A Guide to Freecycle

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. Freecycle is a quick and easy way of gifting or receiving unwanted items for free.
  2. You can log into your Freecycle directly from your Facbook account to make the process even easier.
  3. Once you’re signed up, you can respond to postings, offer items to your group or post requests on the site.
  4. Search for and join local groups to where you live or work.
  5. Remember that everything offered through the site must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages.
  6. Failing to stick to the site’s rules and regulations could lead to your Freecycle account being terminated.

Background

The Freecycle Network was set up in 2003 as a means of harnessing the power of the internet to reduce waste by allowing users to swap or gift a for free.

Since its formation in the United States, groups have been set up all around the world, giving members the chance to either the chance to get rid of items they no longer want or need or to get what they need for free.

Getting involved in your local Freecycle group is free and easy, with new users able to respond to postings or even put up their own within a couple of minutes of joining.

Signing up to a Group

The quickest and easiest way of finding your local Freecycle group is to use the search function on the Freecycle Network homepage (Freecycle.org).

Simply type your location into the ‘Find a Group Near You’ bar and this will return a list of the group’s nearest to you.

Click on the group that is best for you – for example Camden, London rather than Camden, New Jersey – and then click on the ‘Sign Up’ option.

Now you’ll be asked to complete a short form, inputting your preferred email address and a preferred Freecycle username and the password you want to use to log into your account.

Once this is entered and you’ve agreed to adhere to the site’s rules and regulations, you’ll automatically be logged into your preferred group’s forum and be ready to get freecycling.

Once you have an account, you can sign up to the Freecycle Facebook Application.

With this, you’ll then be able to log into your Freecycle account directly from Facebook, while some groups also have their own Facebook groups through which they keep members up-to-speed on the latest postings and local news.

How to Claim Something on Freeccyle

Once you log into your local Freecycle group, you’ll be presented with a list of items that other members are either offering or in search of themselves.

Each posting will either have an ‘Offer’ or a ‘Wanted’ tag on the left-hand-side and all items are listed in the order they were posted, with the most recent at the top.

If you see an items that’s of interest to you and that has a ‘Offer’ tag next to it, simply click on the hyper-linked title and this will take you through to a unique page for the individual posting.

Here you’ll find more details about the items itself, as well as about the member offering it to the group and whether there’s a specific date they want the item to be picked up.

If this all looks good, click ‘Reply to this Post’ at the bottom of the screen and then send a short message to the person listing the items. It’s best to include a little about yourself and to confirm, if necessary, that you would be able to pick up the item at the time and place specified.

Should the poster be happy with your message, they’ll get back to you via Freecycle, with a message sent to the email address you registered.

How to Offer Something on Freecycle

Offering an item to other members of your Freecycle group is quick and easy.

Once you’ve logged in to your account, just click on the ‘Make a New Post’ button located at the top of the main screen.

This will bring you to a short form where you are required to give a short description of the item you wish to post as well as give your approximate location.

You can expand further on the item itself in the main text box and here’s also a good place to specify a preferred date and time for collection.

Once you have put in all the relevant information, simply hit ‘Make the Post’ and wait for your listing to go live.

Should anyone be interested, you’ll receive their emails directly to the address you registered with.

Posting Requests

You can also place ‘Wanted’ posts on Freecycle, advising members of your local group that you’re after a particular items.

To do this, simply follow the same process as you would to offer something to the group, namely by clicking on the ‘Make a New Post’ button and filling in all the relevant details. However, in the drop-down box at the top of the form, you need to select the ‘Request for a WANTED item’ option.

As before, should anyone in your group have the item you need and be happy to offer it to you, they will get in touch through the site, with any messages sent directly to the email account you signed up with.

Rules and Regulations

The Freecycle Network is relatively free of rules and regulations, with volunteer moderators tasked with looking after local groups.

One major rule, however, is that everything offered through the site must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages.

Failing to stick to this rule could lead to your account being deleted and you being barred from the site for good.

Additionally, the ‘Freecycle Network etiquette’ asks that users change the status of their ‘Offered’ posts to ‘Taken’ once they have reached an agreement with another user over an item.

Further Reading

  • If the service doesn’t grab you, alternatives the Freecycle are listed here.
  • You wish to consider giving old items such as clothes, books and toys to a charitable cause such as Oxfam instead.
  • If your concern is mainly for the environment, use our energy switching service to locate a supplier who uses renewable energy only.
 
2 comments
Karleen Karleen
08/03/2012

This is a great idea! I didn't know such a thing existed. I'll be checking it out further to see if there is anyone in my area who is involved in this giving and receiving program. Thanks for the info!

 
Richard Richard
20/02/2012

Hey this is a pretty good idea. I'll be coming back later to see what I can offer on here.

 

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