I thought the general rules of appropriate behavior applicable to receiving something for FREE would apply equally to receiving something for free through Freecycle. Apparently they do not. Or apparently people are just rude when they get free stuff, Freecycle or not.
Mr. Beez and I posted a piece of furniture on Freecycle last night. It’s in good condition and retails for a fair amount. We could probably get a little cash for it on Craigslist, but didn’t want to deal with that hassle, and we just want it out of our house.
The emails flooded in. Seriously, I got about 50 responses. My old approach to Freecycle used to be that whomever emailed first would get whatever I was offering. Then I realized that the people who email FIRST tend to respond to almost every Freecycle ad, and they no show like it’s going out of style. Now I watch for the first response that doesn’t appear to be a jerk, and I’ll pick them.
Freecycle means you are getting something for FREE, so how about you don’t be a jerk about it:
1. Don’t be presumptious or demanding in your response. “I’ll pick it up Friday at 11am” is bound to get NO response from me. How about you say “I am interested in ____.” or “If _____ is still available, I would like to take it.” Presuming it is already yours makes me hate you.
2. Don’t be difficult with pickup times. If it’s a porch pickup, you should pick it up whatever it is that day, or at most the next day. If you have to coordinate a time to meet, don’t be rigid and demanding with your available times. Remember YOU ARE GETTING SOMETHING FOR FREE, so the least you can do is accomodate the schedule of the person giving it to you.
3. DO NOT NO-SHOW. I completely understand that things can come up and maybe you can’t make it by when you initially thought. Send an email or call! Changing a pickup time isn’t a problem as long as you communicate! Flat out not showing without explaination is unnaceptable.
4. Say “Thank you.” With a porch pickup, a quick “Got it, thanks!” e-mail is perfectly acceptable. If you’re doing a pickup in person, just say “thanks.” It’s simple, and goes a long way.