Poll

How many times do you let a person reschedule pickup of a freecycle item before moving on to the next interested person?

Never.  One no-show and they are off my list.
20 (19.4%)
Never unless there are mitigating circumstances.
50 (48.5%)
Once, regardless of the circumstances
29 (28.2%)
More than once.
4 (3.9%)
Four or five times, or more if their excuses seem genuine.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 103

Author Topic: Freecycle etiquette?  (Read 2986 times)

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Knitterly

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Freecycle etiquette?
« on: November 07, 2012, 12:42:38 PM »
How many times do you let a person reschedule pick-up of a freecycled item before moving on to the next interested person?

A person (let's call them A) is freecycling a lot of things - lets say A has about 7 or 8 separate listings (all different items, which are in no way related to one another, thus the individual listings).  Most of these things have been jumped on by various people and A has had an almost endless stream of responses since she put up her listings.

One person (let's call them B) responded about an item, let's say a fancy fruit bowl, about 2 minutes after the listing went up.  B promised to come by at 4pm that afternoon to pick it up.  A gave B their address for pickup.  B did not show up.  In between the initial exchange and the no-show, A got 4 more inquiries about the bowl and has kept a list of interested people.  The second person to reply, C, also wanted a second item, let's say dollhouse furniture.  Because C also wanted the bowl and A didn't want C to take the bowl off the porch when B was on her way (this may have happened to A in the past, both as a recipient and a giver), A made arrangements for C to come pick up on another day.

B did not come by but emailed at 10pm saying that she'd had to take her son to the hospital.  A believes it as there is a nasty stomach bug going around, A's friend also had her child in the hospital, and even A was wondering if she should take her own child to the dr because she is getting dehydrated from this bug.  In any case, B said she was home from the hospital and promised to come by the next morning.  By noon, B still has not shown up and has not sent A any message.

C is coming tomorrow to pick up the toys.  If you were A, would you let her have the bowl, too (presuming, of course, that she actually shows up)?

TootsNYC

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 12:45:28 PM »
Yes, I would. I'd drop B a note and say, "Sorry--someone else who wanted that bowl was coming by for something else, so I sent it with her. Maybe next time."

There's no exchange of cash, and the person who is getting this for free can't even be bothered to call and say, "Oh, I'm hung up and can't get there!" She must not want it very bad.

I'd give someone one chance at a redo. That's it, especially when there's someone else who was interested.

My goal w/ Freecycle would be to get it out of my house.

amylouky

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 12:45:58 PM »
Yes, I'd give it to C, and send B an email, "Hi, just fyi the fruit bowl is no longer available for pickup." Just so B doesn't show up at the door a week later expecting "her stuff".

Only me

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 12:48:50 PM »
HI

Absolutely, I would offer C everything she wants. Is it unfortunate that B didn't make it the first time since a child was sick? Yes.
Is it too bad A didn't hear from B again as maybe the child is sick again? Yes. Does that make if A's fault? NO.
 (Sorry this this not meant to be harsh)

I'd say offer the second thing to C and if she wants it just write B back and state an "I'm sorry but its gone since I didn't hear from you".

Me me me

WillyNilly

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 01:27:00 PM »
Whomever shows up (probably C) gets the stuff.

So sad, too bad for B.  Is that harsh?  Yeah but we are not talking about life saving insulin here, its a life "extra", not a "need", so if A missed out, so be it.  The point is to get the clutter out of your home, if C can help A accomplish that, then C gets the stuff.

Knitterly

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 02:40:39 PM »
Thanks.  Freecycle drives me batty sometimes.  In case you couldn't tell, I am A. 

I'm going through my house and doing a thorough re-org and cleanup and lots of stuff is getting passed along.  I emailed B about 20 minutes ago asking her if she was going to pick up the bowl, and if not I had several other interested parties.  No.  Her child is back in the hospital, so she won't be able to come in today.  On the one hand, I do feel a little bad because she wanted it.  On the other, well.... I can't hold it indefinitely, that's not the point of a destash. 

C is going to pick it up tomorrow.  Hopefully she really actually does and isn't another no-show.  No-shows drive me crazy!  :(

Slartibartfast

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 03:03:02 PM »
Honestly, this is why I like posting groups of items as a "take them all and relist what you don't want!" kind of situation - I hate dealing with the endless permutations of people who want this and that but not the other thing, and then don't show up.  It's much easier for me to just give as much as I can to one or two people and let them dispose of what they don't want.

Amara

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 05:08:53 PM »
This has happened so many times to me I have lost count. I used to give multiple chances and I even took the initiative to mail them and ask if they forgot and wanted to make another appointment time. No more. One no-show without an e-mail explaining circumstances and requesting a firm second day and time means I strike the person from my list.

I feel that I am going out of my way to list the item(s) and to email enough to set a day, time, and place for the appointment. If the person can't keep it then they can't have it. It's funny how something that has value for them once it is offered seems to lose its value once it is promised to them. It doesn't work that way. When I say I am going to show up I show up. I expect others to do the same.

I do have a small list of Freecyclers that I have regularly traded with and I will wait for them. I also began keeping an Excel list of those who promise to be there and don't show complete with email address. They simply never get anything from me again.

To me, it's all about respect and responsibility. You promised the item. They promised to come.

blarg314

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 09:35:08 PM »

I was recently giving away some  stuff on a different site, and my conclusion is that the first person in the door gets the goods. If I schedule a time, and you don't show up or cancel, you drop down on the list. If you want to schedule a pickup time in the future (a few days away, etc), then the answer is "I'll let you know if it's still available then."  Seriously - I'm giving away free stuff. If you want it, you have to be willing to put in some effort, instead of expecting me to do all the work.

For selling stuff I'll be a bit more more flexible, but still, it's first come, first serve. If you look at it, and want it, but need to arrange transportation, I'll hold it only if I get a deposit.

Raintree

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 01:13:07 AM »
Don't feel bad. You are giving something away for free and you are being inconvenienced having to wait for people to show up. You could have been out doing something else while you were waiting. I'd probably have been forgiving of an emergency such as a child in a hospital, but a second time? No. I'd start wondering about the truth of this "emergency."

I've learned the hard way, except mine was for an item I was selling for money. The woman showed up, looked at it, and wanted it, but hadn't brought any money (who does that?). I naively promised to hold it for her as she was coming back the next day. The next day she didn't show, made some excuse when I called her, and said she'd come the NEXT day. So this was the third day I had to rush home and make sure I was there for the agreed upon time. Again she didn't show. So in the meantime someone else called, came over, cash in hand, and bought it and the whole thing took a painless 10 minutes. That is the way it should be. Then the first woman called again and was upset that I had sold it to someone else. No, just no. You show up ready to buy (or take) or risk losing it to another buyer.

Knitterly

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 07:48:33 AM »
Don't feel bad. You are giving something away for free and you are being inconvenienced having to wait for people to show up. You could have been out doing something else while you were waiting. I'd probably have been forgiving of an emergency such as a child in a hospital, but a second time? No. I'd start wondering about the truth of this "emergency."

I've learned the hard way, except mine was for an item I was selling for money. The woman showed up, looked at it, and wanted it, but hadn't brought any money (who does that?). I naively promised to hold it for her as she was coming back the next day. The next day she didn't show, made some excuse when I called her, and said she'd come the NEXT day. So this was the third day I had to rush home and make sure I was there for the agreed upon time. Again she didn't show. So in the meantime someone else called, came over, cash in hand, and bought it and the whole thing took a painless 10 minutes. That is the way it should be. Then the first woman called again and was upset that I had sold it to someone else. No, just no. You show up ready to buy (or take) or risk losing it to another buyer.

I leave it hanging from the doorknob and tell the person that "my daughter will probably be sleeping, so don't ring the bell".

That way, if I need to go out, I don't feel trapped at home and I also don't feel like I've just given a random stranger information that I won't be home at X time.

The woman was polite when I told her I wasn't going to reschedule a 3rd time.  I just said that someone else wanted the bowl who was also picking up another bag of things and if she did not show, we could try reschedule something.

I actually had someone ask me to drop an item off to her - on the other side of town.  Uhm... no.  Not likely.

Minmom3

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 12:26:38 PM »
After I got my license, I emptied about 5 or 6 feet of shelving of binders and their contents.  I kept most of my text books, but I was DONE housing 3 years of notes.  I listed exactly what binders I had and posted them on Freecycle, noting that it was 'you have to take ALL of them', that I was not driving hither and yon for binders to different people.  I'd drive to deliver them to a pre-agreed location, because I never have people come to the house, so driving is a given.  I got multiple replies telling me why they wanted them.  I didn't need life stories about under funded teachers, I needed the binders to leave home without me!  Then, the lady I ended up giving them to re-told me why she needed them....

I understand and enormously sympathize with under funded teachers, I just don't CARE when it comes to Freecycle.  I'm glad they're gone, I'm glad you can use them - so take them from me...  Just take them, pleeze! 
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

bopper

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 01:03:50 PM »
You are a nice person trying to be nice to presumably another nice person.

But you are a person giving away an items with some value that is a decorative item...You do not have to inconvenience yourself to give away your items! It was kind of you to give the person another chance, but after that, with a willing person on the way, I would not have thought twice about this.

magicdomino

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 01:05:13 PM »
I'll let the person reschedule, if he/she contacts me either before pick-up or immediately after.  In practical terms, it is usually the next day before I contact the next person in line anyway, so there is some leeway.  Also, I leave stuff on the front porch, so it might be late by the time I notice the item is still there.

In the past, I've tried emailing the no-show.  Most of the time, I was met by silence.  Now, I put in the Offer that I will be moving on to the next person if I don't receive a confirming email or the item isn't picked up within 24 hours of the agreed time.

Deetee

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Re: Freecycle etiquette?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 02:17:57 PM »
I agree with everyone previously. You offered the items and named a time. She failed to show up. At that point you are free to give them to the next person. If the person contacts you and if you want to you can arrange a second time, but that is bonus.

You didn't promise her the items. All you ever promised was the item free at such time and place.

Get rid of the items guilt free to whomever you prefer.