Monday, December 08, 2008

Not that anyone asked me ....

But with my recent spell of Freecycle giveaways I feel compelled to offer some tips:

10. Don't act like you're doing me a favor by taking it off my hands. There are plenty of ways I could get rid of it, including selling it on eBay.
9. Follow directions. If I ask for a phone number so I can contact you or a day/time you can pick the item up, provide it. If you don't, I delete your email.
8. If you give a reason why you need the item, I am more inclined to choose you. (It doesn't have to be an altruistic reason, it could just be that I am giving away a widget and you have always wanted a widget but just never bought it for yourself. I might give it to you because making you smile will make me smile.)
7. Tell me a story. Just a little one, but if the picnic basket will motivate you to pack a picnic lunch for your wife and kids and take them to the park, I should know this. It will make a difference.
6. If you give me your phone number, it should be local. A long-distance area code is a free call for most, but not for everyone. And don't expect me to call you if you are the recipient. Make an effort and dial the phone if I ask you to.
5. When you say you're coming to pick something up, be there. Flakers will never get another item from me. I keep track.
4. When you pick it up, if I am there, say thank you. I don't expect roses and champagne, but a sincere thanks is always appreciated.
3. Post offers on Freecycle. If you ask for something but I don't recognize your name as a giver on Freecycle I am much less inclined to give you the item. Freecycle only works if you give and receive.
2. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar count. If you can't be bothered to spell check your email I will delete it. There is no excuse for being ignorant.
1. Be polite, for God's sake. It's not that difficult and you ARE *asking* for something. Say please.


  1. And let's not forget the caveat: Don't assume that people who live in the next town over are unwilling to drive to the fabulous big city to get rid of things - and then once you've told them that they're worthless peasant scum, don't send them "oh please don't go!" emails when they unsubscribe. Morons.

    I am astounded by the freecycle here though...the things people ask for! Someone asked for a Wii Fit (because I hurt my leg and I need some exercise). As my brother in law says "I need a Porshe because the told me I was slow and I want to go fast." DOH!

  2. I haven't been on Freecycle in a while, but when I post offers I just leave the item on our front deck. I really don't want much contact. A friendly thank you email after they pick up is definitely appreciated though.

  3. But what if you're ignorant and you really need the widget and you can't spell?

  4. Anonymous11:10 AM

    LOL I've never tried this freecycle, but I have a lot of stuff to get rid of . . . I should try.

  5. Lesley,
    If you're the only person who asks for it I will give it to you regardless of the ignorant/needy/bad spelling. If there are multiple requests, though, you're out of luck. The beautiful thing about Freecycle is, each person gets to decide what their criteria for giving are. And no one has to justify their giving to anybody.

  6. Amen, sister. I have almost stopped Freecycling because of some of these issues.