Freecycle, big scam

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Forum topic by interpim posted 12-21-2009 09:52 PM 7190 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1170 posts in 3481 days

12-21-2009 09:52 PM

I just wanted to post my thoughts on this good idea gone bad.

I posted an ad on craigslist, basically asking if folks would be willing to part with 2 or 3 pieces of hardwood firewood so I can practice on my lathe.

I received 1 response (which was a scam of someone trying to get me to send them my phone number to sign up for their website.) But it did remind me of this program I had heard about before called Freecycle.

Supposedly it is a group in Yahoo that is specific to your region and it allows you to post things up that you would like to get rid of instead of take to the dump. I signed up, thinking I could ask for a few pieces of firewood, and maybe in-turn the folks who donated would get a bowl if I didn’t completely blow the wood up LOL.

So far, I have got nothing but scam artists sending me emails. Every one is vague, and says things like “the item you need” or “one of those” etc…

It seems they all want me to send them my cell phone number or register on their website to see the pictures of what I want… like I said, always vague.

So, if anyone has ever successfully used this before please correct me, otherwise my opinion is it’s a load of crap.

-- San Diego, CA

23 replies so far

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3218 days

#1 posted 12-21-2009 10:39 PM

I’ve received nothing but scam replies when I post anything above $30 on craigslist. All the replies say “I am interested in your item for sale”, but never explicity state what item they are referring to. When i say it is still for sale, I get another reply stating that I should remove it from craigslist and he’ll send out his certified mover and money order because he is out of town. I usually tell them to F—K off. When I post free or very cheap stuff for local pickup though, craigslist is great. Although I still never let them into my house if they come to pick something up, I always bring it out to the curb(garage is especially off limits now that it has all these cool tools) and leave my wife inside with the doors locked with a phone nearby. I just don’t trust people blindly anymore.

On a side note interpim, you can usually find lots of “firewood” or logs under the Free section on craigslist for your area. A lot in my area right now are asking to pick up whole trees that were felled.

I found these in your area from today if you are still looking:

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 3630 days

#2 posted 12-21-2009 11:56 PM

Hm, I’d had great luck getting rid of old stuff I don’t need anymore on Freecycle.

Haven’t tried acquiring anything form it though.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4148 days

#3 posted 12-22-2009 12:37 AM

I love (Petaluma) Freecycle, and I buy all sorts of stuff off of Craigslist. Might be the Bay Area, but both have been fantastic tools for me.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3512 days

#4 posted 12-22-2009 03:02 AM

I’ve gotten rid of quite a few things on Freecycle.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3391 days

#5 posted 12-22-2009 03:24 AM

The local Freecycle was great about 6-7 years ago, but then the scammers took over and I have not even looked at it in about 4 years now.

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3549 days

#6 posted 12-22-2009 07:03 PM

The local Freecycle site is great, but the moderators here are very on top of what goes on. My husband uses craigslist alot, we have gotten several scams for everything listed but also gotten people who want to buy what we have.

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 3751 days

#7 posted 12-22-2009 07:06 PM

Freecycle here in Ontario is really great.I have given away things and received things with no problems.I even got some rhubarb plants last year from freecycle.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3608 days

#8 posted 12-22-2009 07:49 PM

I dont believe in asking for free things from fellow woodworkers there are just too many scam artists out there benefitting from the generousity of others. there was one guy who knows who he is asking for all sorts of expensive stuff saying he was disabled.Some people have a brass neck meaning they know no shame when it comes to it .I am not bothered a lot about a few pieces of scrap wood like the guy here but there are some out there with expensive begging lists playing on the sympathy and good will of others .They make my blood boil.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3696 days

#9 posted 12-22-2009 08:29 PM

I’ve found a couple things and given away a few on Freecycle for our area without issue, though I never get scam replies from my craigslist posts either.

View Alexander's profile


193 posts in 3134 days

#10 posted 12-30-2009 01:36 AM

Some times I load up my pick up and go up to the hardware parking lot, 7 miles away, and park. I put out a couple of FREE sign and sit back and read my book. After giving out what people want I then drive a couple of blocks to GoodWill with the rest.

As for CL list I look on the Wanted list and see if someone is asking for something I want to get rid of. If I can get them out to the house I can then try to load up their rig with other stuff.

I have had my share of scam replies and just don’t respond.

-- John at Sugarloft Mountain........Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

View chrissy2's profile


1 post in 3060 days

#11 posted 02-01-2010 01:21 AM

I just wanted to say that I agree with freecycle and craigslist as being scam sights. I thought I was doing good by placing items on freecycle . At first I was getting so many replies that I couldn’t keep up with. Half of the people were ….no shows. A lot wanted every item you listed …...then when some of these people came to pick the items up , they showed up in luxery cars . I mean some of these cars cost more than my house. I was getting people emailing me asking me if I had certain things. And if you read some of the SOB stories ….you will be suprised ! People looking for cars …new bikes for their kids…appliances . And they are telling people what they want ! I mean I was always told that If you need something , the way to get it was from hard work ! Most of these people that ask for something are unemployed . They state it as being able to to work ! SSI kings and queens ! The only ,I want item I placed was for trade of firewood . I was looking to trade a nice item for a truck load. I had one lady who emailed me stating that she would do it …but the catch was that I had to cut the wood and clean her yard …no way! I mean if I wanted to cut wood to clean a yard …it would be my own. Plus the item I was offering would cost them $700.00 ....So who would be getting the better deal ?? So, I’m like the rest of you . I give my items to the local thirft stores now . All I have to do is pack it and drop it off. Plus in the end I can write it off on my taxes !

View bobthebuilder647's profile


128 posts in 3275 days

#12 posted 02-01-2010 01:37 AM

I live close to the border of two states, so I signed up for the two areas. One is very well moterated, all posts have to be aproved. The other is not managed well and gets a lot of scams. I have picked up a few things sucessfully but have not tried to give away yet.

-- Rick, Pa. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

View EricRFP's profile


106 posts in 3117 days

#13 posted 02-01-2010 01:49 AM

I have bought and sold thousands of $$$ in woodworking and other items on Craigslist. Last year I bought 2 lathes for $250 each, a Jet mini and an older Delta 46-700. They both came with about $1,000 of Sorby tools, chucks and in one case for $100 more I got $1,000 worth of rare and exotic woods.

Yes, there are some scammers but if you don’t post direct contact info it’s fairly simple to avoid 99% of them. Don’t post your phone # or email. If you can, meet at a neutral location. My #1 problem with Craigslist is when selling, many people may contact you but few follow through. Avoid delivering an item before getting CASH and if a potential buyer is out of your area make them come to you. You can tell a lot about a buyer or seller if you can get them on the phone. If you are going to buy, take a friend.

Just my 2 cents.

-- Eric, NorCal

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#14 posted 02-06-2010 08:17 AM

I’ve herd others say it’s a scam

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Carolynne's profile


33 posts in 3327 days

#15 posted 02-08-2010 03:55 AM

We have both recieved and given on our Freecycle (ColoradoSprings area) with great sucess. Only have done Craigs list a few times, but after reading EricRFP post I’ll be looking more!!

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