Freecycling: it’s like eBay without the money!


freecycleIt’s time to get freecycling if you haven’t tried it before. It’s like eBay, but without the money! It’s a two way process: either you can ask for things, or you can offer things up. Either way, it’s a brilliant way of getting something for nothing and making sure that unwanted things don’t end up at the dump.

Freecycling basics

  • There are two main groups in the UK: and
  • Find your local group and join.
  • Once you’ve joined all you have to do is write an email with either ‘Offer’ or ‘Wanted’ in the subject line.
  • When your wish has been fulfilled, remember to reply to the Freecycle community with ‘Found’ or ‘Taken’ emails.
  • Remember, before you buy, check freecycle first!

Freecycling tips

1. Set up a new email address

Freecycling can take over your inbox! If you get hooked, it may be a good idea to set up a new email address just for freecycling activities, to simplify your life.

2. Declutter

Declutter your life. Go through those things you no longer want, then offer them up to your local freecycle community. Remember, your waste might be someone else’s treasure. The benefit of freecycling is that you don’t have to dismantle it, squeeze it in your car and take a trip to the dump. If someone wants what you’re offering, they’ll come and pick it up.

3. Broken is fine

Just because it’s broken, don’t be afraid to offer it up. There are plenty of people on freecycle networks who won’t be put off by the challenge of changing a plug, a fuse, or mending a broken chair leg.

4. From fruit to jars

There’s no limit to what you can get hold of. Making jam? Ask for empty jam jars, spare apples or other fruit on freecycle.

5. Freecycle for the garden

Keen gardener? Don’t make a beeline for the garden centre, ask on freecycle first for those empty pots, seedling trays, or plant cuttings. Grown too many kale seedlings – don’t just compost them – give them a good home by offering them up to local gardeners on Freecycle.

6. Descriptions are key

Give a good description of what you’re offering and what you’re looking for. Add as much information at you can – colour, quality, amount – and this will help you find the best match. Also, it helps to mention that you’re a family, so that people know you aren’t a dealer or someone trying to sell things on.

7. Choose who you give to

First come, first served? It doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t feel you have to give things to the first person who responds. You might hear of a better fit for your offering – another family perhaps, or someone closer. Beware of fusspots, and those who want to pick and choose, they’re often more trouble than they’re worth.

8. Pick-up arrangements

Giving your telephone number is helpful to ensure efficient transfer. Also, arrange for people to collect on a day when you’re normally at home, so you don’t get frustrated if they get delayed or need to postpone.

Do you freecycle? Any tips to share? Comment below, we’d love to hear your tips!