Following my “purge” throughout my house, I have been using Freecycle more and more (for those who don’t know The Freecycle Network” is made up of 5000+ groups, 7m members across the globe. It’s a nonprofit movement of people who give (and get) stuff for free in their own town, which stops perfectly good items going to landfill!)
However despite being a member of Freecycle for YEARS, these last few months have taken their toll. So this is a ranty letter I just need to get off my chest.
Open Letter to Freecycle People
* If I list items for offer and state very clearly that it is collection only, do not contact me and then on the day you are meant to collect inform me that actually you don’t drive and could I deliver. Because I won’t and you will go into my BANNED list
* Do not sent me emails with “I want this”, “av u got this still”. “what’s your address” and any other short, curt, (in my eyes) rude email that is just demanding and comes across almost entitled! You will be ignored and added to my BANNED list
* If I insist that you supply me with a likely date/time when you might be able to collect, please do as I ask. Ignoring this part and just stating “please can I have it” will be ignored unless no one else is interested. Priority (as I actually state in my listings) goes to those who READ the listing and state a time/date
* If we agree on a time/date, DO turn up when you said you would. If for whatever reason you can’t or will be late DO text, call, email… it is rude to just not turn up and then when I chase YOU come up with some crap lie (yes I know it’s a lie) seriously people the number of “grandmothers in hospital” over a weekend is shocking! Or those who just never come back to me at all – if you change your mind fine but tell me!
* Do collect when you said you would – I have often rearranged my day to be in at these times so when you decide not to show or are late and I’m sat around waiting for you….it makes me hate you… A LOT
* Don’t turn up in a small car if you are collecting furniture then be really surprised that it won’t fit. I list all measurements on larger items so why are you surprised!? Use a damn tape measure and stop wasting my time.
* Don’t email me asking for every item (I often list up to 20 items when purging). This is rude and other people deserve a chance. Asking for 2 or 3 is okay, but be prepared for me not to give you everything, as I like to let lots of people get things.
* Don’t email me 10 times in a day asking for the same items, I get a LOT of emails and I don’t have time to reply to them all especially just to say it is no longer available. This behaviour is creepy and stalkerish and will get you added to my banned list.
* Don’t email me in all capitals if I haven’t responded. This is a free site for freely given items, if I don’t reply to you, assume you haven’t got it. And if I was going to give it you, your capital-laden email will stop me!
* If I reply to you (especially the instant I receive your email) don’t then vanish for 5 days and when you finally come back get really indignant that I didn’t wait and hold the item for you. If I say yes you can have it and give you my address and you never reply and confirm when you are coming or even acknowledge my email I will move on. If I waited for everyone it would take MONTHS to clear all these items.
* Don’t turn up and ask “what else have you got?” what I have is listed. Don’t ask for specific things, I am not a shop, I am just having a clear out. I don’t always know what I might be getting rid of so don’t stand on my doorstep listing off items you really want to see if I might have one. Especially larger pieces of furniture which I often try and sell (so the money can go to different furniture)
* Don’t claim items so you can sell them. We are not idiots, if you ask for every item we know you are either going to sell them on ebay or at carboot sale. This is against Freecycle rules and it is frigging cheeky! We are not here to supply you with free stock!
* If I give you my mobile so you can call when you arrive or if you can’t locate us, don’t then keep this number and use it to call/text whenever I list something new in a hopes of being the first one!! My number is not a free hotline to getting ahead of everyone else! And certainly don’t call and text me over and over!!
* Don’t ask me to hold items for you for days then finally decide you don’t want them or can’t actually collect them, in a hope I will drop them off for you.
* Don’t ask me to post items to you, postage, packaging and my time to the damn post office costs money. You are getting things free, make the damn effort to come and get it!
* Freecycle is not the place to ask for cars, caravans, brand new cameras, newly released games consoles and every furniture or appliance going in one request! We are not here to restock your house. Especially when these requests are usually “I need X, Y, Z” missing off a please and thank you.
This is pretty bitchy but the number of no-shows I get, the number of emails from the same person demanding these items, the number of people turning up late, the number of people who vanish after I say they can have them has been dozens and dozens! There are some really great people who can really use these items, are polite, friendly and turn up when they say… however the amount who do the above… are becoming the majority and are ruining freecycle for everyone.
*Breathes and gets off soapbox*
NB: For those who may ask why I don’t give my items to charity, those items that can go to charity do – however many charities don’t take bric-a-brack, books, materials, etc any more. So freecycle is the best option…or at least it was.