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Get Stuff for Free – Freesource and The Freecycle Network

December 4th, 2007 . by admin

Inexpensive is good. Free is better.

The Freecycle Network is a non-profit organization based in Arizona. The mission of The Freecycle Network (or TFN) is to keep usable goods from finding their way into landfills. You can rid yourself of unwanted items and reduce clutter in your own home. Items you desire can be had for free.

It’s really simple to sign up:

  1. Search Yahoo Groups for a Freecycle or Freesource group near you.
  2. If you are not signed up with Yahoo, sign up. It’s free.
  3. Wait for the moderator to approve you.
  4. Each group’s policies are different. Generally, you post an offer before you post a “wanted.” You also offer an item before you claim one.

Here is the procedure for offering items:

  1. Send a message to the Freesource (or Freecycle) group on Yahoo. You can do this via email or on the Yahoo Group’s homepage. Policies differ, but you generally put “OFFER: <insert item here>” in the subject line.
  2. Write a brief description of the item.
  3. Include your general location, such as the intersection of two main roads.
  4. Watch your email.
  5. Make contact with the person claiming the item. I generally do first-come-first-serve.
  6. If you cannot connect with the first person, offer it to the next person who replied to your post.
  7. Make arrangements for the person to pick up the item. Sometimes you can leave the item on your front porch with a note.
  8. After the item is picked up, post to the Yahoo Group, “TAKEN: <item>”

Here is how you claim an item you want:

  1. If you see an item you want, reply to the person directly. Most people do first-come-first serve.
  2. Make arrangements with the person offering the item and pick it up. That’s it. It’s so simple, a caveman can do it!

You can also post “WANTEDs” to the list. Consult the guidelines of your particular group.

Some of the great items we’ve gotten from Freecycle:

  • Barbecue grill
  • Baby clothes, toys, other necessary items
  • Baby Björn baby carrier
  • Maya Wrap baby carrier
  • A set of dining room chairs
  • Several great books

Some of the great items we’ve given away:

  • Cell phones
  • CD player boom boxes
  • Dinnerware
  • Dining room chairs (replaced by the ones we got)
  • Computer desks
  • Computer parts and accessories
  • Office chair
  • Cordless electric screwdriver set
  • Office supplies
  • Books
  • Computer equipment
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Clothing

You also meet great people. I have made friends and business contacts by engaging in “freecycling.” Everyone I’ve met is friendly and genuinely appreciative when you offer the item. When the item is for a child, it makes you feel even better.

Can’t you just donate the items to a charity or a thrift store? Of course you can, but the positive impact is in your face when you offer an item someone really needs or wants. It’s a win-win scenario, whether you are claiming an item or offering it. If the item goes unclaimed, you can exercise the Goodwill or Salvation Army option.

Find a group

This site is free and so is Freesource. However, if you find the information in these pages helpful, please make a donation.

One Response to “Get Stuff for Free – Freesource and The Freecycle Network”

  1. comment number 1 by: savoie faire

    I should eventually do this – now when I want to freecycle something, I ask the freecycle geek downstairs to do it for me.

    What can I say – I’m just a lazy geek.

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