Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Chasing Craig

I want a bookcase.

A tall bookcase.

More to the point, I want a tall, FREE bookcase.

So I'm spending all my extra computer time hanging out on Freecycle or on the free side of Craig's List, trying to be first in snagging the perfect piece of furniture.

In general, Freecycle doesn't work as well for large items like furniture or appliances. For whatever reason, people seem to use it for smaller give-aways, like a article of clothing, or a set of knick-knacks. When I accidentally got three large-print mystery novels in the mail, I quickly turned them over to someone's mother in a nursing home, courtesy of Freecycle. I think the largest items I ever got on Freecycle were two twin-bed mattresses--they were the thin cheap ones, but had never been used. I was thrilled to get them, and they are still in use as extra beds on the floor when my grandkids visit.

But Freecycle doesn't do pictures. When it comes to furniture, I want to have some idea of what I might get before I make the trek to take a look. Besides, it seems really tacky to go to someone's home to collect a freebie, and then reject it.

I've been on a bookcase hunt in the past, and successfully took one home last summer that had been left on the sidewalk for the first taker. But it's in my bedroom. Now I need one for my dining room. The plan is to have a place for all of my extra cookbooks. (Yes, I have a lot of cookbooks. No, I don't cook. What can I say--I really enjoy reading cookbooks!)

I have two basic complaints about those who post items on Craig's List. First, they often don't respond. How much time would it take to hit the "reply" button on their e-mail and say "Sorry, it's been taken?" Second, some posters won't accept the first response, preferring to give their freebie to the first person who can actually get to their home and remove it. This doesn't work so well for those of us who work nine to five. I do understand not wanting to keep an item for someone who fails to show up. But why is holding it a few more hours such a problem?

A friend of mine showed me a neat trick--checking out the Bookcase-for-sale ads on Craig's List, and if they are cheap to begin with (say, $10 or $20) and if they are posted more than once, e-mailing and offering to take it off their hands. For free, of course.

I haven't tried that yet, but one way or another, I AM going to get myself a bookcase!


Sharon said...

Good luck on finding your bookcase! I would love some myself. My books are all over the place. I get very frustrated on those sites. I was looking for inexpensive office furniture and never could find anything. We are still looking...

I'm Grace. said...

Thanks. I haven't gotten one yet, but I'm being patient. There is some law of the universe that says whatever YOU want will suddenly become unavailable--for example, on my Craigslist, there's been a lot of office furniture recently. But NO bookcases!

Sharon said...

I'll have to check it again! Thanks for the update! :)

SavingDiva said...

Good luck with the bookcase! I'm currently on the hunt for one for my boyfriend. He found a few for $40 at Lowe's, but doesn't want to spend that type of money.

boots586 said...

Have you tried putting in a Wanted request on Freecycle? I have seen them and then later the request was answered.

Also, I have seen Offers on Freecycle where they refer one to a picture so there must be a way to do that. i don't know how, though.

I myself have received from Freecycle (a patio umbrella) and given (a child's riding toy).