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Springfield VA

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SpringfieldVA Freecycle Rules and Guidelines

This is an automatic email containing a file from the Group SpringfieldVA Freecycle - VITAL INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS (LONG BUT PLEASE READ)

This mail is sent out at intervals to all members of this Freecycle group to remind them of the groups' rules. Please read it from time to time to refresh your memory. ========================================================

This Freecycle group matches people who have things they need to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of the landfill. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth.

Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of items that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process.

THE BASIC STUFF: *KEEP IT FREE, LEGAL & APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES. This INCLUDES your profile!!! This also means, no pornography/adult material, alcohol, tobacco, drugs (legal or otherwise), firearms or other weapons (including a parts for, or replicas of, items).

No advertising either, please, as this involves money. *NO Spam is to be posted to the group OR sent privately to group members EVER.* Offenders WILL be put back on moderation and/or removed.

*NO Politics. NO Religion. NO personal attacks or rudeness (to other members or the Moderators). NO money. NO trading/bartering/borrowing. EVER! The rules above are strictly enforced and there will be *NO* exceptions.

If you break the rules you are placed back on moderation immediately and/or removed. We operate the Freecycle strict two strikes and you are banned system here. Please respect the rules - they are here to ensure using our group is a pleasant experience for everyone. Abuse sent to moderators or other members will result in your membership being removed immediately.

*E-mail Settings** You can choose your email delivery options ... 'Individual mail', 'Daily Digest' or 'No Mail'. With Individual mail you will receive each post in a separate email message. With Digest you will receive a group of messages once 25 messages have been posted. No Mail will mean you need to read all the messages on the groups website, you will still receive any Admins that are sent out by the Moderators.

*DO NOT use more than one profile or email address in an attempt to post more wanted messages and receive more items. That is dishonest and quite rude to the other members and we *WILL* figure it out anyway. When we do, you WILL be removed from the group and you will be reported to all Freecycle moderators.

*DO NOT use taglines, email names, signature lines and/or footers that are excessively long or contain business information, addresses, websites, or phone numbers. They WILL be edited or removed at the moderator's discretion. *DO NOT use an auto responder to reply to posts. Anyone found using one will be removed instantly.

*DO NOT EVER contact another member or Moderator only to be rude or judgmental. If you have opinions about what someone posts or says, we expect you to be mature enough to keep them to yourself. Personal attacks or harassment of our members and Moderators WILL NOT BE TOLERATED and will result in your removal from the group.

*If you have a problem or an issue with another member please contact the Moderators who will do their best to resolve it off list. DO NOT post a complaint to the board. These will be removed and you will be put back on moderation until the problem is sorted.

The board is ONLY for OFFERED, WANTED, TAKEN, RECEIVED and ADMIN messages - all other messages will be removed. ONLY Moderators may post Admin messages. Please remember that the Moderators cannot help you if they do not know you have a problem. *Remember that when we speak to people face-to-face, around 75% of the meaning is conveyed by non-verbal means - tone of voice, inflection, nuances, body language, etc - but those cues are not available in an email or instant message which makes it much harder to interpret someone's attitude or feelings. We should therefore be careful about drawing hasty conclusions to any messages we may receive from other users.

Please also remember that there are people using the board for whom the written word is a difficult way to express themselves, these can include, amongst others, those who write or speak English as a second language, are inexperienced on computers and the internet or those that have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. If someone sends you an email and you're not sure how to take it, assume it was meant the best possible way. This will help you feel better about other members and prevent you from firing off angry emails. If you still have a problem after doing this then bring it to the attention of the Moderators.

*DO indicate what area you are located in when posting offers, wants and when responding to messages. PLEASE note this in the subject line of your post. It is VERY important to do this so that you don't get tons of replies from people too far to come pick it up anyway.

If your post does not include your location it will be rejected. 2 Cross Streets for your location area or a subdivision is also allowed. Please do not post your location as "Springfield VA", as this is not an acceptable location. If you continue to post with that location, your account will be placed on moderation.

*Please be totally honest in the descriptions of the items offered. If it’s broken, bits are missing or it needs a good cleaning then say so! Please don't leave out things like IT'S BEEN LEFT OUT IN THE WEATHER, HAS MOLD, HAS BUGS, ETC... It will probably still find a home, as there are people out there who relish the challenge of fixing things up or repairing broken items. However there is nothing more disappointing than getting something home and finding out that it doesn’t work or needs far more work than you are capable of. Don’t be the one to spoil someone’s Freecycle experience. Any offer posting not including a description may be removed and you will need to resubmit it. *No member is required to take anything Offered to them ...If the item was not as exactly described in the OFFER. Also, when offering misc items please be specific on what your offering, and when offering clothing / shoes please give sizes and gender this helps cut down on emails asking for information on what is being offered.

*Keep the Wanted posts to the guidelines on them. Be realistic and considerate when making requests. Police yourself on this one so we don't have to because we DO enforce the wanted rules. Please keep it to two Wanted posts per week. If you place more than two per week, you will be placed on moderation.

*NO Cross-posting. Freecycle works best when kept at the local level. If you belong to more than one Freecycle group, POST TO ONLY ONE GROUP at a time. Wanted messages cross-posted to several groups at once may be deleted without notice at the moderator's discretion. To avoid cross-posting, please follow these simple suggestions. If you want to Offer an old freezer (or whatever), send your message to the group closest to you first and consider that one your "home" group. If after a few days you don't get any takers for your item, move on to the next group. This is more for your benefit than anything else - if you send the Offer to 1000's of people across Northern Virginia, you'll get more replies than you can answer and most of them too far away to make it worthwhile. The same goes for wants - try your home group first and post to the other groups ONLY if you don't find it in the first group. We don't mean waiting an hour or two either - we mean days!

*DO NOT post for the same item repeatedly. Once every 7 days is more than enough. Please be patient. Not every wanted message can (or will be) answered right away. Your messages remain on the board for 7 days, which are open to our members to browse at their leisure so they are still out there. Repeated messages will be deleted without notification and your status returned to moderated.

*If you post on behalf of or representing a charity your post MUST contain your charity number. This includes asking for items to be sold or given away as prizes to raise funds e.g. Wanted: Items for a charity Raffle – This post must include the name of the charity and its charity number. Your post will not be approved or will be removed if it does not contain it. Anyone found fraudulently posting as a charity or misrepresenting themselves will be banned from this group, reported to the charities commission and will have their details passed on to the owners of all Freecycle groups in the area.


*DO post offers for all the good stuff you don't need anymore... furniture, appliances, toys, clothes, lawnmowers, car parts, etc. If it's still good, then someone probably could use it.

*DO mark your post as Taken message once you gift to a member *NOT when they pickup* and mark your Wanted post Received when your Want has been met.

*DO NOT post your phone number or address directly to the group! Think Safety! Such information WILL BE edited out of messages and the message will be deleted from the archives. Give this info ONLY to the person willing to come pick up your item. You may choose to meet in a public place if you want or need to.

*DO NOT submit free-for-all/Curb-Alert type posts (such as "It's on the doorstep and/or whoever gets here first can have it.') Posting in that manner encourages hundreds of people to head that direction, and 99% of those people will walk away disappointed and empty handed, after having expended a great deal of time and petrol for nothing. Please pick out a few items, post them and set up a specific time for people to pick the items up. That approach may seem like more work but if people are making unneeded trips for nothing it will sour them towards you and towards Freecycle in general and that's not good for anyone. Ultimately, these posts will be edited by a moderator or returned to you for editing, and multiple postings like this will cause you to be placed on moderation.

*DO NOT post a first come first serve - It is always best to require a time frame if you are on a tight schedule you should put this in your posting. Such as: Would like quick pickup - Please remember when doing this you keep yourself sitting at your messages as not to keep members waiting for hours for a reply. The basic mission of Freecycle is to keep items out of landfills. A corollary of that is *environmentalism* which is best served by not having members driving around wasting fossil fuels unnecessarily for items that will be gone when they get there anyway.

*NO requests for money EVER! *NO requests for Frequent Flyer miles, phone cards or special events tickets such as football games or concerts. We are sorry and wish we could help but Freecycle is just not the place for things like that. If anyone has something like that to share they will post an offer.

*NO requests or Offers for G-mail accounts or similar non-tangibles such as help in the garden, or with charity events and no loans or borrows of items.

*DO NOT offer prescription drugs. It is illegal to transfer a prescription to another person, not to mention unsafe.

*NO TRADING!!!! Bartering has its own set of laws and regulations and such transactions are taxable and reportable to the government. Freecycle is simply not set up for that sort of activity. However, there are webs sites and groups for trading/bartering out there to be found if that interests you.

*Do NOT contact people in response to a want they posted and offer to sell them something! If you are not willing to give it for free at this time, please don't bring it up. Offences on this rule will get you removed and reported.

*DO NOT request money for your offers either, or set rules about who can take the item. Freecycle means FREE, with NO strings attached!! Putting a FIRST COME FIRST SERVE or QUICKEST PICKUP is a String...

*Do NOT expect people to deliver stuff to you. If they offer then that's great but it is not a right to be demanded.

A FEW LAST THINGS TO THINK ABOUT: *Gifting does NOT have to be 1st responded, 1st served! Consider the people who can't stick by their computer all day. To simply choose the first responder every time stops MANY deserving people from ever having an opportunity of participate. Many groups ask their members to wait 24 hours before deciding who will receive their item (Fair Offer Policy or FOP). This cannot really be enforced but sometimes it would be helpful to those that don't have as much computer access so please consider it if your circumstances allow. The ultimate decision is up to the person giving the item and to choose the recipient as they see fit. *If you have responded to an offer this is no guarantee the item is yours until you hear from the offerer and they tell you it is! Give your personal information (privately, not on the list) to one potential gifter / recipient at a time, and/or ask for their phone number in return. *Once you are set to give or receive an item, make arrangements to collect as you like but please practice common courtesy in accommodating people's schedules. *Arrange pickup with only one person at a time. Often it is possible to gift an item without having to rearrange your schedule by simply leaving the item in a designated location, such as the porch or along side the garage. Share this info only with the receiver, not with the entire group.

*DO NOT promise your items to one person and then give them to another! Again, please treat others the way you would wish to be treated. If this happens it could result in removal and/or moderation.

*DO NOT take more than you were promised! If someone agrees to leave an item on the porch for you, don't rudely take advantage and swipe the things left for others!! Offerers should put a name on the item being picked up. *Mailing a small item is perfectly fine if both parties involved agree to it, someone is willing to pay the postage AND the item still remains FREE. If you promise someone you will repay them for the postage, be a good citizen and make sure you do just that.

*As we grow the rules may change periodically so please remember to read them from time to time.

*NO SHOWS: If a member fails to pickup an item at the agreed upon time/day. Please wait 2 hours before passing the item on to another member. You may contact the moderator with the emails showing all contact / scheduled time information and we can handle it from there. After 2 hours you may pass the item to the next responder.

*Prior to posting your Offer take a look at the Wanted board perhaps someone else already is looking for what you have to offer. This helps cut back on the sheer number of emails we all receive .

* SPAM: PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM/JUNK FOLDER many replies go into your spam folder :)

This is for issues with the SITE ONLY!!! For Member technical support and assistance/questions contact Thank you for being here and being a part of this movement. The generosity and kindness we have seen since getting involved with Freecycle is quite amazing... and we are proud to be a part of it. Keep up the good work!

Kind Regards, Your SpringfieldVA Freecycle Moderators

Feel free to email us with questions, comments and suggestions at

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