General Etiquette > Life...in general

There Are Times When I Despair of Freecycle

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VorFemme:
Edited to add - I swear I am going to start putting a "secret question" in my Freecycle posts that has to be answered to prove that a real person hit send and not an auto-responder bot.  I'm tired of "I'd like this!" or "I need this!" posts followed up by requests for delivery or telling me that they don't have a vehicle large enough to pick it up.



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I had five or six requests show up yesterday in about five minutes - so apparently the item got approved quickly.  I posted it as taken, pending pickup.  I got three more requests after I posted that.....

I have also gotten tired of auto-responders who reply back asking for delivery of a large item or tell me that I live too far away when they responded to my post, asking for the item.

My post has "Please Read" in the title and I send out a generic email to all responders, pointing out if the item is very large, very heavy, and delivery is NOT possible - I get some people removing themselves from the "can I have it" list because they didn't "realize" that it was that big (drafting table, exercise bike, desk, riding lawnmower :-\  ) or that they didn't have a trailer, pick up, mini-van, car large enough, etc. after all.   ::)

I get other people assuming that they are going to get it without noticing that there has been a "Taken, Pending Pick Up" notice sent to the list and that I haven't sent them directions to the house & a phone number to arrange pickup - or anything resembling the phrasing "I live here, this is the phone number, call me to set up when you can pick it up".

It's like nobody else wants that riding lawnmower, desk, drafting table, exercise bike, etc. but THEM.

Then there are the really special people who will ask me a week after I've posted it as having been picked up with a sob  :'( story about their family needing that item (six year old computer, trombone, knitting machine, sewing machine, stack of books, etc.) because they are house bound, home schooled,  :'( etc.  Nope - it's been posted as gone, it is gone, I'm not buying one to give to them.  So sorry.......maybe not really..... ::) or even   >:( "I don't think so!"

This morning, after the Taken, Pending Pickup?  Two new requests and one more person asking when they could pick it up because the "do you HAVE a pickup, two people, and a ramp - this thing is HEAVY?" for "you can have it".  When everyone got that because of the autoresponders with the generic "can I have your item" instead of "I'd like to have your *big, heavy thing* and I have a ramp, a trailer, and two brothers to help me load it any time this weekend".  (Guess who got it? - the one who looked like they read the original post and KNEW what they needed in the way of equipment to pick up the stuff, that's who!)

I put in the two largest cross streets in the Houston grid that are near my house - I still get people asking me where I live so that they can decide if I live close enough to them for them to pick it up or they ask if I will deliver it to them (depends on the size of the item - and I've put in the areas that I run errands to daily or weekly - read the post)......!

Reading comprehension - demonstrate that you have it and you can have my big heavy thing in a heartbeat!

squeakers:
Some of the "after you posted pending pick up" email may have been due to slow ISP propagation.  Just like how several people can correct a post at the same time (looks like dog-piling) but when they posted the first one wasn't showing yet.

It's been a while since I was on FC for my area (it's pretty small so not much offered and I haven't had anything worth offering) but isn't there a way to block people? So you don't get repeat offenders.

mmswm:
To offer an alternative reason for why people might scoop up all computer related gear...

My father is retired and bored.  His new hobby is to scour freebie sites and other sources for computer stuff.  He then takes that stuff, builds computers and donates them to various schools and organizations that meet the needs of the very low income families in our area.  So yes, he will say "I'll take that!" to pretty much anything computer related, whether or not he currently has a machine that it could be used with.  He puts it all in his work room and when he gathers enough parts, a new computer appears.

Free Range Hippy Chick:

--- Quote from: mmswm on March 03, 2013, 12:01:13 PM ---To offer an alternative reason for why people might scoop up all computer related gear...

My father is retired and bored.  His new hobby is to scour freebie sites and other sources for computer stuff.  He then takes that stuff, builds computers and donates them to various schools and organizations that meet the needs of the very low income families in our area.  So yes, he will say "I'll take that!" to pretty much anything computer related, whether or not he currently has a machine that it could be used with.  He puts it all in his work room and when he gathers enough parts, a new computer appears.

--- End quote ---

We have one of those on our Freegle (UK breakaway from Freecycle); he'll take all your computer stuff. He's always careful, though, to tell you that it's what he's doing, and he posts a general 'building a computer from bits, anybody got anything?' request every few months.

I admit, I dislike seeing 'Please Read' in email headers. It's an email. What else is there to do with it? I know what you mean - it's more 'Please read with your brain engaged' and I have on occasion posted things with details in the body in bold, saying this is for spares/repair ONLY, it doesn't work and if you come back to me complaining of that fact I will laugh at you - but just 'Please Read' in the header? Makes me think, why are your emails so much more important than anybody else's? And yes, I too have the list of 'Freeglers Who Won't Get So Much As A Used Envelope From Me Ever Under Any Circumstances'.

cattlekid:
My only issue with Freecycle is reading comprehension.  I have one and only one requirement when I post something...tell me the day and timeframe you want to pick the item up in your email back to me.  Don't just write and tell me you want it, don't give me your phone number because I won't be calling you.  Just write back and say "I'll be there on Friday, 3/1 between 4 and 5 PM" or something like that, and I could care less if you take the item I'm giving away and sell it for triple what I paid for it.  I just want it out of my house, and I want to know when I need to be leaving it outside. 

It's like pulling teeth.  I get about only 2/3 of the responders who manage to follow one simple request.

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