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Think there's no such thing as a free lunch? From supermarkets and fast-food chains to high-end…. From Etch-A-Sketches to espresso makers, thousands of top-quality goodies are available every day across the country Giveaway sites are where, instead of binning goods or trying to eBay them, people harness the web's power to offer them to their local community. In return, they often hope they can grab back something when they want. As well as kitting up for nowt, there's the environmental benefit of saving unwanted possessions being flung into landfill sites.
It's all about web communities, and the big names are Freecycle and Freegle. They're free-to- volunteer-run local online groups. It's up to you to monitor new freebies on offer. When you want to offer something, you just post an offer message to the group. Freecycle and Freegle are not just sources of freebies. The spirit is that it's a recycling community, so consider giving, as well as getting. Don't worry if you've nothing special.
You'll be amazed at what's willingly taken, including old magazine collections, spare carpets or EMPTY paint pots. Advertising discarded items on giveaway sites is also an excellent way to offload objects unsuitable for donating to charity shops. Many no longer take electrical goods or collect large items. The original giveaway site, Freecycle, was set up in the USA. A few years later, rival UK site Freegle was set up after a transatlantic difference of views. Many local UK Freecycle groups moved to this new site.
The two groups work in a very similar way. Happily, nothing stops you doing both. Find your nearest by searching on the sites above. While occasionally there can be grotty, moth-bitten junk, there's also top-quality unused stuff people just don't want anymore. It's astonishing what people chuck out. Everything from pianos to surf boards to boats will pop up at some point. Office clear-outs or emigrating families are rich sources, while others are just from generous givers passing on hand-me-downs.
After all, one man's junk is another's treasure. Most commonly available are big 'n' bulky items that are tough to take to charity shops or the tip — like sofas, futons, computer desks, fridges and freezers — as well as baby buggies and DVDs. We've had reports of huge successes from giveaway sites. Reports include bagging a pristine deer settee and a taxed car. Here are a few of the best:. Struck it lucky on Freecycle with a Metro car owned by a vicar — mint condition, full service history. We are a single parent family, and have had lots of goodies from Freecycle, including a chest freezer, a sofa bed, various plants, two chooks [chickens or hens] and a Warhammer.
And we've donated a table, telly, bits of bikes, football boots and a couple other random things. It's great at teaching that whole ethos of stuff being 'worth' something to someone. I had a fab Freecycle experience. We collected later that day and the lovely person asked if I could make use of Singstar for PS2 also, complete with about five discs. Tell us your success stories in the forum. Just find your village, town, city or borough on Freecycle and Freegle and up to those.
It's worth ing both Freecycle and Freegle. Freegle also has an app, available for iOS and Android devices. For ease, you may prefer the Trash Nothing app instead, as it lets you browse all local recycling groups in one go.
You can choose whether to browse freebies online or, for a better chance but more effort, to receive every offer to your inbox. In some cases you can also opt out of all s entirely, if you just wanted to browse online. To get your hands on the best finds, you still need to check your site's listing throughout the day, as freebies are offered and taken at breakneck speed. You can also set your filter to filter out s with the word 'wanted' in the title giveaway sites let people post wanted.
Never, ever, use your normal address. It'll be immediately flooded. As an example, after ing one group, within a week we had 1, s this also gives an idea of the scores of freebies on offer. Set up a dedicated. As a free option, Gmail is among the best. To ramp up your chances, also one or two bordering areas, especially if they're swanky. Though be aware that strictly you're only meant to your nearest area — if you try to up to several, you may get rejected.
ing several groups can yield the best freebies especially if you've well-to-do neighbouring areasbut checking them all can be a faff. Ultra-handy app Trash Nothing lets you instantly see everything up for grabs in your local recycling groups in one go — there's no need to browse them all separately. Simply download the app — it's available for iOS and Android devices. Alternatively, try the Trash Nothing site, though we found the app more user-friendly. up and tell it your town or postcode. It then shows all unwanted goodies nearby.
Whenever you see something you want, hit 'send message' to request it and arrange a pick-up. Got a sofa or scooter going spare? To give an item away, simply go to 'Post', snap a pic, add a brief description and provide pick-up details. The best bit is you can post to multiple groups at once — just select which ones. Trash Nothing works independently from the recycling groups and while the vast majority of groups and posts are covered, it's not guaranteed.
So you may wish to double-check groups and posts yourself every so often. This is all about a resource-sharing community. So to get in the spirit, you may wish to give before requesting goods if you have something you don't want. A few groups insist on this. Just ensure it's free, legal, suitable for all ages and accurately described. For example, that means no alcohol, tobacco, weapons or drugs. Sometimes giveaway sites ban finding homes for pets, though different groups have different rules. Got a top Freegle or Freecycle tip that we haven't listed?
Let us know in the Giveaway Websites discussion. Offering a freebie is easy. Just hit 'give' on Freegle or 'make a post' on Freecycle to post a message directly on your group's. List as many details about the item as possible, including a link to the item if you can find one. Include details of when and where you would like it picked up and any other salient points, ie, if it's so big a van's needed. To minimise the risk of viruses, some groups have different rules on posting photos and links — it's worth checking these before posting. You may wish to think twice about giving away old computers though, as even if you think you've deleted personal data, it can still be buried inside.
So try non-profit groups instead, such as WeeeCharitywhich responsibly reuses, recycles and resells electronic equipment. Many folks offer freebies on a first come, first served basis. Yet this excludes many nice folks who don't sit at a PC all day. So try to wait at least 24 hours to give everyone a fair shot. If you get eager offers, it can be difficult to pick one. It's worth searching for usernames to see if they have donated in the past.
Then just give it to the nicest, most genuine or a charity if one's responded. If you're not sure, put the names into a hat. Deal with one person at a time. If they don't reply, move on to someone else, though remember some people are unable to get online as often as others.
When you firstit's easy to get hooked as you see the staggering amount of freebies put up for grabs. Items are snapped up at speed, so to bag the best haul, check for new posts as often as possible. Be ready to act fast and answer at speed. If something comes up and you can't collect it any more, let the giver know so they can give it to someone else. Impersonal responses like 'I'll take it' are loathed by many givers, so explain why you want the item, though avoid weepy Oscar-acceptance type histrionics.
Then propose a collection time, give your phone but suggest you call them to save their costs. If something comes up and you can't collect it anymore, let the giver know so they can give it to someone else. It's easy to be taken in by what looks sweet only to discover what's on offer is actually a scam. Beware from any person saying 'I'm giving away a laptop, iPad or smartphone and I just need you to pay the postage fees'. Never transfer money or give bank details — you won't see the item or your cash. Don't be too worried though.
The easy rule is simply to never send payment for anything to anybody for any Freecycle-related exchange. If you see anyone requesting cash, report them to your local group's administrators. The stonking amount of freebies offered can be head-spinning. If you like something, factor in collection time and possible petrol costs. Many groups now let you browse for goodies on Facebook and Twitter. Just check to see if your local group has a Facebook or Twitter icon on its. You'll also be able to browse freebies on the go by visiting the group on your mobile.
One of giveaway sites' more controversial features is that you can post 'wanted'. Just post an add to the site'sand say what you're after and why. Some sites won't let you post a 'wanted' ad unless you've posted an 'offer' ad in the past.
It's all part of the giving ethos of these community web groups so even if it's something as small as a pack of unused light bulbs, try offering before you start making requests. Also, be careful what you ask for. People won't take kindly if you start slapping in demands for cars, MacBook Pros or diamond rings.
But if it's an old fish tank for a school project, someone might just remember they have one in the garage. Incidents are rare, but be careful. When collecting, if someone's listing or sounds dodgy, trust your gut and walk away. Go with a friend, or failing that, tell someone exactly where you are going and arrange to contact them afterwards. Take a mobile phone.Advertise stuff for free
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