Have You Tried freecycle.org?

freecycle.org is a nonprofit movement aimed at reducing wasteIt seems that Freecycle.org is one of the largest all-for-free online communities out there, with over nine million members all around the world.

Freecycle groups exist in most large cities and in many small towns, making it easier to find stuff you need without having to travel too far from home.

The nonprofit website has no barter system, points or rules when it comes to exchanging stuff. You simply list whatever you have to give away and wait to see if somebody’s interested.

The Positives

  • Freecycle is a catch-all when it comes to free stuff. You might be able to find anything from furniture to household items to books, clothes and even children’s toys.
  • Freecycle doesn’t require you to give away anything in order to get something. You can simply log in, search the current offerings and find what you want or need. Of course it’ll be nice if you also give things away regularly (in the spirit of sharing and fostering a sense of community), but you don’t have to in order to get something for yourself.

The Negatives

  • What’s available depends partly on how big your city is. Freecycle groups in cities like New York or Los Angeles are likely going to have far more items available than a Freecycle group from a small town in a rural community. As a result, you might not find anything you’re looking for even if you check the list regularly.
  • Good things tend to go really fast. Because there’s no way to automatically reserve anything, if you want to get good quality or highly sought-after items, you’ll have to check the site regularly throughout the day. Even then, there could be several people who want the same item, and then it’s up to the giver to decide who gets it.
  • Because everything is done directly between the “giver” and the “receiver,” there’s no quality control in place. People are supposed to list the condition of the item when they post about it, but “good” or “fair” is very subjective, so you might not get what you’re expecting.

Personal Safety
One more thing to keep in mind about Freecycle.org is that you have to pick up the item yourself or arrange a meeting point or place to get it. Always keep safety in mind when doing this, and never give strangers your home address.

You can check it out here – let us know what you think: http://www.freecycle.org

Philip

6 Comments

  1. I’ve been a big fan of freecycle since I moved into my home. There’s very little in here that I’ve actually paid for! People on there are really nice, and as a bonus it makes it easier to do random acts of kindness for others too. I’ve given away some nice pieces of furniture, plus odds and ends that I didn’t even know people needed. I really recommend trying it out. It requires a little patience at first, but once you get into the swing of how people in your community handle things, it can really come in handy.

  2. I’d actually not heard of freecycle before – what a good idea. I’ve I got a lot of stuff I’d like to get rid of, that probably isn’t going to be worth selling on ebay.

  3. I love freecycle! I have been doing this for years! I have gotten rid of everything from clothes to a bed when I moved out of an apartment and couldn’t move it! Great site!

  4. In Atlanta, there is a thriving freecycle market. The competition is fierce because people work the system to get things to resell.

  5. I love freecycle! It kind of reminds me that I can still trust humanity 🙂 It’s great to get stuff for free and it’s great to get rid of stuff you don’t need! It sounds odd, but getting rid of things you don’t need anymore is really difficult, you can’t just throw them away in the dumpster, you can get fined! This is like donating your stuff online, I love it! 🙂

    • Yeah, I always feel guilty throwing good stuff away. My Dad is a bit of a hoarder, at least he was until I got him to give stuff he wasn’t using to the local charity stores. It makes it a lot easier for him to get rid of stuff now, knowing someone else is going to get use out of it.

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