How to Use Freecycle.org

Freecycle.org is a wonderful website that I have been using for a couple of years now. The description from their website says that freecycle is “a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” You can go to their website to learn more and to sign up for an account but I wanted to do a quick post with a list of a few things I recommend doing if you are looking to receive items from others using this website.

First, join more than one group. I suggest joining not only the group of the town you live in but all towns within a 10 mile radius. One time I drove 30 minutes to meet someone but I left with three garbage bags of baby clothes. Worth it? I think so.

Second, when given the option of how you want to be notified of new posts, choose the ‘individual’ email choice. Emails are sent out when offers are posted and things go fast. I’ve responded to posts less than 5 minutes after they were posted and gotten email responses back saying the items were pending pickup. It’s a lot of emails but if you are looking to get the most out of freecycle it’s the best choice.

Third, set up text alerts on your cell phone. I have alerts come to me every time the words “baby” or “child” are in the subject of an email since I have small children and most of the items I receive are for my boys. These text alerts aren’t always from freecycle (since any email with those words come through as a text) but if I am away from my computer it’s the quickest way to find out about new posts so I can quickly respond. While not all people give the item to the first person who responds, I have found that most people do.

Fourth, say “please” and “thank you”. If you aren’t polite there is a huge chance you won’t get the item. Keep in mind that these people are giving something away for free and they get to choose who they want to give it to.

Lastly, remember that freecycle is a community and that a community works best when everyone gives. Look around your house and if you have items that you are not using consider posting an “offer” ad to give those items a new home.

Happy freecycling! If you have any questions about using freecycle.org or have another tip to share with us just leave a comment. :)

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