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To refuse to hand over my freecycle offers to this girl?

(177 Posts)
GoodTouchBadTouch Mon 29-Jul-13 16:54:34

We have recently moved and I put a load of stuff on freecycle.

I was emailed by a woman who asked for 3 things, and I told her to pick one as I wanted to share them out. She says, OK, she will have the home gym.

She turns up in a very nice car - I assumed she would be a bit poorer to be scouring the giveaways on Freecycle.

She comes in to get the home gym and spots the dining set out in the hallway ready to be re-homed. She asks if its a G-plan, and when I say yes she asks for that too. She hadn't asked for it originally, but I didn't put the name in the Freecycle ad.

Then she says she can give me 20 for it, and I say no, then she says 40 and I say no, so she asks how much do I want for it and her husband can bring the van to pick it up tonight. Im thinking she is likely going to sell it on and tell her that I wanted to help someone in need and she cant have the table or the home gym, she gets a bit stroppy, but leaves.

Then I get an email from the Freecycle group, saying this member is really disappointed and would I reconsider. Im not going to, but just wondered WWYD? Was I totally out of order?

And is this how freecycle is?? A load of freeloaders trying to make some extra cash? Ive offered before, but only stuff that would otherwise be scrapped, this is the only time Ive offered anything with a resale value.

Also had an email from her, saying she will withdraw her complaint if I let her husband collect tonight. Im not really worried that she has my address.

FeckOffCup Mon 29-Jul-13 17:21:13

YANBU not to have given her the table as that was very cheeky of her to ask for it when you had already said you wanted to share things out. YABVU not to have given her the home gym, as others have said it's not really about giving to the needy, who really needs a home gym anyway when you can walk/jog for free or get a home exercise DVD for peanuts in a charity shop? You should have kept to your side of the bargain with the gym whether you thought she needed it or not, I would have been mightily pissed off at wasting the petrol to get there if I was her.

GhostsInSnow Mon 29-Jul-13 17:27:01

I gave up on Freecycle. There are only so many emails of "IL AV IT" and "PIK UP IN ALF OUR WERE R U?" you can take.

I left my group in disgust at a local man who claimed to be a retired hobbyist collecting certain items and repairing them. Then I found his hobby also included flogging his spoils from FC on eBay. Mods did bugger all about it so I'm afraid I flounced. It was rather a good flounce though because I outed him to the entire group as I left. Don't suppose he gets given much anymore ;)

These days anything I have goes down to the local charity shop, they have a furniture section as well and are happy to take that kind of thing.

GoodTouchBadTouch Mon 29-Jul-13 17:28:07

Yes, I bet she was pissed about the home gym. Still I guess in her game you win some you lose some. I KNOW a lot of people think of Freecycle as a way to help people who don't have much, and it makes me a bit sad that the real poor people miss out.

Does make me think that food banks probably get abused in the same way

GoodTouchBadTouch Mon 29-Jul-13 17:31:29

Charlie - funny you should say that - I have just got an email from a guy asking for the knitting machine because his wife is disabled and needs a hobby where she can sit down.

He had also emailed me asking for the elliptical trainer for his wife!

WilsonFrickett Mon 29-Jul-13 17:32:13

Erm, no, you need a referral for a food bank, at least you do in my city.

Freecycle is offering you a service - someone will come and pick up stuff you don't want, rather than you tipping it or paying for a council pick up. You don't really get to specify who is poor enough for your services.

Perhaps she can afford her car because she has a business upcycling stuff she gets on freecycle and gum tree? Good on her... one man's trash is another man's treasure in more ways than one...

TarkaTheOtter Mon 29-Jul-13 17:32:31

I'm guessing if you are really hard up a home gym (and the requisite transport to get it home) may not be top of your list of priorities.

Floggingmolly Mon 29-Jul-13 17:33:46

The nerve of her; not only being cheeky when she called but going back to Freecycle to complain you wouldn't give her all your stuff!
Why on earth did they follow it up for her by asking you to reconsider? confused

StealthPolarBear Mon 29-Jul-13 17:34:20

Maybe he has more than one wife grin

MrsKeithRichards Mon 29-Jul-13 17:35:09

Yabu. You don't have to be a real poor person to use freecycle

oldgrandmama Mon 29-Jul-13 17:35:32

People do use Freecycle to make money - I know one woman who has a business selling second-hand books, CDs and DVDs she gets through Freecycle and another who gets clothes and then sells them on EBay - I found out because my daughter recognised a nice 'vintage' item that I'd given a Freecycler on sale on the site!!!! I suppose some might feel OK about that but I don't - and the woman who wanted your G-Plan (VERY resaleable, with the craze for 'retro' stuff) obviously was some sort of dealer. These days, I take much of unwanted stuff to the local charity shop for them to sell, but obviously you don't want to lug along furniture and gym equipment! There are a few charities that will pick stuff up from you. Call me unreasonable, but I'd rather a charity got some good out of my stuff than someone who uses Freecycle as free stock.

As for being supposed to give stuff to Freecyclers on first come, first serve - that's not correct. YOU can decide to whom you give it. I still use Freecycle now and then and have actually made some great friends through it. I can now recognise some of the 'traders' - they're the ones who apply for absolutely ANYTHING you advertise!

GhostsInSnow Mon 29-Jul-13 17:36:04

goodtouch thats hilarious!

We had one many years ago which was a huge list of things this man needed because he was very disabled. The list included the most random things like car creepers.

Seems to be standard sympathy card, either they are disabled or their child is Special Needs.

BackforGood Mon 29-Jul-13 17:36:24

I give and receive a lot on Freegle (as it became in our area). It's nothing to do with being 'poor' it's to do with letting someone else have use for something you no longer need.
When you give stuff away, it saves you taking it to the tip, and saves you being sad that something perfectly serviceable is getting thrown away. The car you drive, or if you have more than one car in your family is just not relevant - you would actually need a big car to transport a home gym, I'd have thought. Who knows, she may have borrowed it? But even if not, why does it bother you? You don't need it, it's a convenient way of it being removed from your house.
There are lots of ways to feel 'bountiful' as others have said, but that's not what Freegle is about.
Nothing wrong with her asking about the other furniture either - you might have been grateful to get a bit of money for something without having to advertise or put it on e-bay. All you have to do is say "No thanks, it's not for sale". End of.
I too would complain about a poster offering me something then withdrawing it once I got to their house - it's not how it works.

MalcolmTuckersMum Mon 29-Jul-13 17:37:07

OP - can you just explain to me where on the Freecycle site it is described as a site for 'the poor'.

Also - what tests can/will you apply to determine who is poor and who isn't?

Optimist1 Mon 29-Jul-13 17:37:30

Of course there will be some people who get things from FreeCycle and sell them on because that's the only way they can augment their wages. I don't have a problem with that.

RalphtheTimid Mon 29-Jul-13 17:37:37

British Heart Foundation collect from you.

MalcolmTuckersMum Mon 29-Jul-13 17:39:03

By the way - I give a great deal away on our Freecycle - I cleared my garage and a lot of the house this way. I do not reply to rude or grabby requests - they are actually very easily ignored/deleted - but any reasonable answer gets considered and I normally give to the first polite answer I get. It's really not up to me to grade or judge applicants.

JacqueslePeacock Mon 29-Jul-13 17:39:40

Plenty of charity shops do collect. Try the British Heart Foundation furniture shops, Red Cross, or a local branch of the Salvation Army. Where I am, all of these will come with a van and take the lot to sell in their shops.

PumpkinPie2013 Mon 29-Jul-13 17:40:15

I don't think YABU to not give the dining set if you hadn't offered it but I do think YABU to not give the home gym as agreed.

I've only done freecycle a couple of times but both times the items went to people who would benefit
e.g. I gave a guitar suitable for learning/beginners to someone for her little boy who really wanted to learn but they were unable to afford to buy him one. It was near Christmas and they were going to wrap it for him as one of his presents.

I don't agree with people taking things to re-sell though but I'm happy to give to anyone who wants the item for themselves although of course it's hard to know what their intentions are.

Generally for smaller items and clothes I give to charity shops or hospitals/homeless shelters.

cakebar Mon 29-Jul-13 17:40:33

I would have given her the gym. You had agreed that, but not the table.

I admit I have been surprised at how well off seeming some of the people have been who have collected stuff. I was quite surprised at the very posh car that collected my second hand car seat, at least they were obviously going to use it for themselves, albeit in a second car. I would rather have given it to someone who was struggling. They were nice and polite though and collected when they said they would.

My 'wish I had given it to someone else' moment wasn't about wealth. It was stuff that people took that I was sure they were going to horde in one of those houses that gets on the tv. Better in landfill than to someone doing that. I have made a note of who they are as I think they have collected stuff off me before so I don't pick them again.

BalloonSlayer Mon 29-Jul-13 17:41:17


I put two pushchairs on freecycle, one hardly used one and a well-used-but-in-good-nick 3-wheeler which I realise is now quite out of fashion. I had loads of requests for the hardly used one, including one from someone who was desperate for something to carry their baby round in . . . needless to say the desperate bloke did not bother to ask for the 3 wheeler. So I let him carry on carting his baby round in a Tesco bag, or whatever, and gave my nearly new pushchair to a nice young mum who didn't have a sob story at all.

microserf Mon 29-Jul-13 17:41:47

Grabby and very cheeky with it! We stopped freecycling for this very reason. Initially I was fine with it, once even gave away a working tv to a very delighted chap who took it home the bus. Then it seemed to degenerate into chancers trying their luck and they got very aggressive. We gave away an old play station and the messages from disappointed posters were very aggressive.

Now all our cast offs regardless go to the charity shop. I got sick of all the grasping.

Ponders Mon 29-Jul-13 17:41:51

agree the woman was being very greedy & should have been happy just to take what she'd been offered. Offering money is completely out of order & I hope your mods will sack her for that hmm

we are very lucky to have a big YMCA shop here which takes furniture and electricals. upholstery has to have the fire label on it. there will be restrictions on electricals too I imagine though I don't know what.

they are happy to collect & are very good at it - we donated a metal-action sofabed which weighs a ton. When we brought it home we struggled to get it in even with the door off - they just tilted & twizzled & out it went!

they do the Gift Aid thing like Oxfam

BHF have furniture/electricals shops too. Our nearest one is about 15 miles away but they will collect from here. worth a google in your area?

StuntGirl Mon 29-Jul-13 17:44:11

Do you have a clipboard with a checklist to make sure the respondents are appropriately poor when they arrive? Do they get bonus points if they have rust on the car? Ooh, or bonus points for no car at all as they are so poor and have to bring their children (in rags and no shoe,s obv.) to help carry it home?

You're being silly. It's a recycling scheme. There is no financial threshold.

nkf Mon 29-Jul-13 17:45:59

Mencap collects furniture. I don't know about whether this was unreasonable, but you and she clashed. Other people would have taken the £20 or £40 or haggled upwards.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 29-Jul-13 17:48:54

agree the woman was being very greedy & should have been happy just to take what she'd been offered. Offering money is completely out of order & I hope your mods will sack her for that

There's nothing to say you can't offer money for something that hasn't been listed on Freecycle though - which is what happened here.
The OP hadn't decided what to do with the table - so no harm in someone asking, if theres obviously a clear-out going on.
I saved loads on eBay listings that way when I cleared my house - i offered stuff I wanted to give away on Freecycle but had another pile of stuff I was going to sell - and several freecycle collectors bought bits off me when they saw them and asked if I was getting rid.

I 'obtain' loads of bits and bobs for my business through Freecycle - so although I'm not selling them on, I'm profiting from them.

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