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Freecycle is a great way of getting rid of unwanted items that can be reused rather than being sent to the tip. A friend told me about freecycle last year as I was complaining about the amount of toys that were cluttering the bedroom and that were no good as my son had outgrown them.
The first thing to do is go to this website and you will see a search bar where you put in the area where you live. This will then bring up a new page and will show any available freecycle groups in your area. You click on the link and in my case I was taken to a yahoo website, so i just signed up to the group as I already belong to a few yahoo groups and within 30 minutes I started recieving emails.
Each freecycle groups has moderators so if you do send in a message it has to be approved by them first.
So basically if you are trying to find an item you send in a message with wanted in your heading and the item you are looking for, you then give a brief discription of the item you want.
This is where you have an item that you want to get rid of, so again you just post a message and say what the item is and what sort of condition it is in. You also put offered in your heading and say where the item is located.
Once you have picked up your item it is nice to send a thank you message to the group to thank the person who let you have the item.
People tend to send in a message to the group just to say that their item has gone.
**Responding to messages**
If you wish to respond to a wanted or offered ad you just send an e-mail to the person posting, if you are lucky you might get a reply. It is up to the person who is offering the item who it goes to, some people have a first come first serve policy while others wait to till they recieve a heap of messages and then decide who it goes to.
It is usually up to the person looking for an item to make arrangements to pick it up, if it is a large item such as a shed or greenhouse you might even have to dismantle it.
**What do I think?**
I have been using freecycle for a while now, I have managed to get a couple of things that have been very handy but also I have given away items mostly my sons baby toys. They went to people who were really grateful and I was happy that I freed up some space!
I have heard of people who turn up expecting new items even when it is stated in the advert that they are used, also someone might arrange to pick up an item and then they do not turn up which is just a waste of time.
One of the downsides to Freecycle is the wanted messages, there seems to be a lot more wanted messages than offered. Some of the things people are looking for is really silly like a Wii, xbox and caravan. The moderators are trying to do something about this and the group I am in now has restrictions on how many wanted messages you can post.
Be aware that depending on how active the group is you could get a lot of mail in your inbox, I recieve over 200 messages a week.