Monday, 1 July 2013

Freecycle - One man's junk is another man's treasure

A super quick, super simple post for a Monday. I wanted to introduce you to the joys of Freecycle. I'm sure many of you have heard of it, and many more are probably using it. It's not exactly a new website, in fact it's been going since 2003. However, it might be one of those things that you don't quite understand or know much about.

So, I thought it might be helpful to give an easy 5 minute guide to using Freecycle. My experience of Freecycle is that it's a fantastic way of getting rid of things that you no longer need, without the hassle of either trying to sell them on ebay, or taking them to your local recycling centre or tip.

What is Freecycle?

Freecycle is a local, community-based recycling organisation. It's a network that connects people who have items they no longer need, with people who can make use of them - with no money changing hands. People looking for items can also post requests for 'wanted' items on the network.

How does it work?

You register on your local Freecycle website and in doing so, you will receive a daily email containing details of the items available to offer, and items wanted.

What sort of things do people offer on Freecycle?

Anything and everything! Furniture, books, clothes, car parts, garden equipment, kitchenware, baby equipment, electrical equipment... the list goes on! I've checked the email I received today and on offer are fencing posts, bunk beds, wood pallets and wildlife magazines - a fairly eclectic mix! Some things are not allowed - pornography, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and firearms - no surprises there!

Does it need to be in good working order?

No. So long as you describe its condition accurately (so the recipient knows what they're getting), it really doesn't matter. After all, if it was in perfect condition, you would probably make some money wouldn't you? Most of the things I've got rid of via Freecycle were broken to some degree! You'll be amazed at what someone else can do with something that is just cluttering up your garage or house.

I've got something to list, what do I do?

After signing up and registering with your local network, you simply write a short description of your item, it's location and you're done. No need to add photos or spend more than a couple of minutes on your offer ad. Your ad is then listed on the website for your local network and included in the daily email. People wanting your item will contact you by email, and you arrange a convenient time for them to collect it from your house.

Is it safe?

Use your common sense. If you don't want to deal directly with the person collecting the item, simply leave it on your doorstep, or arrange to meet them in a public place.

What are the benefits?

As well as clearing some space in your house or garden, you can enjoy the great feeling of being able to do something good for the environment, helping out someone in your community and the smugness of saving time of either a trip to the tip or half an hour crafting a detailed ebay listing. What's not to love?

My experience

I've only used Freecycle a few times, but each time I've been stunned at how quickly I've been able to get rid of something I no longer need. I've given away an old hosepipe (minus the trigger attachment), a barely working vacuum cleaner and a toy that no longer works. Each time I've had at least one request for the item and have had it collected from my house within 48 hours of listing the item. I should also mention that I don't live in a particularly large town - I imagine that in a city it's even easier to get rid of things.

Find out more

Don't be put off by the less then glamorous website, it's one of those things that just works without looking pretty!

Are you a Freecycler? What's the best thing that you've been able to pick up or the most unusual thing that you've been able to give away?

© 2003 The Freecycle Network 
All rights reserved. 
Freecycle and the Freecycle 
logo are trademarks of The 
Freecycle Network in various countries.

No comments:

Post a Comment