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I like the idea of freecycling. I'm in a local facebook group for it which works really well, just post up a pick of what you've got and see who comments. It's nice for big stuff that you don't want to tote to the thrift store.

however I'm frequently surprised at how much work it is to give something away for free. most conversations I have with people wanting my stuff go like this:

me: hey I'm glad you want the couch! if you want to come grab it, I'll be here thursday evening, or pretty much any time saturday or sunday. just name a time.

them: thanks, so excited! saturday or sunday would work for me to.

me: wondering how "name a time" got ignored How about Saturday around 3pm then?

them: Well actually Sunday would work better.

me: dammit, now I remember why I hate freecyling Okay, Sunday at 3pm?

them: Or the evening?

me: I swear to God I'm going to burn this couch in the front lawn Yes, or evening! Name a time. Like, 7:00?

them: Sounds good, I will see you then.


me: glances at clock showing 7:45 Were you going to come by for the couch?

them: Oh sorry I meant to tell you my brother's daughter's math tutor's former roommate needed help washing his crabs...

and so it goes for DAYS.

eventually YOU, the giver, always have to make the call and say "sorry, I'm going to be that impatient asshole who invite over the next person on the list who wanted this thing".

we also just had a set of drawers that we set out on the curb with a sign on it that said "free" and they were gone in an HOUR! and it made me wonder why I was taking the time to coordinate through this group... I guess because there are some things that I just don't want to leave out in nature, people don't trust things like couches or bedding unless they know more about it and know that it's been kept inside, so I assume people who take good care of stuff will not be picking up a couch off a curb. if I want to find good homes for my things it means spending a little effort and dealing with a little bullshit. just gotta relax, I'll be okay.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 16th, 2015 06:36 pm (UTC)
It is a pain to coordinate.

I've taken to just putting stuff outside with a "free" sign. Sometimes it might take a day or two, but most things are gone within 15 minutes. I've put plants that are deformed and stunted that I've dug out of my garden and left at the end of the driveway - they're gone by the next time I go outside. I left 2 six foot blue spruces with their roots in a canvas ball and a "free" sign on them at the end of the driveway - very happy to see those go. I've got rid of broken snowblowers (labelled that way), shelving units...

Couches I'm less likely to put outside, but I've seen people post to craiglist indicating that the item is on the curb and that you'll take down the posting as soon as it's been claimed by someone that things are gone within an hour or two. That's how we got a desk for the apartment.

I'm hoping to be able to set aside enough for a new living room set in the next year or two and will post up a "free to a good home" for the couch and two armchairs. They're not in the best condition but would be fantastic for student dwellings. As long as they're not allergice to cats, that is. :)
Mar. 16th, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC)
I wanted to love Freecycling so hard, but no shows drove me crazy. It's terrible, because now we just drop things off at the Salvation Army thrift store, where it may still end up in a landfill.
Mar. 16th, 2015 07:03 pm (UTC)
Drives me mad. I had a desk available once - people were asking me to deliver it to them! Um, no?
Mar. 16th, 2015 09:56 pm (UTC)

I free cycle a lot, and I have *exactly* the same experiences you describe! I always say at the end of each post, "Please include the day and time when you can pick up." I'm thinking I should drop the 'please.'

Mar. 16th, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
If you live around a university campus that couch is more likely to be picked up. And so is the mattress. ahem... we did that in our first semester in college! Yes, picked up our horrible looking couch and mattress off the curb! ;)

I put like a list of conditions on the freecycle post and bold, if people don't show up at the time shared, then it will be given to the next person!
Mar. 16th, 2015 11:35 pm (UTC)
Craigslist has a free stuff board that has worked well for me.
Mar. 16th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
One time people showed up and looked at the free couch and said they didn't want it.

Mar. 17th, 2015 12:13 am (UTC)
Mar. 17th, 2015 12:47 am (UTC)
In our town's Freecycle group, no shows are reported and banned. Of course, it doesn't stop them from joining under a different email address, but the mods try to gather a lot of info when you register, like where you live, who you are, etc. so they'd have to go to a lot of trouble to make stuff up.

My general rule is to not ask the person for what time would be good for them.

I post: Couch available for pick-up, on Saturday between 4 - 8 PM. Pick-up truck and two-person lift necessary. Email with pick-up time, 15 minute grace period before next person on list will be contacted.

If they say 5 PM and don't show by 5:15 PM, I email the next person in line. I still get the "my son took the van to help his friend transport his crabs" line, but I just say "sorry to hear, but I moved on to next person, as described in my post."
Mar. 17th, 2015 01:27 am (UTC)
This. I FreeCycled a ton of stuff out of my late FILs house when I emptied it and so often it was SO MUCH WORK. I sent photos of the stuff to people who were interested in stuff, I answered every single query and all that polite stuff. There is still a little bit of stuff but it's most likely going the way of the end of the driveway. Like at your place, stuff goes fast when you put out a free sign.
Mar. 17th, 2015 02:20 am (UTC)
I'm guilty of that on craigslist sometimes. Usually not after finally nailing down a time, but I want the seller to give me a firm time so I can use that to negiotiate against other plans people might try to give me.
Mar. 17th, 2015 02:41 am (UTC)
ugh, the same thing has happened to me many times. So annoying. I recently had some stuff I wanted gone so I put it on the curb with a sign that said free. I live on a cul-de-sac so I was sure it would just sit there but it was gone by the end of the day!
Mar. 17th, 2015 07:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've used freecycling a few times.When I lived in Minneapolis, I just put stuff in the alley or out front and it always disappeared. Where I live now, not as quickly and a few things won't move at all.
Mar. 18th, 2015 11:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the insistence on having prearrangement makes freecycle sometimes a lot less useful. My friend larksdream came up with a set system for maximizing her ease and minimizing dealing with flakes on the other side. But as I haven't done much with freecycle I don't remember the specifics.
Mar. 21st, 2015 04:31 pm (UTC)
I use freecycle a lot, usually go get rid of small things here and there. Once it was printer cartridges and I arranged a meet place and time and then they appeared and said that they were only testing freecycle. SO DO YOU NEED THESE PRINTER CARTRIDGES OR NOT? A second suck was for promotional stickers, collect a certain amount and get things cheaper from supermarkets, and some dude who obviously had no idea about freecycle but was new to the city turned up expecting free pans. Ummm, did you read my entry? IT SAID STICKERS!

Also, they were all late.

Have had a few good experiences though and helped people out :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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