Freecycling, you ask? Well, if you haven’t heard of it, here’s a crash course.
It’s a network of over 3.5 million members across 75 countries that have signed up to give items away and/or to take items no longer wanted. But don’t let the large numbers scare you. Why? Because the group is divided according to local geography (i.e. I’m a member of my county’s group), and all postings are done through a free Yahoo! discussion group.
People giving something away post a message to the group, and those that are interested reply. The donor decides who gets the item. People that are looking for items also post a message to the group, and members respond if they are able to help.
If you’re interested in finding your local group, the site is www.freecycle.org.
I have been freecycling for almost three years now, and while the group has grown substantially, the caliber of items offered has remained great. I started right after we purchased our home. I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but I figured it was worth a try. So, in the nature of “give and ye shall receive”, I started with offers. I offered my entertainment center (in very good condition, just didn’t fit my new home), and an older record console. I received responses right away and the items were moved out of my home almost immediately. To me, this was perfect since I didn’t want to have a yard sale.
Then, shortly after we moved into our home (and by shortly I mean the second day), I answered an offer and received a chaise lounge for my living room. In fact, over the course of my time as a freecycler, I have received not only the lounge, but my list includes a:
glider and ottoman
treadmill (necessary after I had the baby…)
Now, I must say I have also given many things, mostly household items as well. And while my list includes household items, freecyclers offer many things. From clothes to appliances, music to books, it’s offered. In fact, there are very few rules. As long as the item is free, legal and suitable for everyone, it’s pretty much okay.
So, if you don’t mind secondhand (I absolutely love bargains, yard sales, etc.), I strongly encourage you to try freecycle. It is a community of sincere people that really want to find a good home for items they no longer need. If you try it, or if you have a freecycle experience, please share.
Towanda Long, The Café Lady