I’ve been signed up for two Freecycle groups for a little over a year now. When I was preparing to move, I needed a lot of things, and several people suggested that Freecycle was a great place to get secondhand furniture and household items for free. Maybe in bigger cities this is true, but holy crap, the Freecycle lists around here are little more than an occasionally entertaining waste of time and bandwidth.

There is usually one “offer” post for every ten “wanted” posts, and while I guess there must be someone out there who could use, for example, a leaky broken plastic hummingbird feeder, if it were me I’d just throw it away. I try to be patient with the “offer” posts because they’re the whole point, and maybe someday I’ll see something on there that’s just right for me. But the “wanted” posts, and worse, the “needed” posts? They’re just ridiculous. Witness:

looking for everything
We are currently in Bedford in the 460 area. Could meet someone at the
walmart. Or if someone works in Roanoke could meet you somewhere.

NO glass top tables, had a bad accident with one
pots and pans
end tables
bed for 2 people
coffee table
entertainment center
toaster oven
coffee maker
sofa, loveseat, futon and/or chair
stand up mirror
wine glasses
dish towels
ironing board
baker’s rack
dining table and/or chairs
area rugs
laundry baskets

Seriously? Seriously. Maybe I’ve been doing things all wrong all this time, and I should just post a list of all the shit I want for my house on Freecycle and hope someone will hook me up. And the oddest part is that these “I need you to furnish my entire house but I HATE CHERRY WOOD” posts tend to show up about once a week, from different people.

And then there’s this one:

WANTED : 35 MM Camera Or A Download camera pictures on computer
WANTED : 35 MM Camera Or A Download camera pictures on computer
… Showing > Teens, that have drop out of school where they could in
up. scaring > Them In to going back to school. Also getting some help
for the homeless …

I think this person wants a camera, but I’m not sure because the person seems to be barely literate. And as far as I can tell, the person wants a camera in order to scare dropout teens into going back to school. Okay, that’s noble, but holy crap, maybe this person should go back to school and round out the success story before embarking on an adventure to scare teens straight.

And then there are the people who want TVs, cell phones, and laptop computers, in working order only, often with system specs detailed in the post. And then there’s the person who has posted like 74 times wanting goats. Or just one goat. You know, whichever.

If you’re familiar with Freecycle communities at all, you probably know that they like for you to post at least one “offer” before posting any “wanted” items. The vast majority of these people don’t even bother to post an offer at all, but those who do tend to “offer” something like 4 empty baby food jars, and then immediately post ten “wanteds” for things like a stove, a car, a piano, and so on. Oh, and goats, if you have any.

I think maybe they are missing the point.

5 Replies to “Greedcycle”

  1. ha ha – that’s great. yes – i looked over some freecycle pages in our town as well and it was pretty similar – and this is a good size city.

  2. Yeah, I checked out freecycle when I was moving, and then I ended up with 3,000 emails in my yahoo box in one day. No shit. I understand there are settings you can, well, set up, but it scared the living hell out of me, so I quit.

  3. I love this post. I totally blocked out Days of Our Lives while reading it. You might be like, “And?”…but that’s high praise from me. Days and Passions are integral to my daily existence.

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