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May 28, 2009

Another website that I really enjoy (and have pretty good success with) is Freecycle. It’s name pretty much explains the concept but, just in case you don’t understand, I’ll explain.

The point of this website is to “recycle” things you have around the house by giving them away for FREE! And, in return, you can find things (some great, some not so great) for free on the site. The best part, though, is that if you are searching for a particular item, you can post a “want” ad and hope that someone has the item you need and is willing to just give it to you. As I write this, the Freecycle Network consists of 4,721 groups with over 6 million members worldwide. Unlike Craigslist, you need to become a “member” in order to participate in the website. The good news, though, is that it is, of course, free to join!

When you go to you will be asked to type in your geographic location (i.e. state or city) to find the closest group to you. For me, I typed in Austin, TX. Once I have joined my local “group” I can begin to post. In the past, I have given away a blender (that worked, but had a broken handle) and a vacuum (that needed a new belt). The best success I had, though, was when I was in search of a cowboy boot cake pan for my daughter’s 5th birthday. We were having a cowgirl theme that year and my mom (a fabulous cake decorator) had agreed to make the cake. We found the pan we wanted online, but I hated to pay $15 for a cake pan (or anything else for that matter) that I’m only going to use one time.

So, I went onto my Austin Freecycle group and posted the kind of cake pan I needed. I said that I would be willing to just borrow it for the day, if someone was willing to lend it to me. And, wouldn’t you know, within a day or two, a woman had emailed me that she had the pan and I was welcome to borrow it for my daughter’s birthday celebration. She lived pretty far from me, so she sent the pan to work with her husband (who worked closer to our house) and I went and picked it up from him. When I was done with it, I made my way back to his office to return it. There’s a reason the expression “the kindness of strangers” exists. Because, I have found, very often strangers are just that – kind. And, many of those people I’ve found on Freecycle.

As I browse through my local Freecycle group tonight, I see that people are giving away such things as lamps, shoes, a double stroller, coupons, an area rug, a dresser, a TIVO box, and a computer. I see people are in search of roller blades, a filing cabinet, and electric blanket, hermit crab supplies, even a dressmaker’s mannequin. You never know what you might be able to get for the low price of FREE on Freecycle. If for no other reason, the site is worth checking out because you might find that your trash could truly be someone else’s treasure.


Richie said...

Sounds like an awesome site. I'll check it out. The link for Freecycle in the first sentence doesn't seem to work, but I was able to find the site anyway.

Thanks for the tip!

Kelly Seiler said...

Thanks! I fixed the link - it should work now! hope you enjoy the site!

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