Moderator Manual:Sample notices and responses

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Thanks to the many mods who over the years have submitted sample notices and emails for inclusion in the wiki. Please note that many of these pertain to optional local group policies rather than general required guidelines.


See Reseller Guidelines


No shows

Note to reported noshow

Just a little reminder... When responding to an offer, please make sure you are absolutely going to show up when you say you will.

If you're not sure if you can or will show, then let someone else take the offer that will.

Remember, people talk... and if you become known as a "no show", then members will pass you by for someone else. Sure, sometimes last minute emergencies pop up; life happens... if it does, it's courtesy to let them know before you make them wait for you.

Regardless of what you believe, treating others as you would want to be treated is just good manners. Showing up when you say you will is good for you, the gifter, and Freecycle(TM) as well.

Thank you for your attention on this very important matter!

No shows (group notice)

No shows are a problem throughout the worldwide Freecycle Network. Sadly, there are people who pounce on every item that looks remotely valuable and immediately send a quick "I'll take it" just to get dibs on being first.

They don't wait to decide if they actually want the item or not so they just hit 'send' as fast as they can. They'll even arrange a pickup time -- and then, if they decide they don't want it, they simply don't show up.

When you post an offer, you're free to select a recipient by any means you like, as described in the rules. However, if you want to avoid being stood up, we strongly recommend *not* giving your item to the first person who responds.

Instead, take some time out and evaluate your responses for at least a few hours, if not for a whole day. Choose your recipient based on a polite response as opposed to being first to answer.

A courteous response speaks volumes about the recipient! Maybe someone took the time to name the item and gave a reason why they want it. The person who takes the time out to reply and be polite is someone who will also take the time to show up, or at least notify you if something prevents them from showing up at the appointed time, as opposed to the ones who simply say "I want it".

After you have picked out a recipient for your item, let them know they can have the item. Hold off on sending your address until they respond again. If they take the trouble of sending you emails back and forth, they are very unlikely to stand you up at this point, unless they get lost or unexpectedly tied up!

Not all no shows are deliberate. People do get lost, have car troubles, run late from meetings, or have one of many other reasons for not showing up on time. For this reason, it is a good idea to pass on your phone and address, in case of such emergencies. But sometimes after all this trouble the person can still be a no show.

For this reason, save all the replies you received just in case. In that way you save the time of having to repost the message and can go down the list of suitable recipients.

Emotional details

Too much personal information

Thank you for your post. I have taken the liberty of editing the post that you made.

Not only is there no need to post all of these personal details, we feel that it is unsafe for our members to do so. Posting such personal stories and details gives people a lot of information about our members and their families. Using such phrases as "low income", "single parent", "recently divorced", "living alone", "disabled", and more give potential predators entirely too much personal information with which to use against you. Say a predator won an item you offered, if they have some of this information, they now have your address, and know that you live alone, or are disabled, or are vulnerable in someway!

Using these phrases like these can also make members feel guilted into gifting. With no strings attached, we mean no strings. Feel free to ask for what you want. There are a lot of us with needs, and if someone is truly in need, there are more appropriate county services where we can point you. But on this list, the emotional details need to be left out.

No explanations necessary

While we appreciate your wanting to share the circumstances behind your request for this item, please understand that no member should ever be made to feel they have to be *in need* of an item in order to request it. We are not here to determine need, only to keep things out of the landfills and find them new homes, for whatever reason. Please feel free to request an item, regardless of the circumstances, and know that you have no need to explain the reasons behind it.

No sob stories

One of the beautiful things about Freecycle(R) is that the person requesting items does not incur any obligation to the giver in accepting an exchange. Not only is there no exchange of money, there is no written or unwritten obligations involved at all. When requesting an item, you don't have to give a "sob story" about why you need it.

No strings attached

The "no strings attached" rule also means that when you make an offer, you cannot set up stipulations for non-monetary expectations, such as completing a questionnaire, or listening to a sales pitch, or anything else that creates an "agreement" between giver and receiver. We just ask that each member be *honest* and respect one another! Give freely, with no strings attached!

Distribution of copyrighted works

Software and other forms of media fall under Copyright agreements. This message serves to clarify this group's stance on the distribution of software, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, recorded music, taped media and other printed materials via Freecycle(TM).

Software. The software being exchanged:

  1. Has to be the original software, not a copy.
  2. Can no longer be used by any previous owner.
  3. Cannot have been used to get an upgrade.
  4. Must follow the terms in its End User License Agreement (EULA). If the EULA makes no mention about transfers or exchanges, treat the software like you would any other work protected by copyright (like a book, CD, or video).

Music, Videos, Books and other copyrighted works must be:

  1. Originals, not a copy
  2. Can no longer be used by any previous owner.

These are not just Freecycle policies, but are LAWS pertaining to copyright.

Posts that violate these LEGAL policies will be deleted. If you do have software you no longer use, and it is both uninstalled and meets EULA requirements for transfer, please feel free to post an OFFER, making note of system requirements (Operating System, memory requirement, etc.) needed to run it.

Remember to keep it free, LEGAL and appropriate for all ages. Your group moderators and The Freecycle Network(TM) do not take responsibility for transfers that are not carried out according to EULA of software creators.

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter!

Reject for offering payment

Thanks for participating in our Freecycle(TM) group. Your post was not approved for the following reason: You cannot offer to pay for goods or services in your post. Please remove any references to money before reposting.

If you have any further questions about the rules of the group, please refer to the group guidelines that you received upon joining.

When Members Solicit Sales in Response to a WANTED Post

Soliciting sales is not permitted on® lists. This notice is provided to address the group as a whole when members are attempting to solicit sales from other members who have requested items as a WANTED on local groups.

Landfill test

While the stated mission of is to reduce waste and ease the burden our our landfills, there is no requirement that every post keep meet a landfill test. If you have a landfill test as a local group policy, click here for sample responses.

Advertising or Soliciting Services

I am sorry, but this message is inappropriate for Freecycle(TM).

You cannot request services or information on Freecycle. It is not a community bulletin board for finding jobs, rentals, dentists, mechanics, or advertising our businesses and services or special events. All messages must be posted for items that are either offered or asked for FREE, with no strings attached.

You are more than welcome to post OFFERs to give away unsold product, returns, discontinued items, surplus goods and fixtures, castoffs from manufacturing processes, and unwanted or misprinted office supplies.

In addition you are welcome to post WANTEDs for items you need for your business; if you are planning on selling any of the items you request you must include that information in your posting in the interest of full disclosure.

Not getting what you Wanted?

Freecycle(TM) can sure help out with finding a treasure or two. But have your recent Wanted posts fallen on deaf ears?

Maybe it's time to try balancing all your Wanted posts with a few Offers.

Here's why it works -

  1. Mainers are smart cookies. If they see you acting like Greedy Gerta, posting Want after Want and never offering up anything to the list, they will stop reading your posts all together.
  2. Showing that you are in tune with Freecycle(TM) and it's mission - to keep tangible and usable items from clogging our landfills - ensures that when you do have need of a Wanted item, people know that they can gift you with a treasure and not have it wind up in the trash the next week.
  3. We are a recycling group. We are here to ease the burden on our landfills. Showing that you understand this by being committed to Paying-It-Forward with your own Offers means that other list members are more likely to return the favor.

Freecycle(TM) works, but you will only get back what you put into it. So the next time you need to ask for the Moon, try offering up The Stars first... I bet you will see much "brighter" results :)

Required files

For required files, please click here.