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Greed, and Freecycle

Written By: Jenn - Feb• 24•13

Ever heard of Freecycle? It’s a wonderful world-wide phenomenon where you join groups local to you (unfortunately it’s via Yahoo Groups, which I’d rather avoid, but oh well) and post things that you no longer want, and would like to pass on to people who could use them. People who could give your things a good home. It keeps tons – literally – of items from landfill, and saves people a pile of cash. Even better? The recipient of your choosing comes and picks the items up from your doorstep, or wherever you arrange to have it picked up from; you don’t even have to do some sort of awkward hand-off!

I’m on several group lists in my area, and have gotten rid of so many things! It makes cleaning out a closet, cupboard, attic or storage room a breeze, since you don’t have to load a vehicle and cart the discards anywhere. I really love it. I also like the idea of passing things on to people in need. I feel good about that. Lately though… the things I’ve been seeing requested on these lists is making me really angry. Someone actually had the audacity to post for a big screen TV the other day. I kid you not, it read something close to (I deleted it so can’t refer to it now) this: “if you’re not using it anymore, or are upgrading to the newest 80″ or so, I’d be happy to take your 60″ TV off your hands“.

You have got to be kidding me.

I’ve seen people ask for laptops, cameras, iPods – all things that no one would be handing out for free.

That’s not to say that everyone using Freecycle is greedy. And you don’t have to be “in need” to ask for things, either. But come on, people… use your head. There’s a huge difference between seeking play clothes for your growing kids and asking for big-ticket items for nothing.

Some people attempt to hide the fact that they’re greedy by offering a token item in amongst a big list of “Wants”. That’s what prompted me to post about it, actually. On one of my lists tonight a woman posted no less than 6 WANT items, and 1 offer of a stuffed animal. It just makes me fume to see things like that. It’s so unfair to the other people on the lists who use them with consideration.

Have I posted a want item? Yes! I have – The Teen had a lot of cell phone issues a while back, and it was great to be able to pick up a used phone on Freecycle. I was very clear in my request message about why it was needed, and that I had told my Teen that I wasn’t putting another cent into a phone for her! She certainly didn’t get a high-end phone out of it, but it was definitely appreciated, and got her through the time period before she could get a new one on her plan. Another time I posted for and received a dog fence so I could keep Sadie contained when she was injured and needed to rest. When I was done with it, I offered it up on Freecycle again, and it went to a woman in the area who rescues rabbits.

I’ve also responded to a couple of offers made, and got some great shelving for our cold room, including wine racks.

Freecycle is such a great organization. I just really wish people would stop abusing it.

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  1. carma says:

    “happy to take the 60″ TV off your hands” that’s pretty ballsy – We are still using TV’s from the 90’s with converter boxes. They work fine :-) I can see how the site would be open to all sorts of abuse but it sounds like most people play the game fairly.

  2. Flystitch says:

    Just wish people were more polite and turn up when they say they will. Anything that is free does not have the commitment if people had to,pay for,it.