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  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Anyone heard of freecycle? It's awesome!

natashateach

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In today's economy many of us are looking for a deal. I found www.freecycle.org and I love it!!!! The purpose is to reduce items in the landfill. You sign up for free in your area. Then you can offer items you might otherwise dispose of or you can get items others are offering. There is absolutely no trading or selling. Our girls have gotten bunk beds, toys, and other things. We have offered clothes, cribs, and other things. I thought I would pass it on if anyone is interested. Each area is a little different. If you have used it your experiences may be enjoyed by others as well?:wave:
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Tried Freecycle, Prefer Craig's List.

From the day we signed up with FreeCycle, our E-Mail mailbox filled up with way more offerings than we could deal with -- so many that it made the FreeCycle system impractical for us.

So we unsubscribed from FreeCycle & went back to Craig's List, which we find to be lots more user friendly than the E-Mail force-feeding we got from FreeCycle.

That's not intended as a blanket condemnation -- just an indication of how it was for us. Your mileage may vary.

Is this a great country or what ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

pjrose

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We've been on FreeCycle for years - we don't get too much mail, because we chose the option to get all the posts for that day combined in one email. That also means most of the offers are gone by the time we get the email, but our main purpose so far has been to give things away.

We have given away or gotten jigsaw puzzles, a massage cushion, packing peanuts, books, store coupons, and I don't remember what else. I love it!
 

Patri

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I don't get the emails at all. When I go to the website I look around. Just like I do on Craigslist. It's true. You have to be about the first to respond to a giveaway, but we have gotten some useful things. And given away some. People are so grateful. And I love that stuff is recycled.
 

senorak

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I've gotten rid of quite a bit on both freecycle and cheapcycle, (where you can charge a fee). Also picked up my son's queen size bed frame and mattress. You do get a ton of email....but I've become quite adept at hitting that "delete" key. :p

DEB
 

Brett

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Although I haven't used freecycle or cheapcycle I'm inclined to agree with the craigslist recomendation, just list your unwanted junk for free on craigslist and let them pick it up
 

neash

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I love freecycle. I chose not to get daily emails, so my inbox is not cluttered.
I have used it to give away a lot of things that would have otherwise been thrown, or just using up space in the garage.
 

rsnash

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Freecycle Tips

I have been participating with freecycle for about 5 years and have given away a lot and received some as well. :cheer: For example, I have given away: a beautiful wooden screen I originally paid $400 for, but had no place for in my current home; a king sized mattress and frame; various computers/computer parts, monitors; cassette tapes; fish tanks; other furniture. I have received cookbooks, an antique food slicer, popcorn, popcorn poppers, etc. Yes, I have given away more than I've received,* but I also benefit from the decluttering.

To manage the massive quantity of email (I get upwards of 200 per day from my local group), create a filter to put your freecycle mail in a special folder. In the morning and whenever I check my email, I go into that folder and click the select all unread messages box. Then, I quickly scan through the titles (our local group follows a strict subject line policy: OFFER/WANTED: THINGY (TOWN NAME)) for items I am interested in. I uncheck the 2 or 3 emails I actually want to read. Then delete the rest. Read those and respond or delete. This is a pretty painless way to deal with the mail volume.

If you are offering something, don't necessarily react positively to the first person responding to your offer. ESPECIALLY if their response is not detailed in any way. A lot of people put autoresponders in their freecycle email that says, "I want it, please call me at ..." without mentioning the item itself. They then review their positive responses to see what they actually want, now that they are first on the list to receive it. Many also use eBay or garage sales to then sell the items. Now, I have no problem with people reselling freecycle stuff. *I could probably resell much of what I have given away, it's just not worth the effort to me. However, many of the "I want it" people don't repond back or don't show up to pick up the item.

Instead, ask for people to include their name, phone, and when they can pick up in their response. Ignore emails that ignore this request. If it is an obviously valuable item, or one I want to go to someone "deserving" I ask for a reason why they want it. This is all to weed out the autoresponders. And wait about 24 hours (unless you become overwhelmed with detailed responses) to make a decision. Give those who only scan online or digest emails a chance.

If you are a single woman, take the usual precautions. I usually arrange pick ups for when my husband is home or I leave stuff outside the garage.

If you are picking something up and it is left outside for you: ONLY TAKE THE ITEM YOU HAVE BEEN OFFERED! It is, at best, rude. And, at worst, theft, to take anything else. Someone else could be on their way to pick up that other widget. When I am giving away more than one thing, I put them in clearly labeled bags and remind people in my direction email to only take the bag with their name on it.

I have even gotten my parents into freecycling. They've gotten rid of an old computer desk, the ping pong table we used to play but had been sitting, unused, in their garage for 15 years, 7 fish tanks (my mom is now redecorating the "moldering fish tank" room), and have never even tried to get anything. Of course, I'm usually the one posting and dealing with the emails for their offerings, but after the first couple pick ups (when they were quite suspicious), they now deal with the pick ups on their own. For the fish tanks, I even asked those receiving them (they were really dirty and gross) to send us pictures after they were cleaned up and in use. My dad was annoyed that I didn't get any money from them (he even tried when a freeccyler was picking up and I had to chastise him), but did appreciate that these people are enjoying the hobby he once did, but couldn't keep up with any more.
 
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judyjht

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I am the Moderator of the FreeCycle group in my area. You can get either, individual email, daily digest or special notices. So, there is no way you need to get a ton of emails every day. The best part about being the moderator is that I get first dibs on everything!!! :whoopie: I have received some great items. I only allow the WANTED postings twice a week because people get really crazy in what they ask for - boats, rvs, flat screen tv, laptops, cars, motorcycles. I am sure they never receive these items but they still ask.

www.freecycle.org
 

ownsmany

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Thanks. I just signed up. I never knew about that site.

I give bags of stuff every few weeks to different charity trucks that collect clothes, househould items, etc. I'm not too sure one of the trucks that collects actually has the money go to charity.

This gives me another alternative.

Thanks.
 

rsnash

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The best part about being the moderator is that I get first dibs on everything!!!
I heard from another freecycle moderator that they don't allow moderators to be from the area they moderate because some abuse the system by taking first dibs on everything. :annoyed:
 

rsnash

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I'm not too sure one of the trucks that collects actually has the money go to charity. This gives me another alternative
One thing I try to keep in mind is that freecycle is not charity. It's a way to follow "reduce, reuse, recycle." I actually get annoyed by sob-story emails from people saying why they want my stuff. Also ignorable are Wanted posts with a sob-story attached. A simple and direct approach with perhaps a non-crybaby reason is best, IMO.
 

natashateach

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Nice to hear so many use it

It's nice to hear about the differences of freecycle in different places and the ways people use it. There are items I used to sell and now prefer freecycling because of the sense of community that is established. It has totally helped me to declutter. Things that had sentimental value were hard to part with but when you know who is getting them and that they will be used it does give a satisfaction. The idea of getting rid of our daughters' crib would make me cry. It was a reminder that we were on our last baby. However, when another mom expecting a baby was able to use it voila relief. Our moderators are not allowed to have first dibs. Some of the groups have a spin off cafe they can join where items are traded and sold. It's perfectly fine but I can't bring myself to do it. Instead if I want something sold I Craigslist it. Nice to see someone became a member! :clap:
 

judyjht

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Believe me you hear all the sob stories. Truthfully, I think many are completely made up. I usually delete the sob story part and just post the request. It really gets ridiculous! Also, just because I have 1st dibs doesn't mean I get everything!! You DO NOT have to give it to the first person to reply - you can wait a few days and give it to whoever you want. There are people that will sit on the computer all day just waiting to pounce. It is a great way to clean out and not have to drag it to the town dump - which we do.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Timeshares On FreeCycle ?

Do you suppose FreeCycle works for acquiring timeshares el freebo & for getting rid of unwanted timeshares ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​


 

luv2vacation

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I have also been on freecycle for a few years. It has really helped me to declutter, as I am terrible about not throwing away things that are still useful (even thought they are no longer useful to me). I get great satisfaction in getting something out of my house but also knowing that it will used by someone and not just ending up in a landfill somewhere. I get the daily e-mails but previous to joining I set up a free web e-mail account that I used ONLY for freecycle. I now also use it for my other 2 yahoo groups that I belong to, and anytime I post on CL.
 

natashateach

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Love it!

Love2vacation,
I love your idea of having the yahoo group email go to one email address! I never thought of that!!!
 

ctreelmom

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Thanks for posting this! I had heard of Freecycle, but never tried it. My dh has been waiting for the old-fashioned reel mowers (as in people-powered) to go on sale locally as there's a small section of our lawn that's too narrow for his tractor. Guess what popped up the first time I visited the site? :whoopie:
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
International (Free) (Well, Almost Free) Recycling Via Craig's List.

Our 1986 Toshiba Strata VIe office-style electronic key telephone system worked fine up till a major power outage back in June. The (used) system was professionally installed in our house & in The Chief Of Staff's sister's house next door when the 2 houses were built. The central EKT "brain" is in the basement next door. A multi-pair underground cable (inside a conduit) connects the extensions in our house to the central system next door. The Bell Verizon phone line coming in to our house goes out though 1 pair in that buried cable, then comes back here via other pairs connected to the EKT system. In 20 years of occasional power outages the system always came back on & worked OK after power was restored. But not that last time.

We got along for a while with some basic non-system phones connected directly to Verizon, because the EKT system has been dead ever since that power outage. But we really wanted to get the EKT phones working again, mainly because of the convenience of the house-to-house intercom feature & the doorbell speaker boxes here & next door that are interconnected via EKT. Commercial business communication & phone system companies in the area were eager to sell us & install an all-new system, for big bux. But we found nobody interested in troubleshooting the defunct system.

Then our son came up with (another) stroke of major serious ingenuity. He did a wide-ranging Craig's List search that turned up a telephone system business in Canada whose owner was getting ready to send a complete Toshiba Strata VIe EKT system to some equivalent of Mt. Trashmore north of the border. Nothing was wrong with the phones or the system, the Canadian guy said. Everything was complete & functional, but so old nobody would want to buy it or to pay for having it installed. So before actually tossing the whole works into the dumpster, the guy offered it up for grabs on Craig's List -- free to anybody who would pay for shipping via Canada Post.

We E-Mailed a note saying we'd take it if shipping charges were reasonable. The guy said we were in luck, because he had planned to dump the system the next day if nobody responded. Shipping came to approximately $45 (USA), so via PayPal I sent the guy $50, with the excess offsetting some of the recipient's PayPal fees & currency conversion charges, etc.

Meanwhile, our son determined that the reason the EKT system was out was mainly because the power supply unit inside the main control unit was fried.

While The Chief Of Staff & I were away on a Virginia timeshare vacation last week (Woodstone At Massanutten), the package from Canada was delivered. Our son opened it up, removed the power supply unit from the used Canadian system, & transplanted the cannibalized power supply unit into our defunct system down in the Chief Of Staff's sister's basement.

It worked. It works.

Now once again when somebody rings the bell at the front door, the ding-dong tone comes through our EKT speakerphones. Likewise, The Chief Of Staff's sister's doorbell ding-dongs through all the extensions next door. If we don't feel like walking to the door to see who's there, we can talk to the person at the door via intercom, right through the regular phone via handset or via speakerphone mox nix.

If The Chief Of Staff & her sister want to chat without getting up & going next door, they can beep each other via intercom & talk via speakerphone or handset (mox nix). Ditto if The Chief Of Staff wants to remind me to quit wasting so much time on TUG-BBS & get to work on something productive that I promised to do. Ditto if there's a call for The Chief Of Staff & she's in another room when I answer the incoming call.

The system has about 6 independent intercom paths that can all work at once if need be while the system also handles both outside Bell Verizon lines -- ours & The Chief Of Staff's sisters -- at the same time. (The system is made to handle more outside lines, but our 2 households only have 1 line apiece. Shux, the system even accommodates Music On Hold, which The Chief Of Staff made me disable when I got that going back when the system was new. "Would you put me back on 'hold,' please? I'd like to hear the rest of that song.")

It would have been a shame to scrap the whole EKT system when all it needed was a replacement power supply unit. Thanks to Craig's List & the ingenuity & know-how of our son, the needle-in-haystack replacement unit -- 100% recycled -- was located & acquired & installed successfully.

Are the USA & Canada great countries or what ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

DebBrown

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Another freecycle fan here. Like the other poster, I direct all the freecycle mail into its own folder so I don't have to deal with it until I am ready. However, in my neighborhood, bigger or more valuable items are snatched up in seconds.

I find it entertaining to read the posts. People give away anything from empty cardboard boxes to furniture. Yesterday, someone posted a "wanted" post for a baby grand piano. ;)

Many things that I have no use for and would otherwise have been tossed are appreciated by someone else. When I remodeled my mom's condo, people took everything including her old carpeting, kitchen countertops and fake flower arrangements.

Deb
 
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