Monday, June 15, 2009

Greedy Freecyclers

I have been praising Freecycle for years.

On my local group the wanted posts have gotten, in my opinion, out of hand.

In just the last five days, here are some things wanted. All of these sell in the hundreds of dollars and in the case of the kiln, can cost $5000.

a wooden boat

a kayak

electric stove

bike trailer

tandem bike

men's mountain bike

tires 245/70/R16 or 265/70/R16


wrought iron table and chairs

two or three dressers

adirondack chairs

motor scooter


heavy duty metal shelving for storage

roof top cargo carrier

two dressers AND two bookcases

chain saw (two posts)

wooden swing set

13 inch color TV

working PC

working laptop

chain link fence with privacy slats

inflatable moon bouncer

wooden lemonade stand (for budding entrepreneur!)

Yes sometimes these things do get posted as offer posts however it is unfair to clog the list with greedy requests for items so specific like a certain kind of tire, plus wanting it is usable condition, like decent tires. The sheer volume, the high volume of these requests is a little ridiculous. A greedy request once in a blue moon is tolerable but these are over the top, to me.

For example if a little kid wants to sell lemonade how about using a folding card table and a chair? If the family doesn't own that they may own a child's sized play table. If not that, then how about borrowing a folding table from a neighbor? Or using a picnic table? Something that the family must own and can improvise?

At one point we had a repeat poster asking for an adult sized squirrel costume said to be used for educational talks to young children about nature conservation. This was written as a true plight, a necessary thing the person needed to make their case for nature. I was so tempted to write to the person to say that a squirrel costume is really silly. Children aged 1-2 may be scared of an adult size squirrel. Children aged 3-4-5 and up don't need it either. I know children and I know they respond to non-dumbed down talk on important issues. Wearing a squirrel costume while lecturing kids on nature conservation may actually make the speaker lose credibility. Talking passionately from the heart in ways the children can understand and letting them see the compassion on the speaker's face means more than staring at a talking furry costume face.

What the List Owner Says

The local Freecycle list owner has a new rule to post 3 offers then 1 wanted and to limit the request for one item and not post it over and over and over. I don't know the track record of these greedy posters nor do I have time or desire to police them. I mention this because maybe you are wondering if the list owner is 'doing enough' to curb these wanted requests. I think she is. My criticism lies with the posters themselves, they should show some restraint.

Second Option Looking Better

Craigslist has a free section. Those who want to give stuff away but don't want to deal with the hassle of getting emails all the time can post free stuff to give away via Craigslist's free section. Some friends tell me this works great for them. That is one option for those of us who get frustrated by Freecycle. We can just go to Craigslist and post when we want to give stuff away and keep away from Craigslist the rest of the time.

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livnletlrn said...

I started two local Freecycle groups many years ago and was the mod of the groups as they grew to a total of >4,000 members. Unfortunately, I was increasingly repulsed by the greediness and no-shows and general gimme-gimme feel that came over the lists as new members joined, and the combativeness of some people regarding the "offer before you request" rule, so I am now completely uninvolved in Freecycle. :::sigh::: Great idea ruined by compulsive consumers.

Love 2B Homeschoolers said...

I quit Freecycle for just this reason. On the list I was on, there were more wanteds than offers. List owner didn't reply when I complained.