Grumpy me says that we should stop giving stuff away on Freecycle. I don't know if it will last, but if I get my way...
Freecycle is a very simple concept. People give away items that are still usable but that they no longer want. Blair and I have been active users of Freecycle for years -- on both the giving and receiving ends. We have gotten and given many items including clothes, furniture, tools and a lot else. I've never been particularly enthusiastic about it because of the logistics. But as long as Blair did the work I never had reason to object. It has definitely saved us some money on things we would have had to buy otherwise. And I've had fun receiving the occasional box of assorted CDs.
But things have gotten more annoying recently.
There are the flakes -- people who ask for something and then don't show up to pick up as promised. We recently threw out a box of books that had gotten soaked in rain and snow because the person who had promised to pick them up never showed. And then there have been times that people don't show up as promised, but come a week ore more later -- after Blair has given the items to someone else -- and gotten annoyed that it was gone.
Another issue that we has been coming up is when Blair puts out several items promised to different people. Sometimes people just grab stuff that's been promised to someone else. It shouldn't be a hard rule to understand -- if you're coming for a bag of used trousers, just take the bag of used trousers. Don't grab the dinner plates.
But the final straw -- for me anyway -- was when someone grabbed the snack box. We keep a box of snacks out for the mailman, delivery people, and the sanitation men. I blogged about that here, here and here. On Saturday afternoon Blair looked out the window just in time to see a couple taking the whole snack box back to their car. She ran out to stop them, and explained that the snacks weren't being Freecycle. They complained that the dishes that they were there for were gone, and grumbled about returning the snacks. By Sunday morning, however, the snack box was gone. I don't know if that same couple came back for it or if someone else took it, but it's really annoying. And I wonder if I need to wait awhile before replacing it -- so that whoever took it stops coming by.
So I told Blair that I want to stop giving stuff away on Freecycle. She said OK. I don't know if it will stick, but we'll see.