A nonprofit organization, Freecycle has local groups all over the world where members can post items they want to give away or request items they need. Everything is free, with the goal of keeping usable items out of landfills.
It’s a feel-good site, in other words. And though items on offer can be hit or miss, if you live in a reasonably populated area, they’re often more hit than not.
Don’t be a victim. Never pay for delivery of a Freecycle item.
The incidence of scams is on the increase, on Freecycle and elsewhere. Here’s how you can identify a likely scam:
The offering member claims to have recently moved or posted to the wrong Town group and they need money to send the item to you.
The post contains a photo of an email address.
The subject of the post uses unusual punctuation or odd symbols, such as ~.ṀusicaĮ Įnstruments~
The offer seems too good to be true, especially if the member has recently joined Freecycle or posted the item to multiple towns that aren’t near each other.
Any time you find a suspicious post, or are asked to pay for an item or delivery of an item, please use the “Report” button on the post detail page, or send a message to your town moderators. Please don’t become a victim of another delivery scam!
Thanks for helping keep scammers out of Freecycle!
Freecycle Network in 2003 when he couldn’t find a place to recycle a perfectly good bed. The website started as a small group of friends and has grown to over 10 million members in 5,000 online communities across 110 countries. Volunteers moderate the groups, and Beal estimates members kept more than 807 million pounds of used items out of landfills in the last year alone.
Summer is a popular time for yard and garage sales, and you can get rid of unwanted stuff you might not need at your new home. Alternatively, you can donate your housewares, books, clothes, and other items to local charity organizations.
‘Thank you so much again for lending it, and for the swag; we generated lots of excitement about FreeCycle on campus and saw a big increase in engagement with our town!! We had a few local businesses donate sustainable items like tote bags, a gift card to a local vegan restaurant, and a free repair for Birkenstocks which we drew winners for from a raffle of all the new and engaged users. I’m attaching a picture of the table as well as one of the BLUElab Metro Waste Reduction team. I apologize that we didn’t get one of all of us together at the table, we were often working in shifts of 2-3 at a time to accommodate class schedules.’
Information provided by Stephanie Smith of the University Of Michigan
The idea behind giveaway groups like Freecycle or Buy Nothing that started in neighborhoods has evolved to travel. It has created an ecosystem within these pay-it-forward movements where travelers pass on free stuff at the end of a trip by sharing the location of the loot on social media.