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Alternatives to Freecycle
I've long been a huge fan of Freecycle, the network that allows people to give away things for free to anyone who wants them. It's a great way of finding a new home for still-usable goods and it's just a nice thing to do. I've done a lot of Freecycling over the years, both as a giver and a receiver.
When the idea first took hold, it was a pretty unique concept. But there are more alternatives if you don't care specifically for the Freecycle system. Personally, I really hate that all local Freecycle groups use the Yahoo! for their posting boards. Someone posts when they have something to offer, but then leaves the post up even after it's taken. They just post another message later on that it's gone. I really hate having to dig through the list of messages to see if something is gone.
Some people have had too many problems with overzealous Freecycle moderators though that's not been an issue for me personally.
Anyway, I started thinking about alternatives to Freecycle. I'm not giving up on them just yet, but what other options are there for giving/getting free stuff?
When I first started looking, I noticed that many of these are regional, or at least limited to a certain country. Hopefully, there are a few here that can get you started.
This looks to be a uniquely Canadian site, and the bulk of their categories are buy/sell. But there is a category for free stuff and one for swap/trade. You just have to locate the city section nearest you. I browse ours daily. It is a different format than Freecycle, and people generally take their ads down as soon as the items are gone which makes it easier to use than others (in my opinion).
Freegle is a UK network that that operates a lot like the Freecycle system, so you still have to deal with the Yahoo! groups. They have nearly 400 separate groups across the UK.
The ReUsit Network
This operates just like Freecycle, with individual groups located all across Canada, the USA, Australia and the UK. Seems like they might make a decent alternative and they do cover a lot of territory.
I like the FreeSharing because it goes beyond any one specific type of network. Their directory has groups (pretty much all Yahoo! style) from Freecycle as well as lots of other types, and some that are not really affiliated with any particular network. It's great for finding any type of group near you, with networks in the USA, Canada and elsewhere.