Wishing we had a huge loft

It would seem that it is Scalectrix Day for our local FreeCycle group – about five miles of the stuff seems to be on offer. If only we had a huge loft…

It’s interesting to try and suss out the type of people using FreeCycle. They seem to range widely in age from the really-quite-young (WANTED: parts that mite[sic] be used to make go cart) to the were-young-quite-some-time-ago (OFFERED: silk parachute – been in loft for years). There are clearly some computer enthusiasts (OFFERED: v92 modem), small business people (OFFERED: HP LaserJet 2200 in working order) and hoarders of stuff (OFFERED: large sack full of matchboxes from around the world). Some people have a curious notion of what others might want (OFFERED: bin bag full of plastic end pieces from cardboard tubes used for mailing posters, etc) whilst others are hopelessly optimistic in their desires (WANTED: small car, must be in good order). A few are clearly genuinely needy and will make good use of what they get (WANTED: any baby clothes – number four on his/her way! and WANTED: camping kit – will be the only sort of holiday we can afford this year) whilst others are using FreeCycle to help with their own small business (WANTED: any old bicycles for refurbishment) – an issue which has vexed some users of our group. Some items are snapped up quickly (monitors, TVs, hi-fis) whilst others languish unloved (endless sacks of children’s clothes, used interior doors).

Does it work? Undoubtedly. But I am sure that there are people who have collected all sorts of unwanted junk via FreeCycle to add to their existing junk. It seems that there is a core group of people who repeatedly offer new things and you wonder if they have enormous lofts or garages full of stuff, or if they get things from other FreeCyclers and realise a week later that they don’t really need it. And if it gives unwanted things a final chance at a new life before they get scrapped/recycled/thrown into landfill, then it must be a good thing.

One Reply to “Wishing we had a huge loft”

  1. Thanks for writing this, Graybo. Freecycle fascinates me, but I can’t sustain concentration for long enough to write about it. I like to make up stories behind the various ads, and watch what happens when someone offers something awesome, and everyone else decides they want one too. I use it all the time, both to offload junk and to pick up useful stuff. Once I got a bag full of filthy baby clothes, all posh labels, but really grubby; also our microwave, a wheelbarrow, a bag of netting for fruit bushes, my office chair, two rolls of nappy liners, a crappy old umbrella buggy, and a children’s trampoline. The only thing I’ve never managed to get rid of is a set of three dented green saucepans.

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