Have you heard of Freecycling?

I think I just discovered the frugal shopper’s Holy Grail or bargain hunter’s Horn of Plenty. You decide if it is, a treasure or time waster, here is the scoop.

We all have heard about rampant consumerism plaguing our society. Living of off credit cards has become the norm. Corporate conglomerates brainwash us to believe that we need to buy more. “We want” is a synonymous of “We need” and we just keep digging into debt.

Freecycling is the opposite of all of the above. It is a Yahoo Group for people to give away goods that they no longer want and to find used goods that they do want. Actually it is not one but many local groups. Look up your town, there is a good chance that it already has an active community.


Just as with any Yahoo Group you need to join before you can participate. The process however is pretty simple, has taken me just a few minutes, and I was able to read the messages after I was accepted.

Each group is run by a local volunteer moderator. You post an “Offer” message if you have something to give. The people in your area read it and email you. Then someone comes to pick up that dresser, stroller or VCR that you don’t want. Similarly if you need something you post a “Wanted” message and wait for emails. There is no money exchanged and no swap — this is gifting not trading.

Started in Tuscon, Arizona in May 2003 as part of a larger organization focused on recycling, the project became so popular that a year later it grew to nearly 400,000 people registered in 1210 cities around the world. Different motives drive people to Freecycle. Some want to de-clutter. Some see it as a kind of charity. Some just don’t want to drag things to the dump. And of course, many people are looking for free stuff.

Here is an example of how an offer might look:

Closed a small business and have 4 or 5 lateral file cabinets and 2 or 3 desks. Not the best looking stuff as it has some years of use but still completely functional.

And here is an example of a request:

I’m looking to try my hand at sewing. Wondering if anyone has a portable, used sewing machine in working condition. Thankyou.

I scanned through posts in my local group and it looks like a lot of people are offering used furniture and children clothes. However you can find about anything, from diapers to computer parts.

Does this sound like something you would use? Weather you are a giver or a taker, go to Freecycling and give it a try.

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3 Responses to “Have you heard of Freecycling?”

  1. 1 The Digerati Life Feb 13th, 2007 at 12:41 am

    Yes I’ve heard of them. I reviewed another such group called “The Compact” in one of my posts. They do a lot of bartering of services and items as well. They’re local to the San Francisco area though.

  2. 2 Tight Fisted Miser Feb 13th, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve been meaning to check out Freecycle for a while. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. 3 ThisLittlePiggy Feb 21st, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    I LOVE Freecycle. I’ve blogged about it before. It’s great. People will COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND TAKE YOUR JUNK!! Well it’s junk to me because I don’t need it anymore but it’s still usable so to them it’s treasure. And you never know what someone will want. I’ve cleaned out tons of good stuff and it makes me feel good knowing that it got put to use right away, instead of maybe being on a shelf somewhere waiting to be bought.

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