* Prices may differ from that shown
Moved home, lots of things we no longer wanted so joined the site.Signed up ok.First post took an age to be approved and I mean an age!In the end we emailed them and told them to delete the profile and stuck with Freecycle.The only upside I can see is the facility to upload a photograph. Freecycle does have this but it depends on your local group whether they use it or not.... use it moderators we are in 2013!!This site, as Freecycle, does have it's share of people who insist that they vet people messaging them, making people who have fallen on hard times even more demoralised and we refuse to do it. I appreciate there are good and bad people out there but the bad who take and don't need are the minority!!
For quite some time now every cupboard door I open in my house results in me being swamped by an avalanche of junk, and most of it not mine! Spring is traditionally a time for having a darn good clear out and that's what I've been doing. Much of the stuff I've decided I need to get rid of is too heavy or cumbersome to get into the car to take to the charity shop so I've resorted to putting it up for grabs on the local Freegle site instead. That saves me the bother of lugging it into the car and saves the petrol I'd use in driving it either to the charity shop or to the dump.
The area where I live used to be served by Freecycle but for reasons of which I'm not too sure, it's morphed into Freegle, though it still seems to work along very similar lines.
What is Freegle?
Just like Freecyle, Freegle is a moderated email list hosted by Yahoo Groups and provides a platform for people to offer their unwanted goods to anyone who wants them. As we all know, areas for landfill are becoming very scarce and costly and using Freegle can save items from ending up at the dump and eventually going into landfill. Freegle also allows members to post wanted ads, too, although my experience has been that this is a much abused privilege and people have been known to request some pretty high end merchandise, which always strikes me as being rather pointless when most people use Freegle to dispose of items destined otherwise for the dump.
How do you join?
This is a Yahoo Group and members need to register with their local Freegle group which can be found via www.ilovefreegle.org. When you've identified your local group and visited their webpage, click on the Join This Group button. You will then be asked to provide a valid email, select how you wish to receive emails about items on offer - either individual mails for each item offered, as a daily digest or no mails at all - and once all the information has been provided, click on the join button. You should receive verification of your membership almost immediately and you're then ready to post your items.
What can you put up on Freegle?
Just about anything and everything, as long as it's legal, it isn't a living creature, and definitely no alcohol, tobacco or drugs (even the legal ones!) There is a great deal of truth in the saying that one man's rubbish is another's treasure. On my local Freegle group recently, there have been such diverse items offered as builder's rubble and firewood, various items of furniture from three piece suites to coffee tables, loads of children's toys and clothing and other items which belong in the category of weird and wonderful. I once offered a gooseberry bush to anyone prepared to come and dig it out of the garden and was inundated with emails!
Although it may vary from group to group, the Bracknell Freegle has a code of etiquette and members are asked to wait at least 24 hours before accepting requests for items put up for offer. This way people who only get the daily digest have an opportunity to request items.
How do you post details of your items?
This is a very simple process which involves using the site Message Maker which ensures that all the information needed is included in your post. This template includes agreeing to Freegle's Fair Offer Policy which is agreeing to wait for an unspecified period of time before deciding who gets your item. My local Freegle also post items on their Facebook and Twitter pages which
It's also possible to post a message without using this template but members are asked to put 'Offered', 'Wanted' or 'Taken' as the subject, followed by the name of the item and the area where it is. There's a facility to upload photographs of the item too, which is especially useful if trying to get rid of furniture. Once you've posted your message, there may be a short delay before your post appears on the list whilst the moderators OK your item. Once you've become an established member of the site, the moderators are likely to allow you to post directly without having messages approved first. Once your offered item is posted on the site, just sit back and wait to be bombarded with emails. When your item has been collected, it's best to post another email to the group stating that your item has been taken, otherwise you'll continue to receive emails days after you posted the item.
My own experiences using Freegle have all been relatively good. Although I've never yet managed to get anything off the site, generally because I want to declutter my house not fill it up with more junk, I've got rid of so much unwanted stuff quickly and easily and met some very nice people in the process. It's taught me a lot about the people of this town, too. There are those who write beautiful emails, explaining why they want a particular item and then there are those who seem to feel that all they have to say is "I'll have it" and it will be given to them. I've also had people who say they'll take an item and then ask you to deliver it and I tend to give them short shrift! Although the ethos is that everything is free, there are some people who are very grateful and express their thanks accordingly. One person turned up with a bottle of wine and another with a box of chocolates and they wouldn't let me refuse them. Present giving isn't obligatory, however, and money changing hands is an absolute no no.
Is there a downside?
If there is a downside, I haven't found it yet, although I suspect there are people who take up offers of better quality stuff with the express intention of selling it on and I did have one person who turned up to collect a load of books only to go through them on the doorstep and weed out the ones they didn't want, which I thought was a bit cheeky.
I think Freegle is a wonderful idea and there is a group close to practically every community in the country these days. The beauty of Freegle (and FreeCycle too) is that you're getting rid of items you no longer have a use for and at the same time doing something to help the planet. It's a win-win situation.
Website: www.ilovefreegle.org or search from the full list of Freegle groups at http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/
I first discovered Freegle a few years ago when it was known as Freecycle. We were about to move house and had lots of big furniture that we didn't want to bring with us but at the same time we didn't want it to be banished to the tip.
The very simple idea of Freegle is that you can give your unwanted items to people who want them instead of throwing them away or bringing them to the tip. You can also request items that you may want but can't obtain. The main rule is that anything you offer, must be offered Free.
Freegle is the overall name for the organisation, within this there are 241 freegle groups covering different areas of the UK. All the groups are email based and hosted on the yahoo network.
Each group is run by volunteer moderators, all the Freegle groups are run to the same guidelines, but some may have different rules and ways of working.
To join you need to request permission from the moderators, this is a simple form asking for your name, email address, and reasons you want to join the group. It is possible to join more than one group, this is useful if you live on the border of two areas, although bare in mind that the essence of the organisation is to reduce landfill and create a better environment for the future and some people would not be happy to 'give' an item to someone who would need to drive miles to collect it.
The time it takes to be approved varies but it shouldn't be more than a day or two. Once you are approved you can offer your unwanted items or post a request.
Posting on the site is easy and many groups have message wizards that help you write the post in the correct format, it is important to write your message in the correct way or it may not be approved. The subject line must contain, the nature of the post, so offer/wanted, what the item is and location. My Freegle group ask for the town and first part of the postcode. So if I had an old wooden chair to offer I would write in the subject line - Offer- old wooden chair - Dartford DA1.
Then in the main body of the email you can give a more detailed description, add pictures and specify any directions such as must be gone by Wednesday, please include phone number in email etc.
The email needs to be approved by the moderators before being posted on the site, once this is done fellow members of the group can see your message and ask for the item. This is all done by private email, it is not a thread style forum. Sometimes you get lots of emails, sometimes none. It is entirely up to you who you give the item to. I usually wait a day or two before deciding unless I want it gone really quick. Some people give it to the first person who asks, some pull it out of a hat and some just like the sound of people. Once you have picked the 'winner' you email them and arrange for them to come and pick up the item. I have offered many things in the past and it still amazes me the amount of people who do not turn up or arrive hours late and don't even say thankyou. I am not expecting a big heroes welcome, after all I was going to throw the thing away but a bit of manners would really go a long way. On the other hand, I have had some lovely people come to collect things so don't be too put off.
To request an item that someone has offered you just email them and ask for it, try not to send pleading emails, just be polite and nice and you never know you might get lucky.
There are some things you can't list on Freegle, such as animals and illegal items. You can also not ask to 'borrow' things or request services such as a plumber. They are very strict about these rules and remove people from the group if they do not follow them.
I have given lots of things away over the last few years, I have also received a sofa for my sisters flat and a popcorn maker that is brilliant. There are some people who ask for every single thing I list so may be reselling or just kitting out an entire house. I don't really mind as it's out of my hands and out of the landfill.
I think that everyone should become a member and help reduce our already massive landfill problem.
To find out more, find a group near you and join the freegle community visit their website www.ilovefreegle.org
I'm a less regular user of Freegle than I was a few months ago, but feel it's still worth a review today. I'll go into more on my lower levels of usage later...
I joined Freegle approximately a year ago. Split into regional groups, the Freegle community allows you to post asking for things you want, or offering things you don't. The rules? No livestock can be advertised or asked for, nor can anyone expect or offer money. Freegle is about the free trade of products between people - after all, one man's rubbish is another man's treasure.
I remember relatives using Freegle years ago, back when it was called Freecycle (in fact, it still was when I joined) and so when I signed up myself I was already sure of what it was about, and posted offering some things that I owned and no longer wanted.
Offering items on Freegle can be a positive experience or a less-than-positive one. I've given away games consoles, fish tanks, games, golf clubs, bedding and clothing in the past. The games consoles and games have always gone to appreciative homes where young children have looked excited coming to collect them with their parents, whilst I've also given some things that didn't seem appreciated, or that have been sold on almost straight away, and I've received my fair share of rude responses when I've offered things: "I'll have this, where do you live? I'll get it tonight".
Freegle isn't just about giving, though, it can also let you get hold of things you'd like but have never considered paying for, or have been unable to find. In my time, I've received a foot spa, a jacuzzi machine, and Mega Drive games which I collect but could not find elsewhere. I also received a microwave which I'd specifically asked for, and which was offered to me by a woman who hadn't posted it to the site herself as she was tired of the rude responses she received whenever she offered anything.
Freegle is about keeping items out of the bin, and being eco-friendly, but it's so much more than that. It's wonderful to know that someone else could so much need or want what you'd otherwise throw in the bin - I've had clothing and bedding in good condition, for instance, go to a young, single mother living with her two young children in a falling-apart house before. She had barely any possessions to her name, and the clothes and bedding I delivered to her were clearly going to be a huge help.
Signing up to Freegle is an easy process, and you can opt to have e-mails sent to you in digest form (once a day), or individually. Individual e-mails come through at rates of tens or hundreds a day, which can get annoying, but the key to getting what you need or want on Freegle is to respond quickly, so only receiving a digest e-mail means you'll be unlikely to get hold of things in time. This is why I'm no longer signed up. I have nothing else to give, and nothing I want or need enough to be happy with clearing hundreds of e-mails from my inbox every day.
To avoid confusion, though, please note that I've mentioned both Freecycle and Freegle in this review. They used to be one and the same (Freecycle), but branched off last year to create two separate entities. Freegle is now the more popular of the two, but is strictly moderated, whilst Freecycle is more relaxed, no longer being moderated and available for the offering of livestock if you have such things to offer. Both are run by different people.
I discovered freecycle about three of four months back now, although it seems to be referred to as freegle now. I was introduced to it as I was always looking for bargains on Ebay and such sites. Then someone said to me there was this group you could join where you receive emails offering items that are no longer for use and would otherwise be taken down the tip and you can also request an item you need. Then the way it works is that you reply to that person if you want the item they are offering and if so they will get back to you and you can collect from them.
I signed up to the one in my local area and it's great. Now, there is alot of stuff on there that I don't want, but I have managed to pick up a few items that were worth getting and I have made good use of. That's the great thing about it is that something that someone else doesn't want you may want yourself. The things are not always junk. I have managed to pick up such items as a moses basket and car seat which have been very handy indeed and otherwise would have had to buy.
Not only is it a great way to get items you need it saves on the environment as you are not dumping them, but recycling them. It's almost like an online jumble sale I guess with the difference that you don't have to rummage through loads of stuff that's terrible but can pick and choose when you see the email.
It always depends on the person giving the item away who they choose to collect it whether it be the first person who replies or wait a while and give it to the person with the best cause. It is all at their discretion which is fine.
There has been an arugement or discussion if you will recently on there that it's unfair on those who can't get to a computer as they miss out because they can't check their email regularly. The way I see it is this is a great idea and run really well and the fact that it's all at the discretion of the person giving the item away means that it doesn't always work on a first come first served basis. I know I have picked up items a week later as I've been away and the person is fine with that...
Long may this group continue as it's a wonderful way to pick up items online for free and use to your benefit.
Freegle (previously known as Freecycle) is a great community of people who basically like to give 'not needed anymore' items away to someone who does have a need for it. Basically rather than throw something useless away or to the tip, you find someone who would have a use for it and thus saving it from the mountains of rubbish that people throw away every day.
An absolutely brilliant idea
~~~ How the site works ~~~
You go to www.ilovefreegle.org and find the nearest organisation to you (and even the surrounding areas if you wish - I am a member of 3) and you sign up to join. You do need to be an member of yahoo though as this is part of the yahoo groups. You can then change your settings to how you would like to recieve messages. You can have the new postings emailed to you as soon as someone posts (ie you get it straight away and wont miss out if you are quick) or you can have a daily/weekly digest, or not notifications at all which means you have to check the forum for new posts.
The idea of the group then is to offer anything you do not want and you just want rid of it without any hassle (ie you cant be bothered to sell it) and low and behold someone will snap it off you and gladly come and collect it and take it off your hands. The only rule really is you have to be prepared to GIVE IT AWAY/IT HAS TO BE FREE. You may think this is terrible BUT also things that are offered are free to you too so it works both ways.
So you make a post which has to start with OFFER ) so they know its a giveaway and then the description and then the area you are.
So for example
OFFER: boys bike aged 6-8 (wellingborough)
and then in your brief description tell the people a little about the 'bike' -
'Boys bike on offer, needs a puncture repair kit but apart from that all in good working order.'
You will then be bombarded with people saying yes please or Can I have it? I tend to try and pick someone who has the courtesy to be polite and genuine (although you cant really tell by an email)
You then reply to that person and arrange for them to collect at a convenient time. And bobs your uncle the bike that was headed for the tip will make another boy really happy and you have done your good dead for the day. :)
On similar terms to above if you need something you can put a WANTED post on the group
WANTED: lawnmower (wellingborough) and then a brief polite request to the kind people. I actually did ask for a lawnmower last year and I got an almost brand new JCB one, the guy had only used it twice but it didnt work well with his slanted garden. I was absolutely amazed and as the policy is you cant offer money I just sent him a thank you card. It is truly amazing what some people will give away!
It is a great idea that seems to be working really well, although as with everything you can get a few people who dont play by the rules but thats life.
You cannot offer or request things like pets, or vouchers, or explicit items. You cannot request these or offer personal services (goes without saying)
Once an item it collected you then need to post a 'TAKEN' post which is supposed to inform people that your offer has been collected, but this still doesnt stop people asking when they dont read the posts properly.
Or if you have requested and received you need to post a RECIEVED post to let people know you now have what you asked for.
I absolutely love this site and I must say only on my local one I have the setting for immediate emails and gets tons daily (although admittedly this is all posts not just offered ones, you cannot just get one type through you get them all)
Some of the requests are unbelievable, some ask for cars, xbox, ps3 etc, I suppose they think 'you don't ask you don't get!'
The only disadvantage I could say is that obviously you are competing with a lot of other people for something that is offered and 8 times out of 10 you will be too late or it is offered to someone else. Some people work on first come first served, others like me work on choosing the best candidate to give everyone a fair go (ie people that work and cant check their emails all day)
I definitely recommend this site to declutter you life and do someone a good turn at the same time.
Freegle is an organisation dedicated to keeping things out of landfill. It's a really simple idea and in my experience works really well. My local group used to be operated by 'freecycle' but as I understand quite a lots of the freecyle groups have broken away from them and are now freegle. No matter where you live, you should have at least one local group.
The way it works is, say you have something you no longer need, don't want to/can't sell and have no room for. Rather than taking it to the tip, post an advert offering the item on the freegle site along with your location. People who need that item respond via email directly to you. You then choose a recipient, arrange a collection time and Bob's your uncle, your unwanted item is gone! Good forum etiquette states that when you have chosen a recipient you should post a 'taken' advert to let other people know the item is no longer available.
If you are looking for something in particular, you can also post 'wanted' ads. Some groups have rules regarding 'want' ads, ours states that you can't post a 'want' until you have offered at least one thing.
Like all things, Freegle does have some negatives. The main thing that springs to mind is how rude some people can be when replying to an ad. I have had people reply saying, 'I want it, what's your address I'll be round later', which I think is totally out or order! If someone's giving away something for free, you can at least be civil. As there is usually more than one email asking for the item, I tend to pick the one that is the most polite, it's not hard to say please and thank you! The other thing I hate is the sob stories. I'm less inclined to give away something to someone who thinks a story about an ill or disabled child etc is the best way to get free stuff.
The the other main problem is the security issue. If you're nervous about having strangers come to your door, this site is not for you. I tend to have my husband answer the door just to be on the safe side.
In summary, I have used Freegle from both sides, as a giver and a receiver and I can honestly say the pros outweigh the cons by a long stretch. I have had some fabulous things given and in this cost cutting time Freegle has been much appreciated
I have an awful habit, something I'm trying desperately to kick!. Not smoking, not drinking, (although I do do those) not picking my nose and eating it.
My guilty little secret is that I'm a compulsive hoarder, and always have been. I think it stems from my family not havign an awful lot when I was younger, so items would be handed down, or kept in storage just in case they ever became useful again . I really don't like to throw anything away that could potentially be useful to me later, or perhaps to someone else , sometime.
As a result of this, I used to have a drawer full of orphaned socks and bras with no underwire, piles of books I'll never read again, loads of toiletries I've been given as gifts but never used, and an attic full of old toys my daughter loved when she was young but has now vastly outgrown .
I could have recycled all this by taking it down to charity shops and donating it, or by taking the odd socks and such to a fabric recycling bank, but as a non -driver, thats a bit of a trek. I could list them on ebay, but then I'd have to faff about at the post office sending items off . It's all a bit too much effort - if only someone would come to my house and take all this junk off my hands! This is where Freegle comes in handy .
Freegle is an online community made up of many local groups who give (and recieve ) items for free within their local area. Memberships to freegle groups are free, but do require you to sign up for a Yahoo ID, and then a small wait while your membership is approved by a moderator.
My local Freegle group was Freecycle until a few weeks ago , when it decided to change it's name . I don't know if all Freecycle groups plan on doing this, but it is useful to point out, as if you can't find a Freegle for your local area, chances are you can find a freecycle or realcycle group .
Basically, When you want to find a new home for your item, all you need to do is post a message to your local group, say you want to find a new home for something -- whether it's an old washing machine, a piece of carpet, or a big bag of books, -- you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of your group, generally offering up a little info such as the rough area you live in , items condition, whether its working or not , and if you have any preferences as to who it goes to (for instance, some people post large items such as snooker tables and state they would prefer for it to go to a youth club, etc).
Or, maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself. Simply respond to a member's offer, and you just might get it. After that, it's up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure. If you can't find someone offering the item you need, you simply post a message saying if anyone has one available you want it, and again give a few details - does it need to be in good working order, or could you perhaps repair a non working item . Do you maybe only have certain days you can pick up, or certain areas you can pick up from ?
One main rule: Everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages. So, no alcohol, no porn stash, and no sexual services.
Freegle groups are generally moderated by their members, , and occasionally it can be annoying as you'll be told your message title isn't in the correct format and you'll have to correct it and resubmit it. The sites design varies from group to group, (I'm a member of two in my area) although in my experience they are all clear, and simple to use, and have photo galleries where people can submit photographs of their items .
Signing up for an account is simple, simply provide a username, password and a few other details and you're in. Due to freecycle being part of the yahoo network, you will need a Yahoo email address, which you can get by visiting www.Yahoo.co.uk if you don't already have one. You do need to wait for admin approval before you can respond to messages in the group, which in my experience can take up to a couple of days depending on how busy they are .
I've been using freegle and have gotten rid of must of the stuff that was cluttering my house up. I've actually been surprised at some of the items people have picked up from me - items I personally would have thought were only worthy of the skip, such as a broken washing machine , a really grubby bit of carpet that had been stored in a shed, and a selection of tap fittings I found in the attic . It seems everything can be put to use, or repaired by someone - the guy who took the washing machine was a sparky, and managed to get it up and running again, the carpet was apparently used to lay on a garden to kill weeds, and the tap fittings - well I have no idea what they were used for . I've also given away much more useful items, such as a working vacuum cleaner and cooker .
Generally, I have no trouble giving items away - most people arrive on time to collect it, and are happy to come at a time that suits me . I have had a couple of no-shows though, which can be annoying if I've waited in, but I simply re-offer the item and give it to someone else.
I've also received a fair few items from Freegle - some by responding to peoples offers, others by posting a want ad of my own . Items I've recieved include an Xbox and selection of games, a selection of clothes (some of which I re-offered on the site as they were a little too formal for me), a double bed and a bike for my daughter. I don't drive, which for em does make it a little difficult for me to collect larger items - but I've found that if I explain this to people, they are happy to hold onto the item until I can get a friend to collect . In fact, in the case of the double bed, I told the person I'd have to get a man with van to collect it, and asked them if they could hold it until I got paid so I could pay the man-with-van , and they kindly offered to drop it off at my house for me in exchange for a nice cold beer!
The site does work well . I do have some concerns that some people may abuse it, and sell the items on elsewhere, and I do find people that ask for an item but then don't arrive to collect it when they say they will annoying, but in general I think it's an excellent idea, and it's saved many items of mine I no longer need from going into the bin, as well as enabling me to get some items for myself I would perhaps have struggled to buy .
To find your nearest Freegle group, go to http://ilovefreegle.org/groups/
I very much recommend joining, 4 stars!
Freegle is what was formerly known as Freecycle. It is on the yahoo network and has various regional groups up and down the country. Most towns/cities will have one. For smaller areas then they may be combined to form one group.
I came across Freecycle as it was known, a few years ago after my mum showed me an article for it in our local village magazine. I didn't have a yahoo account and so had to set one up in order to use it. If you already have a yahoo account than you can use your existing one. The first thing I did when I signed up was to list some things we had - more about that later.
The basic idea of freegle is that we prevent things just going to the tip/landfill and give them to new homes. One man's rubbish is another man's treasure type of thing! People list things on there - you reply to them if you would like their item and then the person who listed it will let you know if you've been successful and arrange a collection day and time. The site can also be used for posting 'wanted' ads too, although this used to be quite rare - some groups, including my local one as seeing so many of these, it's kind of taking freegle away from it's original idea.
If you have something to list you send it in the form of an email that goes to the moderator for the group. In the subject you put 'Offered: Item (Postcode/area)'. You must use this format otherwise it won't be accepted, I've had offered ad's rejected when I first started using the groups as I didn't use the correct format. Then in the content of the email you write what the item is. Please remember that it must be in a relatively good condition and describe it as it is - this helps other uses decide if they'd like the item. The whole point of Freegle is that it's free and no money is exchanged.
I listed several things on freegle and all went quickly (within 3 days) without any problems. On my first using of the groups I was really impressed and pleased that my old items were going to people who could use them. I often wonder that if they'd been taken to a charity shop they'd just sit there. Where as I know from the emails I've had that my items on freegle are going to be used and go to good homes.
Up until recently I'd never 'got' anything from freegle. However having just moved into my first house I wanted to try and get a few items for a little as possible. I am a member of the group near me and my mum a member of the one near her. We both managed to get items for my house. Both are in good condition and the arrangement of picking them up was really easy. I was the 'offered' advert for a tv and emailed and explained why I wanted it and how it would be useful to me etc. I'm not sure if you have to leave a message in the email but I feel it more personal to do so and when I've posted 'offered' ad's I've liked people who've put a message in. I got a reply back to say that I could have the t.v and I collected that weekend. Great TV and so much better than not having one!
Overall freegle is a great way to ensure your old items are given to new loving homes.
My local group (Uckfield and Heathfield) recently broke away from the Freecycle Group and became Freegle instead. As I understand it this was to allow them to act more independantly and have rules better suited to non-US based group. Apart from having to change the link in my "Favourites" and remember to start calling it "Freegle" this hasn't really affected me.
I have been a member of my local group and 3 others in the vicinity for several years now and am a regular visitor.
The Basic Idea
The purpose of the site is to pass on unwanted items (anything from furniture to fruit) to others who will make use of them, rather than the item ending up in a landfill site.
How it works
Memebers list individual "adverts" for an item, either requests or offers. So if you had a chair you wanted to get rid of you can list an "Offer" with a short description and await emails from other members willing to collect the item from you. You do have to be quick sometimes as Posts are emailed to members instantly as well as appearing on the site and popular items may get 10 or 20 replies in a day. General practise is to offer on a first come - first served basis but some people chose to give their items to whoever seems most in need of them.
I have offered many items myself, most recently baby clothes and a printer, both of which got good responses and went to deserving families to be made use of all over again.
The site is often used by people on low income to get hold of things they can't otherwise afford. It is nice to know that the things you give away are helping someone out in some way.
I have personally furnished half my house from items I have been lucky enough to recieve through this site! Recently I recived an excellent printer from a lovely member who lives nearby, I have in the past also collected baby equipment, clothes and even a wedding dress bag!
One of the great things about the site is that you can also "Request" an item that you need, in case someone has one lying around unused that they are willing to part with. I have managed to get a fair collection of winemaking and brewing equipment this way. It is amazing what people have gathering dust in their sheds and garages and they are often more than happy to see their unused items find a new home.
To summarise, I think Freegle (and Freecycle) is a fantastic concept and the more people that know about it , the better. With this site it really is a case of The More, The Merrier because as it gets more popular, more great items will be offered!
As I write this review I am actually waiting for someone to come and collect a cot that I offered yesterday. It makes me happy to know that it will go to a good home, help someone out and not just get taken to the tip. I also feel I am doing my bit as I often receive items so it's good to offer some from time to time.
The only downside of the site comes when you offer an item, arrange collection and no one turns up. If this happens too often people get put off from offering things, which ruins it for the rest of us, so if you arrange to collect something, please do.
Freegle is a new website I have recently found online, it is very similar to Freecycle in many senses in that it allows people to give away items they no longer require to others for free, as a means to avoid simply dumping old stuff.
Freegle is hosted on the Yahoo Groups page, it is well set out and simplistic in style but nice enough, it works thus:
Join a local group in Freegle, regions are listed as:
* East Midlands
* North East
* North West
* Northern Ireland
* South East
* South West
* West Midlands
* Yorkshire and the Humber
You then list items you would like to get rid of and others do the same. Your items are sent to others in the group by email and theirs are sent to you, you can choose whether to receive all as emails or to check online though if your worried about lots of spam.
People can advise you if they want to take your item nad you organise together how they collect it or you deliver it. There is no money involved but it is a good way to avoid throwing things out, filling landfills and causing further damage to the planet, its also good for people who can repair things or who have new homes and little money to pick up some decent items sometimes.
You can list items you'd like that aren't currently there so people keep you in mind too, so far I have listed items i'd like to get rid of and have somebody coming to collect an old tv today which is good as I was simply going to take it to the local tip due to some damage but they believe it can be fixed and if they collect it i'm happy for them to take it.
Overall its a well constructed site with a growing readership and list of items.
In these troubled financial times everybody, it seems, wants, nay expects, something for nothing. In my experience, free ad sites such as Gumtree, Preloved, ItsMyMarket, Adzooks and so on, appear to be experiencing lean times, no matter how cheaply items are offered for sale. And yet, these same items offered on recycling sites such as Freecycle, Snaffleup and Freeuseit are practically snatched out of your hand almost before you've posted the ad.
Freecycle is probably the Daddy of the "give it away for free" organisations and reviews have been written about it here by, at the last count, 94 members, including myself. I have been a member of two of the UK groups for some time now and have managed to dispose of many unwanted items. Although I don't actively seek out items offered as often as I offer them myself, I do receive the daily digests of items offered and scan them for anything interesting.
Imagine then my surprise when one of these groups sent me an email digest under a different name. Where previously I had noticed the name of the group included the magic word, Freecycle, suddenly this name was missing and in its place appeared the name "Freegle".
Once my immediate apprehension had dissipated a little, it seemed that this email was from exactly the same people as before. So, why the name change? The answer came in the form of another email from the moderator of the group. It turns out that all has not been well for some time between the US and UK regions of Freecycle.
Freecycle is an American originated organisation, founded in Tucson, Arizona. It appears that it guards jealously its principles and methods of operating, which, I understand, it imposes on all groups wishing to form under the Freecycle banner, no matter where in the World they operate and regardless of local customs and laws. This seeming "We're the US and we know what's best for you" attitude will come as no surprise to many. Some may consider this typical Yankie arrogance; I couldn't possibly comment.
The facts are that nearly a quarter of all UK Freecycle groups have broken away to reform under the Freegle banner, and this number is growing. In most cases this seems to have resulted in the existing group simply changing its name but continuing, at least as far as the end users are concerned, to operate exactly as before.
Freegle groups are constituted as Yahoo groups, just as Freecycle groups still are where they have not converted to the Freegle organisation. Consequently, just as with Freecycle, you have to have a Yahoo Id in order to participate. If you were already a Freecycle member and the Freecycle group to which you belonged has now become a Freegle group then there is no action that you need to take; just carry on exactly as before.
If, however, you are currently neither a Yahoo, Freecycle or Freegle member but like the idea of what Freegle seeks to achieve then the first thing you need to do is to find out if there is a Freegle group covering your area. You can do this by visiting the Freegle website, which is not hosted on Yahoo so you don't need to concern yourself about a Yahoo Id just yet. Here you will also find information on what the Freegle organisation is all about and here also under "History" you will find a statement about the inter-organisation dispute.
"Find a group" takes you to a page listing the UK regions of the Freegle organisation and below the map is an indicator of the number of groups and members constituted under the Freegle banner. At the time of writing there are 138 groups and over half a million members, so it is likely that you will find one near you, if not today, then soon. Clicking on the name of a group links you to that group's webpage on Yahoo. At this point, if you are already a Yahoo member then you simply sign in with your Yahoo Id and password; if not then you firstly sign up with Yahoo; both links are at the top left-hand side of the page.
Yahoo Groups have a whole range of features associated with them and the ones in which you are probably most likely to be interested are Photos and Messages.
If you have an item of which you want to dispose then it's probably best to provide a photo of it so that potential takers can see exactly what it is you are offering, though this is not obligatory; many members don't bother with a photo but I usually do. Once you have uploaded your photo, go to it and copy the link URL to include in your message. Note though that a photo posted on one group cannot be reused with a message in another group: you must upload the photo to each group individually.
You then need to go to "Post", which may appear under Messages or on its own. This will link you to the webpage where you can describe what it is that you have to offer. The Subject line, by convention, should be formatted: "OFFERED: What it is you have to offer (Town or district where you live)".
Below this you can describe the item(s) and paste in that link you copied to the photo(s). It is usually best to limit your message to just one item although some members do describe in the subject line their items as "Various"! I find this unhelpful.
You then submit your message and one of two things will happen. If the Moderator of the group permits immediate display, your message will appear under "Messages". However, most groups, in my experience, are moderated groups and so the Moderator may wish to read you message to decide if it is appropriate and does not contravene the normal rules before allowing it to appear. You then sit back and wait to see if you have any takers; it's as simple as that.
Freegle groups tend to have a second group associated with them, a "Cafe", using a similar group name, usually simply with the word Cafe tacked on the end. This is a general discussion group and is where issues relating to the organisation of the group are posted. Here also members can post items which fall outside of the scope of the Freegle group. Such items might be posting notice of events or the advertising by members of services that they offer.
You aren't obliged to join the associated Cafe but it is recommended. This is where I found out why one of my Freecycle group had suddenly changed its name, and why.
So, when is a Freecycle not a Freecycle? When it's a Freegle! Happy Freegling.