Tag Archives: decorum

Freecycle Ettiquite

I like Freecycling*, or Freeworlding or Freegling or whatever the hell it is called now parts of it have broken away from the mainstream freecycling network.

Freecycling* is basically recycling by giving an item away for free via an online community set up to do just that. You first join the group geographically relevant to yourself,  then if you have something to offer you post *Offered item and  Postcode/Area* to the group and people contact you  to ask you  for it, or you can post a wanted in a similar way and if someone can help you out they will email you to say.

Fantastic yes?

I have given away boxes and boxes of things ranging from old toys and clothes, to computer monitors, an excersize bike  (wishful thinking on behalf having it in the first place) and even 2 sofas, and I’ve received my fair share too – a different sofa, some awesome craft items and some draws for in the shed among other things. It’s good for everyone, it stops perfectly good consumer items ending up in the land fill and saves everyone a bit of money in the process….the only bad side to it that I have found is some of the people!

The amount of times I’ve posted an offer and have received a blunt “I’ll have it” or “Call me *random mobile number*” in response, is unbelievable and yeah that sort of response is going to endear me to giving you my things isn’t it! Honestly, a simple “Could you consider me for x?” would do. I understand you might really want what I’m giving away but really – any blunt or worse text speak responses in my inbox just get deleted.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum the replies that are an  essay telling me about their disabled children, yes all 6 of them, their mother with dementia, their sister who has just had to have her dog put to sleep and the nervous breakdown they suffered last year so can you please consider me for your spare bicycle pump for my son, (or whatever other piece I may be offering).  These come in just as regularly as  the blunt rude ones and I find these slightly unnerving  – I don’t NEED that much personal information about you, seriously you may be in a position to REALLY REALLY need whatever it is I’m offering but a simple sentence “My daughter would make good use of x, is it still available?” – Or if you really need to stress how much you need something “My daughter REALLY needs one of these – can you consider me for it please?” would suffice, all your essays make me do is cringe for you and then make me have to fight my guilt complex because I haven’t got one of whatever I’m offering up for every family with 33 children and a father with alzheimer’s, and hence makes me less likely to offer it to you, not because I’m heartless but because I don’t like to be made to feel guilty!

Then there are the people who once you’ve posted an offer, they’ve responded and you follow through and make it available to them, they don’t turn up to collect. No email with an apology, or a text if you’ve exchanged numbers, no response when you email/text them to find out if there is a problem/delay and you end up with whatever you happen to be trying to get rid of sitting in the hallway for a week while you are trying to sort out what to do! – I have fallen foul of this one on a couple of occasions and now I don’t delete any of my responses to offers so that if someone doesn’t turn up and fails to get in touch I have a list of alternative recipients in place!

It drives me wild – freecycling is a brilliant idea, perfect for getting rid of those unwanted but perfectly working items without them ending up in land fill but I do wish the other users would sometime realise that just like the items being offered up manners cost nothing too!


*According to The Freecycle Network, “Freecycle” is properly used only as a brand name to identify the company’s products and services, ie a Freecycle group: but balls to it I’m using here to mean all areas of giving stuff away online using a similar service!