Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Charity shop or Freecycle?

(76 Posts)
kittylester Sun 03-Feb-19 09:57:40

We have had a bit of a clear out (We only bought a new chair but one thing seems to lead to another confused)

We have a box under the stairs where we accumulate stuff to go to the charity shop (either a local one or Barnardos - easy parking blush) and it's almost full but I've been wondering whether Freecycle would be better.

Anyone have any views? Maybe it depends on the items?

I once asked if a friend could use a newish child's bed. She was really pleased. Then I saw it for sale. angry

Floradora9 Sun 03-Feb-19 10:02:13

That is the risk with freecycle you never know what will happen to the goods. If a charity shop will take it that provides money for good causes yet gives people the vhance of a bargain as well .

ninathenana Sun 03-Feb-19 10:10:10

I've given up on our local Freecycle via FB as I've been messed about with "no shows" so many times.
Everything goes to the charity shop now. Unless I know the person I'm giving it too.
kitty your "friend" shockangry

Mamissimo Sun 03-Feb-19 10:21:43

Freecycle used to be so good but over the last couple of years I’ve found that I’ve been messed around by no shows and one recipient even asked me how much I thought they could get for the item! Charity every time for me now.

Nonnie Sun 03-Feb-19 10:37:12

I use both but if it is carryable it goes to the charity shop. If I have big items like wardrobes we have a local charity which will collect and I know some of the national ones do.

When we give things away on Freegle we never give to the first one to ask. We wait and see for a couple of days. I always thing that the only people who can sit in front of Freegle all day must be dealers. I also prefer to give to the people who are polite and that works as we have only ever had one no show.

silverlining48 Sun 03-Feb-19 10:44:03

We have given a lot away on freecycle in the past but there have been many times when I know they are selling it on. That’s ok I suppose, and you do get it collected, but it doesn’t sit comfortably with me.
Charities on the other hand will benefit by selling it on and purchasers benefit too by getting a bit of a bargain. Double bubble.

FountainPen Sun 03-Feb-19 10:47:35

You don't know what happens after your donations have gone to a charity shop either other than that they will either be put in the bin as unsaleable or sold for an often bargain price. There are many people out there looking for charity shop bargains they can sell on at a profit.

I tend to put larger, unwieldy or even broken items on Freecycle.

I managed to move on lots of garden stuff. Hundreds of plastic pots, big heavy terracotta pots, a cold frame, tools, paviors from an abandoned project, also those miscellaneous items that accumulate in the shed. They went to a young couple who were starting an allotment. Several months later they called around to say thank you again and give me a box of veg they had grown!

An old portable hi-fi system went to a man who organised entertainment in a local care home.

Curtains and rugs went to an elderly man who was having to start again after a major life change.

Old bikes went to a man who was going to either renovate them or use the spares.

Half empty tins of different shades of neutral paint went to a woman who was organising local scouts to paint their hut. She said she was going to tip it all into big buckets, stir it up and see what colour she got!

Everyone has a story.

There's more effort involved in freecycling. You've got to list and keep a watch on the items and organise collection. All I can say is try a few items and see how you get on.

Charleygirl5 Sun 03-Feb-19 10:51:51

Whenever I offer anything on Freecycle I want a reason for somebody wishing to pick up the item. The "gimmees* rarely turn up.

I have had people emailing me to say they will be around at 11pm if I would kindly give my address. Somehow I do not think so.

My local Waitrose holds a bin for the RSPCA and they frequently empty it so there is rarely a problem. I find that very handy- as I can park for a couple of minutes just outside to dump my goods and then find a normal car park space.

My last Freecycle pick up was excellent. I had around 6 bags of ancient compost and one lady wanted it for her allotment so both of us were pleased.

Chicklette Sun 03-Feb-19 10:59:37

Like others we’ve found that Freecycle encourages time wasters. I can never understand why people say they want an item, give a time they’ll collect, then never turn up. What’s the point?? It’s happened to us so often that we just don’t bother now and take everything to the charity shop. We’ve also found lots of time wasters on our local FB selling page. Again they don’t turn up. Or we list something for say £15 and they email saying “we’ll give you £10!”

inishowen Sun 03-Feb-19 11:03:17

It's charity every time for me. I must say though, they are fussy. We had a three piece suite to give away before Christmas. Two men from the charity came out and inspected it. They decided to take the sofa but rejected the matching chairs. Another local charity only takes leather suites.

Mercedes55 Sun 03-Feb-19 11:03:58

Last time I used Freecycle is was for a hardly used Car Seat we had bought for our granddaughter, she had only been in it about half a dozen times before she had outgrown it. The local charity wouldn't take it, which I understand, as obviously they don't know if it was involved in an accident.
The young woman who answered my Freecycle ad said she was a single parent with a small baby and seemed genuinely happy with the item. A couple of days later I saw it up for sale on eBay saying it was brand new and priced accordingly. I was fuming and haven't used Freecycle again.

NannyEm Sun 03-Feb-19 11:05:57

My daughter puts a lot of goods on a local Freecycle site. Sometimes I get a bit embarrassed by what she is advertising but I have been amazed at some of the things people are interested in. It truly is a case of one person's trash is another person's treasure. We donate what we can to Vinnies, Animal Welfare shops, etc

David1968 Sun 03-Feb-19 11:09:55

Definitely depends on the items. We give anything possible to a charity shop. Other stuff is offered on Freecycle if it seems likely that someone might want it (e.g. a rotary dryer when we bought a bigger one, a collection of old garden ornaments, some clean old pillows). I always include a photo, and stress: "no time wasters please" as well as asking for a contact phone number and stating that "taker collects". If it's a big item, I make it clear that transport will be needed. We get very few time wasters.

Annaram1 Sun 03-Feb-19 11:13:15

I was in a charity shop last year and two assistants were talking. One of them said she had sold £3000 worth of stuff on Ebay that year. Where do you think she got the £3000 worth of stuff to sell?

NannyG123 Sun 03-Feb-19 11:13:51

I used to put things mainly children's toys etc on a fb selling site. The money I got from it went to buying new toys etc for the grand children. Was very annoying tho when people didnt turn up,or contact to say they weren't coming.

Nonnie Sun 03-Feb-19 11:14:38

Our local children's hospice shop never bin anything, they even want rags because everything can be sold on one way or another. Books are put on sale and if no one buys them they are pulped. I think old soft furnishings might be a problem if they are older than fire regulations though.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 03-Feb-19 11:17:33

Once you have donated it, does it matter that someone buys it to sell it at a profit? You donated it because you felt it still could be used, didn't you? Otherwise you would have put it in the bin.

I'm not trying to be nasty, I am genuinely puzzled as to why you would mind if someone sells something you have disposed of?

M0nica Sun 03-Feb-19 11:21:24

I send to Freecycle things that a Charity shop would not take, including empty plastic containers that had fertiliser in them (washed out), rusty garden tools, electrical goods, bird table, 2 buckets of cobbles. At the moment I have six ring binders on offer on Freegle.

Like others my biggest complaint is no shows. I found these were usually people who replied to the bleep of an offer message arriving, said yes and then thought about it and changed their minds. I now let the offers for Freegle marinate for a few hours and then usually exclude anyone applying within ten minutes of the offer

Yearoff Sun 03-Feb-19 11:32:28

inishowen They told me they had to be fussy as they get charged for their own waste therefore if they take items they don’t think they could sell on they will be lumbered with disposal costs on top of the uplift costs already incurred. I had been mildly miffed by their rejection of a set of drawers I wanted to donate.

henetha Sun 03-Feb-19 11:32:29

After various problems with freecycle I prefer to take things to charity shops. I don't think I'm very good with freecycle, it never seems to work for me.

jenpax Sun 03-Feb-19 12:08:01

We had same problem inishowen as you with a local furniture charity! My daughter was moving in with her partner and had a good bit of excellent nearly new furniture she wanted to give to a local charity all they had to do was collect it, however they were only able to collect on one set day a week and couldn’t guarantee a time. As the furniture was in a storage unit it would have meant either her or SIL (or me!) taking a day off work and waiting all day at the unit!! Needless to say we gave up on the idea,and we passed the stuff on as free to collect via face book. Generally it seemed to go to genuine people who were kitting out their own homes, but of course you can never tell.
In any event neither DD nor I have the time to sell items on eBay etc as they always expect you to answer buyer queries straightaway, and that’s difficult during a working day when you are trying to get on with your job! It’s also amazing how many trivial queries people have when you are giving items away so it’s much worse when they are buying the items.

Edithb Sun 03-Feb-19 12:13:30

I always take my things to a local hospice charity shop as I figure the larger national charities have enough. My daughter first tried to sell her stuff on facebook seller or eBay, then to charity, but I would rather just drop mine off in town, especially as the charity shop is next door to the supermarket, win-win.

BlueBelle Sun 03-Feb-19 12:20:26

* Annaram1*I don’t understand your post Yes charity shops do sell some things on eBay The one I work in for instance if we find items of value perhaps vintage bric a brac books or designer items that would gain more money by selling on eBay then in the shop but the money made goes to the charity so what’s the difference ? I don’t understand you’re problem a good manager will know where they can get the most money for the item and surely that’s what it’s about

megan123 Sun 03-Feb-19 12:25:35

I send my stuff to Barnardos, like you Kitty there is loads of room to park.

Niucla97 Sun 03-Feb-19 12:53:18

I'm afraid I am with Fountain Pen on this one. So many time wasters on Free cycle. I am sorry but I have even become disillusioned with some charity shops, after listening to my elderly Aunt who volunteered for thirty years. Following a refurb and a new well paid manager who wanted to take the shop up market I had a change of heart. Unless clothes were virtually new they went in the rubbish bag as the rag man doesn't collect anymore. My Aunt had three bridesmaid dresses which were a little dusty on the under skirt. They would have been fine after a wash/dry clean. No they went for rubbish just one example. No wonder people put things on e-bay! As above I have also heard that the staff have the pick of things before they go out!

Now I take lots of things to a place where they collect for the homeless. I have even taken bedding which they were appreciative of.

There is a carer's organisation where I volunteer .They have recently opened two charity shops. They have a system where the best things go into the shop. The rest into bags for the homeless and then there are the rag bags.

Some shops are getting greedy. Recently I was in a Barnado's shop where they used to sell mugs three for a pound. This day they were ninety nine pence each or one pound forty nine if they were new!

I still support charities and make a regular monthly donation to two charities. I always give generously to the Lifeboat.