for professional writers, so I wasn't going to give that out to someone who couldn't even spell :-) I also had some computer games that were shooting type games - rated mature. One woman wrote several times asking for them for her 7 year old son!! Everything now goes to someone who really wants it and can definately use it.

I know I'm not the only one doing this now. I got a couple of gardining books off of a woman last week who thanked me for taking only what I wanted or could use. They were very old and not in great shape, but I was thrilled to have them because they were in French, and I don't know a lot of French gardening terms and names. One of the books even had beautiful watercolour prints for illustrations instead of photos.

I'm glad that the Freecycle thing is catching on though. It is a great way to get rid of thing you don't want that still have some use left in them. It's too bad that some people don't seem to understand the spirit of it, but I guess it's their loss!


RE: More Freecycle craziness!

This is firmly in the category of "Don't Get Me Started". :-(

We joined Edmonton FC about a year ago, and it was a great way to find homes for so much stuff. We quickly sent off exercise equipment, barbeques, sewing machines, carpet cleaners, and enough kitchen equipment to open your own restaurant. We get these things over the years, often as gifts from my well-meaning (but quite clueless) parents, and I'm not patient enough to hold a garage sale (once was enough). So FC sounded great.

Oh, to be young and naive again.

People writing to say "yeah, OK, I'll take that off your hands, when will you deliver it." People writing to curse at us because they "said THEY wanted that" and how dare we give it to someone else. People refusing to come out and pick something up (we are in a small town, north of Edmonton), and demanding delivery. And I DO mean demanding: I have a pretty extensive vocabulary, and just because I choose not to curse doesn't mean I couldn't make a 40-year Navy man blush...but even *I* learned new"interesting" words.

When I saw something I needed, I always posted the same basic note: "If this item hasn't been spoken for, please keep us in mind. Thanks very much for considering us, and I hope you have a lovely day."

If this is offensive, someone please tell me how. Some of the replies I've found in my inbox make me wonder if "please" is a horrible curse on this planet, and I've just been too wrapped up in my own little world to notice.

I'm glad I helped out some people with the things I didn't need. And I'll continue to do so, whenever I hear of someone who needs something I can offer... "things" aren't very important, after all. But the things I do believe in - including simple courtesy and honesty - have been lacking in my personal experience with FC.

Fortunately we're having a fundraising garage-sale at a Tibetan Buddist Temple we help out with. So that's where the current crop of 'good stuff that we/neighbors just don't need' will go.

- Merri

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