Problems with FreeCycle? Issues with FreeCycle Moderators? You’re Not Alone.

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Note: If you’ve been disaffected by FreeCycle or their moderators, check out the comments below and add to the discussion!

I used to be a huge fan of FreeCycle. And I still love the concept – what a great use of the Internet!

For those not familiar with FreeCycle, it’s a program that was started in Tucson, Arizona by Deron Beal. Deron was, and probably still is, a huge fan and proponent of recycling. So Deron Beal had this great idea: let’s use the Internet as a way of getting together people who have stuff they don’t want anymore and people who want that stuff. The ultimate in recycling things so that they don’t end up in the dump, as landfill, and instead end up being used by someone who needs them.

Like I said, a great idea.

So Deron Beal founded FreeCycle, and it caught on like wildfire. From that first effort in Tucson, FreeCycle groups have sprung up around the country and around the world, with the current number of FreeCycling groups at over 3,500, and the current number of members over 2million.

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These groups are run through region-based mailing lists, with people posting things they have to give away, and others posting things that they need. Many of the lists are run through Yahoo Groups. And most, if not all, of the lists have moderators.

And therein lies the rub. Because while it may be that all of the moderators started out taking on this task for a love of the earth, recycling and their fellow man, many (not all, but many) have come to treat their local FreeCycle group as their own personal fiefdom, and oh, what control freaks they are.

Recycling with organizations such as FreeCycle is supposed to be a positive experience. Everybody involved is (presumably) doing something for a good reason, and for a good cause. (Cf.

But just as customer service reps make a company’s reputation (and shape a customer’s experience), so do the moderators at FreeCycle influence FreeCycle’s image, and shape the recycler’s experience.

Here is a case in point. There is a moderator in the San Jose FreeCycle group – let’s call him “Tom” (because, hey, that’s his name).

I personally have given away lots of things through FreeCycle, and have occasionally posted a “wanted” post as well. Such was the case earlier this week, when, due to some health issues, and an attendant change in eating style, I posted looking for an Excalibur food dehydrator (or comparable dehydrator) and a VitaMix or comparable blender.

Following generally accepted Internet etiquette, I posted one post with both items, rather than posting two separate posts and clogging up everyone’s inbox with two emails when one email would do. In my post I also explained why I was looking for these items – which are rather high end items – so folks would understand why I was asking for them.

My message was not approved, and I got back this response from the moderator, whose username was “” (that right there should have told me something):

“You are allowed to ask for ONE item and we ask that you simply ask for the one item with no long reason why. This keeps the list objective. please review the policies of freecycle. Just ask for either one, only one, not to be repeated for one month.”

Now, I have asked for more than one item at once before..lots of people do. But apparently playgroundsuper and the folks in San Jose FreeCycle don’t like that.

Also, this rejection can be read a couple of ways – either ask for one item per email and keep it short (which is consistent with the “no long reason why”), or you may only ask at all for one item in a given month. Well, I’ve been using FreeCycle long enough to know that the latter made no sense, and besides, that would just be ridiculous.

So I gamely reposted a request for each item separately, keeping it very short (so short that to me it seemed rude, but if that’s what they wanted…).

And…I got back this reply from playgroundsuper (mind you, they did not sign their notes with a name, so that’s all I knew to call them), rejecting my Excalibur dehydrator request (and making no mention of the VitaMix request, which I therefore assumed had gone through). The post she had rejected was for an “Excalibur or comparable dehydrator”:

“My message strictly said pick ONE item. Wanted posts are for ONE item at a time. And the requested item cannot be repeated for a month.”

Ok, now, WTF? I had done exactly what she had demanded – I had posted just one item in my post. (I say “she” because by this point I was sure that I was dealing with some frustrated housewife, given both the “playgroundsuper”, and the fact that she was such a complete bitch). “One item at a time” means, well, just that – one item at a time.

And the “And the requested item cannot be repeated for a month” only reinforced that. After all, if you could only post one request per month at all, you wouldn’t then say “And the requested item cannot be repeated for a month,”, you’d say “And you cannot post any other wanted request for a month”. [Yes, I’m being a lawyer, hey, language construction is my job.]

Anyways, clearly a reasonable reading of all this was that you can only post one item per post, and you can not repeat a given request within a month.

At this point, despite her bitchiness, I decided to try and play nice – it’s worth it once in awhile to rub elbows with the hoi polloi after all. So I wrote back very politely:

“That was one item! I’m confused? I’m trying to comply with your request, but what did I do wrong?”

Came the instant answer:

“When I originally rejected your post I asked that you pick ONE item and post, not to post them in separate messages.”‘, you didn’ told me “You are allowed to ask for ONE item and we ask that you simply ask for the one item with no long reason why.” Given that most of FreeCycle has no problem with people asking for several things, the interpretation was certainly reasonable.

Ok, so now I figured I was dealing with not only a frustrated housewife bitch, but one who did not really have a clear grasp about how to write effectively. Clearly this poor underachiever, for whom FreeCycle moderatorship was probably her own domain of power, needed me to be polite and understanding not withstanding her own poor attitude.

Given her problem with the language, and given that the Excalibur post was the one at issue, I deduced that perhaps “Excalibur or comparable” was violating the “not two items” rule – or maybe she thought I was asking for a sword and a dehydrator, so I wrote back:

“I’m trying to figure this out…maybe you didn’t realize that an Excalibur is a certain style of dehydrator, so I was saying we needed one or one like it? Kind of like saying “I need a rain coat or a similar kind of coat”. Is that not ok?”

And playgroundsuper wrote back:

“You posted for two items. A dehydrter AND a vitamix. You cannot post for two wanteds. Please see the other message I sent. And yes I know what that item is, in fact I know what both of them are. It is a matter of posting for two separate wanteds, whether they are in the same post or in two posts. One wanted post, one item. ”

Ok, now I see. Despite how ridiculous it may seem, it really is the case that you can only ask for one item per month (why she couldn’t have made it easy and said “one item per month” at the outset was beyond me – perhaps that sort of straight-forward language hadn’t, oh, maybe, occurred to her).

[Note that all of the quotes from playgroundsuper are exactly as they came to me – typo and grammar and all.]

Still biting my tongue – it’s not fair to hold someone’s handicaps against them after all – I responded with what I thought was a perfectly reasonable response and request – what do you think?:

“Ok, sorry, that wasn’t clear from your first message; it sounded like you couldn’t put more than one request per message. Does this mean that you approved the VitaMix, but rejected the dehydrator?”

..because Lord knows that at this point I sure didn’t want to post any more requests if she’d in fact put the VitaMix request through!


“It means pick one to post. No I did not approve either one. I need to make sure a member undestands.”

Got that? She needs to make sure that a member understands.

Ok, that’s when I lost it. And when I knew that I was going to write this post. So the point is not actually to help out, but to beat someone into submission. You bitch. But first I had to play this out to its natural conclusion.

“Yep, I understand now. Is there a way for me to delete the dehydrator post, so that the VitaMix one can go through? Sorry to have made your job a bit harder; I know you have thousands of members with which to deal.”

(Oh, how hard it was to write that reply!)

Came her answer:

“Neither of your posts went to the board. Neither one so nothing needs to be removed. And if one had been approved you could not post the other one. Only one item for a wanted.

I’m off to get some sleep now. I have an early day. You want to pick your item, let me know tomorrow so I can take care of it. It’s been a long long day. I’m deep in work, legal issues, helping a non-profit set up, finishing a security evaluation and moderating and I need a break. Just call it a night and let me know tomorrow. I need some sleep, please. Take time to decide what you want to post and let me know in the mroning.”

Ok, now I was stunned. This was no frustrated housewife, but someone who works in the legal industry. MY industry. This was one of those 97% who give the other 3% of us a bad name. She wasn’t just a bitch, she was a power-tripping bitch from my hood.

I responded to her gripes about her legal work, still being very polite, and trying to joke her out of her perpetually bad attitude while letting her know that she was not dealing with some – hmmm – frustrated housewife, but with one of her own:

“Well, that explains the tone; I should have recognized it, and at least now I can drop my own unnaturally conciliatory tone (grin). Have some good sleep.”

..and then I signed my full name and title (which she had not had up until that point).

It should have ended there. She should have at least been polite, or provided some professional courtesy, or something, but no…

“Ms. Mitchell, I sent you a short reminder of SJFC policies and I trust you will refer to that in the future. That is basically a shortened version of the welcome letter sent to each member when they join, and you have been a member since early 2005. As you can see if you review the short guide I sent, they are clear and simple. The rules of FC are what we agree to in order to be part of the network and they are also something members agree to follow when they join the lists.


Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was wrong. was not a frustrated housewife cum mega bitch. She was a he – a frustrated person working in some legal job (I can only hope he is not a lawyer). But still a mega bitch.

So, am I going to refer to the SJFC policies to which Tom “trusts I will refer”?

Heck no, I’m going to refer to the above exchange, and never deal with San Jose FreeCycle again.

Since this exchange I have learned that a lot of people have had problem with FreeCycle moderators – not just Tom at San Jose FreeCycle, although to be sure plenty have had problems there too – but in other FreeCycle groups too. There is apparently something about FreeCycle moderatorship which either creates or attracts control-freaks.

And the problem is not just limited to the local group moderators. It seems that the FreeCycle mothership itself, and its Deron Beal, have some issues. In fact there is a website, [Page no longer available – we have linked to the version instead], devoted to making public the dirty laundry of a lawsuit filed by FreeCycle against some of their former groups.

But wait! There’s more!

Editor’s update: Tom from San Jose FreeCycle just emailed me. Apparently somebody pointed him to this posting. In his email he said that he had known all along that I was a lawyer, and that he had looked me up because he was “trying to understand why someone who graduated from Law School and was a Professor could not understand something so simple.”

And then he goes on to say, and I kid you not: “And I never said you could only post one wanted a month, just that you cannot repeat the SAME wanted for a month.”

Ok, Tom, you said: “You posted for two items. A dehydrter (sic) AND a vitamix. You cannot post for two wanteds. Please see the other message I sent. And yes I know what that item is, in fact I know what both of them are. It is a matter of posting for two separate wanteds, whether they are in the same post or in two posts. One wanted post, one item.

And then you said “Neither of your posts went to the board. Neither one so nothing needs to be removed. And if one had been approved you could not post the other one. Only one item for a wanted.

How, please, does that translate to “And I never said you could only post one wanted a month, just that you cannot repeat the SAME wanted for a month.”?

P.S. I got my dehydrator and my VitaMix.

[Note: If you’ve been disaffected by FreeCycle or their moderators, check out the comments below and add to the discussion!]

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372 thoughts on “Problems with FreeCycle? Issues with FreeCycle Moderators? You’re Not Alone.

  1. The moderators in my London area are terrible. They make up their own rules that go against the guidelines written on their own freecycle pages and then delete your account if you complain. Very bullish and rude of them. Even the GOA is backing them so they cant be touched. They should all quit and get more honest people to be moderators.

    Better still everyone go to a more friendly site – Freegle

  2. I ‘ve belonged to a freecycle from way back. That was before all these moderators somehow got involved. I belong to the Bellevue, NE freecycle and I posted ONE item for a good home. I’ve been waiting now 23 days for approval. I’m glad this isn’t a profit making outfit, otherwise…

  3. The freecycle moderators in Westminster London are a bunch of Crooks, people with little to do. and for sure without any power in any way in society…they have the behaviour of the typical coward who does not have any power but when give a little power (like posting other people’s posts), this power goes to their heads! I was trying to put a want for an old laptop, after many things I give away, and this low level bastard, did not approve my post saying that I needed to post in my area, despite I post in my area, then was requesting for prove of address?! then they decided what is a valueble item ot not, saying my item was valueable?! despite the fact many items on freecycle are far more valueable than a very old laptop, since when do users have to disclose personal information to these useless people who have nothing to do? I will report them to the police because this is scamming!

  4. I belong to several Freecycle groups (districts) in London, UK. What annoys me is when someone posts
    the same Wanted message to the same group several times within a couple of minutes. Why don’t they have the server set up to accept the first one and reject the others. They just clog up my inbox.
    Or they post to 3 or 4 districts all at the same time. Now, if I try to do this, the moderator informs me
    that I can only post in my district first. Then, after 24 hours, I can post in an adjoining district and so on.

  5. I have had two ads changed without reference back to me by the Hitlers that run these sites and I am a serial donator. The first was washing poles to give away on first come basis and the items would be left on my driveway (because I was out at work unlike the moderators but I did not say I was not in on the ads) so I left house number and post code on the ad. 3 sites accepted the ad but Barnsley did not as they did not want people to come to my house, WTF how else are they going to collect stuff?
    The next was this morning which was a trailer mudguard that was sent in a mismatched pair from an ebay vendor who chose not to collect the wrong item (nothing wrong in this it just highlighted the item was brand new and why it is being donated. This was edited and annoyed the shit out of me I will now remove myself from these petty non entities

    1. No one likes curb alerts and addresses posted in the ad, what makes you think we want to waste time driving to your house just to figure out the item is already gone. Grrrrr. So annoying people who post that way don’t care if they waste other people’s time when is clearly against the freecycle rules for a good reason. Also sick of people who act like just because you’re getting free things they are entitled to be inconsiderate to the people kind enough to come get your unwanted things out of the way for you.

  6. What is the difference (or why has) the Former Freecycle which was a Yahoo Group, is now I guess a different website? Under the old Freecycle groups both Nassau and Suffolk county (NY), I received many more replies both when responding to an offer or posting an Offer. When FC switched to the regular page, it suddenly is as if when I either respond to an Offer, Post an Offer, or Post a want, no one ever replies…yet under the old format I got many responses. Also the former Nassau Freecycle and even one Suffolk Moderator at Freecycle had the nastiest moderators! I stopped using it for a long time just because of the tirades of the Moderators…their attitudes were nauseating…with the new Freecycle I seldom if ever interact with any of them thank God but the webpage doesn’t seem as active. A friend of mine heavily involved on FC said the same thing…ie..if she responded to an OFFER, in the Old Yahoo Group…70% of the time she’d get picked for it (me too!) and then when it became part of the regular FC, she responded to many, many offers and never got chosen once. I experience the same thing, even emailed a moderator thinking my emails did not get thru to the Offerers, and they just said “Sometimes the board is more active than other times” I don’t buy it…something seems “Off”….

  7. What is the difference (or why has) the Former Freecycle which was a Yahoo Group, is now I guess a different website? Under the old Freecycle groups both Nassau and Suffolk county (NY), I received many more replies both when responding to an offer or posting an Offer. When FC switched to the regular page, it suddenly is as if when I either respond to an Offer, Post an Offer, or Post a want, no one ever replies…yet under the old format I got many responses. Also the former Nassau Freecycle and even one Suffolk Moderator at Freecycle had the nastiest moderators! I stopped using it for a long time just because of the tirades of the Moderators…their attitudes were nauseating…with the new Freecycle I seldom if ever interact with any of them thank God but the webpage doesn’t seem as active. A friend of mine heavily involved on FC said the same thing…ie..if she responded to an OFFER, in the Old Yahoo Group…70% of the time she’d get picked for it (me too!) and then when it became part of the regular FC, she responded to many, many offers and never got chosen once. I experience the same thing, even emailed a moderator thinking my emails did not get thru to the Offerers, and they just said “Sometimes the board is more active than other times” I don’t buy it…something seems “Off”….

  8. There is a Facebook group call Sharing is Caring. It is moderated by a woman who is truly kind, fair and caring. The group helps families who are in need. She doesnt put up with any bs but she does it in a kind way. Members of the group donate items and she distributes them. There are some truly needy, disturbed people that need help. I suggest you look into it if you are in Michigan.

  9. I gave my chicken feeders and waterers to someone to only find them FOR SALE at our local second hand store. I feel victimized. People will get stuff from you and run straight to their local junk store and sell them for CASH. I have also discovered they will take anything metal down to an independent recycle store and sell them for scrap metal to get CASH !!!

    1. You’re over reacting in this comment. Your feeders could have been donated to the thrift store for any number of reasons, maybe they received them from you and realized they didn’t want them for whatever reason. They are allowed to donate something you donated. And as far as people coming to get things to scrap how the hell would you know? Are you following them from your house? You don’t know you just made that part up.

  10. I was on freecycle for 3 weeks and had to get off. I couldn’t believe the vultures and beggars that were on there. Unbelievable. First, I would post something to give away and get hundreds of emails begging me for the item, telling me “hard luck stories”. I’d respond to one person who would assure me she would pick the item up, but then she never showed up. This happened several times, and each time the person made the exact same excuse about a medical emergency situation with a child. I reported to the moderator, who also believed all their lies. I will never give ANYTHING away on freecycle ever again. If you are a member of freecycle, ask yourself how low you have stooped in life to get there, begging and telling lies to get some free used junk.

    1. Wow. Your comment just makes you look hateful and should not have been approved. Moderators are slipping

  11. As a lead moderator in a Freecycle group, I’d just like to say that not all of us are nearly as bad as this Tom character (who would be removed pronto if he was under me).

    Also, it’s not only Freecycle mods who are power freaks; my local Freegle group is (or was, she seems to have disappeared) run by one such; posts would often be rewritten, words removed (“good morning” or “many thanks” would be redacted, for example), descriptions would be removed from the subject line, and she was very fond of adding her own comments to people’s posts. I know that her attitude has driven people away. (Maybe we should put her in touch with Tom!) But again, she is in the minority.

  12. Here’s one to add to the thread. It seems the freecycle Mod team are filled with Keyboard warriors with a grossly miss proportionate method of response.

    Apparently a group which i had been a part of for nearly 2 years, i apparently have only been a part of for 2 days before i got banned.

    Apparently you are not allowed to live in two locations (work in weekdays and home where the wife is half the week).

    Also suggesting i was banned for being in two groups (because the emails they send make no sense) is “ludicrous and insulting” according to the Mod Nigel M Aston.

    What on earth are these people on? Are they just empowered overzealous keyboard warriors?

    I cant believe such an amazing concept is being used by these sorts of people to assert them selves on.

    I do hope the freecycle main body clamp down on these nasty individuals that pursue a career in making a great concept a playground!

    1. Freecycle needs user moderation, in the form of Moderator & Member ratings… Nothing complex, just an accumulated 1-5 star rating inputted by users who have engaged with the other members or are a member of the moderators goup/s. Moderators should be refused the opportunity to rate members themselves, or other mods of groups they moderate (conflict of interest). And ratings should remain regardless of whether the members who voted close their accounts, or are banned or whathaveyou.

      The reason Moderators are such a big issue, is because there is no accountability, no consequence, for their bad behavior, besides decreases in membership for their groups. I mean, go look for a ‘report moderator overreach’ button anywhere on Freecycle, you won’t find one anywhere. In their FAQ they suggest complaining to the Mod themselves, who could just ban you from their group to solve their problem, without ever addressing yours.

      Freecycle Mods are effectively kings, made so by Freecycle, but who are also ‘asked’ by Freecycle not to act like kings but instead act like casual civil servants (remain mostly hands off, just block spam and illegal/dangerous stuff, keep it civilized).

  13. I joined this group as a way to get rid of stuff I no longer want/need. Shortly after I joined, I responded to two WANTEDS. The first was a lady who was looking for a digital converter box to use with an older analog TV. I had a couple of them sitting around that I no longer needed, as we now have newer digital TVs that don’t need such a box. I offered one to this lady, and she showed up right on time to pick it up. She thanked me in person, and also posted a RECEIVED to the list, thanking me again. I was encouraged by this, as I had some really lousy experiences with the Freecycle group in our last city we lived in.

    The second WANTED was from a woman looking for a VHS copy of the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka movie. Just so happened that I had picked up a collectors edition DVD box set as an Amazon Gold Box deal earlier in the week, so yes, I had a VHS copy to give, and I offered it to her. This one showed up HOURS past the appointed time; in fact, we were about to go out (I would have left the tape in a plastic grocery bag hanging on the doorknob) when she finally showed up. She was rude, snatched the tape out of my hand, did not say “thank you”, nor did she ever post a RECEIVED, as would be proper list etiquette. After that, I did not respond to any more WANTEDS, because I was afraid I’d get more people like the second woman and no more like the first.

    Many months later, I decided to try listing an OFFER. I had been reading the list long enough to get an idea of what most of the people on it are like, and worded my offer to make it crystal-clear as to exactly what I was offering. It was an older BlackBerry cell phone for use with Virgin Mobile only (cannot be unlocked due to no SIM card slot). Since something I picked up from the general membership is that some of them expect EVERYTHING for free, I made it clear as to how much the monthly service would cost once they activated the phone. I ended my post with something like “please don’t waste my time by responding and then not showing up at the mutually agreed-upon time for pick-up”.

    Since I had never posted anything, I was being moderated, and my post got butchered to death, leaving out most of the info that I wanted people to know. I decided to withdraw the offer and post a TAKEN, even though I did not actually give the item away. But that was in moderation, too, it was several hours before it got posted, and sure enough, I was getting annoying emails from greedy people who did indeed think that the phone service was free, too.

    Even AFTER the TAKEN was finally posted, I was still getting emails from people demanding the phone. This one woman sent me three emails over the span of 90 minutes, while I was out at a baseball game. A guy who has responded previously, but who I knew I DIDN’T want to give it to, emailed me again, as well. I tried to post a second TAKEN asking people to please stop emailing me, the phone was no longer available. The mods refused to post it. My only recourse was to block the email addresses of the people who would not stop bothering me. I did try to email the mods with my concerns, but it bounced back.

    But if you WANT free crap, all moderation flies out the window. The rules say that this is not a “shopping list” or a “wish list” and discourages people from posting long lists of WANTS. Yet these go through, unmoderated, almost every damned day. Another rule is “no sob stories”, yet those go through, as well. One of the people who asked for my phone had previously posted a sob story about how his wife was having a baby in three weeks, and they had NOTHING for the baby. The rules also discourage people from asking for big-ticket items, but I see that all the time, as well.

    So, to recap – if you are greedy, irresponsible, or both, you’re fine, post away on Freecycle Manchester 100% unmoderated. But if you are like me, and just want to get rid of a few things with a minimum of bullshit and drama, forget it. With all of the people asking for crap, Freecycle mods should be kissing the asses of people like me who have good stuff to give, and not do anything to piss us off. No wonder the WANTEDS outnumber the OFFERS, and most of the offers are for rubbish. One woman was offering a half a bag of ice melt that had clumped into a solid rock, and a few empty egg cartons. Really? But you do have to offer something once in a while in order to be allowed to ask (although I have seen THAT rule bent, as well). I never intended to ask for anything, and would have been a great addition to the group.

    If you have stuff you want to get rid of, get rid of it in some other way. Even Craigslist is better than this group. Or you can just give it to Salvation Army/Goodwill/homeless shelter/animal shelter, or any other place that will appreciate it, not give you any crap, and even give you a receipt if you want the tax write-off. Or just give it away to friends or have a yard sale. If you join because you want free stuff, good luck with that. I’m sure I’m not the only one around here who has stuff to offer who will no longer use this list because of the over-moderation and hassle involved.

    I’d sooner take stuff to the dump, where it will go into landfill (which was the ORIGINAL purpose of Freecycle) than deal with this crap again.

  14. I posted a comment to Detroit Memories in response to a poll they asked for comments on. It was not a poll started by Detroit Memories so I made my true feelings heard. As you probably all know the city of Detroit recently claimed Bankruptcy, largest city in US to do so. I feel my concern was real. I just asked, I wonder who is paying for this poll. The commentator edited my posting and took that part out!
    Their poll was:
    The Detroit Historical Society needs your help to create their next exhibition:
    Detroit Decides: Our Most Celebrated Buildings
    Their curators want to know your thoughts on which Detroit buildings have contributed
    the most to our city’s heritage and culture. Is it the Guardian Building for its unique architecture? Or Hudson’s for the generations of family
    shopping trips and memories? Perhaps it is a building no longer around, like Tiger Stadium or Ford Auditorium?
    Deadline is August 30, 2013.
    She did not send me an answer or a reply to say this was an inappropriate answer and I did give an snswer which buildings I wanted mentioned. She just chose to edit my answer! This is not the first time she has indicated my views were not to her liking. Last year, in the spirit of jogging everyones memory regarding the past, I asked if anyone remembered the phrase ‘eating the belly smacker of a loaf of bread. I have lived in other parts of the country and my children no longer live in MI and I have never heard the phrase any place else. She deleted the phrase because it was not regional. But–she did not mention if and where she had heard it–such as in another state or another country, she just flat out did not let me put it in for discussion! Most, or many, of the comments on the site are hers anyways! Thanks, done bitching! LOL

  15. I believe that the “Jennifer” who has commented here over the years is likely the Jennifer who runs the East Bay Freecycle group. That woman has some serious issues.

    She just kicked me out of the group because she rejected one of my postings, and I answered her back telling her that while I understood the rules, her reason for the rules did not make sense. She kept making new reasons, redefining dictionary words, and finally she said “I get to make the rules and since you don’t like them, I’m unsubscribing you”. To put ice on the pudding, she then sends me a file asking me if I unsubscribed due to something she did.

    On the plus side, while I googled her – I found this site and you, Anne. I don’t know if you remember me from so many years ago! It’s nice finding you again! :-) and cool captcha!

  16. Email rec’d this week from Deron Beal Founder of FC:
    Hello Member,
    Many of you have already donated to our ‘Donate a Dollar’ campaign so that we may remain a charity. Thanks so much as you’ve gotten us within $10,000 of our goal with one week to our fiscal year-end deadline! We are soooo close!!
    But, we’re not there yet, so we’re taking the *extremely* exceptional measure of sending this one email to all of you who have signed up as a member over the years. We apologize for this inconvenience but exceptional circumstances require an exceptional measure.
    For the first time ever we are at risk of losing our charitable nonprofit tax status precisely because we’ve never asked for donations from the public! We need your help!
    You see, if we are unable to generate a minimum of about ten percent of funding from donations from the general public, we’ll become a foundation instead of a charity and no longer qualify for a core funding sources such as grants.
    So, we’re asking you to help keep free and charitable…
    …and donate just a dollar:
    or any other amount/currency you’d like:
    While is run almost entirely by some 7,000 volunteers, the organization still does have some expenses — including tens of thousands of dollars in expense for the servers alone. Globally there are 9.4 million members in over 110 countries and it’s pretty amazing that we’re all able to keep this free and nonprofit service going. Thanks to each of you for being a part of this!
    Please consider donating whatever you can to add your part in helping keep this wonderful cause going.
    Thanks for being a member of the largest recycling and reuse web community on the planet (which amazingly is also completely nonprofit!)
    Many thanks,
    Deron Beal
    Executive Director

  17. Those who want to praise the new Freecycle platform off Yahoo groups but still complain about shady moderators that run the Yahoo-based groups should probably do their homework. Deron himself (the founder of Freecycle) is probably the most shady character of them all. Of course he wants everyone to leave the Yahoo pages and join the new platform! He’s getting PAID for promoting it! PAID for a site that is run by volunteers. The new Freecycle page is riddled with ads (as in every post has an ad attached to it) and Big FC has gone so far as to ask group members for donations (revenue from advertising on the webpage doesn’t count- has to be charitable giving) to reach the amount needed to keep them at “charity” status instead of being demoted to “foundation”. I sincerely hope no one is lured too far in by the positive claims of the moles promoting the new pages. Greedy, crappy moderators that are running groups in any manner on their own free time (and dime! They do pay for their own internet access) certainly beat out greedy scumbag that makes others work for free so he, his wife, and his friend (the only “board” members for this business- what’s that tell ya??) can rake in a profit.

  18. The Freecycle page is a joke. People fed up with shady practices by Yahoo-based Freecycle moderators should probably really do some homework before thinking the grass is greener on the regular Freecycle page. Ol’ buddy Deron is raking in money from the advertisements, which is why they’re pushing people to join the groups on that page. Plus the higher ups want more control. Yahoo groups may have it’s issues but it just seems wrong on many levels to generate income for a handful of people (keep in mind, Freecycle is a “grassroots, ‘non-profit’ charity”) from a website that is run by volunteers.

  19. What I want to know is why they’re all still on Yahoo groups when the freecycle site is set up so you can put your group there? Yahoo Groups is dead. Even Yahoo won’t acknowledge that their site is so slow it fails to load 9/10 pages.

  20. Member of Orlando freecycle for years. Now just find out I’m banned. No explanation why and the moderator doesn’t leave their name so that when I ask, they don’t even read, just tell me I’m banned. I don’t even merit an explanation as to why?

  21. I am dyslexic and sometimes I have to read something 20 times or same for writing before I understand or write correctly. I am on full moderation for this. I have been treated so rude and discriminated against. I have been told I can leave the group. That they will never take me off moderation even though I have been posting perfect for months. If anyone knows of a class action lawsuit I will testify.

  22. I sent in a this post: Everyone on here is invited to join my
    > FREE OR CHEAPER… facebook site…
    > new site and looking for more members… its for the NRV and surrounding counties…
    > “Cheaper” means if you have something you are willing to pay someone to remove for you… no selling allowed… just a site for others to help others.

    Christy sent this back…These type of posts are not allowed consider yourself banned from the group for Spam.
    Radford Freecycle Owner

    she said I was spaming and that I was now banned…. thing is she has to approve the posts so I figured if it wasn’t allowed she would tell me but not act that way… anyone else on Radford Freecycle? If so see if you can see some rules… I didn’t see anything against my post I have never sent anything in innapropriate and the rules said two strikes you are out… I guess she doesnt know the rules??

  23. After reading just some of this I can see why the main gave my little group the boot amd sent us on are own. I didn’t go for all their rules as I try to keep it fun for my small area ColumbusSunPrairieFreecycle

  24. Ok so I am in a hard situation with two year old twin boys right at Thanksgiving time in 2012 I got everything we owned stolen from my home by a scumbag landlord who had abused me..I TRIED yes TRIED to join freecycle B.S and I got this really rude email like warning me of behaviors an d what not like I am a kid in detention. Yeah I am an adult and responded to this email as such along with my entire very sad story. My next email was a Deni letter offering me to go somewhere else.. Who the f*&^ tells these ass bags to judge and treat us like dirt.So here I am I DO have lots of boys clothes my clothes and husbands clothes shoes toys all kinds of things to donate but more like trade my kids are gowing so fast and I have no one other than them and my husband.. If anyone has any suggestions can you please please send them my way. I live in Southern Vermont

  25. Hi guys,
    Just to update you we have now changed the way we operate Freecycle 4u for the better.
    We wanted to bring the better FC experience to all and make the site about FC rather than ads.
    With this in mind we have since moved our retailers off our main site and created mini-portals showcasing retailers products but away from the hustle and bustle of the main site. This helps our visitors save money from mainstream retailers when they choose to without having the choices forced upon them.

    On top of this we have increased our listings options. You can now:

    *List for 90 days free
    *See your listing featured randomly on the home page
    *See your listing on the latest listings widget (if last 10 listings)
    *Get free priority listings if you need to move your item urgently
    *Find localized areas to towns and cities in the UK and USA.

    We operate a website instead of groups, you can request, buy, sell or freecycle on the website and do it all for free.

    Check us out on facebook too at

  26. The REAL Doncaster Freecycle IS on Yahoo. Unfortunately there are pretend/fake ones on some social sites and the Rotherham Freegle people set up a Doncaster Freegle site that has virtually no posts but when there are some they are usually wakefield/rotherham/sheffield/barnsley members posting.||| Amazing how someone who thought it was too much trouble to join Freecycle goes to the bother of searching out this 6 year old post to comment on how much of a waste of his time it all was ?

  27. I mod a FC group and most of our members participated in a survey to set out our “rules”. As a result we have done the following:

    We stayed on YahooGroups, and are 100% self moderated. But we follow the FC rules in order to retain a link from MFC.

    SPAMMERs – this is an easy problem to fix. All members are required to sign up through yahoo, and fill out the comments thingy. We reject direct email subscriptions unless they let us know they are “real” (they get a nice rejection letter explaining all this).

    Post requirements: Yes, we require location and yes we reject posts without. Why? Because our membership asked for this. Our community continues to grow (geographically) and not everyone has a car or wishes to drive across town for a small item. So posts without location are rejected with a nice note to the poster requesting the correction.

    Moderation? All new members are moderated. When we see posts properly formatted they go off moderation. Who has time to moderate everyone anyways?

    Offer posts: One post with 100 items or 100 posts with 1 item – up to the member! The survey said don’t restrict, so we don’t.

    Wanted posts: 2 posts per week, and # of items per post, no repeats in 30 days (again – this is what the members came up with).

    Other stuff:
    No sob stories. If a member on moderation posts a sob story, it is rejected but with a proposed re-wording. Members off moderation if noticed, are put back on moderation and advised. They usually get complaints from other members too! So its fairly self-moderated.
    No religious stuff, other than the item itself. We live in a very diverse community and we need to make sure all list members are comfortable. Not everyone gets this one but if you’re ever on the “other” fence, you’ll immediately understand.

    Little thinks make any list, any org, better. Asking the members to set the guidelines really helped out list. (yahoogroups poll tool)

  28. Two things.
    Doncaster Freecycle UK is not on Yahoo, if this is the one you mean.
    Freegle is, but is instant join and post. No waiting required.

  29. Yes I totaly agree, I wanted to give away a few things localy doncaster, 1st i had to have a dammned yahoo account, (i didnt want) had to apply to join, 4 days, THEN had to be approved!! 2 days, then had to prove I actually lived local?! applied to join a group?? 100 damned click to sign in,,, & finally ad disaproved!! so its off to the skip for me then!!!

  30. I can not unsubscribe from los altos freecycle group. I try but no luck, I just want it to stop.

  31. i had to leave the board for a while and am now re-joining and would like to receive comments on the Freecycly problems!

  32. Good grief, I’ve had problems with Admins/Mods at

    I was part of a prior Yahoo freecycling group for my area and then they moved to this central website, then all the problem began.

    They first claimed that I can’t have “freecycle” in my mail address, even though it was my inbox name, not my domain. I mean . . . what?

    Oh, and I found out about that only after sending multiple emails asking why I hadn’t been registered for weeks after my first attempt.

    So, I changed my email address and then had to AGAIN repeatedly ask for access, in this case to my local group they hosted. Finally obtained access without so much as a “hello”, made some posts, got some good freecyclers who picked up my items and then went back to give more items away.

    No longer a member of the local group, any longer. What?

    I’ve now been sending emails for weeks and they apparently go straight into the bitbucket.

    I honestly don’t know why some of these people are Admins or Mods of the site, when the basics of user registration are so poorly executed by them.

  33. I think the mod’s must be people who have failed to achieve in life and this little bit of power makes them feel they have somet sort of reason to live.

    Sadly despite this article having been written in 2006 the issue is still prevailing in 2012!

  34. I sent an email to the Yahoo Help Desk but have not received an answer yet. Personally, I felt this would be an issue Moderators would be interested to find out but obviously they already know about it and dont give a damn.
    Reply To Group Moderator seems to have been disabled on several of my FC groups:
    My Email: This afternoon I went to my acknowledgement emails that came when I posted my offers. I clicked on ‘Reply to Group’ at the bottom of the email and added ‘Taken’ because I had wonderful response to my offers.
    Yahoo Group email came back saying the message was undeliverable. Why is that choice given if it is not working?
    I am going to go into the Posting page and make the changes. I did not think I would have to do this.

    MOD says: I’m afraid that is a Yahoo! issue and not something we are in control of, nor can we change it. You are welcome to write to Yahoo! and let them know you are having a problem.

  35. I am so DONE with Freecycle. I’ve used our local site for over a year now, but it’s gotten so ridiculous with the spam emails and game playing I’m just going to donate stuff or throw it out from now on. The mods can’t control the no-shows but I’ve had it with people’s sob stories about how bad they need the thing I offered and then the losers don’t show up. Good grief…I would rather throw things away than go through this again. SIX no-shows for the same item in ONE WEEK. AND I started getting “auto responses” from a few people who are obviously re-sellers. If I wanted to sell items I’d do it myself you idiots. I might start a PAID version of recycling just for people who are serious…the hacks and losers and manner-less morons won’t bother to pay for a fee-based site. And don’t even get me started on the kinds of stuff people are asking for…yes a HOUSE for one, an fully equipped travel van for another, a motorcycle. Heck, will someone give me a million bucks, or at minimum, the winning Mega-Millions number. Unbelievable!!!

  36. I had a nice moderator and all of a sudden I got a different one and she is a Witch! In a nutshell She banned me from FreeCycle for reporting to her that someone placed an ad for profit. Totally unfair for me and a total power trip for her. Who supervises the moderators? Can someone report them to someone or am I S.O.L.?

  37. I don’t know why anyone bothers with freecycle anymore. I posted a free stainless steel gas grill on craigslist tonight and I had a response within 10 minutes. A woman came within an hour with her truck and my father and a neighbor helped her load it and she took it away. I had two more people interested in the grill within an hour so I deleted my post. Normally emails to freecycle take longer than 10 minutes to post and there’s too many people that say they’re interested and don’t show up.

  38. Thursday 10.05.2012

    I recently put a Wanted on Tower Hamlets Freecycle for “A working/non working laptop,” I’d the following from a moderator: “Your Post Has Not Been Approved. The moderators of the Tower Hamlets have not approved your post to the group. Working/non working laptop.

    Hi your post has been removed and your membership placed on moderation. Please note we do not allow posts for this item any longer sorry. Good luck with your other posts. thanks and kind regards – Tower Hamlets (R) Moderators.” They tell me after I posted it!! They did not state when I joined, late 2010 that this item wasn’t allowed. I’ve replied today asking them why this item’s no longer allowed and why my membership has been placed on moderation? And told them straight that if they continue to remove my posts I will close my Freecycle account and advise my friends not use their website. Looks like I’ve got some jumped up jobs worth and power freak. Tower Hamlets Freecycle’s in London, UK.
    These idiots are undermining the very important issue of stopping items going to landfill by wasteful humans, as many people will leave their dump website and return to throwing everything to landfill. I’d a reply to my post and a very nice man gave me a working laptop last week, I reinstalled the system as he’d brought the CD-ROMS too, in fact he gave me 2 laptops, leads and other things I’d not asked for like a camera, don’t know if it works yet as I need a battery!! He’d said in his email he doesn’t use them and was going to dispose of them, I thought that they will go to landfill, so I stopped them and the other things going there as he said he longer uses them.

    I’ll wait and see what Tower Hamlets Freecycle’s reply is and take it from there, but I really feel like closing my account and depending on their reply I probably will, watch this space!!

  39. ??Edit
    That was meant to read 25 photo’s, not videos, although there will be one video listing functionality.

  40. @Karen
    Our website we deem very fair as moderators don’t have any option of getting priority of any listings and all is gained fairly as a result.
    Also our website allows for items to be sold as well as donated and it also allows for requests.

    The site covers 26 countries worldwide currently and there are plans to narrow this down further to cities as well as provinces and towns that are currently there.

    There are some sponsored ads on the website, but these items can be bought from the reputable retailer and their own website using secured checkout processes.

    We are changing the price plan in the coming days. All listings whether it be property, vehicles, services, merchandise and personal ads will be 100% free to list as there is that option currently. We plan to go one step further offering the listings 60 days listing, with 1000 words description, 25 videos capability and video capability as standard.

    There will be the option to purchase additional features for very minimal costs. The features include being included randomly on our home page banner, being priority featured (Gold meaning your listings are top of the list) and other options too. All proceeds from these featured upgrades until 31st December 2012 we plan on giving to charities and are in talks with a couple as we speak in regards to fundraising efforts.

    We feel the website is fair and means that people can post without being worried they are going to be unfairly treated for their posts.

    If you would like to discuss more I would be more than happy to talk to you. You can contact me at

  41. This is not fair! I put loads of stuff on, many days as many as 20. I pick up stuff from the local Charity Shop which they are throwing out. I know of several moderators that do this.

  42. This AM I got a FC post that was obviously SPAM. I sent notice to List Owners of 2 of the sites. One replied under her own email and I recognized her screen name as being a poster who always, every day posts tons of stuff on FC. Now I know where this person gets it all. I figured it was someone cleaning out a dead persons house–20 or 30 posts a day! She must be one of the mods that gets what she wants before posts are released to the peons! She must pick up items, take what she wants and FC the rest. I get frustrated because some FC sites dont post except for 2-3 days and then I get hit w/a bunch.

  43. I got the poison from the Mods. In the end I had a little fun and got banned. First I would post items that are clearly very desirable;small easily sold on. The SAME people would appear at the front of the queue sometimes before I had seen the listing go up. How about that? In the end I ‘wanted’ for “current legal tender in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50” Got lots of laughs, people warning me that i’d get banned by the dickhead moderators, and a few genuine offers for foreign currency from trips abroad. Just goes to show how decent people will let stuff go to others who ask nicely. So they banned me- whatever.

  44. I was once with Freecyle, as a moderator on the Modsquad, Interim Mod, Group Outreach Advisor and part of the inner circle in addition to editor and creator of the Freecycle Mod Manual (stolen away without a thank you to speak of for putting it together).

    In July of 2007 a group of us from the Interim Mod Team left the organization and out of that we created The ReUseIt Network located at

    RIN doesn’t have the fancy non-profit title on it but it does have a functional Mod Squad and Cafe group and serves several hundred groups listed in the directory. Not only do we list ReUseIt groups but other groups that enjoy and partake of freecycling can also list with us in our directory. We will also help you create a group if you’d like to do that, too.

    As a side note, the IMod9 were pretty fed up with Deron Beal and his group of henchwomen that changed the rules as they saw fit. It wasn’t the moderators more than it was the organization top down that created a culture of fear and control within freecycle itself. Seeing this firsthand turned me around from someone who wanted to be a part of the organization, to someone who wanted to be part of an ethical organization.

    You can read about the IMod9 at

    Freecycle has lost their US trademark and therefore no longer can intimidate and bully those groups who have the term freecycle in their name. Check out the long drawn out battle here regarding trademark issues:

    Yahoo no longer does Deron Beal’s bidding in deleting groups from Yahoo which means you can have your own freecycle group to run as you wish. You just won’t have it listed on the main directory… speaking of which there is a Great Transition in progress from moving freecycle groups from Yahoo Groups over to the webspace servers. That means no more local control or input from those who made freecycle what it is today. It will now be run centrally by those who don’t care about any local issues or specifics of a group in a particular area. Although I haven’t visited any groups on the .org link, I’ve heard there is a lot less moderation but much more spam than would ordinarily be on a recycling group. Also well noted is that if your group has freecycle control ( in the form of an owner on Yahoo Groups, then they are forcing the mods out of the group and taking the groups off Yahoo and onto their proprietary servers. So much for grassroots like they started. If you don’t have ersatz on the group you are threatened to promote to owner someone from freecycle and then forcably moved over. If you fail to comply they simply delist you now without having your group deleted into non-existence.

    Happy reading and if you have any comments on this, please feel free to respond to this post and I’ll get back with you! Thanks!

  45. I tried joining the San Francisco FC for a month. They require me to give them my zip, which I did each time, and then, nothing. I emailed the moderator, and just get the run around. Here are the email exchanges:

    Dear moderator,

    I tried joining freecycle in March and again a few days ago. I would get the following email requesting my zip, which I would immediately reply, and then no news. Could you please check to see why? Thanks!


    Hi Chong Kee Tan,

    Thanks for your kind email. When you requested to join you received several emails from us. Within those emails, especially the Zip Code Request, are contained instructions to help you complete your
    membership request. Once you’ve completed your membership request then we will review it for approval.

    As this email also outlines, If your request isn’t completed and approved within 14 days, Yahoo’s system will automatically drop your
    request. But you’re welcome to reapply at any time.


    The SFFN Volunteer Moderator Team



    I have completed the zip code request, but still not getting my membership…


    Hi Chong,

    Thanks for the kind reply. As our emails point out, please read them
    thoroughly for instructions to complete your membership request.




    I have read through them 3 times. I can find no further instructions
    besides “Please reply to this email using the same email
    address used to apply for membership and include your zip code in the
    body of your reply.” I have already done that.

    If there are other instructions hidden somewhere, would really
    appreciate you telling me about them. Thank you.


    Hi Chong,

    Here are excerpts from the two emails we’ve mentioned:

    Zip Code Request

    Also, be sure to thoroughly review and respond accordingly to all
    forwarded emails in order to complete your membership request. Check
    your spam folder to ensure nothing is missed.


    Our 1st Response to your email: “Help re joining”

    When you requested to join you received
    several emails from us. Within those emails, especially the Zip Code
    Request, are contained instructions to help you complete your
    membership request.


  46. Brad, you are not the first and certainly won’t be the last who gets refused.
    I did post in an earlier comment about Freecycle4u – the new website that has been formed to serve a community without the need for power-hungry trigger-happy moderators.

    Provided your content is within terms and conditions set by Freecycle4u your post will remain listed as per each plan. The site is free to register and free to list.
    Hope to see you there and feel free to share and shout it to all your friends too.

  47. HAHAHAHAHAHA Just got denied entry into SDFreecycle! Copy of my denied e-mail I received. Someone is on a powertrip at least allow me to break a rule before banishment.


    Your request to join the sdfreecycle group was not approved.
    The moderator of each Yahoo! group chooses whether to restrict
    membership in the group. Moderators who choose to restrict
    membership also choose whom to admit.

    Please note that this decision is final and that Yahoo! Groups
    does not control group membership.

  48. Hi,
    I had the same thing as you where the Freecycle groups were concerned. Really bad administrators who banned or deleted accounts without any reason whatsoever, who would want “begging” letters before signing up etc. And this is to be in a group where you receive emails etc that are delayed too from once you send them?
    I came up with a solution in releasing and currently I have set the site so that members from 26 Countries can list their items and we are looking to add more Countries all the time.
    The website is still in it’s infancy but I hope all agree that the site is easy to navigate, it is free to register and it is free to list.

    You don’t just have to give your stuff away, you can also sell it with the classifieds service, also free. And requests are welcome too.
    Covering many subjects and categories from cars to real estate, from jobs and services to merchandising and pets, there is something for everyone there.

    There are featured packages available considerably cheaper than our competition too.

    I am sorry for the advertisement but I hope you agree there is a solution out there on the World Wide Web, and that solution is Freecycle4u.


  49. I’m going to ignore the unnecessary sexist rant you went on in the middle there. (Yes, I know you’re a woman, but come on!)

    I have had great experiences with the one Freecycle group I am in… it runs very smoothly. But the other one… okay, the moderator was apparently mad that “40%” [LESS THAN HALF!!] of the posts were Wanteds, and that a lot of them never got responses, presumably because they were for pricey items no one wants to give away.

    Personally I don’t find that a problem, seeing as I wasn’t even getting one digest a day from the group and it was pretty easy to navigate through what was posted. But she decided that she would put strict limitations on Wanteds: Each member can post 3 ads in a given month and each ad can only contain up to 3 requests. Personally I mostly give things away and I have no problem with people who mostly need and don’t have things to give away. According to our mod this goes against the spirit of Freecycle, which is to keep things out of landfills (I wasn’t aware that requires antihumanism).

    I mean, I know the rule isn’t THAT ridiculous because most people should not be asking for that many things in one month. And most people don’t! But if someone needs to they should be allowed. Effing fascists.

    I wrote an email to her asking her to reconsider the policy but she just rewrote what she said in the rule and added that she doesn’t have the time to moderate high-ticket items specifically. But she has the time to monitor each member’s postings for the month?!

  50. The local modderator of the Staffordshire Moorlands Freecycle is rude and refused to give me access as out of area when I live less than 10 miles of the area It appears that this is an Elite group it is a shame and in future will throw my items away at the tip than be told to Grow up to my polite request..

  51. A lot of the freecycle moderators are indeed complete wankers. They tend to be people with no power in their real lives so they feel the need to be online dictators to get back some of their lack of power.

    Pathetic really. They are probably the same people who were bullies at school. As I said… complete wankers.

  52. K passed that time , my ordeal with FC now called Freegle has been this ,I am now banned from FC for using a SIG at the bottom of each post like this
    [email address]
    FC classed that as advertising my business , i run a PC Repair company in Oxford so i occasionally have a few towers laptop etc that i can pass on , i too believe the MODS are not only moderating posts but also moderating items up for offer to sell at car boots ,i have noticed with regards my own offers that if i list a tower it gets listed very fast , a laptop on the other hand takes ages to list and i get enquires before the item actually apprears on FC ,I stopped giving the items to the first contact but instead gave to the 10th contact ,I used to find also there are only two type of people who came to the door the type who thanked me with a smile , and the type who thought they where doing me a favour , i was also amazed how many of the collectors came round in vans , like it was a job , I could get back on with another username but TBH think i have had my day and will be another land filler ,

  53. Re Manchester UK
    The problem with Manchester is that thay let every post on.
    Manchster was split into the individual boroughs years ago. However many members post to their local group and send to Manchester. They are sometimes offered and taken on the local group before they are approved even on the big one.
    As to shops selling items, they are probably using the freecycle word generically. If not then they should make it clear when asking for stuff that they intend to sell it. This is not against rules.
    Ex Freecycle mod Trafford.

  54. Unfortunately here in Manchester UK i think there is a different problem.

    On numerous occasions, as soon as an add on freecycle becomes live, after going through moderation, you will contact the offerer and the offerer will respond saying the item has gone, it went yesterday or earlier today. Which is quite surprising seen as i saw the add come live at that particular moment.

    This makes me think the moderators are grabbing the good stuff before making the adds live.

    Conveninetly there are numerous charities and second hand shops around, that have same day collection services. Some of the items described appear in the shops… In one i noticed freecycle open.

    Saying that i looked over the charities returned accounts, conveniently they are 2 years overdue!

  55. i joined a few groups in my local area before i was astonished by first norristownpafreecycle and then pottstownareafreecycle… they have qualifying questions and norristown never responded. pottstown “LET ME IN” but posts made at 8am didn’t come to me until after 6pm!! nasty net nazis!!!!!! now i see this is a problem throughout a wonderful network made up of mostly good, good people. i call this “no-pay-ebay” when i tell others. much love.
    “Do not become weary in doing good…”
    Galatians 6:9A

  56. I got the following email today–I guess the long arm of Yahoo reaches out again, sad to say. See following email from a former moderator:
    [MotorCityFreecycle] Not Fair
    FROM: robin_stronach1
    Friday, February 17, 2012 11:29 AM
    I was removed as a moderator today because of my comment about freecyclers who offer u things just too get there and nothing be there after driving sometimes 45-50 minutes,I’m not sorry for the comment because freecyclers have posted nastys about no shows and I was not abusing my stats as a moderator cause it was not mention, also no where in the rules does it say u can’t right comments–u allow porn and things that don’t pertain too freecycling,

  57. Recently, I believe Yahoo has removed a search function that I liked to use to search posters previous posts so I could see what people have asked for and explained why they need my stuff! I am hoping this is a ‘glitch’ and not a permanent change. Posters use such amazing reasons! I am seriously considering not making offers any more because I do not know who/why my stuff is going. There is one poster on Dearborn FC who has a recently badly disabled adult child that would usually be a good reason to suddenly be on hard times but her FC requests have been going on longer than his accident. I know the accident is true as it was on the local news & I have found stories on the internet too. But, just to check out her stories I searched for someone who knew her and found one of her other adult children. This person told me ‘stay away, she is bad news’ and told me Mom ran all of her 7 children badly into fraudlent debt in their early lives. I found one of Moms FC post saying her husband recently passed away due to cancer. Less than a year later she was posting that her husband had just lost his job and their state benefits had not kicked in yet (another time the state benefits had been dropped for not reason) and now they needed food–which is often one of her requests–food, clothes for her 16 grandchildren, clothes and/or food for friends she is helping. One post asking for food asked that it be dropped off at the address she put in the posting, which she had posted as her address in an earlier post. The moderator on this site seems to be overly lenient on these types of postings. She also allows some people to post ‘Wants’ over and over again, not always for the same stuff, just Wants for anything they can get! Also, I have waited 2-3 days for my posts to show up. The moderator does not release them in a timely manner. Sometimes when they show up on Dearborn FC, the item has been taken by a poster on another site! One time I waited a couple days for my offer to show up and when it finally did, a few minutes later there was someone wanting to pick it up! I wondered if it was this moderator!

  58. All sensible groups do have some sort of policy of sob stories. They do easily escalate out of control and members lie and try and outdo each other. I offered and Ipod once and was sickened by the 30 out of 33 response with the most heartwrenching stories. I chose one of the other three. I was a single mother, I would not have used that as an excuse to get something.
    Freecycle/Freegle is not about need it is about reuse. People with money may well, prefer to be given stuff than buy new and donate the money to charity.

  59. I have always loved freecycle and often I have things to give away and from time to time many people might want the same thing. Sometimes posts will say single mom or what not and I might message that person first seeing they probably need the item more. Well with Morganton NC Freecycle they are no longer allowing anyone to post a reason why in fact the following statements are banned:Using such phrases as “low income”,”money being tight”
    parent”, “recently divorced”, “living alone”,
    “disabled”, “giving
    ages of children”,
    If you dont follow the rules they put you on moderation which has lead to many people not even bothering to use the service. I think they are so weird, I mean who are they to tell me or anyone else who I should and shouldnt give something to. Id rather know why someone needs something then have someone collecting items and reselling them for profit.

  60. I love this, a forum where folks can bitch about Freecycle and the moderators of the very same organization come to bitch right back, demonstrating their own disregard for the freedom of speech that is more noble and important than the junk they ‘pedal’ as a ‘valuable resource’. This lack of reflection on their behavior is exactly why so many people are pissed off at them. Some of these moderators have some kind of ‘God complex’; they think that a Yahoo Group gives them some superiority over anyone who uses the group, almost as though they are saving the world by ‘allowing’ someone to give away what they would normally throw away. They show less respect for people than the ‘trash’ that’s being pandered as a ‘valuable resource’, and they would laugh at the idea that their ‘resource’ is less than a benefit to the World. They have no notion of its value until they see an offer for something of real value that they get word of before anyone else, and in fact, will respond to such offers before the item is even posted. I’ve seen things go in a matter of minutes according to the person giving it away, when the quickest that the items are posted is at least a half hour to an hour. Now I see them ‘threatening’ folks who don’t show up even though those who were ‘stood up’ would in some way be equally responsible if they were giving something away that WAS trash, or was broken beyond being fixable, or even dangerous. I’ve heard of folks getting gas appliances with holes in the tubing, or washers that flood the home, causing more damage than the item was ever worth. They apparently assume that any opportunity for someone to pick up someone else’s trash is a ‘success’. Why aren’t most ‘offers’, or at least those of significant consequencial value, forced to be made with at least a picture of the item if indeed it is of value? Sure there are those who actually wish to ‘save the world’ a trash can at a time, or they’re giving away something that actually works and has some value left, but these are not the norm, and most people are giving away what they would consider fodder for a land fill. These ‘recycling’ resources aren’t going to save the world as much as products being made to be recycled in the first place, or recycling ‘stations’ or even people being allowed to ‘barter’ and trade instead for things of value, or even services. Nothing they do, no rules or restrictions or threats will ever guarantee satisfaction or justification for thinking they are saving the world, but there should definitely be as many opportunities for people to ‘reuse’ items of value as there are ways for people to share in our responsibility to recycle whatever we can.

  61. I am both relieved and sad to see that my Freecycle experience is not unique. The Reston/Herndon, Virginia Freecycle gives every indication of being run by the same group of control freaks that are discussed here. I was a member for six weeks, completed at least 20 transactions, nearly all of them OFFERS that went off with no problems. I never sent spam or violated any of the posted rules. Yet, I was still on moderation. I offered some bottled water that was past its expiration date, putting the OFFER as: “Sealed Bottled Non-Potable Water”. I mentioned that the water was probably best used for watering plants as it would undoubtedly taste off. I had the post edited and the words “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION (added by moderator)”. I’m not sure if the moderator didn’t know what the word “non-potable” meant, or they assumed that the members weren’t smart enough to know what the word meant or weren’t smart enough to use a dictionary. The moderators also “talked” down to members by referring to rule breaking as “naughty” or “bad behavior”. Freecycling is difficult enough to deal with pickup schedules and managing emails that come in without having to deal with moderators with personality disorders. It’s a shame because it’s a very noble idea that can benefit all parties involved – it just isn’t fair to have to pay for all those positives by putting up with moderators who are in it for control issues.

    Also, despite the death grip on the group, the moderators didn’t stop people from spamming the group with requests to join a Freecycle-like group in the area. That happened twice.

    Thank you for doing this blog post, Anne. Freecycle groups definitely seem to have repeated problems with treating their members with respect. Though with the lawsuit by the original creators, it seems like it’s something that’s ingrained in the training.

  62. Someone banned me from Freecycle ithout telling me they were going to or why. That is not right. About a week asgo I had someone hack my mail and send people some mail. I don’t know who or what. When I saw this I went straight to my page,and posted that it had happened and told everyone that if they got one NOT TO OPEN it. I thought that was the end of it. Then it happened again the other day. I posed again, then I went and changed my Yahoo password. That did’t do it. I have wrote the person at Freecycle and she sent me a link to suscribe again. That still says I am banned. I wrote her back, and she said that it was YAHOO. Can someone PLEASE help me???

    Thank you,
    Nancy Broome

  63. I’m done with Freecycle Omaha. I posted an offer. Everything went fine. Two weeks pass and try to log in to post another offer only to find that my account was banned. Screw them I say.

  64. Such a good idea, such bad implementation. Member of Freecycle in Adelaide, South Australia for years but just banned.

    I have given away a truck, openned up a furniture store to people, lots of computer gear, literally $1000s of dollars worth of stuff because that is what I do.

    This week I posted another 20 or so items in 4 emails as I found them during a shed clean out. All messages were blocked/ moderated as I sent to many offers?

    OK, so I asked Freecycle network about this, they stated that no group is permitted to fully moderate (as moderators FAQ states). I bough this to the attention of the moderators, so they banned me.

    What I really like is that I searched google for “freecycle fascists” and this page came up. Obviously no the only one with bad moderator experiences. Oh well, time to start a new system with minimal moderation and happy users, anyone interested in pitching in … ?

    A real shame freecycle is run this way …


  65. I have been a member of Orlando freecycle for a few years, 6 I believe. I have given away 4-6 things including a working stove, refrig, and a beautiful playground .I have asked for about 6-8 things over the years and received one of those things. The reason I explain all this is because I recently asked for something in a post correctly I might add. When it was not posted I inquired why? and was told I have not given enough things away. when I answered and explained I guess that is beacause I have 3 grown kids and I receycle everything to them because they are having hard times, I received a generatic reply that said please do not post about persoannal situations etc. I did not realize that freecycle moderators keep score, I thought it was a site for keeping things out of the landfills. It should not matter how you do that. If there is a required amount you MUST give away ,then they should put it in their rules, so as NOT to leave it up to judgemental moderators

  66. It sounds like your Moderator(s) are perfectionists.
    Many people have no initiative or are so scared of the odd mistake that they have to obey rules or guidelines exactly.
    Real control freaks don’t let anyone off moderation ever.
    Unfortunately the more rules and guidelines you have, the more you need tools to moderate, and the more time consuming it is.
    Sometime the “tools” are not working and some will not approve posts without them.
    However moderators are volunteers, usually with full time employment. They have emergencies, their internet goes down, holidays, and relatives to look after. Sometimes it is not possible to have someone available 24/7

  67. I’m in NC and joined one of the freecycle groups when I moved here. I went through the process and did everything I could to follow the rules. Over the course of the year that we’ve lived here and been a part of this freecycle community, I noticed that from time to time I would get multiple WANTED posts from a single email. Now it didn’t happen often but it would still happen. (Not once was the email removed, because I would still get posts from the email) So I following the example and I posted two different WANTED ads and was told that I was on the moderated list until further notice. I apologized, re-read the rules and moved on. After that I noticed that it would take HOURS for my OFFERs to be posted after I sent them to the moderators. In a few cases, it took more than a day. So I posted a few things to craigslist in order to offer them to someone. Well, I later got an email saying that I was no longer allowed to post to freecycle because I had sent a “TAKEN” email before the “OFFER” email had been posted. Ok, but if I sent the email monday morning (around 8am) and had not seen it posted to the group by monday night (around 1130pm) and I needed this particular item OUT OF MY HOUSE…what I was to do? So I told the moderator EXACTLY why I had choosen to take my item off the freecycle list and she never gave me a reason as to why my emails were not being posted in a timely fashion. So up until recently, I was given the chance to post to the group again (but on PERMANENT moderation-meaning they were going to read every single post), so this time I was being OVERLY careful. I was almost emailing them over every 5th post to make sure that I was following the rules of the group. I go away for Thanksgiving and come home last night to realize I forgot to post some kitchen items and I sent the email before I went to bed. I woke up to find out my posting privileges have been revoked yet again. I have NO IDEA WHAT I COULD’VE DONE THIS TIME!! It’s frustrating because I love the idea of freecycle. I’ve gotten an amazing sense of relief when someone has been able to use something that I don’t, without having to deal with the nonsense of trying to sell and haggle over it on craigslist. But I have no idea why these moderators are so power hungry. I’ve also met someone else who joined the community and who was later put on the moderators’ “trouble” list.

  68. I’m one of two moderators for my local group. I look out for spam and anything inappropriate. Although, a member should refrain from posting long stories about why they need an item, I don’t reject for that reason. I will reject if a member posts a wanted listing for the same item withing 30 days, and will edit posts containing phone numbers.

    Sorry, to hear you had a bad experience. Not all moderators are rude.

  69. My experience with the MODERATORS IN SAN FRANCISCO FREE CYCLE was that they (she) looks for any reason to admonish and send a NASTY emails threatening to ban a person from the list.I quit the list 2 years ago after an indecent like this and found ZERO help from the free cycle network to remedy the issue. These NAZI like moderators have truly has ruined a great concept.

  70. Sadly, it’s more about fiefdoms and control with many of these moderators than a heartfelt interest in the spirit of the program. Even sadder is that the Freecycle executive team refuse to offer assistance. None of my (very polite) emails were ever acknowledged. If I ran our online car club (over 500 members) this way, we’d lose everyone.

  71. I moved to a new area that didn’t have a Freecycle group for the suburban/country area. There was one in the biggest town, Beaumont, TX. So, I asked and was approved to start one for our area, based on the counties in the area. Everything was going well. I asked to be a member of the Beaumont group, was approved, etc. Then one day I saw a posting on there of someone wanting something that was being offered on mine. I think it was a freezer. I responded to that person to go to my site and see about the freezer. When the moderator from Beaumont got wind of this, she went ballistic. I got this email from her after she denied one of my wanted postings – I am a little stumped ! If there was a need for a group in Lumberton, why are you wanting the Beaumont members to join the Lumberton group ? What would be the point ? Everything would be double posted. What a headache ! I think you need to post to your group if you feel there is value in it. We have plenty of takers and askers already. I feel this is too confusing.Good luck with your group, it will grow little by little as ours did.
    Then, I get this email:
    Dear Freecycle(TM) Alumnus,

    Thanks for having helped to make The Freecycle Network the special thing that it is. Now that you have unsubscribed, please realize that it can take Yahoo Groups up to 3 days to process. Our apologies for the delay.

    Trying to unsubscribe or switch to “no e-mails” or any other change generally delays the process even more (add a day for each additional change). Best advice: grin and bear it and you’ll be free soon to continue your life beyond our little community online.

    May all your journeys be safe ones….

    Beaumont Freecycle(TM)

    I responded with – I did not unsubscribe???

    I asked again to subscribe and received this:

    Your request to join the beaumont_tx_freecycle group was not approved.
    The moderator of each Yahoo! group chooses whether to restrict
    membership in the group. Moderators who choose to restrict
    membership also choose whom to admit.

    Please note that this decision is final and that Yahoo! Groups
    does not control group membership.

    She sent me an email that said:

    You have your own list right ? That is your local group.

    I said:
    Yes, for the northern area. I have been a member of the Beaumont one and did not realize there would be a problem. I thought the reason for these boards were to reach more people and freecycle our belongings.

    So, I took it up a level and told them she did not approve me. I then used another email address and tried to get on.

    She sent this:
    What is the problem ? You have a group to freecycle through ! Build your group if enough isn’t going on.I started from 0 members. I have nearly 1700 members and about 20 offer stuff, so it is well spoken for. Nothing is going to waste. Your membership started May 26,2010 not a year ago. Now you want to sign up with a different address saying you are new to the area. Please do not contact me again, nor apply again or I will report your game playing.

    She started claiming she was the OWNER of the group. I reported her up the chain as far as it would go. She has on the front where you sign in “NO SOB STORIES”. What a B….

  72. I was approved for a freecycle group, then tried posting something and it said I was not a member. So I emailed the mod/owner and got back a reply the “manhattan beach has it’s own freecycle so join that one.” Snooty! I explained I work in the city I was trying to join and asked if my email handle was not manhattan beach, would I have been accepted? I’ve read many posts encouraging members to join several sub groups of freecycle but this person shot me down. And another person seemed ticked off I wrote “thanks for freecycling” because she said it’s “freesharing, not freecycling” and that she didn’t like freecycle or something. I thought it was the same thing? Freecycle, freesharing, reuseit, etc. To keep stuff out of landfills! And one more complaint is that some messages take forever to be approved so that is annoying. It should be like other groups with mods always floating and watching over the group but not approving each and every message and intervening when necessary.

  73. I was stating the location of the four Lafayette Freecycle groups listed on the website because I was, in effect, asking the original poster where their Lafayette group was located. I guess I should have asked the question directly. Sometimes people get confused and the person’s group might still exist.

  74. The Freecycle concept is good, but the process for how each area is managed is so fraught with problems and abuse, it’s not worth the effort. Until the Freecycle management curtails the local abuses by listening to the complaints of the average user, this will never be a success.

  75. It seems if the orig author says Lafayette is ‘no longer avail’ it would not be one of the 4 still showing on FC. I had a similar situation–twice. First time the site was just gone, no emails, nothing. I had been a user for several months and had been active. This week it happened again but I had tons of email welcoming/posting/etiquette etc. Then tons more about leaving/why did I leave with links backt ot the site that was no longer there. When I looked at the links I thought maybe link had changed but–nothing! One even referred to their Facebook page–nothing! I think this may be the work of a lunatic mod, I had been told she was a problem but they had not been able to get rid of her. Well, maybe FC powers that be took care of that! I have not found out what happened yet. (play here: Twilight Zone theme song!)

  76. There are four Lafayette Freecycles:

    Lafayette, Georgia
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Lafayette County, Missouri
    Lafayette, Indiana & Tippecanoe County – Indiana

    They are all listed on

    You can search for your desired one there.


  77. I would like to know why our Lafayette freecycle is no longer available.I have given & received lots of stuff from the site & miss not having it anymore. When will we get it back????

  78. I was removed from the Derry NH freecycle group because I put myself on no mail. I wans’t given a chance to switch to daily digest. The moderator just went ahead and removed me.

  79. First I just wish they would drop all the damn rules. If people don’t want my coupons they can just ignore those posts, but no they decided we can’t post coupons, or codes, or plants, or animals… and on and on. You can’t post more than three items at once in our group and the mod thinks that means you can’t ask for either a red, blue, green, or purple skirt even if you write in bold letters I ONLY NEED ONE OF ANY OF THESE (just an example), but it’s okay for some idiot to ask for 100 pumpkins (actually requested). Not to mention that some people are moderated and others are not. I’ve been a member for about6 years and I’m being moderateed even though I’ve never been in any problem but I was being moderated?! Meanwhile there was someone asking for a bed, dressers, washer, dryer, fridge, and stove. Obviously they weren’t watching everybody’s posts. I don’t care if someone asks for 100 anything. I’ll just ignore their greedy ass! Why does FreeCycle even need moderators? Let the adults ask for and give away whatever they like.

  80. I just left our freecycle group. We had one mod that was great and made people feel welcome and ran things by the rules and then we had another who ran things her way. She is an absolute control freak who ALWAYS finds some thing wrong with EVERY post sent through. She denied my neighbor for no reason at all and is just mean and like I said tried to control everyone. Well our good mod left and with her leaving everyone else will also. What is crazy is since our controlling mod became a mod there has been maybe at the most 20 posts go through and that has been for many years so with our good mod leaving I am sure NO ONE will be using our towns freecycle any more.

  81. I had 2 instances of ridiculousness (?). My grandchildren live out of state and I go to visit often. One FC let me in, for a while, then kicked me out bec I asked for the same thing 2x in a certain time frame, I was warned 1x & then kicked out. A few months later I posted again (w/diff email & physical address) and was rej again because I did not answer a survey or questionairre she had sent (limit of time was like 24 hrs or so)I looked into my Spam folder and there it was. I sent an email and was essentially told ‘tough sh@t’. So I sent and email to the owner of the list and immed got a nice Welcome to FC Group! I dont know if this was 2 diff people but each 1 came from diff email addr, which is not hard to do. The Moderator is one who has been mentioned on here more than once though!
    I live in Detroit area and we have lots of groups. I joined 4-5 locally. One kicked me out when I listed an offer w/my own city. Mod says they want to keep the group for the local folks so I joined again, used my brothers addr and a diff email than before. Now I never post Offers, just Wants or just scan the posts for stuff I want.

  82. We were moving house and rather than throw things away I thought I’d use freecycle to let others have what we didnt want anymore.
    The joining process was sooooo long winded that we had moved before finally getting a message from the Milton Keynes moderator to say I hadnt replied to their request for information so I wasnt allowed to join, even though I did fill out and return their (to me) pointless questionaire !.
    Net result, all our household items that couldn have been use by others went to the local tip… what a waste !

  83. I’m a business owner who wants to get rid of a lot of good bus. equipment to someone who can use it.

    Tried to join my local group (Ventura, CA) and got a nutcase moderator who insisted that I answer all her “anti-spam” questions accordingly to her liking. They were fairly bizarre questions – all subjective.

    I played along and got 4 out of 5 right. We exchanged several emails and she finally refused to allow me to join, because “it would be unfair to those who answered all correctly”.

    Clear example of fiefdom if I ever saw one.

  84. People in my old group would both ask for and give away computers, e readers, flat screen tvs. Then there were those that offered up a half eaten bag of chips. And yes people would take the chips. It was amusing and a good group. The problem was folks started asking for “NEW” stuff and the Nazi like moderator aka Mr Ed. Free cycle apparently empowered this little man to the point of being an online bully. I since moved to los altos much better than cupertino.

  85. People NOT posting wanteds are not a problem for me. I could care less if they are greedy and ask a lot, or if they sell it later. I prefer to keep all sticks out of my own ass. I tend to walk better that way. When I have crap I want OUT of my house, the faster it gets gone, the better. No shows/whiners/control freaks are EASY to deal with (although they do piss me off royally) – iggy their email. Done and done.

  86. Bob, I wanna be a part of whatever group you were in! Sounds like they give away things much nicer than the old clothes, empty butter tubs, and broken weed whackers that get posted in our group. :) Sorry, I just can’t buy your thought that some people can’t afford to give ANYTHING. If they’re that destitute, perhaps internet shouldn’t be on the monthly budget list… But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

    I never said I didn’t respond to wanteds. If I have whatever it is to spare, I’ll happily respond and have yet to have someone not show up that way. As far as how I choose those who get the things I offer, the way I’ve been doing it works. Thanks for your suggestion though! In the event, I stop having people who give as well as take respond to my offers, I’ll have a back up plan :)

  87. Little Bit: Silly me I always believed it was better to give than to receive and not nice to judge others based on what they might be able to give. Based on your giving agenda those that are most in need stay there and those that don’t need so much (since they can give) get the most. I’m not religous but my guess is you should stay away from lightening. Maybe your group could compose a list of no shows and post that on some local site and shame them. Could be fun for awhile. Seriously, when you get noshows add their mail name to your spam list and you will never get a request from them again and your group can rise above all that accounting effort.

  88. Bob, obviously it’s up to the person offering the item whether a responder has offered enough. Making it a requirement that receivers kiss your feet and whatnot is a bit extreme, but a quick search to see if someone gives as well as takes… I don’t think that’s too much. I have several friends within the group and they all do the same thing. We found that we have way fewer no shows than we did before. I guess people who know how much of a pain it is will make more of an effort to show up.

  89. little bit, In your group, who determines those that give things often enough to receive and how often does one have to give to make it to that list? Seems like a freecycle within a freecycle. If you got a noe show the offer to the next, or better yet say it’s on the curb and first one gets it. One reason I left freecycle is that some in my group would only “give” to those that expressed a humble appreciation for her generousity and she would post that in her offer. Freecycle is to give away stuff you don’t want. I put it on the curb for the garbage man. sometimes to goodwill. Freecycle advocates have serious issues that they need to address.

  90. MamaSue, You should leave them there anyway. No shows are such a problem in our group (and mods wont do anything about it) that many of us will only give the things we’re offering to those who offer things often as well.

  91. I have been reading old posts here and this one is similar to my complaint: was recently rejected for a “wanted” because your first post needs to be an offer… I deleted my first post when it was gone. From now on I will only leave them there or will mark them Gone or Taken so she can see that I have previously posted.

  92. Yeah, I ended up finally just going to another group that was close by. Lucky me. I live on the East Coast in VA, and towns run into each other, so it’s not like I didn’t have alternatives (rolling eyes). Hey, as an aside, don’t you just love when you try to give something, and some people respond with all THEIR requirements regarding scheduling, etc.? Maybe I just don’t have enuf patience….

  93. Well it looks like the cupertino moderator reads these boards as well. Moderator Mr. E. A. (the nazi storm trooper wannabe) decided to continue telling me how wrong I am and how right he is. This is of course after I unsubscribed from his concentration group. Fortunately thre is a los altos group that appears less frigid. To those that have problems, try another group if you can. The shack jobs like my old moderator can be avoided.

  94. When I forward “curb alerts” posts to the moderators I am responded with a basically mind my own business. When I ask them how these posts get in are they on unmoderated status or just overlooked I am also treated very rudely. When I ask repeatedly to be put on “unmoderated” status since I never broke any of their “rules” they are quick to respond to me that because I post in mostly all caps that I will continue to be put on a moderated status. When I explained that my keyboard is old and I am disabled I was told by one moderator to get a type as I talk program. Nice huh? I also asked them why don’t they “delete” curb alerts so that other posters don’t see them and think it’s ok and I was then threatened with being removed from the group. Most moderators are such asses and I think these are the folks that were bullied all their lives and don’t know how to communicate in an adult rational manor. I am thinking of leaving Freecycle as it’s run very badly and it’s a “do as I say” type of mentality.

  95. Freecycle is also badly designed. The design is split halfway between a yahoo group, and halfway between a badly designed website.

    It should either be a yahoo group OR a standalone website.

    The moderators are mostly inefficient lazy control freaks.

  96. I have been able to offer many things on freecycle and never had a problem. Now I am looking for something. I posted that I would borrow it or pass it on. The moderator blasted me because we don’t borrow here, I posted again and mistakenly put my phone number down. I got blasted again by the moderator because we don’t use phone numbers here. If this moderator was even remotely polite I would be okay, unfortunately this moderator is akin to a nazi storm trooper. I am done with freecycle, now I put it on the street in the trash and could care less about passing it on. The cupertino moderator, don’t know the person’s name because they are hiding behind the mail alias, is a terrible moderator and should be stripped of his/her power.

  97. Did Tom move to Hingham, MA and change the initials to JSP?
    I call it “little” people syndrome.
    Give “little” people, a “little” power and look out. Less than 2 months-I give up. I believe they call it “leave the group”. Keep their free stuff. Honestly, I drive by trash that has more recycling appeal! And now I know.

  98. Wow, the .org thing is news. Really don’t see it. Would be like lending an air of legitimacy or respectability to what seems like just one big cliquish yard sale.

  99. Does anyone know why Freecycle is changing from a to a group? One of the groups I follow has just dropped off the system, I cant find them on either site.

  100. I responded to an offer once on the PORTSMOUTH, VA freecycle, and she gave me her address. When I got there, for some strange reason no one answered the door. But when I emailed her, oops, there she was. She kept telling me she was home, and to knock on the door again. This went on back and forth for an hour, and then she sends me an email telling me, oops, she gave me the wrong apartment? Can you say Twilight Zone? I was really angry at this point and told her who the heck gives a wrong apartment number to their own apartment, and that I was going to file a complaint against her. So I get home, and I have an email from the Portsmouth, VA “moderator”, telling me I can’t abuse other members, and that I am being kicked off the list, and that she was going tell all the other mods in the area about me. ??? Is my name Alice, and did I fall down a hole somewhere? Seriously not worth it. I do, however, love the idea of my own list, and am considering making one. Too easy to do, to make freecycle worth any serious notice. Surely not worth wasting my time.

  101. How do I unsubscribe to Freecycle? I never get a reply to an offer.

  102. Email with your complaints. Send copies of the rude emails. State your case calmly and concisely. It takes a lot of complaints to build a case if the group is on Yahoo as Freecycle can no longer get them closed down.
    All it can do is
    Offer training
    Offer help
    Open up a new group on their own server and break all connextion with the Yahoo group.

  103. @Disenfranchised: Unfortunately, you really don’t have any recourse but to leave Freecycle. These insufferable Nazis on their little power trips ruin the service. If they’re actually accountable to anyone, I haven’t seen it. I would have loved to report our fascist moderator here in South King County, WA (see posts 41 and 42). She pulled the same crap on me that you’ve been dealing with. I was told my actions were “inexcusable” and was put on permanent moderation — for answering a newbie’s question about the service in the Freecycle forum. That’s right … helping someone else use the service was an “inexcusable” act that placed me on permanent moderation.

    I just use Craigslist now. And there are other Freecycle-type mailing lists out there to pick from, too.

  104. Anybody else having problems with the Arlington TX Freecycle moderator? I think her name is Hilda something. She has been exceptionally rude to me and now I’m the target of her personal vendetta. I joined about 4 months ago after hearing about Freecycle. Since then, I have posted over 3 dozen “offers” and over a half-dozen “wanteds”. Almost all of the offers have been taken and only received ONE wanted. I have UNintentionally broken the rules twice: once I posted my cell # into the body of the “offer” and another time offered to “trade back the favor” for an item I wanted. Both times I received horrific, personalized retorts by email. I have complied both times and never violated the rules again. (And I’ve had nothing but positive interactions with the dozens of members I’ve dealt with.) After the 2nd rude email, I sent her back a reply saying I didn’t appreciate the way she was treating me and that she could have said it nicer and that I would follow every single rule. Well, since then, I’ve been on constant moderation…that’s more than 2 months now. I just posted some Hannah Montana bed sheets and bathroom items and put pics and had over 15 responses. Well, after 2 days she posted the ad, but continued to keep the pics “in moderation”. I sent an email to her today asking why the moderator was treating me this way and she fired back, with a grudge and a laundry list of personal reasons why she doesn’t like me, that “I’ve broken the rules twice and disliked the way the moderator treated me (duh) and that I will likely be on permanent moderation”. WTF? Yeah, I broke tiny rules, to which I gave my first born child in apologetic sacrifice to this demi-god, and followed the rules ever since. (ANYONE on the planet would have been offended by such a rude email from a moderator so why does she include that in the reasons to “hate me” and “keep me in moderation”?) So, basically, I’ve been blacklisted. What are my options? Join much farther away groups just to avoid her? Is there someone higher up I can complain to? Help! I don’t want to give up on the idea of Freecycle. I know it works and that I’m not the only one in this group to have had problems (benefit of having interaction from other members when picking up stuff). It’s just the fascist moderator that ruins it for everybody on this group. Thanks for your suggestions.

  105. I just want to say THANK YOU to ALL who have spoken up Against These God Complex, Narcissistic, Control Freak, Freecycle Moderators. I sadly confess that AT FIRST, I let my A-Hole Sarasota, FL Moderator (Janine-Lynn) make me feel bad when she Booted me off FC for simply & Politely Pointing out that she was mistaken about one of the rules. She didn’t even bother to look into whether I was right or not. Just booted me off. But Now in Hind-Sight, after reading ALL the Reviews on these Power Hungry, and Mostly Down Right Stupid Moderators; I look at being Off FC as a Blessing. Take care everyone~ Patrick

  106. Thank goodness I am not the only person who is sick of power-tripping Freecycle moderators. I left the Arlington, VA group because I was fed up with the moderator, Kate Sweet’s inconsistent enforcing of the rules, which can be stupid anyway. There is also the rule of only asking for one item, not listing 2, or more. Well I don’t how many times I’ve seen WANTED posts asking for more than one item! My personal experience that finally made me leave was that when I reported a bad freecycler (gave away an item that I already arranged and confirmed to pick up to someone else), she didn’t think anything of it! REALLY!? Oh, and SS Officer Kate Sweet is fond of moderating free speech as well as Freecycle. Apparently saying “thanks for nothing” to a bum freecycler is considered obscene. Worthless!

  107. The whole playgroundsuper thing sucks, but it’s good to know it wasn’t just me. I had run-ins with Playground Super when he moderated the Oakland group. I could never get my freakin’ posts approved. The craziest one was when I posted a WANTED ad for used plastic grocery bags for an environmental art project I was working on. This was back when Oakland had just passed its plastic bag ban (which was fought by the plastics industry) and my work was in support of that ban. Playground Super disallowed my post because it was now Illegal to ask for plastic bags in Oakland. WHAT? It was illegal for stores to give them out. The new law had nothing to say about what people could do with the plastic bags they already had. I tried to explain to Playground Super that I was trying to save plastic bags from the landfill, and he told me I should go to Safeway and take bags out of their recycling bin instead. WTF?

    So anyway, I’m glad to know that Playground Super is no longer moderating Freecycle groups. But that doesn’t help me right now.

    I was just denied admission to SF Freecycle. Well, back up. I joined in 2007 and had several successful experiences. Then, in 2009 I was kicked off and didn’t even know it. I received a computer generated email saying they were sad I had decided to leave, and I was all, “Wait! I’m not leaving.” But then I forgot all about it until this month when I tried to join again. I just figured there had been some kind of weird computer glitch.

    No, it turns out they kicked me out because of a typo in an email I sent, and then they didn’t bother to let me know why. I had posted an ad on SF Freecycle the day after posting the same ad on Berkeley Freecycle and getting no response. The SF mod sent me an email suggesting I use the East Bay groups instead of SF, since I live in Oakland. I explained that it’s convenient for me to pick up items at any BART station (which is utterly true since I don’t have a car) and then stated that I did post in East Bay groups and only posted in SF when I didn’t get results. I just found out last week that my membership was revoked because they checked and discovered I didn’t post in East Bay Groups (plural) but one East Bay Group (singular) and that cross posting the very next day might have been technically truthful but that my intention was to lie.

    And this moderator knows my intentions because he/she can read my mind, right? I didn’t realize I had to wait longer than a day to cross post. He could have just explained it. I also didn’t realize I’d typed “groups” instead of “group”. I have ADHD. I mistype things all the time! Is that a reason to kick someone out and not tell them why? I could understand putting me on moderation. But removing my membership for a freakin’ typo and misunderstanding?

    This whole thing is so ironic because I’m an environmental activist blogger constantly promoting Freecycle to keep stuff out of teh landfill. Moderators like this defeat the whole purpose of Freecycle.

  108. P/S Let me just add that I have never been removed from my local Freecycle site and the Moderator “John” is mixing me up with someone else. How nasty he is. It’s scary to know how he reacts when I was being nice about letting them know there were many posts that were against guidelines that got thru and they don’t see them or delete them. Ok so why have rules then??? Starting to think Freecycle is not for me anymore..too much natizism by the Moderators there.

  109. Ok Here’s what I sent to my local Moderators:


    There have been many of these kinds of posts and “curb alert” post and spam on the Framingham Freecycle site. I am not getting a response from the Moderators there as to how it gets posted and why they don’t delete what slipped thru. Could you please respond to me? Thank you.


    ..and here’s how me responded back to me:
    Thank you so much for informing the volunteer moderators of this unmoderated post in such a friendly, timely and professional manner.

    Your help is appreciated.

    The reason you’re not getting a “clear response” is that you’re not a moderator, you didn’t ask for any response, and we kicked you out once already for being such a pain in the rear that you had to sneak back in with another name. We’re not -about- to send you updates on things related to being a moderator.

    Please don’t make us remove you from the group again.

    If you send ANY more email about this, other than notifying us about a post, you’ll be removed without notice.

    \john, a freecycle moderator

    Did I deserve to be spoken to like that?
    Of course not. Obviously this John has mental issues and I am shocked that he is kept on as a moderator. Talk about control freak huh? Well.. after he sent me that rude resply I sent him an earful and am sure I am booted off by now..No’s SOOOO easy to get back in with another name. What’s the point of booting members anyways? I have forawrded his reply and waged a complaint to the owner of Freecycle. Not expecting to get a reply from them but boy did it feel good and justified!

  110. here is an interesting twist, lets see how the moderators on here try to spin this ….
    I have gone head to head with my local moderator, not so much about the rules, is 1) she could be nice about it 2) she could also follow her own rules…
    But knowing i was moving out of the area (1hr away) I let it go and posted on Craigslist when ever she got her undies in a bunch. Right as I was moving I applied to the group that serves my new area and was DECLINED…hmm… no explanation. I contacted a moderator of another group I am in ( not moderated by the tyrant) and she had no idea either… well… I used another email account I have and was accepted.
    I promptly made the same offerings in the same format as previously rejected and the posts went thru with no problem…
    Then I see a post from the “tyrant” and realize she is the moderator of this group as well!!!!
    Holy moly! that explains why I was declined. She has no idea this other ID is me and I assume she would boot me out if she were to find out…I am going to continue to use the same approved formula and see if/when she rears her ugly head…

  111. I dont mind following the rules, and if I forget I dont mind a reminder… what I mind is a nasty gram that is harsh and unnecessary, while the moderators posts dont even follow the same rules :

    ie I set some things out for a free for all.. posted it to be from noon to sunset… was not only denied but sent a fowl languaged “warning” because I didnt have a specific end time though this was my first offense.. yet she, to this day ( just last weekend), posts free for alls that go from x time to “when its all gone” or “sunset”

    who is going to bust her for not following the rules?

    and then there was one she denied that she admitted did not break ANY rules but she made assumptions about the listing and thought it was safer if I didnt post it
    ( I was moving and had a TON to give away, she assumed I was being thrown out of my house and didnt want people in the area to know)
    Really? I dont need your protection or assumptions I was NOT thrown out of my house I merely chose a smaller place and didnt need extra rooms of furniture.

    But again I have no recourse… except to post in on Craigslist and forget trying to gift things on the site that, while has good intentions, is being controlled by pedantic egomaniacs.

  112. Totally agree with Jennifer. So far we’ve gone from “every post is moderated” in your first message to “the posting that they dictate is 7 am to 12 am” and “Their friends are allowed to post at odd hours”. You’ve lost credibility by obviously exaggerating. “Every post” can’t be moderated if people are posting at odd hours and the moderators told you they aren’t returning the “offending” members to supervised status. Although, any moderator worth their salt should have told you it was none of your business when you asked if the people were being placed under moderation again. I would certainly hope moderators have some level of confidentiality expected.

    Anyway, you should have maybe tried reading the groups rules regarding posting. Due to earlier exaggerations I find it a bit hard to believe that you were posting with the “exact” same format and if so, like I said before, it was probably an unmoderated member that didn’t post correctly to begin with. Had you been familiar with the rules you would have known how to post, and what things weren’t allowed and you wouldnt have had any problems. The “but other people did it” excuse is poor and, honestly, pretty childish.

    From the way it sounds, you’re a member of several groups in your area so no worries of missing out on items to give and receive. Just make sure you know how the rules for the groups you’re a member of so you don’t have a problem again. Lesson learned :)

  113. I see. Anyone who disagrees with you must, therefore, be a moderator? That’s pretty circular logic to me.

    I have had nothing but good experiences with Freecycle moderators.

    Yes, the rules state that you should be removed from moderation if you post correctly. However, moderators have the right to place anyone back on moderation who do not follow their group’s particular rules. From what you said, I can understand perfectly why you were removed from that particular group.

    Moderators are volunteers and you should be as courteous to them as you are in any other Freecycle transaction.

  114. Wow Jennifer, you sure do have an extremely low opinion of me. The reason I am upset with the moderators (I guess if I am “irate” with you as you predicted it is because you ARE one of the moderators) is because I was a member for over 5 years with several successful posts, still moderated even though with successful posts I should have been taken off moderation (according to freecycle rules), and kept seeing posts that were allowed yet when I follow the EXACT format mine were rejected. It is like being in school or submitting a government (or corporate) form, following a “form” that is accepted but the one submitted being constantly rejected.

    I guess if you were in my shoes you would be irate at the moderators too. But if you are one of the moderators you would probably be one of the dictator moderators as well. That is just based on the tone of your statement.

  115. Ans,

    The most likely reason for your 2 AM post not being approved for five hours is that moderators have to sleep sometimes, too.

    If I was a moderator, I certainly wouldn’t appreciate a member who continutally tried to make trouble as you seem to enjoy doing. I’m sure I’ll receive an irate response to this from you.


  116. Ans- How do you know the moderators aren’t putting the person back on moderation? You can see easily if it was something that was “allowed” to go through by a moderator by clicking the “full headers” button in the email. It will list the email of the person who approved the message. If there isn’t an email listed, it wasn’t “allowed”.

  117. Ans- How do you know the moderators aren’t putting the person back on moderation? You can see easily if it was something that was “allowed” to go through by a moderator by clicking the “full headers” button in the email. It will list the email of the person who approved the message.

  118. I applied for membership and was denied with no explanation. I am a little shocked, just because why? This is a place to help others and the environment and the I think the more people involved the better. Oh, well I guess it is time to stop complaining and make our own group. And I do agree with answer 244. I am sure this has a lot to do with it. I want to help those less greedy.

  119. Dear Darothea, the fact that the moderaotrs allow posts to go through and don’t allow mine is the issue here. I am familiar with Yahoo groups and know that they can very easily put the “offending” member back on moderation as well as let my posts go through.

    This is a matter of principle since the moderators continually refuse my posts to the forums but allow the same type posts to go through – and from people whom I have never seen post before.

  120. Dear Ans, Please understand that moderators aren’t allowed to have the entire group moderated except in “emergency situations”. Perhaps you’re seeing posts from members who aren’t moderated. Just something to think about.

  121. Cobb Freecycles moderators are dictator moderators as well. I have tried following “approved” posts and had them sent back to me because I didn’t include the zip code or city in the subject line. Well, duh, neither did the one I copied but they were “approved” and I wasn’t.

    Even though the moderators say they don’t get “first dibs” on items I honestly don’t believe them. The posting that they dictate is from 7 am to 12 am. Their friends are allowed to post at odd hours of the early morning. I tried posting something at 2 am and it didn’t show up until 5 hours later. This, in my opinion, is so that the moderators can have “first dibs” because they have a heads up jump on the items. If they don’t have “first dibs” they alert their friends to items.

    The Cobb freecycle is in a hub of several different cities. There are 4 freecycle forums that overlap. Susan, the moderator at Cobb (love her email address: disposablebrain at aol) stated that she receives emails from people on the forum thanking her for not allowing corss posting. Hmmm … she likes emails? I can send emails. :)

    After having multiple emails sent back because of ultra-moderating I got fed up and started showing them the posts they allow and how my posts were no different (since Susan said that she receives emails … ). I even showed them a cross-post. Guess I shouldn’t have mirrored their emails with posts they allow. I was booted off the forum.

    I have talked with the GOA and she, another (or is it the same?) Susan said that the moderators haven’t done anything in violation of Freecycle rules so she can’t do anything. What constitutes violating freecycle rules? Dictatorship moderation? Over moderation? Or is it something totally different? Inquiring minds want to know!

  122. Evidently there are A LOT of problems with Freecycle Moderators. My attempts at posting Offers and Wanted items on the Cobb Freecycle have ended with Susan, the main moderator, removing me from the group. She didn’t like the fact that I sent the moderator group an email concerning their overmoderation and dictatorship moderation. All I sent were Freecycle’s Moderator Rules.

    I would post an offer and list inside the post where I was located. That is accepted, right? After all, there are several on the list like that. Nope, I am wrong – that format is for the priviledged few.

    In the Cobb area there are several groups that overlap. I posted a Wanted ad on several and the Cobb moderators said that I couldn’t post it because it was cross-posting. How would they know it was cross posting when it was posted at 2 am? Because they preview every post before they “allow” it on the Cobb board. Are they getting first dibs? Makes me think so!

    Why was I booted? Because I kept pointing out Offers that had no zip code or city listed in the subject line and, evidently the last straw, I pointed out a cross-post that had been allowed. Hmmm, wonder if it was one of the moderators since it was posted at 2am and “normal” people’s posts only occur between 7am and 12 am.

    In my personal removal letter Susan said that the moderators don’t need to feel like they are moderated. Susan, sweetie, you are on the web. Everything you say and do is being moderated, evaluated, and examined. If you don’t like that, get off of the internet!

    In order to get in touch with Freecycle you should email help at freecycle dot org … also to get in touch with the person in charge of the moderators of your state you should email (your state name) at freecycle dot org.

  123. I have posted so many “OFFERS” on the Tracy, Ca freecycle I can’t count. I posted a chair as an offer. Apparently I made the mistake of saying in the discription that the chair was new and still had the $250.00 price tag on it. I was NOT looking to sale the chair. It was CLEARLY posted as an OFFER! The mod was such a witch. She banned me from using freecycle in Tracy. She sent me a really nasty message calling me illiterate saying I can’t read or I would have read the “rules”. As far as I could knew even after reading the “rules”, I didn’t break any! I reported her to a guy named Joe and he agreed with her saying I shouldn’t have listed the chairs price. What a bunch of snobby, no good, miserable….@sses! At least email me politely and give me a chance to change it if you don’t like it. I posted it on Craigslist as I do all my items now or I take them off to Goodwill. I did read you’re rules people. It was clear in the title and the discription it was an offer. Just remember, what goes around comes around. Your nasty behavior will eventually come back and bite you in the butt. You’re ruining it for so many people who really just want to help out.

  124. Yep. It’s easy for these arseholes as there is no comeback. if freecycle was any good it would have a complaints procedure

  125. I have to echo Jeni Williams’ comment about Westminster, MD’s Freecycle. It was always over-moderated and simply has gotten worse to the point very few things go up. I ended my membership last week after three of my posts were rejected (even though they complied within the “standards”). I joined other local Freecycles (including Sykesville) and visit Craigslist instead.

  126. I just became a moderator of my local group and I’m sitting here stunned that some moderators are like this!! Please know not all groups operate this way – and I promise I won’t be a tyrant for my local group =) I’m sorry that these bad apples are spoiling a wonderful way for people to recycle items. I would hope that all of you have reported your moderators to freecycle, I would hope they would care and take some action.

  127. I have been a very active donater in my area (being as i assist hoarders in clearing their houses)
    So when I learned I was moving to rural wisconsin- I looked up the local freecycle group. Being rural its by county, not by town. So I ask to join – stating that as of next week I will be living in X(tiny town no one has heard of in your county) and want to have this membership so I can offer things as I unpack (and find I may not have room for them)
    I was DECLINED. No reason, Nothing. WTH???? I posted months ago that Craigslist is easier to deal with and it looks like what I will be forced to use. Funny thing is, I can see some of the wanted posts – and I HAVE two of those items… TOO BAD FREECYCLE!
    Pompous a$$es

  128. I’ve just given away loads of nice things to many people in Exeter (Devon, UK), who all went away so happy, and then I got a VERY rude message from the moderator Ivan, saying that I should be listing the location in the subject. I have never done this before, and most people don’t, so I replied that I simply hadn’t realised, and would do so in future. He instantly sent me another VERY rude reply, saying ‘just do it, without the sarcasm’.. !
    I have a car, and I can easily take all this stuff to the skip. So maybe I’ll stop using Freecycle altogether, if this is how I’ll be treated for recycling stuff. :(

  129. I have been rejected from even joining twice. The first time I was rejected I misunderstood their rules on redistribution and privacy, fair enough, but I was snubbed by the moderator when I came back with my response that i am fine with that and understood. The 2nd time I didnt even get an explanation. I do community art projects and come across stuff all the time which I give away. The application is like a Job interview except you dont KNOW its a job interview. They are so freaked out about being leeched by people, but the style is soooo snotty nosed and arrogant. Their loss I guess.

  130. UGh, ok, so I learn after a couple of years that the same person that lists all the “illegal” postings ( the ones that break the rules) is also the moderator. No coincidence that all the “juicy” postings are taken ( rumor has it) by the same moderator before the posts hit our inbox. ( I have befriended a few and and the mod has contacted them for things that have not yet been released.

    Then the same mod REJECTS my FreeForAll post because it lists a start time but no end time. Instead of saying “hey we need an end time” she rejects it with a snotty remark. I ask why is an endtime required? there is no assumption of any items still being there 5 min or 5hrs after the start time…. she got snottier…
    I posted it on Craigslist… I am so tired of FC… oh today my mod finally released my posting from my free for all, now that all the ites are gone, probably in retaliation for my not fixing the posting and putting it on Craigslist instead… control freaks….

    oh… also was recently rejected for a “wanted” because your first post needs to be an offer… WTF???? my first post was a HUGE freeforall posted long before this mod (different than above) was even a member so dont be so freakin quit with the reject button, so your dang homework!!!

  131. RE: Newton MA, USA Freecycle

    The moderator only posts wanted and offers from people she likes! Several times I have sent items for either or and she has never posted them.

    I will never use freecycle again!

  132. a GREAT alternative to freecycle is Craigslist. The “Free” heading in your desired town is a great place to offer free iems.

  133. Here at St. John`s Freecycle in Canada we have a Moderator with a god Complex. He says we aren`t allowed to post àny Wanted ads for entire months at a time. Only Offers!

    Is that a god, or a hitler complexÉ In either case it is against the rules of the Moderators Manual.

  134. dee348@sbcglobal is a freecycle hog. she’s never ever given even the most minute item yet she’s johnny on the spot to take stuff all of the time. If she contacts you, don’t let her have your stuff. she must have the emails ring to her cell-how else would she get most everything that’s posted ? (Spfld, IL)

  135. I have to agree with alot of the gripes against some of the Freecycle Groups, I live borderline Riverside/San Bernardino Co, I have gained more than one groups, usually the ones that allow you to join are more realistic, the more people you have, the more they have to offer & the more we all share, too bad these snotty little Bitches don’t get that philosophy. I was denied by Freecycle Corona, and Riverside Freecycle, (moderators too much of a coward to post their name (Both California), wow I can’t believe I got denied. Here’s part of the reasons why they reject you:
    Out of Area. Our members were polled and have agreed that they would like to keep our group within the local area. Some other Freecycle groups accept members from various regions but, keeping with member requests, we do not. If you need assistance finding a group near you, please visit to find a group closer.
    So basically they are selfish people who only want to share amoungst people like them, snotty & selfish, unwilling to share and be Freecycle Gods, OMG! Its a fricken Group!! not a colony! Jesus those people need get a grip! anyhow I’m glad I was denied, I hate to be stuck w/their bullshsssss rules and playing nazi games w/me, I thought the whole point was to recycle, not play “chief & indians” like they do… ridiculous.

  136. So, I have repeatedly informed the mod(s) at Puyallup Area Freecycle that some idiot keeps SPAMMING me after I post wanteds. SPAM emails direct me to They refuse to notify the group that these folks are NOT associated with Freecycle. Other Freecycle groups around the country (I have googled this issue) have warned their members about this, but for some reason, Puyallup Area Freecycle won’t. I’m wondering if anybody is actually moderating it at all? I’m going to test it by sending out the warning myself.

  137. Just an FYI. The moderator “Beth” that others have spoken of, is Varina. Varina is…Vstone, varinamichaelis, Beth and VarinaM. I’m sure there are others she goes by too! Varina also likes to tell people not to give any stories as to why they may want an item. Yet Varina ALWAYS gives a song and dance as to why she wants something. More often than not it’s some kind of story around her kids. The items she wants have nothing to do with special needs children. By the way she is not the only Freecycler that has a special needs child.It’s really pathetic that she has to use her children for HER gain.

  138. I have also noticed tha Varina has abused the site and does not follow the rules. She also told me that the site is not for charity and asking for expensive items. I rarely askeds for anything and when I did it was very simple cheap items. When I told her that I noticed she was not following her own rules also asking for multiple wanted items using different names, she blocked my email so that I couldnt use the site any more. She started to pick on me when I tried to post an offer and didnt quite use the correct title. I should have used offer livermorefreecycle and I useds livermorefreecycle offer. I then tried to repost the offer to the pleasanton site since livermore made it so hard to post. Next thing I know, she sends me a nasty email telling me that I am only allowed to post the offer item once. I thought that since my original offer was not accepted, that this was my only post for the item. Well, I guess in her feeble little mind I did try to post twice. Never mind the fact that the posting was never approved. I gave the item away on Craigslist. Varina did tell me that one of the reasons that she posts so many wanted requests is because she has a special needs child and needs the equipment for the child. I did try to remind her of her own words that the site is not a charitable site and asking for multiple expensive items is not allowed. But my email came back as blocked. I do agree that she can dish it out but doesn’t like being called on the carpet. They should have somebody that moderates the moderators.

  139. Here’s my two cents about the Livermore California moderater “Varina”. She is now apparently the moderater for Pleasanton and San Ramon. First of all I respect anyone that that donates their time for any group of any kind. I do not respect anyone that uses a group for their own personal gain. I have “offered” many items on freecycle as well as “taken”. I will no longer use freecycle as Varina has abused her position as moderater. I once offered something and Varina responded (along with many other people) wanting the item. I gave the item to a responder and posted that it had been taken. Varina then emailed me and said she knew she was the first one to respond and I should have given it to her. I did read the rules and it says no such thing. I did not give her a reply as she was supposed to know the rules. I have also picked things up from Varinas home. Everyday she has a load of stuff out front for pick up. After some investigating I see she is claiming just about everything from freecyclers, then deciding if she “really” wants it,then post it again as an “offer” from her. I requested a “wanted” for figs from a freecyclers tree. Varina told me freecycle is not a charity and did not post my request. Varina has more “wanted” items than anyone I have seen. Charity??? I recently emailed and asked her if the rules have changed or if they are different for moderators? That is exactly what I said nothing more nothing less. She replied with a “I see you are having trouble and I will help you with that” She then banned me from freecycle. Guess she doesn’t like being called on the carpet. One more note.. she has about two other screen names she goes by, I guess to disguise the fact it’s her. It’s too bad she’s abusing what was a good idea. I’m sure there are other “banned” people out there that are now throwing their stuff in the landfill.

  140. If it puts you on edge so much, maybe you shouldn’t be a moderator. Just a thought.

  141. I’m a moderator. I’ve been called a Nazi. I put up with so much BS, you wouldn’t believe it, but I do believe in the creed of Freecycle, so I keep plugging along. My group is in a depressed area, and I do agree with “snotty mods suck” with the idea that if everyone begs for crap, and no one offers, you jeopardize the viability of Freecycle. It’s not a friggin charity! I’ve been screamed at because someone did not get a sofa for their grandchildren. I’ve been screamed at because I had to ban someone who was spamming the group (their email got hijacked, due to their own stupidity, falling for a phishing scheme). I’ve been screamed at because a person did not get a bed they asked for. On and on and on. It puts you on edge. Freecycle dot org (the actual rule makers) say not to let someone post the same offer within 30 days. I’ve had people completely reword their requests trying to get around that. First, it’s a camcorder. Two days later, it’s a digital camera, two days after that, it’s a regular camera. The person who did that got banned. We get sick of your BS, plain and simple, so why not follow the rules like the MAJORITY, and lighten up on the moderators? Yes, I’m sure there are moderators that suck, but don’t lump all moderators into the same category. For every member who thinks I suck, there are twenty members who think I do a great job.

  142. I have been waiting over a week to be “approved” to join the Calloway Murray ky group. Emailed moderator and she said I was not approved and to read the guidlines. WTF- how can I NOT BE APPROVED TO JOIN A GROUP? I email back and asked why and no response. Moderator name is ryan l brooks.

  143. I should add that my problem wasn’t with her enforcing her group’s rules. If she wants to be a zero-tolerance Nazi and make everyone walk around on eggshells, that’s her prerogative. My issue was being treated the same way some spammer or group disruptor would be treated. I would have been fine if she would have sent out a nice e-mail along the lines of “Hey, I saw your post, and I know you were trying to help some people out, but I just wanted to remind you of the rules.” Instead, all of us were told our actions were “inexcusable” (no joke), we were all sent a copy of the rules to read and ordered to review them, and we were all placed on permanent moderation.

    Talk about swatting a fly with a sledgehammer.

  144. Glad I’m not alone with my experience.

    I was a member of AlexandriaVA Freecycle and *never* had a lick of trouble with the mod. It was a great group. Many of us who made frequent offers got to know each other well. I had my regular people who would e-mail to claim items from me. I reported spammers, and the mod publicly thanked those of us who did. Great experience for 5 years.

    Well, we just moved to Renton, WA, and signed up with the local Freecycle. A lady posted to the group wondering why she saw a lot of “Taken” posts without ever seeing the “Offered” post first. Another woman wrote in asking the same thing. So being the FC veteran I was, *I* replied on the board assuming they must be new and asking them if they received individual e-mails or a daily digest. I found that when I got individual e-mails, some of the messages fell through the cracks, but with the digest, I always saw all the “Offered” and “Taken” posts.

    Well, an hour or so later, ALL THREE OF US get a nastygram from the mod saying the service isn’t for chatting and that we were all on permanent probation.

    WTF? No shit it isn’t for chat. I wasn’t chatting; I was helping two people use the service. On the AlexandriaVA group, no one would have batted an eyelash over a conversation like that. Off-topic discussions were probably dealt with (as they should have been), but the mod seemed smart enough to let exchanges go when it was obvious that their intention was to help other Freecyclers.

    Not so with the Freecycle South King County mod. I e-mailed her back and told her I was quite aware of the FC rules, but that I was just trying to help someone. I wasn’t ranting. I wasn’t spamming. I would have assumed that my post was in the spirit of helping others get the most out of the service.

    Her reply to that? “If you don’t like the rules, you’re welcome to leave.”

    So I did.

    I hope none of you have the bad fortune to deal with “prayingmommy4.”

  145. I was a member of the lafayette LA freecycle, but I posted something wrong and the mod sent me an email that had me so confused I reposted the item and the person immediatly banned me and that has been 2 yrs ago just tried to rejoin and I am still banned Whoever runs it is Lafayette LA must think they are a gOD

  146. Hi, i joined freecycle for a few weeks now and i have the same problem now that i had then. its is unbelievably slow. I’ve emptied my cache, history, cookies… everything. its not my computer or internet connection. Everything else works fine. Movies load faster!
    I have posts coming into my email but i’ve noticed most don’t everytime i go onto freecycle after the log in, its very very slow. links take forever to open, and most of the times they dont open, it just says OPENING/LOADING/WAITING and nothing happens, or something like ‘gatewat timeout’, etc…. I’ve used 3 different browsers, chrome, explorer and firefox but on each and every one its extremely painfully slow?! WHY IS THIS?? WTF IS GOING ON??

  147. I loved freecycle up until this past week. let me start out with we are a small rural area and yet we have 4 moderators……..all of whom seem to be on a power trip. they had a few people that needed to be moderated so they moderated everyone in the group. Sometimes it took up to 5 hours to get a listing to post. But that wasn’t my real complaint……it is true that I have gotten stuff of freecycle……..if i find at the time I don’t need it or it wasnt what I wanted I alway posted it back on freecycle……now if I kept the stuff and used it……i didn’t mark on it…..that it came from freecycle. (Who would?) So my sister and a couple of her friends decided to have a rummage sale. I went through my house and the stuff like clothes that no longer fit or stuff we no longer used I put in the sale.

    Keep in mind….I have been on this site 2 years and have probably given 2 to 3 thousand dollars worth of stuff away on it. Many people get a hold of me after they have had a sale or when someone dies and they are cleaning out the house and I pick up all the stuff……..go through it take what I want or need and family needs and than I post the rest on freecycle.

    Well after the sale……which by the way I made about 50 dollars…….i took everything including all of the stuff that the other ladies from the sale didn’t want and posted it on freecycle………..there was probably close to 200 dollars worth of baby equipment alone…..anyway…….some of the freecyclers wrote to the mods and said that I had picked up stuff to resell…….which is an all out lie……..of course the mods being the chicken Sh*ts they are……..wrote me an email and said that if it happened again I would have my account deleted………not did you do this……or was this something you had gotten off freecycle…….nothing like that just if i do it again I would be removed from freecyclers. Well they sure the heck can do that now as I will never post anything on there again.

    The one mod after I wrote to her and blasted her for her threat said that she hoped I wasnt offended……….hell yes I am offended…….instead of asking me what was going on or figuring these are a couple people who are probably just upset that i didnt give them what they wanted……(as this has happened to someone else in the group and it was a lie then too) but as I told the mod I will never again ask for or post anything again on their site……….but they were the ones loosing out as I said I have given away alot more stuff than I ever asked for………

    Another lady from that site got so fed up with their BS that she started her own group and I will post on there or craigslist…….but I would throw stuff in the dump before I would ever post on freecyclers again……….how sad what was meant to be a great idea has turned out to be such a raw deal for some people and such a power play for others.

    I have always enjoyed giving to people and helping anyone I can….just proof once more that no matter what good deed you try to do someone will take that away out of jealousy or just plain meanness…….

    i would tell anyone that wanted to join freecycle in Grand Rapids MN don’t waste your time…….

  148. Freecycler- As I said, a group where nothing is ever offered and there are tons of “I want…” posts will flop.

    Julie- I find it hard to believe because, having been a moderator, I have seen first-hand the exaggeration of problems from members. Simply because you say most of your posts were offers doesn’t mean that the only 2 things you ever asked for was a wagon and firewood.

    Yes, I’m sure there are moderators that are control-freaks with a power-tripping stick up their ass and I left the organization because as a moderator it’s impossible to please everyone and yet the people in the main org are living in a fairy world where you can and simply changing the rules every other day will accomplish that. However, I wish members would think about their own part in the problem before bitching about the moderator because 99% of the time the member is not totally innocent. Either the rules weren’t read or they decided it shouldn’t apply to them for whatever reason.

    As for having users police the site like craigslist… I would take a crappy Freecycle group over that spam site any day of the week.

  149. In response to Snottymodsuck post # 214 – there you have it boys and girls. This person claims to be a former moderator who is now claiming that people use freecycle to quote “beg for crap” This person is also insinuating that there has to be more to my story. Why cant you believe that the moderator did tell me that I was asking for high priced items? In all the time I used freecycle most of my posts were for offers. I rarely “begged for any crap” The Livermore CA moderator was taking advantage of the system by posting multiple wanted posts for wanted items and got upset when I told her that I noticed it. She also in another email told me that she is the mother of a special needs child and that is why she put out wanted posts. I did remind her that in her own words, freecycle is not a charitable site. Again, I think the site would be better off if it did away with the moderators and just had the users police the site like craigslist. There has to be a better way!

  150. To SnottyModsSuck:

    You’re totally missing the point here. People are not taking the time to post here because they’re pissed the couldn’t get free crap. They’re posting because of the lack of respect and childish behavior of some moderators. I have a feeling that the reason most of the posts are from people who have requested items is because those are the posts that seem to set off the Mods asshole switch the most “Oh look, another scumbag trying to scam people out their stuff! I will save freecycle, and therefore society, by making it as difficult as I can for them until they go away!” As for Mods taking advantage of the system I can see that happening if one was so inclined, and given the unscrupulous actions of some of these Mods, totally believable.

  151. People, I really wish you would read what you’re typing or at least have a grain of knowledge at what you’re talking about before you hit “submit”. So far, the majority of the complaints have stemmed from (essentially) moderators not allowing people to ASK for things. A board full of “wanted” posts leaves a group that goes nowhere. Think about it, would you really want to be a part of a group where all people do is beg for crap? No! You’re there, like everyone else, hoping someone is going to be cleaning out their garage or something and giving things away! Sooo, if the moderators dont turn down excessive requests, how is the group to continue? And I find it very hard to believe that a moderator called an old wagon and firewood “high priced items”. There is definitely more to this story lol

    Also, I used to be a moderator and quit because of all the stupid stuff that mods have to deal with (not just whiny members but whiny management who can’t make up their minds on what their own rules say). However, I can say if a moderator is getting “the best stuff” it is because 1) the member offering the items is not paying attention or 2) they got chosen. If the post hasn’t made it to the board yet and the moderator responds to it, it would be fairly apparent to the person offering the item. If they still choose to give it to the moderator, that’s their choice. Their is no way to respond to a post except to send a whole fresh email as a moderator before the post goes to everyone. Now, if the post goes to the board and the moderator responds to it, how is that unfair? If someone is working on the board, why would that make them ineligible to participate? Although from the sounds of greed on this complaint list, I’m sure you all would be perfectly happy if said mod made lots of offers.

  152. It seems like freecycle does not care how the moderators treat people. I have not used freecycle in a long time and no longer recommend it to anybody. I tried to post an offer and it didn’t go through so I reposted. I was then told that I needed to follow the rules of only one post. I tried to explain to the moderator that I reposted since the first post was declined due to the fact that I forgot to mention my city. A few weeks later I posted a wanted for a wagon. I did receive a rusty wagon with a hole in the bottom and wobbly wheels. It was good enough for what I needed. A week or two later I posted another wanted for fire wood. I was told the site is not a charitable site and I should stop asking for high priced items. I told the moderator that I was surprised that she considered an old wagon and some wood scraps high price items. I then mentioned to her that I noticed that she had multiple wanted posts herself for items like an espresso machine, and play structure and several other items all at the same time and also asked her if there were different rules for moderators than the rest of us. She said she didn’t realize that she had so many posts all at once. How could you not know??? She then invited me to leave the group. My emails have been blocked and I am no longer allowed to use freecycle. All this just because I forgot to mention my city and then called her on not following her own rules. What a joke freecycle is! And by the way why not be charitable? What would be wrong with that. I hope for her sake she is never in need of help!

    I have also heard stories from my friends who are no longer fans of freecycle about moderators screening through the posts prior to making them public and keeping the best for themselves and their friends. A friend of mine told me that one day at the flea market she was talking to another vendor who told her that one of his family members is a freecycle moderator and they make a decent living on the money they make by selling the items that the get from freecycle. I think freecycle would be a better and more fair place to use if they just did away with the moderators and operated like Craigslist.

  153. Hello,

    After being a member of Freecycle for a little while I decided to quit lurking and post something, and since then it has been a real exercise in frustration.

    I was ignorant of the rules of Freecycle (no excuse, I know) and I posted to three groups simultaneously in my area. I then received the following e-mail which seems a little harsh and condescending, particularly since this was my “first offense”. It also seems to imply I am some kind of habitual offender, this was my first post!

    I am one of the Freecycle Moderators. I need to ask you to PLEASE stop cross posting to other Freecycle cities. I noticed your post in another city and members will start to complain about the multiple duplicate postings. I realize that you belong to different Freecycle groups and that is fine, but you need to realize that if you are signed up for multiple Freecycle groups then so are other members. You type 5 different posts and post them to 4 different cities. That is 20 posts for members that also belong to those groups. They are getting inundated with tons of emails. Do you understand why I am getting complaints?
    You are not the only person doing this so please don’t think that I am singling you out. I’m just trying to make you realize that it is upsetting members. It would be so much easier for me to just let all your posts thru but the Rules of Etiquette on Freecycle clearly state…
    “**NO CROSS POSTING. Please pick one Freecycle group as your “home”….
    (rules deleted)

    You have to abide by The Rules of our site. Please.. stop cross posting. If you continue to do so you risk the chance of being suspended from our site.
    If you have any concerns or any questions please do not hestitate to contact me or the Owner of our group.
    Freecycle Moderator


    So I figured hey live and learn and wrote back, trying to make nice with Freecycle

    ****OK, I have reposted to the Pleasanton group only.

    and immediately I get this response:
    Please stop trying to post this posting. I have already explained to you that it is not an acceptable posting. If you continue to do so you risk your membership to our group. All other postings will be deleted.
    Thank You for understanding.

    I was perplexed so I wrote back:

    ****I reposted it to one group only, I thought that was the problem?

    After a long time goes by with no response I tried again:

    ****Do I need to resubmit my posting again, or is there something else wrong with it?

    So FINALLY this person is clear on what was else is wrong with my posting:

    You need to resubmit it but remember not to ask for all of that stuff. Ask for one item only or it will be deleted.
    Thank You for understanding.

    So I rewrote the posting making sure it only asked for one item and I posted it to the Pleasanton group oly, heres what the post looked like:

    WANTED: Old Game System
    I have been thinking about taking the old clunker TV in my garage and hooking up a game system from “back in the day”. I think my kids would really get a kick of this and I thought fellow freecyclers might be able help out.
    I’m looking for any old game system like the Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis, etc. Anything would be helpful and I thank you very much!

    And then after waiting a looong time I noticed it still was not posted so I wrote again:

    ***You still have not run my posting even after I resubmitted with corrections. Whats the problem? I am unavailable today so I will resubmit on Monday

    And heres the wonderful reply I received today:

    I already told you in at least 2 emails that you are asking for too many items from our members. Your posting will NOT be approved unless you ask for one item only.
    I wrote back one more email suggesting that the moderator should maybe actually read my post and have heard nothing since.

    Bottom line I just don’t have to energy to carry on this childish fight with the moderator and I am disappointed because I like the idea of Freecycle very much. I would say this woman is on a bit of a “power trip” or just having a bad week but when I looked at my email and saw that there were now 11 emails going back and forth over this small issue it’s just not worth it for me anymore. I dont think it was right to fly off the handle right off the bat because of my mistake in my first post and then to give me grief ever after, even deleting my posts without even reading them.

    just got a “rebuttal” back from the Mod, she says “since youre not happy here I have removed you from the group” NICE! Plus she has removed me from 2 other groups where shes a Mod. Cya Freecycle, you need to Mod the Mods.

  154. To Dorathy: If you are so concerned who receives your used item (laptop, bike, Ferrari, whatever) then why not donate directly to a family or charity to “ensure” it won’t be sold..even then it can still be sold. Seriously is it that big of a matter to you? Are you just mad because you didn’t take the time to sell it yourself? It’s easy to do on Ebay if that is the case. Sure the sob stories are pathetic (they are supposed to be banned from the sites but a lot of MADerators “allow” them for some reason)..But the point I am making is the re-selling. Seriously who cares?? It’s been recycled I don’t care if someone makes a buck off my “crap to me” item ..good for them!

  155. Really who cares if someone is selling things they get from Freecycle??
    I care, if I am giving a laptop away or a bike my husband has done up to give to a young boy.
    All members intending to sell stuff on should declare it. They should not put sob stories on to get stuff that could go to local people who need it. If I want to get rid of something that is in the way then fine they can have it.

  156. Oh and who are the nutjobs at the Freecycle Member Services Dept?? They took MONTHS to get back to me about my complaints about the Framingham moderator who was so horrible to know what they told me? If I was unhappy then to use another Freecycle site or Craigslist. So they don’t even have control or oversee their own Moderators??? I will NEVER recoomend FC to anyone ever again. It’s all a big joke, stressful & the moderators are one step away from needing meds.

  157. you know really who cares if someone is selling things they get from Freecycle?? At least it’s staying out of the landfill for a little while longer. So what if “dealers” scoure the site..and no I am not a dealer but I never understood that “rule” of no how would Freecycle find out the item was sold anyways? Are they God??
    I have had it with ALL Freecycles..they all have their assholes. (You know who you are!)

  158. yes, San Jose freecycle is run by moderator nazi’s. I’m sure they have good reason, and some of their rules seem like a good idea, but if you want all the fun of freecycle with less politics, join a freecycle group in a smaller city. If the San Jose Freecycle moderators all enjoy having tree trunks up their butts, then so be it. However I do like their rule of not asking for video games/systems, because that generic “WANTED: Any video games” post by stupid dealers really gets old.

  159. O, I was called an idiot bitch, and that hopefully my husband was smarter than me, by a Cunt of a moderator I don’t know if it was New Iberia or Lafayette La all I know was that I was asking looking for something like a coat rack, I did also send a complaint to the freecycle group. Talk about a power trip, just like a dumb ass that moved up to be able to put the special sauce on and Micky D’s, Bite me Mary where ever you are.

  160. Charlie again, re-reading through my post I see I left out some information from being upset by all this issue. I did end up sending all correspondence to freecycle. I also came across a freecycle type group in the area that was make specifically by people who left the Lafayette group due to questionable actions by the moderator similar to mine. Just to quickly go back over what happened to me. I answered to a re-post for an item and won said item. The giver left very vague pick up day/time that spanned days as well as miles apart. I replied back with a day/time I would be available but received no reply so after a couple days left another reply letting the giver know that I would make myself available on whatever time is good for them and left a cell number in the event I miss the reply as I do not stay by my pc. A week or more later I see the item re-posted yet again and reply to it asking if my prior replies to pick up said item were received believeing there was an error. On reflection and speaking with my spouse that something seemed a bit fishy due to several multiple reposts of multiple items in a short period, I decide to notify the moderator of my experience through the moderators email listed in the group homepage. The message explained simply what occurred and that something seemed off if the event there was something else going on with other users as well. The next day I then get an irate email (from the alias I replied for the item) scolding me for leaving a number and using threatening language for “tattling” on them and notifying me that my posts are now listed as “spam” for doing so. (which alerted me that this person either knows or is the mod) This email also contains a copy of the email I sent the moderator. (Later this same alias posts a mod update to the group – usually this comes under the email of “moderator”) Later, I receive another email that is a forward from a conversation between the “alias” and another freecycler that had made arrangements to pick up said item and other items. This new email was not to me but the other user and made assumptions that this user and I are the same person and threatening banishment. In between all this I have not made any contact with the “moderator” or the “alias” since the initial inquiry and scolding for trying to contact a mod for assistance. (at that point I realized there was something wrong with the higharchey of the group and wrote off freecycling) My concern is that this rude person is the mod and also that this person sent private info on another user on an assumption. How paranoid do you have to be to go ballistic on someone for leaving you “their” number when trying to make arrangements to pick up an item, then making threats to the person because they contacted a mod for assistance. How was I suppose to know the mod is posing under an alias then is going to resort to threats and paranoia on other users for her bad behavior. All this because I left her my number to make arraignments to pick up her re-posted junk no one else wanted, sheesh! Anyway, in the middle of this I found a new freecycle type group made by users who had had run ins with this lady. Their stories are similar to mine and one person said that they have been getting threatening emails from the mod for a month. Others complain of not ever having their wanted posts go through yet all their offers. (which I have complained of as well to friends and family but with me it is always a day later another specific user posts for the same item) Apparently, there is more to it than bad behavior by a mod, more than I am aware. They are asking for people to come forward with their stories and any documentation. I have since left the initial freecycle group as I feel unsafe giving any info to anyone there anymore. The new group has many familiar screennames with similar horror stories about the mod. At least I am not alone.

  161. I have seen this group mentioned before. It is not typical I am glad to say.
    Write to and them them about them forwarding another persons emails.(Send copies of your previous complaint as well) I am sure there are data protection issues with this and they will have to step in.

  162. Charlie again, just wanted to update that I received another email from said moderator. Apparently they decided to start threatening another innocent person simply for using the same service provider as me. They forwarded me me all correspondence with this innocent freecycler just trying to pick up the same item as well as the rest of the junk (after asking this person if they would take it all) this moderator had re-posted. Can you believe they sent me all this persons emails as well as contact information. All I can say is wow this lady has issues!!

  163. Wow, what a story I have. I have been a member of the Lafayette La freecycle for years. I recently had an issue with a transaction. I replied to a want add, the person then replied with a very vague pick up (miles apart) and vague day time (weeks worth). I then replied with when I would be available, no reply, replied again with a when would be better for you and left my number (this is where I aparently went wrong the person posted not the leave a number in the initial reply but I figured I dont sit in front of my screen all day waiting and I have waited 2 days for a reposne on where and when to pick up this persons item with nothing so I would leave a number just incase) so a week later I see this person repost the item. And after my SI informed me that this was the 3rd time they see this offer. I decide to leave another reponse to the person in case they did not get my prior emails. And, I reported the post on reflection that maybe this person was doing something questionable because not only was my item reposted but there was 5 or 6 other items reposted multiple times. something is wrong there. So, today I get an angry response from said person that actually HAD A COPY of the message I sent directly to the moderators of the board. Telling me I am listed as spam and next time I choose to tattle on someone, They went on because after my second attempt to get a reply I left a phone number (then went anal about not following directions) yadda yadda. So, apparently said person is a mod or knows a mod and was forwarded my email to said mod. There has to be some powers that be who control mods if not I am gone because this person has issues.

  164. Been a member of both the Framingham and Natick MA Freecycle groups for a few years and last year becaome a co-mod of Framingham. After several months of moderating and butting heads with the “owner” Linda I decided to step down. She was telling me I was “over moderating” by asking people to follow the Ok what?? Natick owner is rude sarcastic and I really think he hates all women. He never answers any questions I have with a professional tone. It’s all written like a 14 year old boy?? I don’t get it. I don’t understand why some Freecycle modsowners are so whacked?? And now I find out the FOUNDER of Freecycle, Deron is making money off the site?? I am DONE with freecycle. Craigslist was so much more eaier and no friggen EGO’s and psycho mods! Peace all!

  165. While I’m sure there are some crappy power-tripping moderators out there, they DO have members breathing down their backs all the time when things aren’t going well as well as the people above them from the main Freecycle barking that rules need to be followed. Yes, aside from some basic required rules, all groups are run differently but did you ever think that maybe that’s because people are emailing the moderators million times a day to whine about this that and the other thing? Unfortunately, they can’t please everyone but they can try to please the majority by creating rules that they receive the most complaints about. Yes, it is assumed that all members are adults that should be able to delete something that doesn’t belong there or change their email settings if they feel they’re receiving too many emails but anyone who has worked with the “adult” public (and judging from some of the comments on here) should know that even some adults can’t act accordingly and want to bitch and moan about every little piddly thing.

    Moderators that pull rules out of thin air and act like they are doing everyone a HUGE service and you should be thankful you’re even allowed to be a member of their oh-so-special group piss me off (which I’ve dealt with numerous times). However, I do feel for them when people don’t read the rules or think they are above them. Every group I’ve ever been a member of has sent me the rules before I fully joined and if it seemed overly ridiculous I- get ready for a revolutionary thought- DIDN’T JOIN! Imagine that!

    Moderators with attitudes are the real problems!

  166. Oh god do I hear your pain. I’m trying to give some things away (yes, give them away – for nothing) and I can’t believe how difficult it is. My major crime, incidentally was to offer two of my possessions (for free, yes, I’m giving them away) on the same day, in separate e-mails. I recieved an e-mailed response to say the second had been rejected for that reason, to, and I quote ‘cut down on the number of e-mails’. Naturally, I e-mailed her back. Made her day, I’m sure.

  167. I agree that Freecycle is a joke! And I don’t doubt that you have had specific problems with a moderator, but aren’t you perpetuating the stigma of keeping a woman down by assuming and then referring to “her” as a bitch? That’s like saying all lawyers are assholes. I was interested in your story until I saw the differences in tone towards moderator #1 (your assumed “woman”) and the true moderator #2 (the real gender, male). Don’t you have enough money to buy your own damn vitamix and dehydrator? The poor people of the country who get ripped off by the likes of predators like lawyers have probably never even tasted dehydrated fruits. Your own maturity shined through and made you look like a Mega-Bitch.

  168. What does this relate to?! The last post in this discussion was in January and I don’t see the relevance!!

  169. The housewife bitch comment, although it is supposed to be funny, does make you look rather stupid. I had the same problem with the Yahoo Freecycle mods and gave up because of their backwardsness. Switching to Craig’s List solved the problem

  170. I must add in the month or so of membership I have not seen 1 request for the above mentioned items except for a request for exercise equipment. Obvious asking for high ticket items is ridiculous but to see everyday that the basic freecycle rules are being unmoderated and broken.. I find this email to be a total joke. I avoid posting simply because I do not want my info posted as I’ve seen many post.. Example: people full names and numbers are tossed in post as one would expect to see in a personal email, not on a public board.. And it’s not just occassional this board seriously has no form of moderation, I don’t know why they bother emailing rules they don’t seem to follow any themself, it’s really a big joke of a group, there’s only about 6-10 post a day on this group and more then half break the “rules” makes one wonder if the rule breakers are the mods? Or favorites? Are there that many more post denied everyday because at 6-10 a day Im failing to understand how hard there “job” is!

  171. I recently joined this freecycle in Freeport IL it’s a small dank one I’ve been on larger networks, I don’t think I will stay a member.. Here’s a copy of new rules this is how the mods rung in the New Year.. Now keep in mind I have only been a member for about a month.. In the month I have seen phone numbers in post, spam on the board, conversation post things that well.. Should be moderated! I feel the mod(s) here are incomps who instead of doing there job elect to send talking out of there arse emails which only the people who are following the rules would most like be the ones to read. I think maybe drunk? You read.. So what can one ask for? Not allowed but then 1x a mo now is this all items? Hmmm..


    I am Reposting this to let everybody know that the rules have changed some and
    we ask that you please follow them.
    You are not allowed to ask for:

    CARS (ANY MOTOR VEHICLE) (if someone post one that they do not want that is


    RIDING LAWNMOWERS (if someone post one that they do not want that is different)

    FOUR WHEELERS (if someone post one that they do not want that is different)

    GAMING SYSTEMS (If you are asking for any kind of gaming systems they will not
    be posted. If someone has one to give away they will post it. This also includes
    the games that go along with them.)

    MAJOR HOUSEHOLD ITEMS (refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, furniture ect. Household repair items will also be included in this. Will only be accepted and posted once per month.)

    EXERCISE EQUIPMENT (Weights, weight benches, treadmill ect. Will only be
    accepted and posted once per month.)

    HOME IMPROVEMENT ITEMS (Boards, Paint, Plywood, Drywall ect. Will only be
    accepted and posted once per month.)

    You are only allowed to ask for one major item PER MONTH!! If you ask for more
    than 1 major item PER MONTH you will be given a warning after the 3rd warning
    you will be out.

    I have gotten MANY complaints about the list of WANTED adds and i agree this is
    not a place for you to fill your homes just to see if you can get it.

    There are a lot of people out there that could really use the things that people
    post on here.

    If you haven’t noticed that the number of “TO GIVE AWAY” posts have went down a
    lot and that is because of the greediness that has been shown.

    I have went to other FREECYCLE sites and i don’t see half the stuff asked for
    that has been asked for here. This is suppose to be a way to help out the
    community and to keep things out of the landfills.

    Also Please remember phone number and address will be deleted from a post if
    they are in the message.


  172. I have been banned unfairly when i told the moderators i needed freecyle as i am severely disabled and they started on me when another user posted ou phone number to everyone, i received abusive emails and was removed twice then banned.

    the lady that works for freecycle that got my complaint made many offensive, hurtful and unprofessional remarks in her emails and has actually brought me to break down in tears, and i admit it, as i have not done anything wrong but become a victim.

    She has made offensive remarks about my disability and wont issue me with head offices address as she wont allow a complaint to be issued on her.

  173. the worst part was that I followed the rules exactly and was still told my post had “too much personal info” I guess it was the fact that I had a truck and was asking for friends who were starting out…I mean come on!!!!

  174. I have the same problem with a Moderator in the Montgomery,Alabama Freecycle…I wish I could spread the word so that everyone would know what a power hungry ass the moderator is!!!!

  175. Post 186 is a tough one. You do often put something up and then a friend or relative will say they would like it. If promised I say sorry it has gone, but they do get a bit miffed, thinking they should be given it in preference. I can see some members may find it difficult to refuse. I cannot say I have ever received a complaint like this though.

  176. You probably have choices of other reuse groups now. Many mods have left Freecycle and set up as Freegle, Recycle, Realcycle, greencycle etc. Try overcycle who has a list of many of them.

  177. Freecycle is a fantastic idea and would work totally if it wasnt for the Hitler moderators playing God, the malvern freecycle is run by a total idiot, incredibly rude and ignorant, it is such a shame for the site.

  178. The biggest problem I have had with Freecycle is the people who tell me I can have something they have offered, and then they turn around and give it to someone else! This has happened to me so many times. The most recent incident is someone who told me I could have something, then emailed me on the day I was to pick it up and said she gave it to a family member.

  179. In response to comment # 165:

    Freecycle’s mandate is to keep things out of the landfill. Of course we don’t think we can keep EVERYTHING out of the landfill, but we can curb the flow…just a little bit.
    As far as the cost or ‘value’ of items, I don’t believe I even touched on that subject in my post. So what are you on about there?
    You haven’t met any good moderators? Funny, I like to think that a good moderator is writing this post. But if you had done your research (HuntsvilleOntarioFreecycle – check it out) you could see the kind of moderator I am. (Although for the most part, you’re gonna have to take my word for it. As well as the fact that I’ve only ever used one email address to moderate the group AND to communicate with members of the group.)
    Please, feel free to join my group and email the members and ask their opinion.
    Now, back to my original point…
    It’s unfortunate that so many moderators are treating group members in this manner. I’m not defending them or making excuses for their behaviour. I am trying to show everyone that reads this forum that there are Freecycle moderators out there that haven’t lost sight of the original goal of the organization and that we are doing the best we can, even with attitude like yours out there.

    As far as you thinking I’m thinking of you as a child, that’s your own insecurity talking, not anything I wrote.

  180. Ohhh this is so funny reading all these posts about jobsworth Moderators, I’ve recently been banned from UK Bristol and South Gloucestershire for trying to offer a bogof voucher (which the 1st time round had been allowed on the boards). I’ve been in touch with info@ and have not had much joy, both the Mod and Info@ don’t seem to be able to get their facts straight and continually are able to miss an important piece of information I am giving them. If I wasn’t so passionate about recycling I’d find the whole thing hilarious. Post 160…..first paragraph, spot on!

  181. I wanted to join the Ft Myers FLA Freecycle group and when I applied I was refused membership and told to change my screen name because of trademark issues? Well I told the moderator there that no other group has a problem with my screen name and no one else has ever asked me to change it. I want all my emails to go to this one screen name and I don’t want to have multiple names for my Freecycle email. A witch named Jo sent me this when I was questioning why NO OTHER Moderator has EVER asked me to change my screen name but HER and this is the end result. BEWARE of the FT MYERS FLA group!

    “Yes, please do not email me again either. It’s too exhaustive to have a battle of wits with someone that is so discernibly unarmed.

    Co-moderator, Ft. Myers Freecycle

    (nice lady huh?)

  182. I have been a member of this group for two years. Over the last week, I have not been receiving any correspondence. I do not understand why, since I am used to receiving correspondence on a daily basis.



  183. In July 2006, I tried to join the South San Jose group (Northern California). The insufferable mod, Scarlet Riley, denied me. Bemused, I politely asked why – and the conversation degenerated from there (she denied me based on a problem I’d had with another jackass mod, which I posted about on this thread some time ago). This was her final, official e-mail to me, which should make everyone very proud to have her representing Freecycle:

    “Bwahahahaha GRTBR”

    (In case you’re not aware, that stands for “Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish.”)

    How can rational, reasonable adults be expected to help a group function when it’s run by absurdly rude and stupid dictators? After literally years of trying, I finally left Freecycle in the dust – I’m a loyal craiglister now, and I couldn’t be happier.

  184. Yes you may use this as an example. I would hate to have anyone else be treated the way I was. As noted above this site is ” Recycling with organizations such as FreeCycle is supposed to be a positive experience. Everybody involved is (presumably) doing something for a good reason, and for a good cause.”

  185. Oops sorry I have just clicked on the link and found it is a US group. Cannot help sorry but I do commiserate with you. may be the place to go if info don’t help. I would expect though that you will get an email from the GOA for Pennsylvania. I would still like to use some of this for a lesson on how not to treat your members though please? It is supposed to be all about respect we were told!

    commiserate e s

  186. It is disgusting. Can you confirm it is Reading in the UK and is the email sent from the new my.freecycle group or the old group which is now a freegle group please? Can I have permission to reprint part of this,(not your personal details) on another website please?

  187. I’d contact the media anyway. sounds like a little hitler and and that’s NO way to run any kind of group. IMO

  188. My wonderfull experiance i sent something to to see if I get a response. See below:
    I would like to report complete and utter disrespect from a moderator for the Reading Pa freecycle site! I had forgotten my user name and password so I had to set up a new account and I got this nasty gram from the moderator:

    From: ReadingFreecycle Owner
    Subject: Message not approved: WANTED ELECTRIC DRYER
    To: “aryah1113”
    Date: Monday, October 19, 2009, 2:58 PM

    PLEASE GO BACK AND READ OUR RULES! We have them for a reason!

    According to Yahoo, you joined our ReadingFreecycle group
    within the last 7 days.

    Obviously you did not even bother to read our Home page or Welcome
    email, where we say, “If you try to do something STUPID (like
    submitting a WANTED post in the first 7 days after you join our
    group) it will be very obvious that you did not read our rules.”

    We’re NOT necessarily saying that YOU are stupid, but there is
    no arguing the fact that you made a STUPID mistake!

    As Forrest Gump said “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    We make two things VERY, VERY clear on our Home page – we say:

    “Don’t try to post until you have read our rules, understand
    our posting formats, and know what items and actions are not


    “New members may NOT make a WANTED post until they have been
    a member for at least 7 days! There are exceptions to the
    “new member 7 day” policy for WANTED posts – they’re in the
    rules! We’re OFFENDED when someone joins and immediately tries
    to make a WANTED post, because they obviously did not bother
    to read our rules. PLEASE don’t make that STUPID mistake!

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Also, you should have received an email when you joined our group
    – and in that “Welcome” email we ask every new member to

    No one can join our group and immediately make a WANTED post!

    We are offended when anyone joins the group and immediately submits
    a WANTED post, and it shows their disrespect for us by not even
    reading our rules when we have (1) asked them nicely and politely
    SEVERAL TIMES to please read the rules, and (2) when we have gone
    to so much time and trouble to write and publish our rules, and
    make them easily available to everyone.

    New members may immediately make OFFER posts or respond to OFFER
    posts that other members have made – there is no “waiting period”
    for OFFERing an item, or for responding to a member’s OFFER of an

    However, there IS a 7 day “waiting period” before a new member can
    make a WANTED post!

    We waive the “WANTED” posting 7 day rule for new members who have
    already made an “OFFER” posting in their first 7 days – it’s our
    way of saying “thank you” for OFFERing your item to the group.

    If you believe that we rejected this post in error, and you believe
    you are a member who is eligible to make “WANTED” posts, please
    reply to this email. Tell us what you think our error is, and we
    will happily investigate the facts.

    Otherwise, read our rules – it will keep you from making STUPID

    The Owner and Moderators at ReadingFreecycle

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    You may read our policies and rules at:
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    > In need of a electric dryer since mine died over the weekend.
    > Thanks

    I then responded:

    Let me start by saying capitalizing words make it sound like your yelling at someone and last time I checked you’re not my parent! Lastly I thought this site is to help people out not to make people feel like there a burden. So if you could kindly post this request I would greatly appreciate it being as it was for a friend!

    If you would like to discuss further my # is 484-824-8184!

    Thanks ever so kindly,


    And lastly there response:

    — On Tue, 10/20/09, Owner, Reading Freecycle wrote:

    From: Owner, Reading Freecycle
    Subject: Re: Message not approved: WANTED ELECTRIC DRYER
    To: “aryah1113”
    Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 4:44 PM

    We WERE yelling! It was a STUPID mistake! You did not read the very clear instructions on our Home page, or on the email we sent you right after you joined – and now it’s MY fault because I did not let you get away with making a STUPID mistake?????????

    I never said I was your parent – what a STUPID thing for you to say!

    That was a form letter – it took me all of 5 seconds to view the date you joined our group and click “Send the STUPID letter because this New Member is trying to make a Wanted post.”

    And now you insult me by saying, “Maybe you should see someone about your attitude or learn how to respond to people in a more professional manner.”

    Where is the apology for your STUPID mistake and wasting of my time because YOU “forgot my user name and password b/c it has been a while” – where is the apology for YOUR actions and for wasting my time?

    I absolutely HATE it when people refuse to accept responsibility for THEIR actions and try to throw around blame.

    You are wasting my time!

    Goodbye – for your disrespect, you have been banned.

    Reading Freecycle

    I am hoping you can address this matter or tell me who can b/c people like this should not have this sort of control! I have posted several items for people and helped local families with this site. If I can not get this resolved I will be contacting my local newspaper and news stations.

  189. Lee the moderator has been banning people for sticking up for one particular member. This member was told that her post for wanting toys in good condition to give to her kids for Christmas was greedy and begging. Several member, including myself all said that what she posted was not wrong. She didn’t ask for people to buy er kids toys, she simply explained why she wanted to toys. I’ve read several posts with people explain why they are wanting or offering items. This moderator has abused her position and should be the one banned rather than the rest of us. The moderator also continued to say that group messages are not allowed in which I don’t disagree with but that should have resolved in a warning, not banning. Lee herself has continued to send group messages regarding these issues. In addition, it has been brought to attention that another member was banned for posting a solution to get rid of skunk smell from pets. They were banned because such a solution is not a landfill item and should not be on Freecycle. It wasn’t that long ago that I put up a post wanting Aeroplan points if no one was going to use them. Aeroplan points are not a landfill item and I was not banned or cautioned for it. This moderator – Lee is out of control, and acting selfish and inconsiderate and should be removed from the group.

  190. If more people knew how to read rules & guidelines and *DIDN’T* have sociopathic issues-you wouldn’t need ANY of us moderators!

  191. I am a mod for a group in MA and I am far from a housewife bitch. I think you need to take a look in the mirror honey! If more people knew how to read rules & guidelines and/or had sociopathic issues-you wouldn’t need ANY of us moderators!

  192. Hi all,

    All the comments are very interesting. I agree with most of them.

    I’am a moderator of an european Freecycle group. The day FC USA will start to mess with us, I’ll probably join the Freegle (UK) new network. So far they didn’t, at least at the group moderator/owner level. My guess is that they don’t mess with us because they can’t read our language.

    At the GOA/NGA (or whatever they like to call themselves) level that’s another story, and I must say I’m not happy with it. If they start messing with me or the group, I’ll join Freegle UK, period. I don’t think the members want to be affiliated to a network which displays Google ads on their home page, sell thirts, and has “sponsors”. This whole /business/ starts looking as a pyramid or MLM scheme, which are illegal in most countries anyway. The good thing is that this kind of scheme doesn’t work well on the long term (see Madoff’s case ;-) ).

    Also, the creation of new groups is a VERY slow and PAINFUL process, which sometimes takes months (up to a year!), while a new group should only probably take a few days to be created.

    I doubt FC USA will listen to our voice, so… well, see above ;-)

  193. Clara whilst I see what you mean about some complaints but mine has lots of proof and it’s not worth squat frankly from experience.

  194. info@ typically addresses complaints within a timely manner. I recommend backing up your complaint with any proof you have instead of making just a general complaint, wait until you’ve calmed down before writing the message – in the heat of the moment we all tend not to come across as people with our heads on straight.

    And don’t do what some crazy did and strip the email down to one statement out of context. Mods are asked for all correspondence and it looks bad when emails don’t match.

    Many moderators use “canned messages” to send out for typical errors. It’s usually nothing personal, we just see something and click. However, a good mod will accept they’ve made a mistake. Like when I was so tired I rejected a post for not including something, but there it was… I ate some shoes for that.

    Freecycle groups are given a base of rules to follow and then everything else is open to interpretation, which is usually spurred from user complaint. That’s why you find restrictions on # of Wanteds, Sob Stories, Pets, Coupons, etc. It’s often very difficult to find a balance with the members, so Moderators have to make decisions and wind up pissing off nearly half the members b/c they can no longer write how the economy is so bad and little johnny needs all this stuff for Christmas to be happy, won’t you help? [An extreme example, I admit.] Mods with sense will often put it to a Poll to let members decide and go with that. Unfortunately that is not an option with the MF groups – no Poll option exists.

    Someone made a reference to the “A person may own only one Freecycle group” rule. It is correct, however, the rule specifies “owner”. It does not limit how many groups one may be a co-Moderator. I would suspect that despite that area being dense, very few volunteer to be Mods, resulting in Mods from neighboring groups needing to assist others.

    Right now I’m somewhat frustrated with the My Freecycle site. My group is on it and there are somewhat long delays on receiving posts. Other people do not have the same problem, so it doesn’t -appear- to be MF itself, just from MF to my email provider.

    So today when someone made some complaint that really didn’t make sense, I tried to “cover all of the bases” of what she was actually asking, trying to be too helpful and dropped into a lot of Tech-Babble, asking her to be patient with MF as it continues to grow, blah blah blah. The response I received called my reply “rude and condescending” and stated that I was so wrong, she’d done research, and another mod had told her differently and she’d forward me the post, and don’t ever contact her again.

    She fowarded me the email, which had been from me, and stated pretty much the same thing I’d said in tonight’s post, but in fewer words, telling me that I “forgot so soon”. I just kinda sat here and contemplated what invisible text she was able to read in that email.

    The gist of it? She was basically upset because other people were beating her to items she wanted – the fact that by the time she read her inbox the item was taken was “very frustrating and a waste of time”.

    Welcome to Freecycle with 3000 other people who want free stuff too… Clearly I should have just gone to bed with DH instead of taking 10 to reply to her post then, instead of tomorrow.

    -Another MF Mod trying to stick it out

  195. mejaka that’s nice for you, having such a perfect world and perfect freecycle, stick around and you may learn that this board is here to share our problems with freecycle, and yes, we’re not entirely blinkered about the fact that it takes all sorts to make the world go round!

    Dorothy so from what your saying guess freecycle is branching out in new guise?

  196. My local is terrific. Sorry the one you’ve been involved with was so bad. I know how listservs of any kind can get, with moderators acting like little emperors. Annoying.

    I’m not surprised the moderator turned out to be male. I’m more surprised at your initial characterization. Mine was of a young male of college age, but too busy gaming and running listservs and “finding himself” to actually be in college. In my world, not all rude, illogical people are female, not all housewives are frustrated, and unfortunately, not all mysogynists are men.

  197. HI,
    I am back. If your are in the UK there has been a breakaway group
    http: // www. ilovefreegle. org/
    about 240 groups so far so you should start to get a choice. If you want to start a group in another country just ask them? Only started last weekend and over 600,000 members, so very busy with groups still deciding to move or stay. Those leaving will be replaced with a group.

  198. I had my ‘Taken’ posts rejected and deleted by MH in Freecycle Milton Keynes, he said it had no area description on it? Now why do you need an area on a taken post, I mean nobody want’s to know where it was taken from do they? What a Nerd!

    Raggie I share your sentiments about the freecycleMK group odd ball, I too wondered why the George flag for so many months then realised he is obviously a lowlife and devoid of brain by the way this started of being displayed when the new Recycle MK group was set up as I remember, and he and his best friend also moderator Sunny were going around with Chinese whispers about you on his cafe group and saying you had set it up and refusing them entry, well the rest is history because he decided to play silly games like the George flag, he’s a very sad man and clearly racism plays a big part in his life and his moderators are just as bad for going along with his racist slights.
    As you know he then went on to set up a rival group called Marketplace in retaliation because he and his buddies were refused membership to Recycle MK, his Marketplace seems to have only his buddies to frequent there, the same crowd from his café group, yet Recycle MK is fast becoming very popular despite him bullying it’s members if they place posts on there and belong to his group as well, . So some have decided to change their email id’s for the new group so that he can’t pin point who’s who. The lengths you have to go to in order to avoid the jealous tyranny of some bone heads.

  199. Jen you make freecycle sound like a Sect or something “Our goal is to keep things out of landfill”?

    Do tell us Jen, if you keep an old TV that has seen better days from landfill because no one can sell the thing, how much space that takes up compared to a car for example and what is the difference in cost here then as expensive items go?

    No one here is slaming any good moderators as we are here because we have not met one yet!!!

    Funny isn’t it how you moderators use various id’s and email addresses so that members have no idea who they are dealing with, do tell what is the cloak and dagger act for with these so called moderators who “volunteer” their “valuable” time, why is it the very same moderators seem to have so much to give away that never makes any sense as to how they have 5 steam irons boats campers etc. etc. and yet they live in a tiny little two up two down and there is no evidence to show they actually give anything away but they do seem to be clearly in to kleptomania yet will get very upset about people asking for things with the “Wanted” could this be because they then don’t get first pick before they launch it on the members, I’m sure your going to try to defend this but please think about what your saying, your not dealing with abunch of kids.

  200. if you scroll through these comments, the belligerent nature of what i’ve personally dealt with on freecycle is glowing through.

  201. I just had to say that I dislike the fact that you are painting us all with the same brush.
    Yes, there are moderators who get a little too serious with enforcing the rules. But why sink the whole organization with one personal experience?
    I am a moderator and I don’t feel that I’ve ever power tripped. I like to believe that there are other mods out there like myself who still see the initial goal of the group – to keep items out of the landfill.
    I’m sorry you had a bad experience. Alas, Freecycle groups are run by volunteers. We are (for the most part) doing our part to save the world, so to speak.
    If you’re upset with your one group, that’s fine. But what your experience has to do with the group I run in Canada, I have no idea.
    Why would you punish our membership like this?

  202. Your experience, unfortunately, is not that unusual. Freecycle has mutated from a wonderful grassroots organization, to one of control and rules and look-a-like.

    The groups are no longer owned by their communities- they are owned by one man, his wife and best friend.

    The groups are not allowed to do the things their communities want. They are not allowed to do a lot of things that my independent group does.

    Freecycle claims that one should not request expensive items. Yet, who states what is expensive? To one person $100 is expensive and to another person $1000 is expensive. Some TFN moderators won’t allow wanted postings for dehydrators, stating they are expensive ($300), while they will think nothing of allowing a wanted for a couch (also $300). It makes no sense.

    How the group is run ought to be determined by the community it serves. The rules ought to be locally generated through votes taken by the membership. It ought not be reflection of the person who volunteers to run it, but a reflection of what will serve the community.

    We promote that way at The ReUseIt Network. A 100% purely grassroots network of online ecycling groups.

    We promote community creating community oriented groups!!

    It’s wonderful to see how the groups flourish when they truly serve the community.

  203. I have had a bad experience with the livermorefreecycle moderator. I posted two seperate posts, one for a wagon and the second for a shop vac. This moderator shot back that it was bad etiquette to ask for more than one item and the site is not for charity. She also explained to me that asking for high price items is not allowed. I didnt realize that a used wagon and a used shop vac were high priced items. Anyway I was quite shocked to find the very next day two seperate wanted posts from this very same moderator. As a matter of fact she has over five wanted posts this week alone. When I emailed her with her bad etiquette response she told me it was her mistake. But she then posted more wanted posts. She wouldnt even post one of my wanted posts. I told her I read the freecycle rules and didnt see where I was not allowed to ask for an item. She told me she has her own set of rules for the group. She then invited me to leave the group and has blocked my email. I wish there was a way to control these abusers of the groups.

  204. The trouble is that most of the people running freecycle need have no experience and lack the basic education needs too, and here I don’t mean “all” the owner/moderators by any means, it’s always the ones that have very little going on in their lives, and, when given the smallest drop of responsibility, they tend to show their belligerent nature especially, when they feel secure in the thought that no one is actually watching them and even if they were, they would get away with it.

    I think Deron started freecycle in 2005 but couldn’t care less as to what goes on as long as he gets his earnings of freecycle, further I feel sickened by the fact that he gives himself earnings, but we may not sell on freecycle or seen to be making money out of our own trash, only those actually running freecycle may earn at the top end, that is to say, not the non earning moderators who are drunk on the only bit of power in their lives.

    The Milton Keynes Group is a particularly good example of bad management by one Michael Hoeben he advertises on his freecycle home page (which by the way I have no doubt he will change before anyone gets to read it) “Changing the world one gift at a time. One constraint: No item is too big or too small, but ALL items posted must be 100% FREE – no money, swapping, trading, bartering no strings attached!”
    Yet when I placed a wanted add for a particular item he told me by return that I was being greedy and stupid to ask for a high value item? I reminded him that his motto said no item is too big or too small, he didn’t reply. Now how arrogant is that.
    A friend of mine picked up a sailing boat of freecycle but that was allowed by him yet I wanted something which was a fraction of the price if new but I wanted a used one and it was refused publication?
    Then we have his moderator Sunny who seems to have so much to give away on a daily to weekly basis that one would imagine she lived in a mansion with a vast warehouse of goods but no she lives in just a small house, so where does she get all the stuff, it’s puzzling. Then there are those “members” who offer many expensive large and popular items on a regular timely basis but never actually reply to any takers and there is no evidence of takers either and yes we all know who you are locally.

    Personally I think that when a member offers something unless the takers give their landline number which would clear up to some extent who they actually are by isolating if this is someone that always asks for everything you offer on a regular basis, or is truly a needy person. Just a thought.

    I have found the moderator and owner of freecycle Milton Keynes to be particularly aggressive, rude, lacking in manners and belligerent, the other groups have been very pleasant so what’s the problem with freecycle why do they allow this man and his partner in bad behaviour to carry on working for them.

    I have been wanting to have a say about freecycle Milton Keynes and so now I have.

    Oh and by the way freecycle in his Files of the group he mentions his other group as belonging to freecycle when it’s his own café group as is his market place group where he encourages selling the goods received so freecycle why say one thing and then do another. LMAO : ]

  205. Check out . It is a site that just launched that aims to overcome some of the issues with freecycle. There are not any rules or terms of use yet, so you will have an opportunity to participate in forming them.

  206. Most recent issue w/the “Owner”(this gets me everytime – What does she own?) of the Matteson/Richton Park(IL) group is she refuses to allow non-specific postings for coupons. i.e. She just allowed a posting for a Chase Bank checking coupon, but would not allow my request for Sunday coupons stating the following in our most recent correspondence:

    “We do NOT allow postings for coupons in general. I stated before, that if you are looking for a specific coupon that is fine. As stated the member was looking for a Chase bank coupon, not ALL of the coupons from the Sunday paper,etc….This was explained to you at the time your post was denied. Thank you,

    MRP Freecycle Owner”

    First off, she never explained the whole coupon thing in the intial denial. She simple stated coupon postings are not allowed & this was after two e-mails asking if I should repost as I did not see my Wanted post come up on the board. After seeing the Chase bank coupon pop up, I e-mailed her asking what the deal was & if she could clarify this whole coupon thing. Two e-mails later, she responded with the above.

    It should be further noted, that you can offer ALL your Sunday coupons as one member did once which I happily picked up from her.

    I’ve always the idea behind Freecycle, but seeing it in action is a whole other animal.

    So remember, you can ask for a TV just not ALL the TVs, ok?

  207. The above comment, which was left 8/12/09, was left by me, Sara Frazier-not the same “Sara” who posted earlier.

  208. Just today My Freecycle group in Knoxville Tn had many ISO posts for things such as working major appliances, expensive building materials, furniture and antique collectibles. There were two offers–both for junk mail coupons! I ask, how much space does a coupon take up in a landfill? There are over 8,000 members of Knoxville Freecycle and that’s the best any one has to offer? The other day I offered a children’s musical activity gym in good condition w/batteries and the man that came to pick it up had a pick-up loaded down w/ items and was unconcerned with the workings of the toy. He was obviously not picking it up for his own child. It is my belief this group is a scam! The moderator must be working the posts to seem on the up and up with a team of people & scimming the gifts for themselves, possibly to resale for profit.

  209. Now look, it’s not that I am behind anyone I just don’t like a lynch mob attitude from anyone or for that matter ostracising of the complainant, do you see where I’m coming from now; the only time Bunny started to make her comments stronger in character is when you openly attacked her, now you can not deny that can you. Bunny has had bad experiences with the freecycle network obviously like the rest of us here, that does not make her a bad person, and the whole purpose for us being here is because there is no outlet to deal and I almost typed Beal, to complain about the rotten apples so to speak, well at least not to anyone who want’s to listen without first pointing that finger at us and then again pointing that finger at us. We are the foundation of freecycle which is an OK concept and oh by the way keeps Deron in a very well paid living not us, and no I don’t think it has anything to do with the bloody planet, because sooner or latter the stuff is still going to wind up in landfill anyway, that which comes out of the soil goes back to the soil it’s not going to increase the size of the planet is it, it’s been like that for billions of years.

    The header on this site says “Problems with FreeCycle? Issues with FreeCycle Moderators? You’re Not Alone.” this does not say anything about carrying on battles with those complaining on here about the troubles they have encountered and you really need to understand that, Dorothy has been helpful though rude also in content sometimes and some of your comments are helpful too but if you want to represent the freecycle group in a good way, you are letting the side down by attacking the commenter’s here calling them jealous, greedy and the rest.

    I am sure Sara is a popular name but the style is much the same as yours and if I am wrong I stand corrected.

    Now I think it’s time to stop this and give the site back to those for whom it was designed unless you have some positive help to give here as a representative of the freecycle group.

  210. Raggie, I appreciate your valiant efforts to weed through all the comments on here to point out who you think who is who and who has sounded the same. But as much as you think I have that kind of time on my hands, I don’t and really, it’s funny you question my time, while you’re making this debacle worse when it could have been just left alone. Move on, just drop it. There is absolutely nothing positive coming out of this and it seems everyone is hell bent on bringing me down a notch or two, and I refuse to step down to that level, it’s really silly for me to reply right now, but again, you are making accusations about me and I do not know how I am such the point for discussion since you say my comments are boring.

    As for me being from Milwaukee, no that would not be me. But upon looking at those comments, the one that started was #57, there are none before that in relation to Milwaukee/Sara/Nicole. And comment #57 mentioned a problem with Nicole and it looks as if Sara came on to defend the board. (Groups usually have at best 3 mods up to 6 mods) And I really can not help it if Sara is a popular name. Do you realize just how popular that name is??? Heck there is 1 Sara in my neighborhood across the street from me. I can’t go to a store without hearing my name being called at least ONCE a week.

    My first post started #128. Total of 6 posts. Raggie, whereas you top off at 16. (I used the word find feature in my browser where I typed in your name, so that took me at best 30 secs.)

    As for me working outside the home. I am a photographer and I run my own business. And I have been doing this for 3 years. Before that I was a family photographer for 5 years for a company, so my people skills are impeccable. Which I also held a management position before that for 3 years.

    And while everyone is entitled to their opinion, it’s just that. If you choose to agree or disagree, fine, but do not choose to take it to the next step of making it personal. My post #128, it didn’t pick you out, it didn’t pick Bunny out, it didn’t pick Peter out, it was about the discussion as a whole and how I saw it.

    But not once, did anyone reply back to say, wait a minute, this is what I had meant or attempt to clear up the misunderstanding, instead BUNNY replied back saying how I need to “grow up” and that I have “presumed knowledge.” But when I reply back to her the same way, then everyone acts shocked and surprised where that came from. So Raggie, then why do you choose to defend Bunny? If you don’t understand why I defend Freecycle. To me at least Freecycle is a great cause that I have volunteered for 5 years, done countless newspaper/radio/TV appearances to create awareness and is doing something to make this planet better. Bunny? I’m not quite sure your stance on being behind her, but at least mine serves a purpose.

  211. Dorothy I am sorry you feel you need to leave this board of comments as you have been polite untill Sara entered into battle but if you must then we can’t stop you. Thank you though for your help so far.

  212. Sara thanks for your praise but frankly I find you to be one very patronising woman and you have been dominating this page for some time now. Your comment to Bunny about not giving your identity away is crazy, since on this very page some time back (58) you made a very pointed statement which makes it very obvious that you are from freecycle Milwaukee and you and Nicole are indeed one and the same person complained about in comment (57) and the ones before too! It is just a guess but I would say that judging by the style of your comments you and Sally on this page are also one and the same person too.
    I would not have placed you and Dorothy in the same boat however but I would say that Dorothy and Jennifer is one and the same person.
    When it comes to Bunny and Peter I think you have got that a bit out of sink, as there may be some typing errors but their style is not the same, you just decided to attack them because Peter stuck up for Bunny. Next you will be saying I am the same person too because I am making this comment to you.

    Now that we have all this out of the way, I have all the emails sent back and forth betwixt myself and the Milton Keynes group along with the ones from the person that I was asked to contact about my complaint and as you have already said I am very polite until anyone pushes me past the pale and then watch out. Freecycle’s complaint procedure sucks and frankly your behaviour as a representative on here as a freecycle moderator from Milwaukee sucks too threatening those who dare to challenge you on anything and when that doesn’t work you react with playground taunts that which would be better suited to a sassy 13 year old.

    You seem to be obsessed with this site and Deron wonder why? Do you actually go out to work every day apart from your voluntary work for Deron and his freecycle. I can not see why your on here if only to prove everyone right to feel aggrieved about their experiences with freecycle if you are an example of it’s control troll’s moderators and here I have to say, not all are the same, so I will not tar them with the same brush. It has been interesting to find out so much about freecycle through this board, but hopefully, as you are rather boring with the comments you have made to others you will get the hint and find a paid job instead of a voluntary one, where perhaps you will find others are not going to be so tolerant with your ranting.

    That’s it now either stop the silliness or be ignored by all when Dorothy has been polite she has received polite comments when she has not the same have followed. Learn from it and live a better life because without us you will not have a freecycle. Am I making myself clear Sara.

  213. LOL, Dorothy and I are two separate people, you can rest assured about that one.

    And one last thing Bunny, next time, don’t misspell the same words and at least change up how you type/speak if you’re going to pretend to be someone else.

    Your personal attacks, no matter how much you think they bother me, they don’t.

  214. HI I am Dorothy and no one has pretended to be me. I have not replied lately as I feel that people who are so rude and obnoxious do not deserve answering and I am leaving this group as of now.

  215. Sara get real will ya, I’m Peter and am not known to suffer the pains of PMT that you so obviously are prone to, whilst hiding behind the name of Dorothy when it suits you when no one belives a word that you say here whilst wageing your half a brain attack, while you claim to set the broken record straight.

    What does your shrink say about your latest pastime, PASS….

  216. Hey Bunny, why not own up to using your own name and stop hiding as Peter.

    But thanks, you have showed me that the reason this whole topic started in the first place, you have nothing to say in regards to that. Instead attack why I choose to defend Freecycle, I have stayed on topic. I have provided proof/facts etc. Not one of you have provided me anything for the claims of Deron making $2 million a year.

    Thanks, even though you haven’t said it, since you have not acknowledged anything I have provided to show Deron DOES NOT make $2 million. You choose to instead attack my integrity. I have nothing more to say on this, being as you haven’t mentioned anything Freecycle related except for my standing within or how you think I am a control freak. Which I find amusing.

    OH, BTW…here’s some facts from comments above that provide there is/was an issue with how much Deron earned and this would be YOUR comment :

    #135. Sara if your a volunteer, working for the so called charity that can afford to pay $42 thousands per week plus to the man that brought this organisation about and has declared himself an employee rather conveniently

    And you’re right. I am not an authority here. I’m just here to set the record straight with people who claim Deron makes $2 million a year.

    I’m not here to tell you what problems you have had with whichever board you belonged to that you were wrong or that you were right. Again, I am here to set the RECORD straight on how much you think Deron is paid.

  217. Sara it’s clear by what your busy little sticky fingers typing away on here that your simply here for a bitch fight and you have picked on on one person Bunny as the main topic of your fight with us generally in the background as her followers?

    Let’s put it another way to you, you, if you can’t take the heat then you get out of the kitchen, since Bunny has clearly given as good as she got from you and Dorothy.

    You come on here and patronise as though your some kind of loud noise in the freecycle world and only you must be listened to, well lady this is the news for you, if you care so much then listen to what’s being said and get off your frigging pedestal your no authority here or anywhere either use the respect or stop claiming you are when your not.

    As for Raggie it’s clear that the problems encountered there with the frecycle network are all valid and the correct paths were taken but it is freecycle that has again been a let down in it’s attitude here.

    Oh yes one more thing, no one here has mentioned anything about being disgruntled at Deron earning from this just you, all everyone is asking for is facts about the freecycle that we belonged to so get your facts right.

  218. Wow, I see how this all is going. People can speak to others however they deem fit, but the minute that person replies in the same manner, it’s all wrong. As for me, I have no problems showing respect but the minute someone shows disrespect, better expect that person to reply in the same. (as the saying goes, if you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen.) I have no problems finding out where everyone’s information has gone wrong and explaining information further, but when you start to judge me, is way out of line. EVEN more so with the original post that started this all was basically stating facts from me. And why on earth would Bunny tell Dorothy to take her pills? Why would she tell Dorothy that she doesn’t know how to read tax forms or even begin to comprehend them? Dorothy has been nothing but nice and respectful to Bunny and not once have I seen Bunny show her any sort of respect, which that is why I am tired of responding to anything she directs towards me.

    Raggie, please do not lump yourself with everyone else on this board as for showing respect. You have been decent in your replies and have stayed on topic. But I strongly recommend reading the other replies on here, being as to say others have been showing respect is a far cry from your posts.

    Raggie, I’ve had the GOA contact me in regards to a members complaint. Only once so far (out of 4 years, and really, that person was not even a member). I can not speak for all the GOA’s in the area. But I know if you have a complaint, to have the emails to back up your complaint. Whereas just sending an email, leaves it to your word against the mod and if the mod has the emails, perfect, if they don’t, it becomes your word against theirs. (We have a board set up so all communication comes to us is archived and we can show exactly verbatim what was said, being as once there is a post on that board, you can not edit it. BUT this is my area and am not sure if every group is set up that way.) But as with the saying goes, there are two sides to every story and depending on who has what to back up their claims is what the GOA goes off of. BUT enough complaints come through for the board you had a problem with, they will take action.

    OH and Deron does pay attention to Freecycle. In fact in my area. He himself, personally asked the moderator of our group to step down. She would remove members at the drop of a hat for posting incorrectly (rummage sales) while she would post her own. She removed a members posting ability for typing in caps, but failed to contact the member and ask her why. When I met the member, I was dropping off one of my offers. Come to find out she’s blind and has her screen magnified but can only read caps. That is just a snippet, really, like 5% of what she did but when it came time for the mod to hand over the board, she renamed it and failed to tell the members the group was no longer under Freecycle. And when they did ask her about it, she lied. Which in turn she created approximately 30 groups, all using Freecycle in the name. Yahoo can only do so much, they did close down the groups, but she kept sprouting more. Where it came to the point where Deron was almost seeking legal action. She was the worse mod anyone has ever seen, so she set the bar for the other mods that members have problems with.

    How on earth is anyone getting that Deron is paid $42,000/week. When miraculously the 990 forms says he is only paid that a year. He reports that he works 40 hours a week, but when the amount reported is what he earned for the year. You don’t report the total number of hours worked for the year, they just want an idea of the amount of hours put in for the week for the amount you are declaring you get paid. IF he made $42,000/week, he would then have to report $2,148,000 on the tax forms, being as Freecycle needs to report where their donations and funds are going. How on earth can you phantom someone being paid $2 million a year when the organization doesn’t even generate that amount of money?

    Here is an explanation of the section of that tax form :

    Column (B)
    In column (B), a numerical estimate of the average hours per week devoted to the position is required for a complete answer. Statements such as “as needed,” “as required,” or “40+” are unacceptable.

    Column (C)
    For each person listed, report salary, fees, bonuses, and severance payments paid. Include “current-year payments” of amounts reported or reportable as deferred compensation in any prior reporting period.

    And if this still doesn’t make sense, I strongly recommend calling the IRS or H&R Block and they will explain this to you. And if for some reason I am wrong, then report it. But the IRS watches these forms like a hawk and they scrutinize every detail. (I understand tax forms, being as I have been doing tax forms for over 12 years now. I’ve never filed non-profit, but it all makes clear sense to me.)

    At the beginning, the very very first page of the 990 form, shows exactly how much money Freecycle received in grants, donations, etc. That total is $146,164. (An in reality, when it comes to the math. Deron, himself is only paid $42,000 a year. He can not make more then what Freecycle actually receives in funding.)

    And I guess I could see your points. Deron created this non-profit organization, it’s not for profit. And you’re all mad that the money that is donated, part of it goes to pay him. There are paid employees of non-profit organizations, every single one of them down the line, whether you like to believe it or not. And the money that is donated to those organizations, pays those employees. And yes there are volunteers, who do not seek compensation, being as the time they offer is minimal. BUT the services the non-profit organization offer, are doing this for free. You don’t get a bill from American Red Cross 2 months later for the money they gave you to buy new clothing, or for the hotel they paid for you to stay in. BUT they do suggest you donate when you get back on your feet.

    Either way, people are not going to be happy that Deron makes money. But to me it is 100% well deserved for as much dedication and work he puts into this great cause.

  219. Dorothy you do not need to have a charity status for councils to give you grants on a yearly basis as far as I am aware, it’s there for most proven new enterprizes and it’s a lottery as to whom may be selected each year of of the cash pot which comes out of our taxes. You only need to register if your business is making more then already said amount £10,000. providing you still want to get money from the council in grants out of the taxpayers pocket. If you do not then you need to submit a tax return to Inland Revenue.

    So far all the information looked at does not show the person in the UK you say is the only paid earner but it will be interesting to see some published accounts to do with the UK.

    Dorothy as the legal expenses in the 990 forms show that legal expenses for 2007 were $11,000. in Arizona on the tax return for Deron, I would hazzard a guess that is only for that country and not the UK. So who would pay for the legal expenses for freecycle UK as they are a non-profit organisation according to the Milton Keynes freecycle then, Deron?

    “”I think Freecycle has never tried to hide anything moneywise and that if anyone wishes to find a problem that is not the way to go.””

    EXPLAIN please?

    Dorothy we are polite when we ask questions but what you guys seem to have a problem understanding is that your moderators are not polite and even abusive! I have no doubt that there are those moderators who are polite and balanced but it’s the bad ones we speak of here with no hope in hell of getting freecycle to deal with them, and it’s no good you saying go to to have your complaint dealt with because the woman who I came into contact with was not that interested and sided with the owner and moderator with a very much closed attitude of mind saying she did have a life outside freecycle and was not very well?


    I do not belive for one minute that the bad owner/moderators that have left freecycle are the ones running their own new named groups, that’s a bit of an insult to those who are genuinely fed up with freecycle or feel they want to strike out on their own and start their own group only to find they are hounded by freecycle moderators bad mouthing them.

    If you consider the complaint I made and asked if this group could be split up into sections of 4 i.e. North South East and West as it’s according to the owner a high volume group and this makes him and his moderator a very irratable pair and what’s more he displayed the George flag on his hope page for several months on end as far as I can recall, now as far as I know this is usually the pass time of those in England who wish to make a particular type of patriotic statement (usually associated with the National Front)and if your a non resident of England then you would not understand that but I belive you must be a UK resident also, this is not the same statement as say a US flag in the US. Yet he is continuing to rule the MK freecycle and there is no hope of having anyone else with a more pleasant attitude to run things or even have a choice of group to join!

  220. PS Some of these groups setting out on their own will be run by the type of moderators you complain about who have left TFN or had their groups removed because of number of complaints received!
    Maybe a bigger % than in TFN

  221. Charity status in Britain is only for the British end of things. Accounts have to be kept separately and cannot be transferred.(Think I have this correct)
    The address on them is for legal reasons only. Someone living in the UK has to give proof of residence.
    The person is an unpaid volunteer who no longer does the accounts and is not available for comments.

    I think we had to have charitable status for councils to be able to allocate any money.
    This current year shows £1000 expenses which are for materials used to advertise local freecycle events. They have to go in at the end of July and will be available shortly.
    Although one person in Britain is paid by TFN to work full time on the new website they are paid from TFN donations and will be in that figure you quote for wages paid.
    I don’t know if you have two years mixed up as he was not on the accounts I looked at a few months ago, but was on those published by Deron to the moderators recently.
    Most of us are not interested in them but they are published for openness and accountability.
    I think Freecycle has never tried to hide anything moneywise and that if anyone wishes to find a problem that is not the way to go.
    There are now over 9000 moderators (okay exact figures are not known by anyone and change daily) But Yahoo did a quick check and came up with this many separate email addresses last year. Of course there are going to be some who act as the complaints here state.
    However I have met more nice, helpful and trustworthy people in Freecycle in the last 3 years than I have in my lifetime. Most do it for the right reasons and are kind, considerate and easy to get on with. Even these can have a bad day. Maybe try asking for reasons for decisions and be polite. Number one rule is show respect. If you show respect then you are more likely to get it in return.
    Tough if you have one you don’t get on with, send your complaints in to to be dealt with. And start a recycling group up yourself there are plenty out there.

  222. Hang on a minute!

    Something is not adding up here how can the accounts displayed as a tax return persuadably show on form 990 that Deron the only recipient to be receiving some $42691. Per week in wages for 40 hours per week work time as the founder of freecycle and only wage earner. Legal expenses are around $11,000. Per annum with very minimal running expenses.

    However, on the flip side; when you go to the freecycle web site and you get a message saying the income at $140,000. And the following message:

    “FundsThe Freecycle Network’s current annual budget is running at about $140,000 in income. The funding comes from corporate underwriting, on-site advertising (in the form of a Google sponsor bar), grants and individual donations. Approximately 90% of these funds are used directly for program expenses. The remaining 10% is split evenly between membership, fundraising and other administrative expenses. Our IRS 990s are posted at the hotlink below as well as on We are delighted to report that we have now received our 501(c)3 status from the IRS (11/06) and that donations to The Freecycle Network are tax-deductible! We likewise are a charity in the UK. Further, we are registered as a non-profit corporation in the State of Arizona. Tax deductibility is retroactive to our application date in July of 2004.
    Our expenses of about $130,000 are mainly in the paying of four individuals and the maintenance of our current website and design of the new community. These individuals include the executive director, two contractors responsible for the current web community and one contractor for the new website design project. We have several servers to this end, coding expense and related site-design expenses. We also are incurring substantial legal expense, primarily in defending our trademark.
    Our model is much like that of PBS. We seek to provide a free public forum for our members, and seek grants, underwriting and voluntary donations to fund these efforts. It’s a rather unique model for a website, but The Freecycle Network is a unique organization. As we further develop community reuse and recycling on a globally local scale in over 70 countries we are creating a global gift economy in the process. Simply beautiful how one can change the world, one gift at a time.
    Most recent Form 990”

    Now that’s just a bit different to the other information on the 990 form? May be it’s for a different country do you think!

    Now when you visit the Charity accounts published in the UK or the site that Dorothy recommended to drop in on there is nothing to declare because it’s income is below £10,000.?

    I am confused. Is the freecycle network only linked by name but actually functioning as individual business/charity group’s then, no that can‘t be. Are they then as individual groups for each area claiming grants and sponsorship from our councils or do they receive only £0. From anywhere in the UK and so who pays then for any minimal expenses here Deron, that‘s not on the 990 form though? Who can answer these questions, maybe someone like watchdog because the representatives’ here Dorothy and Sara are just a bit hostile with their comments over the everyday running matters.

    By the way Sara and Dorothy; we are not greedy and are asking for nothing but the facts here that’s all as members of the network freecycle, try to remember we are the ones giving to make it all work for freecycle, we are the generous ones keeping your idle brain occupied. We do not begrudge someone earning his spoils from his idea at all good luck to him, as one would also say to someone on the other end of the scale like Bill Gates.

    What we are saying is that some freecycle group owners and moderators and complaints charges are rude, abusive and out of their tree mentally and academically void that’s all, and, that we require full information where to complain by phone to someone with a balanced brain, but, when we do it falls on yet more arrogance and by the way Deron has no phone number to contact him anywhere, no there is no office phone number so can I ask who it is you have spoken to on the phone that you say answers calls, however the freecycle network is registered to him and 2 others here at their home in Wellingborough on the charity forms as the freecycle network address?

    I would say this to Deron; well done for having a brilliant idea but your organisation and control over it is pathetic since there are so many unhappy members and so many bad owners and moderators running it with members left hanging and no where to complain!

    There is also a good deal of unethical behaviour against similar groups setting up on their own due to their unhappiness with the freecycle network and this comes directly from local group owners and moderators, one question, why?

  223. I don’t have time to go into it but maybe it was the figures for the first year of our charitable status. This current one is due to be lodged shortly and will be different as we have seen it.
    Unless people click the donate button and I don’t think then we know where they live, I am guessing that yes, councils who give grants keep control of the money and just pay the bills. I know that London
    area gets grants but usually it pays for putting on local events and printing and distribution. I belieive if we don’t use it we lose it.
    We have been assured that no money raised in Britain goes to USA or pays any part of anyone’s salary. Therefore who earns what is not my business, however I am sure that someone putting in the time and commitment that Deron does to Freecycle would generally be earning far more than he.

  224. That’s funny Dorothy, went to the UK link you mentioned and it shows exactly nill in and outs? I’m guessing because this is below £10,000. and so does not need to be declared to the charities commissions in accounts, but, as far as I am aware to register as a charity you need to have incoming of at least £1000. All this does not mean that grants or sponsorships or whatever below that bench mark is not to be kept in records which in turn would need to be accounted for in records to the givers so those records need to be reported to that charity’s members also. I mean it can’t be that the records of each section of the country i.e. north south east and west England etc. are taken as individual charity’s and therefore receiving grants from each taxpayer’s council? These would be interesting to know however since you came to comment on here I was actually interested but as for Sara she is just plain hormonal and thinks she has cornered the market on her yappity yap yap and is very defensive about Deron and his dosh, wonder why? At the end of the day up front records of nominal accounts need to be available to it’s members and yes we are not silly and do know that even charities have earning staff members and therefore this is then disclosed as expenses for the running of said charity and therefore may well be then deemed not to be making a profit I guess, yes we all know accountants can earn their wage too.

    Your right that the aggression needs to stop it seems to be coming from a few people on here who have already been slammed for their part in bad attitude’s toward their members and consider themselves to be a law unto themselves.

  225. Was that pointed at Sara because she has been rude and should be taken in hand by you since your a good freecycle moderator clearly though maybe your just a BIT biased?

  226. Hi sorry that was everything to get to the correct page Go to

    and put freecycle in the search.
    And if you want people to participate I suggest you stop the rudeness and aggression. You would surely make the worst Freecycle Moderators.

  227. Sorry about the last comment because it seemed to be gone and then came back is there a ghost around here?

  228. What’s going on where is Bunny’s latest comment gone?!

    By the way Dorothy the link address you provided does not work.

  229. Sara if your a volunteer, working for the so called charity that can afford to pay $42 thousands per week plus to the man that brought this organisation about and has declared himself an employee rather conveniently and not shadely, then if you are here today speaking for them as a charity I think you will find the rule book says in it’s entirety that you must declare your identity to said members, US!

    The fact that you say you will not speak to Bunny again is just plain childish, she has put across a valid argument and you have tried to shut her up but you have failed.

    You are also just like the controll freaks that we have been talking about on here, why does it bug you if we ask questions and seek answers about something that you say is so open to everyone even an idiot like you.

  230. Sara your semi literate abuse and comments to me made me laugh I have to say, never mind your paranoia in thinking that if I ask you to justify your comments by saying how you came about the knowledge of the subject you deem, your business, to fight about here by insults and abuse to me and let us know which part of the organisation you belong to if we are to take you seriously. For you to then say that you are not an IDIOT and that I may attack you in some way is one of the most absurd paranoid ideas yet. Out of 133 and after this one 134 comments on this board I have made at most about half a dozen comments in reply to another, and you have made 3 so far. This page is open to all and not limited to big mouths, please take note J
    You have just come across as yet another belligerent Moderator with a loose grasp on reality thinking the world is against you. Sorry, who did you say is trapped mentally in a box and incapable of thinking outside of it ;)!

    I would ask that if your going to make silly comments like that and before you run at the frothy mouth, you actually take time to read what is being said, understand and digest it.
    Let me make it clear for you: if we are members of freecycle then what I am saying again is, that it would be nice, on each homepage of every group, there be a clear indication or perhaps a link to click on right up front, in the most prominent part of that page what exactly is being earned or received in grants sponsorships or received finances through adverts and who is earning any salaries and who was paid for any service. The nominal rendition should be in a format even IDIOT’S can understand. Now do you find that hard to get your fuzzy little head around?

    Dorothy you have taken you pills to I hope dear, as you’re rambling about something unconnected with this conversation but then again perhaps it’s a backward way evading the issue.

  231. Liz, I am sorry you were harrased by a member and am unsure why the mod would not do anything in regards to your complaint, but each group varies on these topics. Some groups allow pets, while some don’t. But from what I hear, it seems like she just sent an email demanding the kittens and honestly, there isn’t anything I or other mods would be able to do about that, being as you can choose to ignore people like that and block them from sending you anymore emails.

    Emailing the members on the other hand to warn them about this member, is what our group would call spamming. This is listed in the guidelines, while you feel vindicated in informing other members about this person, it’s again up to the member themselves if they choose to acknowledge that person or not. See and what it means by spamming, is you’re not replying to accept their offer for a kitten, you’re sending them an email to warn them about a member. It becomes a situation that no one should put themselves in. And sadly, it resulted in you being removed from the board.

    I know if I was approached with this, I would not be able to do anything unless the member used foul language or if you could within good cause show that she had sent you numerous emails, but again, it’s a rather iffy subject and there are so many factors involved before I could say what I would do.

  232. Bunny, this will be the last time I address you, being as you seem to swarm around this board replying to people’s posts and not one word you say shows that you have read what the person has said. OR that somehow we are thinking outside the box that you seem to trap yourself inside of all the time.

    1. I am a volunteer moderator for Freecycle. You need to know nothing more. Why am I go to tell you which group I moderate? I am not an IDIOT to open doors of problems that would come from you and whatever flock you send my way. I do not need to prove my standing within Freecycle. It does not prove anything to you, nor anyone else. I could tell you I’m God and that’s just it. It’s what I say whether you choose to believe me or not, is your own choice.

    2. Freecycle is a charity and they NEED to report to the IRS to show where their money is going. (Which if they didn’t, they why are there forms to show they have reported to the IRS?) Deron on the other hand, has to REPORT individual taxes like anyone else. Just because you run a charity, you earn money as a paid employee that needs to be reported. Everyone who MAKES money on an individual basis, reports 1040’s. No matter where the money came from, be it from Freecycle, self employment, etc. He is a PAID employee of Freecycle and he reports his taxes just like you and me and his personal taxes are SEPERATE from Freecycle.

    3. You have no idea what you are talking about. Greenpeace is about creating awareness and providing information about making the planet better. Freecycle is about reducing waste from a landfill. I did not realize the two are just too much to wrap your head around. OH and btw, Greenpeace is trademarked.

    4. Each group does not generate ANY money. As it says on’s website. Monies that ARE donated come from Waste Management , King & Spaulding (pro-bono services for legal action) and Cal Max (web design). If you are too lazy to read the tax forms that are posted on’s website, I am not going to sit here and do the work for you. The forms are there, they are PUBLIC to show you and anyone else who questions the funds where the money goes. And honestly, if Deron was being shady, why would he have this open for everyone to view.
    5. I don’t go running around pretending I know things. Someone with basic common sense and able to review the information in front of them on would know these things.

  233. Animals are always emotive subjects, and in my opinion not suitable for freecycle. I will not allow them at all on my group.
    However if your are guilty of harassment that is a two strikes and you are out offence which is part of the freecycle rules.
    Charity accounts can be found at the addy below. No money leaves Britain for foreign shores nor for wages, I can assure you.
    Freecycle does try to be as open and honest as it can, there is nothing to hide I am sure as we have an army of very intelligent volunteers, accountants and lawyers amongst them who sift and bisect everything.


  234. Jealous? No one gives a flying …. about who has which idea first and you Madame seem to be someone with a good deal of inside knowledge of what goes on in the life of Deron so might one ask are you related, understand what we are saying, anyone who becomes a member is not aware of money being made by anyone since we have it rammed down our throats that we must not make any money from this enterprise? I was not aware that there was a Deron and that he earned money out of our exchange of junk so put your sword back in your scabbard woman because if any of us could make this amount of money from an idea we would all be on the gravy train too. It’s just the fact that we are bullied and bounced about by a small bunch of half wits and there is no person to bring them into line when we give generously and are regularly pushed around for it whilst the man at the top quit his job to rake in the lolly and then to boot trademarked the name to do with recycling as if no one else may do the same. One word, silly, considering the whole lot of us have become more aware of global issues and want to do something about it, so why do you feel we should be jealous of Deron and why should the name of recycling be trademarked? That’s like saying Greenpeace came up with the idea first of global issues and then went about making the public at large aware of it so they should trademark their idea! Come on now lady grow up please $42 thousands of bucks a week would buy Deron and many others living expenses and many people private health care for many decades to come, so why are you so up in arms about it if we get to known about this and discuss it openly, not trying to put us off the subject are you, because frankly if I were the owner of this and made all this dosh I would pay attention to the fact that there are those in my organisation who are abusing my members and need to get the push, period. Or are you one of those people? I mean who are you, what are you?

    Oh and by the way I wasn’t aware that charities had to pay taxes, so are you saying that he does and if so why if he is registered as a charity? I mean you seem to have a truck load of presumed knowledge.

    The point you seemed to have missed Sara is that, we would like the fact that the groups we all belong to freecycle to run a weekly or monthly tally up front at the top of the home page of how much money each group or country of groups is making so that we know exactly what it is we are contributing to. Now do you think that would be to much to ask? Why the hell as members do you think we should not be clearly in the picture of who or whom is making dosh out of us and how much and how when we actually join without having to comb through the pages of jargon to find it?

    Either state who exactly you are within the freecycle network if you want your word read or why bother frankly since we have stated who we are?

  235. well.. i was amazed that there are so many problems with freecycle all over the world and not just here in very rural wales uk.. my issue is this,, some months ago i placed an advert on freecycle offering kittens as a stray cat had come to my house for the 2nd time in 6 months and given birth to a 2nd lot of kittens we kept the first lot but as that took our lot of cats to 6 ( and then the stray making 7) we decided to post an ad early offering the kittens to allow us time to vet the homes for them etc… to make sure they were going to be safe, i had a vile email from a woman who demanded i give her my 4 week old kittens, it didnt matter that they were so young, she had nursing mothers and could just find my kittens new mothers then rehome them, i declined i had 4 more emails basically saying i was selfish for not giving them to her she told me she had a waiting list of homes for my kittens etc etc… i sent her emails with a detailed complaint to the moderators of my locaL GROUP, ha what a waste of time nothing was done, so when people started offering kittens for good homes i sent them emails warning them about this woman who by now we had investigated and didnt just rehome cats but she was actually a breeder, one of the women i sent a warning email to sent me the email she had received from this woman which told her that the rspca and cats protection league had no kittens and were actually referring people to her!!!! i was horrified this is the middle of kitten season these charities are over run with animals desperate for a new home she was doing them danger, so i continued to warn people who advertised their kittens for new homes the general response i got was amazing, i was thanked and had eails sent that this woman sent in all cases just demanding kittens even when they were far too tiny to leave theor mother, tonight i had an email from freecycle removing me from their group because someone i sent this email too sent it to the moderators but apparently my behaviour was against their rules, yet this woman who is endangering genuine needy charities is allowed to continue to demand peoples kittens she NEVER says she breeds cats just that she is a rescue home and has a huge waiting list yet she keeps decent females to breed, so now i am the bad guy and the power crazy moderator thinks it is ok for a crazy woman to demand baby kittens now when i look online there is no where for me to pass my complaint on apart from the paper which i shall be doing…. so if anyone has any ideas where i can take my complaint to id be grateful because i believe my complaint is serious i was up to today an extremely active member of freecycle by offering many many items and also answering adverts for things we needed when advertised and posting wanted notices too ( well i did when they were authorised and not refused for some stupid reason or other)

    so please can soemone help with a complaints contact details that would be great my email address is and my name is liz thanks all xx

  236. I am surprised at the amount of greedy talk that is going on here. Ok, so you guys are angry that Deron gets paid. Then what should Deron get paid if he puts in more than 40 hours a week for this great cause that he created and has been there since day one? Apparently not one of you can even phantom the amount of work that is involved that Deron does. I think I see your points more justified IF he wasn’t involved and instead off on vacation letting someone else do the work. I do not see how anyone can point fingers, when he needs to live, he needs to eat, he needs a roof over his head and certainly he has bills to pay. You may all sit there and think he has a cushy job, oh he only sits on the computer, um, Deron is WAY more involved than just that, and yes, most of his time will be spent on the computer, BECAUSE Freecycle is online, on the Internet, on the computer.

    And yes for the Vice Chair and Secretary they are paid Zero and have been since 2005, since Freecycle’s creation. They work at best 2 hours a week. Why should someone who works so little be paid anything and honestly, if anyone should have a problem with it, it should be them and not you. Because IF they had a problem, they wouldn’t have been volunteering for Deron / Freecycle for 4 years.

    And what do you guys have to say about American Red Cross? Even though it’s a non-profit organization, there are people who still get paid that work 40 hrs/week. You can not expect someone to put in that kind of time and not need money in order to survive. What about Goodwill? I donate MY items to them for FREE, but they turn around and sell it for PROFIT to pay disabled workers, president of Goodwill and on down the line.

    Oh and non-profit lawyers, they still get paid. And they work a lot more then 40 hours a week for their clients.

    As for the UK, Freecycle is established in the United States, while there may be groups in the UK. Is just that and nothing more. IF it costs him anything for advertising overseas, it still gets reported on the US taxes, being as the main office is here in the US. (I could really get into political issues here, that tie in with this whole can of worms you guys have opened about overseas versus here in the states.) And the UK would not donate anything, being as it started here in the states and it’s here that Freecycle receives it’s funding.

    And you’re right/wrong, an IT person sets up the site, but from time to time has to do routine maintenance, being as sometimes stuff will stop working, people might hack into the site, there might be updates to make the site better and run smoother. And right now, My Freecycle is in beta testing. So, it’s still a work in progress while they figure out all the bugs, kinks, etc., it runs on it’s own.

    And funny you mention Deron makes $42,691. Do you realize that is BEFORE taxes, that is BEFORE he pays for his OWN health care out of pocket? When you take all that away, it’s not much. (And the tax papers that are online are FREECYCLE’s tax papers, not Deron’s personal tax papers.)

    But it all comes down to this, people are just jealous that he came up with such an easy idea, and is making money off of it. Some of you think he shouldn’t, but I know the amount of work he puts into this idea and he deserves it, even more so he quit his full time job to dedicate himself fully to this cause. (A full time job that he made MUCH more than what he makes for this cause.)

    As for me, I volunteer for Freecycle because I whole heartedly believe in making this planet better for my children and creating awareness about reducing waste. Which also brings me to the reason why Waste Management is a big contributor to Freecycle. With this in place, it’s giving people an option to give their stuff away versus creating more waste in an already overcrowded landfill. I have seen people give plastic bags to broken toys to packing peanuts to a boat come thru Freecycle. EVERYTHING has a use, to the person who owns it, it’s junk, it’s garbage. But there are people out there that can have a use for it. (Broken toys was for a local artist.)
    So, you would think Waste Management would fully grasp and help contribute to a cause that is SAVING them money. You may not think so, but when it comes to the man power to pick up the trash, down to the crews that work at the landfill. It’s trickles down the line and it adds up, whether you like to believe it or not, it does.

  237. OK Dorothy your busy and probably not able to look into what is said in the financial report for 2008 on the site Clem mentioned but unless I’m blind all I can see is on page 5 where it says: List of Officers, Directors, Trustees and employees it shows the hours worked for the Vice chair Jenifer Columbus total number of hours worked per week 2 hours compensation if not paid 0. and for Secretary Jolie Sibert total number of hours worked per week 2 hours compensation if not paid 0. and for the third and final person it says Chairperson Deron Beal total number of hours worked per week is 40 hours per week compensation if not paid 42,691 Also Contributions to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation plans 10,171.
    Now as it says hours per week do you suppose this means he is compensated by these ammounts per week – how much per year is that 42,691 x 52 weeks so that’s many $$$$$$$? WOW!

    I guess if in the UK he functions his freecycle with grants and is a registered charity then yes he would have to disclose his outgoings and incomings to the grant makers but then does he get compensation or a salary for services rendered also weekly?

    I’m pretty sure if anyone has to lend IT help they would be paid but there is only so much IT one needs to do for a site that basically runs OK through software.

    Dorothy no one says that your paid because Volunteers are just that and are not paid unless it is declared as paid volunteers.

  238. There is a lot going on in my private life and on Freeycle uK at the moment and I do not have time to answer all the points raised since my last visit.
    None of the volunteers are in Freecycle for the money so who get paid what does not bother the majority of us. Maybe you are looking at old accounts? We have have breakdowns of where the money is spent. I personally know one IT person who gets paid I also know we have to pay to rent space or storage or something on other networks to run the groups on MF.
    I am pretty sure there are two people who work on Admin full time in America who get paid also. One of them is around for us to contact so I assume one does the USA and the other the rest of the world.
    Most of the legal costs are incurred on protecting the trademark and whether this is a good use of resources may be questioned I suppose.
    UK money that I am aware of is only for use in the UK for specific purposes. The grants I know of have been held in a fund and administered scrupiously by UK volunteers.
    It has always been earmarked to spend only in the area covered by the authority who has granted it so none has come my way as yet.

  239. Yes I had a look too and found that the other expenses to so called people paid are not that clear on the tax return in the main it seems to go to Deron.

    By the way I came across this on their freecycle site:
    FundsThe Freecycle Network’s current annual budget is running at about $140,000 in income. The funding comes from corporate underwriting, on-site advertising (in the form of a Google sponsor bar), grants and individual donations. Approximately 90% of these funds are used directly for program expenses. The remaining 10% is split evenly between membership, fundraising and other administrative expenses. Our IRS 990s are posted at the hotlink below as well as on We are delighted to report that we have now received our 501(c)3 status from the IRS (11/06) and that donations to The Freecycle Network are tax-deductible! We likewise are a charity in the UK. Further, we are registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Arizona. Tax deductibility is retroactive to our application date in July of 2004.

    Our expenses of about $130,000 are mainly in the paying of four individuals and the maintenance of our current website and design of the new community. These individuals include the executive director, two contractors responsible for the current web community and one contractor for the new website design project. We have several servers to this end, coding expense and related site-design expenses. We also are incurring substantial legal expense, primarily in defending our trademark.

    Our model is much like that of PBS. We seek to provide a free public forum for our members, and seek grants, underwriting and voluntary donations to fund these efforts. It’s a rather unique model for a website, but The Freecycle Network is a unique organization. As we further develop community reuse and recycling on a globally local scale in over 70 countries we are creating a global gift economy in the process. Simply beautiful how one can change the world, one gift at a time.
    Most recent Form 990

    I’m guessing this is what Dorothy belives because she can’t make sense of the tax return form.

    But there are no records as you say Bunny for the UK on display – guess it’s time to ask the local council how much he gets maybe that will give a more direct answer.

  240. Clem & Raggie, from lookin into the faq files and the 9oo tax return statement it seems that the only fincial records on display is the many thousands being made by Deron in Tucson Arizona and that he has set the internet business up as a charity so that he can be exempt from taxes and having done that he then as a charity had to put together a comitee panel and it seems the panel consists of one secretary unpaid and one vice chair unpaid and him self Deron who is the only one paid other items covered in this report is that he has some running expenses a phone bill and such like, oh and he has had in the one year some $11000 Legal expenses and minimal accounting expenses but the entire kit some $300,000 + apart from any running cost of sitting at home and running a one room office; goes to Deron. This by the way is just the Tax return for one country and there seems not to be one for the UK or any other country?

    So Dorothy I think you need to read more carefully Deron is the only receipent of the lolly my dear for all your “hard” work and support!

  241. Oh and Dorothy, when it comes to My Freecycle, you have your opinion and I have mine, k?

    I’m glad that you like it and your groups are flourishing. The groups I’ve seen are not. No, they weren’t taken off TFN. They were removed from Yahoo but that’s because they switched.

    Sure, the My Freecycle has it’s perks. The Message Maker is awesome. It makes posting messages pretty much idiot-proof. I’m sure that helps the moderators immensely. The rest of it though, in MY opinion, is rough at best.

    And as for posts falling off due to the recession? I don’t really think that would be the case as the increase in wanted posts would even out the drop in offers.

  242. TFN stands for “The Freecycle Network”. It’s the everything behind all of the “lcoal” groups.

    I really don’t know much about the uk groups but Deron is the one that came up with the whole idea of Freecycle to begin with and is the “Executive Director”, so I think it would be a reasonable guess that, yes, he is the head honcho of the uk as well.

    You can find all of this information on the website. Look under FAQ and look at the “mod manual”. It even has a search box :)

    Dorothy, if Deron isn’t the only one getting paid, please correct me and tell me, who else is? Aside from the contractors I mentioned.

  243. Clem, thanks for the information that I had no knowledge of previously, good on ya.

    Clem forgive me in my ignorance but who the hell is TFN? I popped it into google search and it comes up with a whole bunch of stuff to do with Texas ={ and is Deron the head honcho in the uk freecycle too then therefore does he also get mulah from our councils locally too do you known.

    I will say that the group I now belong too which is an independant from the “trade marked” company freecycle does not make any money out of it’s service and maybe they need to tell everyone this fact that perhaps otherwise seemed assumed by us that they were all unaided financially!

    I know they say there’s money in trash but what a bloody nerve that I was unaware of my giving away some 1000+ items for the sake that someone else may as well have them since I’m not using them for free meant that Deron is the likely recipent of money from this. =[

  244. Quibble Dorothy? I don’t think anyone said anything about a quibble with it, just that we the contributors should be placed firmly in the picture openly giving us this information on every freecycle group home page that money is received for our contributions by Deron and whom so ever else there may be on the payrole, then give us the choice of joining and contributing if we wish to and whilst Deron is about it we want exact running tally of how much each month or week he and the others receive on each freecycle group!

    Dorothy first you mentioned 10,000 volunteers now your saying 9,000, how and where did you drop 1,000 volunteers? Have they unvolunteered themselves.

    If you personally have no quibble with that then that’s up to you but do the other 9 or 10 thousand voulunteers even know about this and where do you get off speaking for them?

    Since the topic with you was about the use of the word freecycle and it being made a trademark by Deron I must deduce from this talk and you say it is a much needed service then I still ask why should everyone not start their own group called freecycle as it is much needed or is it that freecycle is worried they may have to share the loot made out of us the contributors to their enjoying an exclusive business, and I ask this of you now because I am now convinced that you must have more knowledge of this business than a mere volunteer I’m guessing?

    Oh and by the way which branch of freecycle groups are you a owner or moderator of?

  245. Deron is not the only one paid and all figures are published.
    The 9000 unpaid volunteers have no quibble with it so why should you?
    If your two groups posts went down drastically then I suggest it was because the old groups were either closed down by Freecycle or taken out of TFN by the owners.
    I am on several My Freecycle Groups. The one next to me is now doing better than ever it did on Yahoo, having had two owners just abandon it. My own groups posts have fallen off slightly but that may be down to the recession. My Friends group in 4months is now two thirds bigger than it was on Yahoo and the posts have grown in proportion.
    I do not find it a crappy system, I use it and find it better on the whole that Yahoo, and we do have direct feed back to the IT people.
    I may try to set things straight but I am not going to get involved in any disputes or general knocking, of what is a after all a much needed and world wide resource.

  246. Raggie, I may be wrong but it was my understanding that Freecycle just began using Yahoo groups because it was what was most commonly available back in 2004 when this idea started. TFN now has it’s own (crappy) website. I’m in a couple of the groups that have switched over to “their” website and each one has faltered at best. These were groups that averaged 100-150 posts per day and now it’s MAYBE 20-30. It stinks.

    I also I believe the answer to your question of “So who in the long run of things receives payment from these revenues??” would be none other than the Freecycle head honcho himself, Deron Beal.

    The money comes from the gov’t, TFN’s sponsor Waste Management (can someone explain that one to me???), and tax-deductible contributions from regular joes.

    You can see their tax forms here:

    You will notice that Deron is the only one paid. Although on another page, it says something about 3 contractors that are being paid. One is the one who was developing their own (crappy) site. Two are contractors “responsible for the current web community”.

  247. Dorothy what you have just said begs the question; what exactly is the intention of yahoo/freecycle in the first place for setting up such organisation of recycling? Wonder if it was intended to be a money generating idea based on what your telling us here and that is why they would intend to guard their trademark, whilst we like lambs; give and receive so generously to keep “freecycle” alive and kicking and in some cases kicking us the good guy’s around verbally and walking all over our right to be treated fairly and with respect for providing freecycle with seven million customers and ten million volunteers who are hardworking sometimes without monetary pay.

    So who in the long run of things receives payment from these revenues?? Not you or I, then who exactly is this person or persons and why would they spend money on any litigation against the very people who are merely doing that which yahoo/freecycle thought to be something we would want to volunteer our goods and time too for “free”!

    As for lawyers running freecycle – I’m sorry I can’t see that unless there was some money in it for them to be freely volunteering their time in a busy money making world. Unless you’re talking of retired lawyers but I would indeed be interested to know of at least one that does indulge in this pastime.

    Dorothy I am already part of another group that is in fact run by it’s owner who receives no money from anyone and has impeccable up-front manners, I also belong to a freecycle group which has an alright owner so far but when it comes to the freecycle Milton Keynes group I can only say that my treatment there has been bizarre and discriminating – and – if you or the powers that “may be” within freecycle or yahoo take a look at the complaint’s here and from thousands not here they might find that the bubble of content is a little misshapen and in need of sorting out. They also need to stop the trademark crap because they don’t have even with the yahoo backing enough money to fight 7 million cases in court.

    I could go on and on but I think it only fair to stop here for now, as you are, at the end of the day standing here as an unpaid volunteer (moderator) and couldn’t possibly answer questions of the nature above as your not in the driving seat.

  248. I do get the posts but they usually go into spam. I have so many things go in this Yahoo one and I use it for non important stuff I tend to mass delete . I was assuming this was my post and it nearly went but I decided to check.
    Yes there are cases going on the the US courts. Yahoo have also gone to court I believe to defend their right to delete unofficial groups.
    With 10,000 volunteers some of them will be lawyers as we have seen on here so maybe the costs aren’t too high.
    There are plenty of recycle sites that are forming groups and which if you wanted to start one of your own up you could join.
    We do have to recycling companies which give us some sponsorship also the new websites will get revenue from the google ads whereas the Yahoo ones Yahoo gets the money.
    With 7,000,000 members and 10,000 volunteers we are bound to get some jobsworths but most are very nice and very hardworking and doing it for the right reasons.

  249. Oh Dorothy ;) now you have me smiling, how could freecycle sue anyone, where do they get their funds from since no trading for the ole pennies is allowed by their very own comandment. Oh yes I know it must be that pesskie yahoo chappie with the loot who set up freecycle as the original owner before .org of late hu. Wonder who actually paid for .org and set it up? Oh I know it must have been freecycle, silly me! Yahoo certainly want publicly to disown them, yet privately hold a favoured place in their bossom LOL.

    Well Dorothy hope your not gonna take this the wrong way but do you not get email reminders whenever comments are placed on here – I know I do.

    By the way if everyone in every state and town – for as many freecycles there are – matched it by starting identical groups with the same name, it would take “freecycle” forever and a day to pay for legal fees to persue everyone and as for the number of people who would stand up and say how the so called FAQ rules and guidelines of freecycle are missused by some of their moderators and owners and frankly infringe on consumer rights in the UK anyway hardly gives them the right to own an idea name outright that the entire planet is going to be into one day. That’s like saying Refuse Collection is trade marked and no one may call their business the same name? It’s not an exclusive club it’s recycling.

    Oh and by the way guy’s recycle Milton Keynes in two months has now at last count 113 members.

    Got to go now as I’m begining to ramble.

  250. I rarely log into this group so have just seen the comment from Raggie. Freecycle is a registered trademark. If you use it you are open to being sued. They do pursue people for this and Yahoo for one will delete your group.

  251. copied from the Freecycle Manual.

    8.8 Distance – how far away is it acceptable for a member to live?

    A member does not have to live anywhere near a particular Freecycle® group in order to be a member of that group: if, for example, they regularly work or visit family or friends in a town that is several hundred miles away from their home address, they can still participate fully in that town’s group.

  252. You want to here the latest odd ball story about the Milton Keynes Group owner……………
    I placed 2 wanted posts the other day after some months of not bothering with Freecycle Milton Keynes because of the discriminating ways employed with my membership, so anyway, one was for a Cat transporters box and the other for a Mobility scooter for my old folk friends who are no longer able to get around and the husband is now too frail to push his wife around in a wheel chair; I found that my cat box post went in and two other people asking for mobility scooters were allowed to post wanted adds but mine was deleted without a word as to why before it ever got published – so I didn’t argue as I have been here many times with this owner and his moderator, so I placed it with the new, unconnected group Recycle Milton Keynes Group and subsequently when the item was received, I posted a received add also – likewise then posted a received add on Freecycle also saying it was no longer needed as another group had now provided the item and as my post was omitted I was feeling discriminated against, I mean at the time I was in the dark as to why it had not been published by him as he often says he’s too busy and I must wait, though I had a pretty good idea he was not going to publish it as per normal with a lot of my posts, well guess what, it too was deleted by the owner who wrote back to me saying he deleted this because I may not post on two sites within 48 hours implying to me that the two sites were connected in some way – which they are not, I checked with the Recycle MK site. He also offered me the opportunity to leave if I wished to, and gave me the link to so do?

    So I wrote back saying I failed to see why he was discriminating against me and asking me not to post to another group that is not connected with Freecycle, since I had first posted to his group and he had contradicted himself anyway, by publishing one post for the cat box but not the one for the mobility scooter – because both had also been placed on the Recycle site anyway and what’s more his members did this all the time but he had no problems with them since he said I was the ONLY member he had stupid comments from? I also asked why he was asking me again if I would like to leave the group.

    He wrote back saying; I was stupid for making stupid comments and he and his moderators were giving me an ultimatum to read their etiquette file, and write back within the next few hours agreeing to uphold the rules or I would be removed as a member in the morning?

    So I told him again I have read the file he spoke of and that I had not broken any rules but that it seemed clear he liked to bully me for reasons that are still not clear and that he should grow up in no uncertain terms, as the only stupid comments seemed to be coming from him.

    No prizes for guessing what came next before the next morning; he was sorry that I had removed myself from the group? Actually I had not he did that all by himself, poor old man, no life huh. LOL

    Oh and by the way I forgot to mention he insists that he has been discriminated against; wait for it, he says: “I could not get past the front door of “YOUR” group.”

    So it seems, not only have I been wronged and harassed all along since I joined but now I was being harassed for either reason that he thought I owned the new Recycle group and would not let him in or because I lived in a more suburban part of the town – I’m not altogether sure which if not both.

    There are many types of troll in the world are there not maybe one day they will actually get a life.

    By the way Dorothy you failed to answer my question to you earlier about us all starting a group of our own called “Freecycle”? Guess the answer must be in that case that there is no reason why we can’t all do that then.

  253. The facts are, freecycle is one of the biggest network of twits running it, their either ageing old farts who enjoy the only bit of control they have in their lives or their out of work sit at home and mind everyone else’s business and enjoy mixing it to cause bad feeling.
    There is no control over this lot as they are individuals that own their own groups and yahoo courteousness is extended only to their baby “freecycle” they allow them pride of place in their directories and if you look there anyone who competes with their baby is functioning at a speed determined by yahoo.
    So I would say the best way to end their monopoly is to start your very own group web site as individuals for your own areas called “Freecycle” also on a seperate web server maybe ask gmail if they can help or hotmail or google as they will take care of the software and virus protection. The other way would be to just start your own web site for free not hard but watch out for those peskie mods they do love mixing it and sending you viruses.

  254. I have problems with some Freecycle groups too but two things I definitely agree with them on is people being in the area of the group they’re joining and limitng the wanted ads. One of the groups I’m a member of has so many wanted ads it’s ridiculous. It’s not for little things either, it’s bit stuff like TVs, RVs, cars, boats, laptops, etc. Funny thing is, the stupid moderators then reject the requests for old socks or margarine containers. WTF???

    Pennagirl- I used to be a Freecycle moderator (got out of that when the network started some practices I don’t necessarily agree with). I have never seen anywhere that TFN said that the location boundaries were 50 miles from the group. That may just be that group’s guidelines. That actually doesn’t make much sense if the other town is only 15 miles away. Why would TFN have 2 overlapping groups? There’s a city near me that someone wanted to start a group in but TFN said no because a county-wide group already covered that area. Freecycle groups used to be regional. That didn’t work very well so they broke them up into smaller more local groups.

    Also, when I moderated we had people that would complain that they were a member of x group but had people from a neighboring group posting. It got too confusing for them. Apparently the moderators aren’t the only dim bulbs in the box.

  255. If you go to you can find all the information about Freecycle. Under Member FAQ you should find the rules and guidelines. There are mandatory and discretionary ones. You can also probably get access to the moderators rules.
    All the policies and procedures are open for perusal by moderators although from some comments on here many of them obviously fail to read them.

  256. tried to sign up with four groups, two in Maryland and two in Pennsylvania. I live in Minnesota…my sister lives in Pennsylvania.

    This is the situation.

    My sister who lives in the Pennsylvania group’s area and the near the other group (within 12 miles) does not have internet access. I planned on calling her when some item came up while searching these groups. Actually look while on the phone with her. She in turn could post (however without images) anything that she wanted to offer.

    I asked permission to join and I was denied by the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania (my sister’s town) group for this reason….the moderator said that because she was not online at the same time she would not be able to pickup the item because I don’t live there. According to him, it doesn’t make sense to him how this could be done. He also stated because I don’t live there, Freecycle rules state a person must live within 50 miles of the location to participate. He knows the system and talking to my sister while on line would not work.

    Washington County/Hagerstown, Maryland denied because I don’t live there and my sister lives 12 miles away and the purpose of the group is environmental and that Freecycle doesn’t want people driving all over the place to pick up items because of the waste of fuel. My sister works in Hagerstown and can pick up in the area. Also, since Waynesboro has its own group…you can’t belong to one that is in the same geographically area. The Washington County base is bigger than Waynesboro’s…more opportunity for items to be offered.

    Now to illustrate inconsistencies…Chambersburg, Pennsylvania…with the explanation that I gave Waynesboro and Washington County/Hagerstown; allowed me to participate. Chambersburg is 20 miles from Waynesboro.

    Western Maryland (which I dropped out of because of the distance) didn’t even ask questions, allowed joining without any pre-requisites. That area is 70 miles away.

    Jessica the Moderator’s Washington County/Hagerstown, Maryland, Freecycle. In response again to my rejection

    We don’t cover Waynesboro PA. They have their own group. So unless I’m missing something, I don’t see the relevance of her living in Waynesboro to applying to a Hagerstown/ Washington County group. You need to join the Waynesboro group.

    People without internet access CAN have others join the group for them but both parties need to be within the boundaries we’ve established. Since there are groups that cover all areas surrounding Washington County and Freecycle is primarily an environmental site, it really doesn’t make much sense to have people driving from all over the place increasing pollution and wasting gas (which is directly against the Freecycle mission) to pick up items.


    Steven the Moderator’s Waynesboro, Pennsylvania Freecycle — his first message (in response to my reply on his rejection).

    I’m sorry I’m not going to argue about the situation. The Freecycle Network requires you live within 50 miles of the location.

    Just because two other groups allowed you to join doesn’t mean its correct.

    You’re going to call your sister every time there is something being offered and think by the time you call her, get her approval, respond to the offering, it will be available? I’ve been doing this for several years, I know how the process works.

    There are many things I can think beyond the box about.

    Second message from Stephen….
    I suggest you get out a map and look up Wayensboro PA and Hagerstown MD, they are only 15 miles apart.

    You can argue and put me and my group down all you like. I denied your request to join. I’ve given ample reasons why. (then further said I was being nasty). He called me stupid and I explained the situation. AND he blocked me from responses and said I’m harrassing him…I reported him to Freecycle. (along with Jessica).

    I stated that Freecycle, I would think, would rather people be able to recycle regardless of financial means (lack of money to pay for internet access) or work schedules (my sister works odd hours and can’t get to a library)

    Jessica’s last email…stated both people need to live in the area.

  257. If you want to see the sucess of someone who has set up a group of their own in Milton Keynes UK go to search groups MIlton Keynes and on page 10 you will find recycleMiltonKeynes then join this group to work out how to set your own group up and ask for tips as the owner Paula is a wonderful person and full of ideas of help.

  258. My 2 year old daughter just fell into a swimming pool today and my cell phone was in my pocket when I jumped in after her. I tried posting a request for a cheap Verizon cell phone and the Tracy, CA moderators rejected it because cell phones are expensive and they don’t wind up in landfills. Her suggestion to me was to keep an eye on the posts and hopefully someone will post a cell phone. That’s not an option for me so I posted my request on the SanJoaquinValleyCafe yahoo group and they posted it immediately. I’m thinking that maybe the Tracy, CA freecycle group might just be a waste of my time.

  259. Hi Paul,
    I agree with you! I think most of the freecycle moderators are control freaks! That’s really sick that he actually would put questions you have to answer in order to give away your stuff for FREE…how sad for all of them! I know that there are a few good moderators out there like the ones in Tracy, Ca. They need to rename freecycle. It should be called controlcycle…what do you think? I’m getting ready to start my own. I will only have your typical common courtesy rules :-) You should do the same. Even better, do what some of the others have suggested and bring all the freecyclers you know with you. Maybe we can teach the nasty moderators they aren’t God’s! Good luck :-)

  260. I had heard great things about the San Francisco freecycle program so I decided to try to join my local San Mateo freecycle list on yahoo. Unfortunately I was assaulted by a cold, unwelcoming quiz that included a fifth trick question that confused me and I got wrong. The moderator Christopher F implied that I was a lemming because I could not figure out the answer to his cute trick question. I run a local non-profit as well as give away tons of stuff on craigslist free section every month, and I think I’ll continue to do that because I don’t want to have anything to do with a control freak like this guy.

  261. Thank you to everyone who has given me insight on how to handle this control freak Mary Bell from Elk Grove Freecycle! I will definitely either start my own or join one of the other great sites. Thanks again, Shellie

  262. Actually a member of our local area in Milton Keynes has done just that and the group is called “Milton Keynes Cafe Sale & Wanted Items” it’s so popular because there are no stupid childish rules that in just 3 days it picked up 50 members.

    It certainly beats FC treating us like we’re bad kids that need to be punished for something we didn’t do!

  263. If you think it’s hard to set up your own local group let me tell you it’s not, just type in to your google search bar “Yahoo Groups” then click on create your own Groups the rest is history as Yahoo takes you through all the steps and the group is run on their software all you need to do is name it type in the blurb you want displayed and update it as often as you want send invitations to 50 email addresses all at the same time and you must have plenty of those from fc and to all your friends and family. Bingo your done! Freecycle Shmeecycle can go straight to hell.

  264. Hey do you think Freecycle owns the monopoly of Yahoo Groups, well, NO THEY DO NOT.

    There is absolutely nothing stopping you from creating your own recycling group and call it whatever you like for your area, then send invites to all the people in your mail box to come join you, making sure you offer your stuff on there to members only and there you go, freecycle is history along with it’s Control Trolls who have nothing in their lives and are little educated.

    I can’t understand why Yahoo allow these people to bully and discriminate!

  265. I’ve been on ‘moderation’ at wake freecycle (nc) for over a year for the cardinal sin of posting the same ad on two unrelated groups – one freecycle and one e-cycle. I wrote the freecycle moderator today after having a ‘wanted’ (which almost never post, always offers) not show up, and asked if I’m still being moderated for the same ‘offense’, and when I can expect the modeation to end. The response I got, word for word:
    “Yes you are still on moderation, for the same reason.

    Notice the lack of response to the question of when moderation of my posts will be lifted.

    I wrote back, pointing out that they neglected to answer the question, and also that my ‘moderation’ looks more like a ban since they are not approving my posts at all.

    Anyway, I know where this is going. There’s long been a feeling in this freecycle group that our esteemed moderators are on a bit of a power trip. Arguing with them will do no good, and I am under no illusions that they will drop the attitude and reinstate me fully. A damn shame, because of a one-time honest mistake (cross-posting, according to them), I have essentially been locked out of a group that I was an active part of for probably a couple of years previous to this.

    Freecycle is a great idea that works when run properly. Unfortunately moderators like this ruin it for everyone, and are people like me once again dumping my crap at the curb rather than go through the hassle of trying to reason with a petty dictator. Oh well.

  266. I was banned from the Elk Grove, California freecycle today for posting this add: Hi everyone,
    I have a chair if your interested. It is older but in good condition. It has paisley material and is a family room or living room chair. The price tag on the bottom says $250.00 but like I said it’s older. Still lot’s of life in it. You could even put a cover over it! Thanks!
    Now, instead of the OWNER Mary kindly emailing me to say that she felt it needed to be written again as it MIGHT look like I was trying to sell the chair, she emailed me this: I’m sorry, what part of “FREE”Cycle did you not understand? This site is for FREE Items, not listing things for sale. Your post is being rejected and you are now banned as a Member.

    Owner- ELk Grove Freecycle

    What the !!!! I have given away so many nice things to great people through freecycle and rarely ask for anything! I just posted a free tv right before that post. Our Elk Grove rules state CLEARLY that you have a 3 strike policy. I never even got 1 strike. I’m so sick of bullies like Mary! She obviously has a super reactive personality! I emailed her a few times politely to explain but still have not heard a word and I’m still banned. Can you say CONTROL FREAK! If she thinks she won this one, she better think again! Freecycle is a corporation now and can be held liable for their owners and moderators! All this for trying to give away a chair….and yes, I even had it listed under OFFER…go figure
    Shellie Spence

  267. V. Birch, your so right to laugh about it with your family you know what comes to mind is that those chosen few are what is known as F…ed in the head and mentally subnormal and what the heck can anyone do about that, nothing apart from laugh.

  268. Wichita, your not making clear comment here, who the hell is Craig and what does his list have to do with anything, I’m guessing you got a lot of snow and ice where you reside poor you, hire a blow torch and melt the bugger.

    By the way if your message was intended as spam then guess you must be a fc owner LOL.

  269. OFFER!! large amounts of snow and Ice!!! PENDING!!! large amounts of snow and Ice!! E-Mail from FC Owner- GOODBYE!!

    FC used to have a purpose!
    CraigsList for me!!!

  270. I read a few of the posts & am glad others have experienced problems. I am very new to the Chesapeake, VA FC site. I read the many rules & on 3/21/09 posted 2 offers, they were picked up, then posted 2 taken. All 4 ads went through a Moderator. Today 3/29/09 I posted a Wanted ad for a weed eater. I was sent a snippy reply telling me to reread the rules, you must submit 1 offer ad first. I replied saying I posted 2 offer ads. And looked up on their database, found my ads, got the ad# for one, then wrote back with this info. I then received an e-mail saying that the understood my frustration ??? I then started to think I must be on some reality TV show where everyone is in on the joke…but ME! I replied back basically saying look, you’re the Moderator, why are you not able to see the ads in your database like I did. I was then sent an e-mail, the last one of the day so far, this was copied & pasted here: “also we do have all the posts for If you are using multiple email addresses, your posts from itsmevickieb are still on the site, if you are posting from another email address, it does not show us that you are the same person as itsmevickieb. in order to prevent your posts from being rejected, please post from the same email address each time.” ??? What are these people/person smoking??? It’s now become a joke between family & friends…Will Vickie’s ad EVER get posted. I don’t want to associate myself with so much incompetence. I’m not even going to proof this post for errors before submitting because I feel I’ve devoted far too much of my time to this “event”.

  271. Dorothy thank you indeed for that very informative comment though I was not the one involved in this debate and had no idea about the politics of freecycle; as for example when I complained about my group Mod. and owner’s lack of ability to understand simple sentances and then as if to add fuel to fire become belligerant and rude with me, I complained to a so called freecycle complaints woman who said in an email that she had a life outside freecycle and did not have the time to deal with this and further that I should remember that the owner of the Milton Keynes Group is a volunteer as is his side kick Mod. woman? So then it seems that perhaps I was being missled from what you say; that he the owner is exactly that and not a volunteer as she would have me belive.

    So would you say that the MK group has moved to over to .org and if so is there something to stop for example anyone else starting up another MK group for freecycle on yahoo?

    You at least sound like one of the balanced normal Moderators of which I had no doubt there must be some on board at freecycle.

  272. As a Freecycle moderator I found this group by accident and may not visit it again.
    However I can assure you that moderators have moved their groups over to of their own volition including my group.
    Groups which are closed down on Yahoo by the owners or by Freecycle are usually migrated to as the team that has to run it until a new owner is found; has many groups to cover and it is easier. (other reasons as well)
    It is important to complain with evidence to and although nothing may appear to be done, if enough complaints are received wheels will start to turn.
    Yahoo groups belong to the owners and freecycle cannot close down any groups unless the owner gives them the authority, or they can convince Yahoo it is in their interest.(Lots of spammers etc.) The alternative is to cut the links to freecycle org and get them to change their name, sometimes resorting to threatening legal action.

  273. Bedford UK freecycle group’s moderator Jackie is now making a name for herself as a message was posted by one of her members on the cafe message board; calling dog owners “idiots” and that the fields should not be used by any dog only her and others children, this she says she had to rant somewhere about as she asked a dog owner to pick up his dog mess and he retorted with so called abuse but she hasn’t said what the abuse was; she seemed to get a few messages of suporting comments and when I wrote a message saying she should pick a kids only place to exercise her children as dogs need to live also and well it stands to reason that if you try telling a grown man how he should behave when your a stranger as if he were a child then what did she expect, if she spoke to me like that I too would tell her to mind her own business and take her kids to a kids only playground oh and by the way that is not classed as abuse unlike her comment. I was told by the Bedford moderator that I was attacking the other member and my comment would be removed?? I have asked if she hadn’t understood the fact that being called an idiot was abusive and being attacked also trying to gather support for her bullying cause was also classed as an attack on a particular type of society, still waiting for a reply but whilst waiting I have closed my membership of this group and of the cafe too!

  274. Clutter Queen if I didn’t know better I’d say you just insulted me when I didn’t challenge your honesty just your perseption of reality LOL.

    You need not worry though your help is not being asked for nor required – this is a place for speaking your mind openly and without fear of your own shadow.

  275. Bunny, I’m not going to make claims on who is whom on this site. You sound like someone with a strong negative motive. My motive is to speak the truth. And at the same time help my community. I’m not out to hurt anyone. Sorry I cannot help you with this.

  276. Yes I think your right it’s possible that Jake and Jennifer are Moderators for freecycle and poss. one other but can’t be bothered to read through again. I too have had a few run-ins with the Milton Keynes branch and have found theres no point complaining as they seem to be a law onto themselves because they are “volunteers”.

    The and Fruggler forum seems to have been started by someone who was also not happy with FC and it seems he/she is getting a lot of nasty comments since starting up this website.

  277. Clutter Queen “your safety”?? you make them sound like the Mafia LOL.

    How many of the comments on this page would you say in your opinion were made by FC moderators under very invisible cover – I have just one thing to say about that; if anyone on here is a moderator for FC then say so don’t be scared and tell us why your here and let’s discuss your challanging reputation’s if that’s what your objecting to “being labled as in your opinion” – otherwise at the very least try to understand that in every warp of your life you need to lighten up, laughter is a great way for life to run smoothly and what’s more if we “the normal” give a lot then there is nothing wrong with us receiving as well – so if your gonna take the damn job on then do it with dignity and throw away the silly bitching whilst wearing your control freak hat, sun gogg’s and baggy short’s. If you wanna be loved take note or maybe you just like being unloved.

  278. Trust me and my statement about the groups moving to MyFreecycle. I know more than Jennifer, and for my own safety, cannot reveal who I am or how I know what I know.

  279. Errm nope can’t say that “I’m the one having problems reading” further going by the number of comments; as you pointed out I have made here – clearly it’s not my life revolving around the internet and complaining as I found it amusing to find this internet patrol page whilst I was fired up about Moderators in Milton Keynes – it broke the rage and turned it to laughter, oh and by the way my life is just dandy if not a little busy compared with yours judging by the timing of comments. Sally if it helps you go ahead and feel sorry for me because I am the product of the FC moderators victim! OK Sally shall we just say I understand how you would want to stand with your pal Jennifer but I did not refer in any way to you now did I.

    Jennifer I did not say you should not express your opinions just wondered why you picked this site to do it if you were a moderator – you came on this site it seemed to challange what was being said and now to pick yet more arguements through your pal Sally with me for asking why were you here if not to harrang us!

    I don’t dislike FC just the treatment I have received at the hands of those local to me and further happen to think there are better web sites available that actually have far more to offer by way of hospitable conduct towards their members such as for example Freeuseit – oh and by the way got it wrong they don’t charge for wanted items and nither do they make a fuss over this like freecycle.

    Heidi your right this is what I felt I was doing here venting how I feel and Sally had no right to attack me with abuse when I had not addressed her!

    I don’t view this as a closed sight to anyone but I can question the motives of someone who represents the very behaviour one is disacussing, I mean it’s a free country right but we can be kicked out of FC at a whim of the moderators with no come back on them but we may not question their motives for being here and the line of their challange!

    I too do not see this as a discussion about Me VS You, or Her VS Him; it’s just about Freecycle Frustrations which is why I find it interesting that asking why a moderator from FC should come here and challange our comments and get her friend to further attack verbally without first reading that which she felt I had not read properly altogether very normal behaviour of the FC team of moderators who are in a legue of their own.

    Nuf said, end of.

  280. I was really hoping that this string wasn’t going to degenerate into the kind of negative personal back-and-forth that deters so many people from participating in online discussions. In response to Jennifer: the very title of this page makes it clear that this page is a forum for people who have had “Problems with Freecycle” and/or “Issues with Freecycle Moderators.” Not necessarily bashing, as you put it, but rather venting – sharing common problems, maybe even looking for solutions. The intent is obvious in this note:
    [Note: If you’ve been disaffected by FreeCycle or their moderators, check out the comments below and add to the discussion!]
    Many of us posting here are not anti-Freecycle; we’re just anti-tyrannical mods, as, I believe, are you. I understand your wish to defend Freecycle, which is a great concept and an eminently defensible one; but hopefully you can also understand that your dissenting comments – on a discussion board specifically created to air legitimate Freecycle grievances – can be alienating. For example, your response to me regarding the fact that I have here, in my In box, an e-mail from the California GOA regarding the moderator of the San Jose group. I respect the fact that you’re a mod yourself, and therefore have the inside track; but I also mildly resent being told that what I’m looking at is not what I’m looking at. I’m not on this board to attack you, or argue with anyone; I’m just here to share my vexing experiences, read about other experiences, tell what I know, and possibly figure out where to go from here. Bunny’s post was, in my opinion, uncalled for – but then so was Sally’s. As I understand it, this discussion is not about Me VS You, or Her VS Him; it’s just about Freecycle Frustrations. I thank everyone who continues to post both the good and the bad about Freecycle; it reminds me I’m not alone in my mixed feelings. :-)

  281. Sally, thank you for sticking up for me, I appreciate it.

    However, I must say that I am the same Jennifer that posted previously.

    I didn’t realize that this site was only good for you if you want to bash Freecycle, which is what I think Bunny was trying to do.

    I admit Freecycle has its problems, but I still think it is great! And I feel I have a right to express that opinion. I have been a moderator for 3 1/2 years now and my group has over 7,000 members.

    I don’t feel that anyone has a right to tell me I can’t post here, other than maybe the moderators of this group!

    Thank you.

  282. Bunny, take a long look at how many posts you have made and how many people “use” the name bunny. Whereas Jennifer is an EXTEMELY common name and if you knew how to READ, you’d see the last one to post was different than the other Jennifers that posted.

    Looks like someone’s life revolves around the internet while they’re busy pointing fingers at other people.

    Get a life! Or does it just revolve around complaining about anything and everything?

    I feel so sorry for people such as yourself.

  283. Jennifer I find it a little strange that your so interested in this site/complaints about FC Moderators if you in fact are one. Are you here just to harrang us and wind us up further. Go make your own site and find a willing audience of equally blinkered Bods or are you lonely!

  284. It’s not true that the groups that have gone over to the new site have been forced to do so. It IS true that most groups have not moved over yet.

    I know this for a fact because I am a Freecycle moderator.

    And the new group is still Beta.

  285. MyFreecycle is still beta and has many problems. The only groups that have moved there are the ones sent by force (Interim or IMod groups). Any normal person would never move willingly. In my state, people are flocking to other groups as their home groups have moved to this MyFreecycle site. It’s not going well at all.

  286. I just heard back from the state freecycle folks that San Jose Freecycle has moved to the new My Freecycle website. I checked it out, and it is there! The person said that the beta test was recently completed and SJ is now one of several groups that has moved off of Yahoo and to the new My Freecycle website.

  287. Yes, he deleted the group, but he then went on to become the Sunnyvale FC Moderator. He had moderated that group before going on to the Oakland group. I know the CA GOA. If they had asked him to “step down”, then why was he allowed to moderate another FC group?

    If the San Jose group no longer exists, that is probably because they have moved over to the new My Freecycle (Freecycle’s new independent website).

    Some FC groups have moved over completely, thereby closing their Yahoo! groups. Other FC groups are staying with Yahoo! And some groups are presently both on My Freecycle and on Yahoo!

  288. Oooooops sorry just checked it out they only seem to cover the UK but you could put a request in for your country and city’s they would probably like to branch out maybe.

    The nice thing is there is no haggleing about placing wanted posts because you pay a small fee of a few pence for every wanted post and it get’s the same pride of place as your offer posts pictures can easily be added too with the posting.

  289. OMG that’s one in the eye for bully boy’s or girl’s as some moderators go – wish they would do something about the Milton Keynes Morerators and group owners there just as bad!

    Guy’s ever thought of using freeuseit much nicer service just not many people know about it.

  290. I have an e-mail directly from the California GOA (I don’t want to mention his name, because I’m not sure if that’s allowed?) – it states that Tom, aka Playgroundsuper, “was asked to step down; his response was to delete the group.” The San Jose Freecycle group is no longer on Yahoo. I hope someone sane starts it up again – there were a lot of good people on there!

  291. Oh, I forgot to mention…when he deleted the Oakland group, the Freecycle Network worked with Yahoo! to restore the group in its entirety.

  292. Yes, Playground Super deleted the Oakland group. But he was never asked to step down by Freecycle, as far as I know. I am a Freecycle moderator and I have never been able to understand how he has gotten away with his rude, condescending (actually mean!) treatment of members. As far as I know, he is still moderating a group…it is either Sunnyvale or San Jose.

  293. I, too, was a victim of Tom – he took a disliking to me and banned me from the group a while back. My experiences were eerily similar to most of what I’ve read. Never have I so heartily disliked a person I’d never even met. And those of you who keep blithely recommending that we go to the GOAs, etc. with our complaints – I have a folder full of e-mails back and forth, all of which simply shrug and tell me the list belongs to Tom, and mods can do and say whatever the hell they want. (I actually had one of Tom’s minions end a vicious Freecycle e-mail to me with “BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA.”) And to those of you self-righteously advising us to “read the guidelines,” or just quit if we can’t hack it: how did you get that far down the string and still miss the entire point? This is not about guidelines – it’s about a small man who wields absurd power over people who are trying to do good with a good idea, and should not be hampered in that by a petty dictator. Freecycle groups all over the country operate smoothly and peacefully, run by excellent mods who treat their members like people. Tom and his ilk don’t get that. So here’s the latest: someone finally listened, and Mr. Playgroundsuper was finally asked by the California GOA to STEP DOWN. He pulled his final, grandly immature, vindictive stunt – rather than actually admit to the error of his ways, he deleted the entire group. If he can’t have it, nobody can!

  294. Ms Mitchell you had me in splits; up untill I saw your rendition of contact with this little Hitler Tom who like the one in Milton Keynes UK likes to live in small recycling hole close to the lower end of their bodies – I honestly thought I was the only one to have come into contact with a mindless beligerant bunch of freaks – I too went through the same motions like yourself and felt I was laughing only in private and alone at the shear rude slanderous boneheads but thank gad for others with humour, after all these guys actually get off on this stuff and you gotta see the funny side of dumb ignorance – right.

  295. love your comment, it unfortunately happens too often so I gave up freecycling and just dump my stuff, great idea though any alternatives?

  296. I joined the Freecycle San Jose group in December 2008. Several times I have emailed for an item that is offered and it is always given to someone else, no matter how quickly I respond. Some of the members are obviously resellers who turn around and eBay or Craigslist the items. I asked the moderator (PlaygroundSuper) about this and he said that yes, there are resellers who subscribe to the group. Either that, or PlaygroundSuper gives preference to his friends. Who has nothing to do but drive around town and pick up Freecycle items?

  297. People!! U can’t complain if moderators enforce the guidelines! As 4 the people u SEE posting against the guidelines. Ever stop 2 think they are off moderation?

    WAH, WAH WAH, I didn’t get 2 post my Wanted. Did any of u stop 2 think about posting an Offer?

    And someone who mentioned that Dec and Jan are 2 different months. It doesn’t work that way, 30 days is 30 days. Not u post on the 29th and then u get 2 post another Wanted on the 1st of the following month. It’s EVERY 30 days!

    And many people went WAY out of line posting their grievance with Freecycle. A lot of u do not know ANYTHING about Internet Harrasement/Abuse. Look it up, because the ones who have posted personal information. You can get into BIG TIME trouble!

  298. You are giving them what they actually want. These are sad and miserable people who unconsciously want to make sure we are all as miserable as they.

    I feel sorry for them. Be better than they, move on. Or really piss them off and wish them a good day and then move on.

  299. Freecycle is an online recycling group with set guidelines or rules. We all receive those when we join. If we do not agree, we should leave. Otherwise, we should not think that complaining about the rules will make them change. And printing anyone’s email address or name is just wrong. Those moderators are volunteers trying to do what is best for the groups. Bottom line is enjoy the group if you like the rules and go elsewhere if you don’t like them.

  300. I just had a horrible experience with freecycle. The will NOT even respond to my plea to work the problem out. Some nutbar complained that I was rude to her (not true) and got me thrown out of the group. Then proceeded to send me extremely vulgar e mails. I have no one who will listen to me to resolve this. It’s nuts. I believe in freecycle. But the moderators are their own worst enemy. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  301. Eddie, believe what you want to believe. But my Mom passed away Jan 31st 2008, my husband’s mother passed away Jan 1st, 2004 and those items that were accumulated were from both houses. PLUS my sister in law brought some of her items. Hence WHY it was called a family of 4 rummage, me, my Mom, my mother in law, and my sister in law.

    I NEVER mentioned rental properties. The upper my Mom lived in, has NOT been rented nor have I ever said the items in my rummage was from that.

    You are crossing lines. And I will be looking into see what action I MAY take myself. Contact who you want, the news, everyone in the Freecycle realm, it will not save you from the lines you have crossed now.

  302. Dear Sara F. – How could anybody post an address on here unless it was completely by accident.

  303. I’ll bet some of the FreeCycle MODS (gods) have the BEST rummage sales in town according to the photos. Not that I’m insinuating that there ARE any photos online.
    Gee…I wonder…
    How DOES one accumulate 4 coffeemakers and a huge garage full of stuff?
    And don’t say it’s because your mom passed away and you have to clean out the rental properties.

  304. It seems like this is a recurring theme with Freecycle and, while their initial idea was amazing, the continued lack of addressing these issues is very concerning. That’s why we’ve started taking steps to correct the problems that constantly arise concerning Freecycle: 1) poor moderation, 2) excessive emails, 3) lack of following the posting format and 4) ratio of wants to offers. offers a geo-located, browsable and highly searchable listing of free stuff in your area. Check us out and let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve!

  305. I have many run ins with FreeCycle Mods who have the God complex. I post offers all the time and still my wanteds get rejected for some reason or another. I recently got my request for a bathroom scale denied because “people have been using freecycle as their own person shopping site”

    Then told me only one wanted per month…well am I mistaken or is December and January 2 different months?

    They think they are God and can do whatever they like. Its sickening.

  306. In response to previous comment. Person was NEVER told he could NOT post, we explained to him to leave out the explanation of why he needed said items. Being as we stopped allowing stories to go with Wanteds, being as members would get in competition with why they need something more then the previous poster and sometimes the original post would get overlooked.

    But seeing all these previous comments, some of these problems could have been avoided by reading the guidelines, the others, I have a feeling there was miscommunication on both ends.

    And in regards to comment #57. He was not banned. However, has been now for posting a mod’s personal information publicly.

  307. Nicole from Freecycle Milwaukee left me several e-mails that had all the tact of a snotty little 13 year-old. Remember, it’s THEIR LIST and if you have anything to say about it you will be BANNED! Wait ’till I contact my buds over at FOX 6 news, and let them know that if you post a want-ad for items for an ELDERLY COUPLE with a SPECIAL NEEDS KID that got BURNED OUT OF THEIR HOME 8 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS…you don’t have a hope in HELL of getting it on freecycle.
    However, craigslist was more than accomodating. Fock Freecycle!

  308. At least now I know I’m not the only one. I joined SJFC because I was moving to a smaller home and had a lot of stuff to give away. After giving away several things to happy recipients, I got on the wrong side of Tom by posting two offers on the same day for different items – one in the early morning and another in the late afternoon. Today I made the mistake of offering VHS movies and got a stern email that I was on permanent moderation. I’ve looked at the rules on the Freecycle site, both the central and local sites, and the email I got when I joined, and nowhere can I find a rule saying that this is not OK. Maybe I should know that it’s illegal to give away videos, but I don’t.

    I love the idea of freecycle, but I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face for trying to give good things to people who can use them instead of dumping them in the landfill.

  309. This is in response to the person who wrote on March 30 that Tom of SJ Freecycle was nowhere near as bad as the Oakland moderator who deleted that group of over 5,000 members.

    Well, guess what? The Oakland moderator in question was none other than Tom, Playground Super. He was a moderator on both groups.

    Surprise, surprise!!

  310. Playgroundsuper the San Jose moderator is a punk and gives Freecycle a bad reputation. I’m surprised this guy is still moderating. Everyone with a complaint about this guy please e-mail

  311. A moderator of our local group in the UK spammed the list with a link to his personal business. He spoofed the reply-to address to be that of one of the other members. I called him on it, but now I feel reluctant to have anything more to do with the group. Very bad feeling seeing this kind of abuse of such a good idea.

  312. Freecycle is rapidly becoming adictatorship in the UK, not so much from the mods, but the GOA’s and higher up. There are multiple recycling groups springing up in my area of the UK in defiance of Freecycle. Taking the basic good idea and doing it correctly. lol

  313. I have a similar tale to tell about Playgroundsuper at San Jose FreeCycle.
    I once asked for a twinsized bed and specified frame AND mattress and was told that I could not ask for TWO things at the same time. I tried to explain that I needed a whole bed not part of the bed but he/she wouldn’t listen. I also once asked for a computer monitor and was told that it was too high end of an item. My LORD they are desperate to keep those things out of the land fill and that moderator is telling me that it was too high end of an item to ask for? I didn’t only ask for things — I frequently gave good things away too but that didn’t seem to help. That moderator needs to be kicked off the list — what a NAZI!

  314. I am just about to quit my local Freecycle group in New York State too. I have had it with the uneven moderation–we have several folks who post repeated WANTEDs, for example, some using different email addresses but some using the same address everytime (identical posts, identical contact info) but the mods jump on me any time I break one of the piddly rules. Again, it depends on which group you belong to. One list I belong to allows PROMISED posts, this one doesn’t, and I’ve gotten my butt jumped on a couple of times for forgetting that. One of our moderators is nice about it, but the other one is the Moderator from Hell, and she apparently has more free time to devote to the list than the nice one. Even though I can point out the PROMISED posts that slip through on this list; it, apparently, is more evil when I do it. Also, I have gotten really disgusted at the greedy nature of several of the members. We have one member who repeatedly posts (uh oh, apparently the one time per month rule doesn’t apply to her) for high end digital cameras, among other things. NYGIRL,do you recognize yourself here? Or the parent who says the big screen TV in Little Jonny’s room just blew out and Little Jonny will throw a massive temper tantrum if he doesn’t get at least a 50 inch screen, or the request for a NEW, NOT USED LAPTOP WITH NO LESS THAN XP!!!!!!! Or the people that want cars. Absolutely disgusting. I rarely see “pleases” and “thank yous” and I am tired of posting my own OFFERs and getting nasty greedy replies with entitlement oozing out between the lines. So it’s not just the moderators who are ticking me off, although I suspect they could control some of this if they wanted to. And if they don’t want to, or don’t have time, don’t be a moderator, ok?

  315. I knew I couldn’t be the only one. While my experiences have been just as bad as the ones posted, I don’t feel like delving into them right now. Suffice it to say, the mods pretty much ARE a bunch of disgruntled, freaky, controlling weirdos. And when you get those types of people into a setting that was designed to assist others and be a GOOD thing, well, of course, they ruin it and leave bad tastes in the mouths of everyone. What makes perfect common sense is suddenly thrown out the window (such as offering of asking about free services, advice, etc..I mean, honestly people…do we really think members are going to get MAD about seeing those posts?? Come the hell on). I’ve been a “member” for oh, about 5 years, I think. And I’ve only been off moderation for maybe 6 months of that. Because I guess I’m just such a bad girl. God. More like we’ve got some women with a tiny bit of power and no lives that probably got the crap kicked out of them in school just RELISHING in the fact that they have a tiny bit of control. If I were a bigger person, I’d feel sorry for them. But more often than not, they just disgust me. I’m pretty sure I hope the scandel of freecycle causes them to go down the tubes. And I’m even more sure that I’m going to find a better site to donate my pricey items too. They’re a bunch of freaks, people. Leave em.

  316. I too was banned from freecycle for asking if anyone was an attorney that could help us help a young lady that had been living with us with some pressing legal issues. I received an email from our Coeur d’Alene Idaho mod. stating that I had broken policy and that my posting had been removed…that people could not be given away on freecycle.

    I responded to this email and asked for a specific area of the policy that I had breached as I knew of several posters who searched for free “services” on freecycle and we had actually been the givers of people searching for the service of a mechanic.

    I did not receive a response from the mod–nobadwolf– to my question if offering or requesting services on freecycle was prohibited, but was banned for asking this question in a personal email to the moderator! As of yet I have received no reason as to why I was banned from this group.

    This is really just an inconvenience…if I really wanted to be on this group, it is just not that hard to get back on the list. However, what irritates me is that this moderator, nobadwolf is certainly a VERY bad wolf. I still do not know if it is prohibited to offer or request “services” like mechanic, law, or the like on freecycle.


  317. Mods, here like the last word, she banned me, I banned her from my inbox, she was continually going on and on with her power trip. Freecycle central is useless, bunch of whimps. Even after I said fine. I now have 5 new connections in via other email addresses and vpn’s plus remote desktops. There is apparently a clause somehwere in the tos of yahoo about not rejoining a group after being banned, but that directly conflicts with in your eyes marketing yahoo sells its advertisers. Looking at all the sites on the web with complaints and banned members I would say there are at least 10,000 pairs of eyes being denied access to yahoo advertisers. Which if strectched out by, you’ll tell 2 friends and they’ll tell 2 friends and so on and so on, well marketers beware you dollars are not being wisely spent on yahoo.

  318. Interesting that I search the internet about FreeCycle complaints about moderators, and this page talks about the same moderator/dictator at the San Jose group. The moderator under Yahoo! ID playgroundsuper is a control freak. In the spirit of giving, the first post I made was an “offer.” He didn’t approve of the message because of one line, which he misunderstood. I guess he doesn’t have a good understanding of English. My wanted post was rejected because I used the plural form instead of the singular form of the wanted word. Even after I changed it, he still didn’t like anything in the message body and just posted my message with only the title. This guy gives FreeCycle a poor reputation. It’s just too frustrating to deal with FreeCycle.

  319. I haven’t had trouble with the mods in my area, but I’ve just found giving things away to be a headache. More often than not, people don’t show. And I’ve never been fortunate enough to get anything. One time someone told me that if I could pick it up today, the item would be mine. But unfortunately, she never told me where she lived…

  320. hi i dont know why i keep getting taken off of freecycle i dont sell the things i get i want you to put me back on please

  321. SJ Freecycle is lifting its ban on me, so I assume. The posting emails have now resumed in the form of a daily digest. I haven’t tried posting yet, but I think I’ll pass. If I have anything to give away, I’ll post on the other group in my area.

  322. I just quit SJ Freecycle today because of this exact same moderator. Other FC groups have MUCH better mods. This one is just ridiculous.

  323. The GOA’s can be reached like this. If you live in Arizona, then it would be If you live in Oklahoma, then it’s

    There are other contacts to go through that are helpful. I think everyone is missing the point. If you have a bad moderator, discuss your concerns with the GOA of that state.