Freecycle Etiquette

While rules differ from group to group, there are often common themes.

Step 1. Items being offered must be legal, safe and appropriate for all ages. Weapons, medication or adult themed products are often not allowed.

Step 2. Sometimes people are uncomfortable getting something for free. But do not offer money for an item being given to you. Frequent freecyclers are often committed to a lifestyle of taking and giving needed products for the greater good of our Earth. Offering money takes the free out freecycling and does not fit into this gratifying lifestyle.

Step 3. When posting or responding keep your communication short and simple. Long stories about why you need something are often not welcome.

Step 4. Do take care to fully describe what you are offering or needing. An unclear item description can cause inconveniences for everyone involved creating a negative freecycle experience.

Step 5. Don’t discuss politics, religion or any other non-freecycling topic.

Step 6. A curb alert is when someone has put something out for the garbage collector but they are letting the group know it is there to freecycle. Some groups allow curb alerts about items randomly spotted in the community that a group member believes could be freecycled. It’s best not to post the address of a spotted item, simply let people know the general location of the item. Give the address to one of the responders so there is not a race to the curb. Obviously, time is of the essence when it comes to curb alerts.

Step 7. Some groups do allow posts to find pets a new home. When in doubt ask your group leader.

Step 8. While many offerers adhere to the first-come-first-serve rule, the choice is normally yours. Some like to wait to see if an area nonprofit group asks for the item. Many like to wait at least 24 hours before responding to give group members ample time to respond.

Step 9. Participate at your own risk. Like any other activity on the Internet, safety must be your first priority.

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