adellabedella_usaAugust 10, 2004

I joined my local group a while back. I thought I'd watch it for a while and then put some of my junk on there. I think our group is being misused We're getting a lot of scam emails and people asking for free things.

Here's an email we got today.

"My parents just moved [here] and they have absolutely nothing. They need a couch, table, coffee table, end tables, lamps, fans, beds, headboards, microwave, decorations or knick knacks, anything that will

make a house a home. If you have some things you need to get rid of please let me know and they will pick it up anytime that is convenient for you."

I'm trying very hard to resist the temptation to email back and tell them to get their parents a job. I don't mind sharing my excess if I think someone could use it. Requests like this are overboard. It seems like our group in into scams and "give me's." Are the groups working in areas where everyone else is located?

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I have issues with Freecycle too and am debating whether or not to unsubscribe. As you've mentioned, some of the "wants" are completely off-base. Example - Wanted newer Mercedes.

Furthermore, you have to watch your email like a hawk in my city if you want even the smallest chance of getting something.

I suscribed to Freecycle from its beginning. I'm now getting over 200 emails a day, which I mostly delete, and I have only picked up two items and those items were ones someone else said they wanted and then didn't pick up.

I've also stopped offering things because of the numerous "no shows" and requests for my phone number which I don't feel comfortable giving out. (I don't have a cell phone.) I don't want to get robbed.

Basically, I'm not getting much out of it.--Either by giving or by getting, and the greed is rampant.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 11:29PM
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I ignore the greedy. I ask for things offered if I need. If I get it cool, if not, ~Oh well~ :) maybe next time. I answer some of the wanteds. I make offers. Only one no show. One person had an emergency, she called, asked to give it to some one else as she wouldn't be able to pick it up for a few days at least. I held it for her for the time she needed and she was so happy to get it. Most of my group have offers of some kind. We seem to have a great group compared to some I've seen and heard about. We have some of the same type greedy but they soon leave, Our Moderator/Founder and her able assistants are great and work a lot on the site. She has TROLLS-BE-GONE I think!!! We very rarely see a "bad" post she pops them off real fast and bans the troll's cookies. LOL Some of our group have area free for alls and get together for giving stuff away. I'm sorry you aren't pleased with your groups ways. You can try making your views known to your moderator to see if there are others that feel the same and get somethings changed. If worse comes to worst you can opt out of that one and maybe try another or open one you'll be able to Mod.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 12:29AM
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Our group is great. I only know of one bad post & they were booted out right away. I've done a lot of giving & getting & met a lot of really nice people. I'm going tomorrow to pick up some wood. Have gotten bowling balls, old windows, 4 really nice old Duncan Pfife chairs that match my old dining rm. table.Also got a bunch of mosaic tiles & grout. We have a swap meet every 2 wks. That helps not having to have people at your home. I even met a lady at McDonalds to exchange. Don't give up. There should be a way to work out the kinks.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 2:32AM
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I just signed up for my local freecycle group, and after two days my entire inbox was filled with wanted ads. The requests were reasonable, but I don't understand why people can't wait and read the posts of items offered. If someone doesn't have it to offer, you're probably not going to find it.

I have yet to put anything up there nor take anything anyone else is offering.

We'll see. It's a good idea, but seems poorly run and disrespected by local users.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 11:56AM
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I LOVE Freecycle!!! I've gotten rid of something I had. I have also benefited by receiving bowling balls, a fertilizer spreader, and landscape bricks!

*TIP* I opt for NO EMAILS and just go to Yahoo Groups to read. Works for me!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 12:44PM
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I'm pretty new to freecycle but I did give away some kefir starter grains. It's a little bit like yogurt. I have been trying for 3 weeks to meet a person to give an Alison Krauss CD to, but we can't seem to get together. Our moderator doesn't always get posts on timely but its new in our town and is getting better. I think its a great idea as is and

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 1:28PM
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I belong to the original Freecycle group and while we have some people who are constantly posting "Wants", we also have a wonderful group of givers. I have given several things, especially to teachers and nonprofit groups and have received some fantastic bargains. Our moderator is quick to remove posts that are not appropriate. Good luck to our new members all over the country!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 1:57PM
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We have several freecycles in our area: Phoenix, Phoenix west, Chandler, Scottsdale just to name a few.

The main one is strictly moderated - each post being looked at by the moderator before it is posted. Whichs puts a lag time of about 6 hours on each post. But it works nicely.

The others are newer and as soon as a spam (such as I get all my groceries for free with this $35 program) goes up it gets deleted within hours and the person is banned from the site.

I think it really matters on who is moderating. We also have alot of wanteds...but you know what since the people know they will be banned if they get outrageous, it has stopped the majority of the weird ones.

We actually like having the (non outrageous) wanteds listed, because it jogs peoples mind of things they have that they do not use or have been meaning to get rid of.

Like wanted: leftover bricks. Alot of people have 10-20 bricks left over from a project but just do not think to post it.

I recently made a needed/wanted list. explaining in all in one post items I need (due to a disability) or husband being laied off and items I want (for crafts etc).
Wouldn't you know I got more people providing me with both the wants and needs than I ever. I should also say I am one of the larger givers on the local board normally having around 5 things listed at any one time. But because they did not have to read 20 wanted posts from me, they looked at the post, read it and happily provided me with the things I desparatly needed (such as clothes)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 4:29PM
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hi, joined here a few mo,s back, have given away some stuff stroller car seat richard simmons tapes ,also have posted a wanted note for fence and had a few people respond but they wanted me to take down and haul what was true junk ,I felt bad but it was of no use to me ,also had some real nice folks call and gave me 75 ft of new chain link .
had to stop looking all the time to addicting and the e mail was way to much .
as was said about the bricks the wanted adds remind folks what they have .they asked that ? here and most people said it was a good idea because it kept it active .happy junkin.Rick

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 6:46PM
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We had the same problem on our group. We had people posting for boats, cash and everything in between. Our moderator gave them a warning and then booted them.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 4:45PM
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Hi - This is a new forum for me on THS. I found your thread on google, while looking for other people's opinions on freecycle. I've only been on my local list for a couple of weeks, and am about ready to call it quits myself.

I live in a pretty densely populated area, and traffic on my local list is very heavy. Also because of being densely populated, there is no shortage of places to donate things around here. And recycling is mandatory in our state. So if you have magazines to get rid of, you could easily 1) pop them in your recycling bag or 2) drop them off at a local library for their free magazine exchange or booksale. Yet magazines are offered on the freecycle list, along with lots of other items that are readily accepted by Goodwill, Volunteers of America, Purple Heart, Salvation Army, etc. It seems so inefficient, listing it, replying to people, arranging for pickup, dealing with no-shows. Even from the Taker's point of view, even if the item itself is free, you still have to invest time and money for gas and possibly toll calls. Is it really better than hitting Goodwill and yard sales once in a while?

It makes sense to me for items that are so bulky they are a problem to take in to donate, the rare things the charities won't accept, and the just plain weird. I just don't get the charm of it for normal, everyday used stuff. At least in our area. I must be missing something!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 9:42PM
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I joined freecycle a few months ago and think it is great. I have received and given items. In answer to "why not goodwill etc", one item I gave was clothes to a child for school. Yes I could have donated them but this single mother would likely have been stressed to purchase them. We have become friends and I have a steady flow of clothing for her child. We too have ridiculous wants on our post but just ignore them. I think the moderator does a wonderful job and when we had a spam posting was quick to kick the person off. I have not had any no-shows and have enjoyed giving items that were large for me to transport. All in all I like getting stuff for free, clearing out unwanted items and preventing things from going to landfill!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2004 at 12:53PM
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I have had a good time with freecycle and have met some pretty nice people there. I have gotten all kinds of cool things. The best I would have to say would be the two tier fountain that is just huge. Second best would be though there I found out about a local parks pond loosing its water and helping out to save some of the goldfish out of there.
However yesterday put kind of a bad taste in my mouth. I had bagged up seed pods from a hardy hibiscus and offered them to people on there. Made it clear, one bag per person. Last night someone came for their bag. I had the box of bags out front. My 17 year old son gave her one bag. When he went back inside he said he looked out and seen her walking to her van with the whole box. I had other people coming for the other bags today. So I had to quickly make sure they were told what happened. Really upset me when this happened. Oh well.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2004 at 8:00PM
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That is too bad about the seeds, there will always be greedy, no conscience people around (sad to say)...

I LOVE my local freecycle - I've posted many offers and met some very nice people. Gotten a couple of nice things too. I've seen some outrageous "wanteds", but those get ignored and our mod gives folks 3 chances and then you're booted and barred. Sometimes the wanteds do jog your memory - someone wanted old Nursing textbooks (to get a head start on school) so I gave her all ten zillion pounds of my old Nursing books. She was happy and I was thrilled to keep them (for now at least) out of the landfill. And posting larger items means someone comes to get them instead of my hauling them to the TS (which only comes out for VERY large items).


    Bookmark   August 31, 2004 at 11:00PM
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For anything that is FREE you are always going to get a few that will try to abuse it but I think that recycle is a wonderful orgainization and I applaud the Tucson people who initiated the idea. Even though we have had a few abusers I still pass the information along to my friends and family all over the US and the UK. Don't let a few people turn you off. Remember if you don't find a home for your things either selling them yourself or offering them through an organization like FREECYCLE, the stuff ends up in landfills. Freecycle IS making a difference all over the country. I quit going to the thrift shops b/c the dealers were getting there early and grabbing all the decent items and turning around and reselling them. The only thing left is junk and I do mean junk. I for one accessorize my home with vintage items b/c I live in an 1800's farmhouse. I can't really afford to get things at the antique shops around here so I look towards my local freecycle or curbside shopping. I have been able to furnish my front porch with older wicker items. Now I am looking for a period small table and chairs for my kitchen...hopefully I will see something usable on freecycle.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2004 at 6:18AM
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I really enjoy freecycle. So far someone gave me a bookshelf for my classroom, and plants for my garden b/c they were de-landscaping. I intend to put up offers soon , but I am waiting for the first few difficult weeks of school to be over...'s great for someone like me who is a teacher and spends 1000s of dollars on their room!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2004 at 5:11PM
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Saw a Freecycle post yesterday (Houston area) where a woman wanted a ticket or airline miles to attend a funeral. I could understand why she would want to go but a round trip ticket to where she wants to go is nearly $300.

I have never seen anything that I wanted but have given away things that I did not need and always received a thank you via Email.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 5:33PM
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I started one of our local groups and because we didnt have any close by I branched off two areas and started one for them but have given them back to someone in the area to take care of them, but what I wanted to say about Freecycle is that with the one group that I still moderate, we held a local community clothing swap in August and for the first time it turned out really great, people were dropping clothes off left and right. Most of you are correct in stating that the wants have be outrageous and sometimes silly, but in our group, we post all the wants to a database that the members can look at before they post an item or just post what they have, the database of wants gets mailed out on Friday to everyone so they still get them but with over 300 emails a day that is a bit much, ours is also moderated so that no spam or anything illegal gets through we are having a holiday get together in December and plans are being made for next years clothing swap along with an everything sale.

Moderators have the power to fix whatever if wrong with your freecycle, ask them or as a group vote, that is what ours does.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 8:26PM
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I have had nothing but good luck with our Freecycle. I think it depends on your moderator. I have given and also received. Giving is so rewarding because the person is thankful. I have always gotten a nice thank you and even one person left me a nice card and 2.50 to buy a coffee. We live in a small town so I don't mind leaving items on my porch for people to pick up. I have even delivered. I received a nice air conditioner for my in-laws after putting a request on freecycle. I would much rather give stuff away to someone who can use it than give to Goodwill or whatever. They are getting too picky anyway.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 3:19AM
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Our freecycle seems to be like all the others....Many asking for things...although the moderator keeps saying to "keep the wants down to a mimimun"....Yet there are a lot of people who are getting needs met.

They are planning a picnic for the freecycle people next month. Should be fun.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2004 at 12:14AM
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Geez, I hate to sound like a dummy but I just stumbled on this thread. What in the world is Freecycle and where do I go to find out about it??? Thanks

    Bookmark   September 12, 2004 at 4:15AM
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I love freecycling! I have gotten some really cool things from it. I am starting my own daycare and I posted looking for misc. toys that people might not need anymore and I got like 5 reply's! I have recieved some great puzzles, toys, etc. I even got a soaker hose! Some of the items I have offered would be of been no use to a donation place. Like today I am offering a computer tower with hardware in it but the harddrive is fried. And someone actually wanted it for the parts. We have a really good moderator who watches our freecycle. I think its a great idea that helps people out and keeps more stuff from going in the landfills. As with anything, there is good and bad. But my experience is wonderful so far!

lover of freecycle,


    Bookmark   September 12, 2004 at 2:03PM
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We had an interesting post on Freecycle over the weekend.
Some woman posted to come see me @ and listed a site that was a single parents dating service. There were a couple of complaints but does not look like the moderator is going to do anything.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 10:40PM
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I was actually able to voice my frustration with FreeCycle in our local newspaper. I was called by a reporter who was doing an article on it and she called me, as she had seen I had given many things away. Within days after that article running, I unsubscribed. It was very sad, but I encountered greed on a level I had never seen. People were very quick to grab but not so quick to share. Only once did I post asking if anyone had an old bookcase and I was completely ignored. I gave away a bar (full size with sink and everything, a freezer, a potbelly stove and a free standing basketball hoop. All which could have easily been sold. I did it thinking it was a kind thing, but the lack of appreciation (some didn't even say thanks.) was a real turn off. The concept is good, but it is a sad lesson on the way many of society really operate. Needless to say, my interview with the reporter didn't give a glowing report to this website.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 12:34PM
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Just putting in my two cents worth. I belong to one of the largest freecycle groups in Va. and I absolutely LOVE IT! I have met some of the nicest people both by giving and receiving. I thing Freecycle People are the BEST! We've had our share of problems on our site too but we have excellent moderators that take care of problems as they arise. We have a huge freecycle group but we are all like family. I'm sorry you have had so many problems with yours.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 10:52PM
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dkmaster . . . here's a link to Freecycle. After clicking on your area on the left, the selection becomes more area specific. Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Freecycle

    Bookmark   September 22, 2004 at 6:52AM
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I agree with others that a Freecyle group needs to be heavily moderated. My local one (Cape Cod) is very well run.

There's been a couple of outrageous requests "Wanted: House", but for the most part, people keep it real. And honestly, I feel more sorry than anything else for someone posting that.

I think it's easier in a small town environment in some ways, (greater trust, easier to keep track of who people are), although there are some disadvantages (not as many people using the service).

    Bookmark   September 25, 2004 at 11:07AM
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i agree that many of the wants are silly and i too have often thought to send someone a reply that says "get a job" ... but i have opted out of recieving the emails and just check the message log occaisionally now - our local group organizes monthly swaps - to exchange items and i think that is a safer way to meet strangers - in a group atmosphere in a public place - people post what they are bringing to the swap ... alot of times what isnt picked up at the swap is then dropped off at goodwill or salvation army ...

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 2:24PM
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Just wanted to add, I mentioned our Freecyle group was well run and wanted to give some specifics.

On my Freecyle,"Wants" are restriced to once a week, the same "Want" can only be posted once a month). So, no matter how greedy/clueless someone is, they can't flood the list with requests.

Also, the list administrator periodically gives us pep talks. :) She's clearly very into the whole notion of building community, encouraging and thanking people for their generosity and I think her presence really keeps the ball rolling.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2004 at 12:02PM
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Joined the freecycle in our area and had to unsubscribe the next week. There were only 386 members but the same ones seem to ask several times. First day there were 166 items in my email. I know it could really be a good thing if handled correctly. So many of you have positive responses, but mine just did not work out. Guess that part of living in a free country, some good and some bad apples. Hallngarden

    Bookmark   October 25, 2004 at 2:56PM
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Don't give up on freecycle, email the owner/moderator for your group and tell them why you were frustrated. They'll never know if you don't tell them! I agree 100% that it depends on how the group is run. (The email address for group owners is listed on the home page for each group, towards the bottom.)

I belong to several freecycle groups and some of them are such a mess because the moderators don't have any control over them. I co-own/moderate the local group (2800 members) and it runs smoothly because we have rules - if we didn't it would be chaotic! We only let people post one wanted request per week and the same wanted can't be posted more than once a month.

I have given and received LOADS of stuff through freecycle. I've had lots of no-shows as well, but since I usually tell people to come by and get stuff off my porch when I'm not home it's not a big deal. I just move down the list and offer it to the next person who wanted it!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2004 at 4:01PM
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