I think freecycle is populated by professional re-sellers who collect stuff for sale on ebay, gumtree, carboots and classified.
I have tried to ask for 30 or so items, many within minutes of them apprearing, and they have always already gone.
80% of people do not let you know, your polite email just dissappear.
Unless you are willing to sit and press refresh all day, i doubt you will have much sucess on freecycle.
Of the 3 items I have offered the replies were instant, and the collectors were not grateful, it was not something unusual for them, they appeared to be on a schedule collecting things around the county.
In a selfish world it is so refreshing to see a website where people who have things of worth want to pay it forward and let others benefit from its use. So basic but I think that is why I like it, its a great representation of the purpose. Simply to share the wealth with those who need it.
I check this site nearly everyday and if there is something i like i send the user a message but the thing that gets me is 9 times out of 10 the user(s) dont get back to you and its very frustrating and its quite off putting.
But apart from that the site is a good idea and i continue to use the site.
Most of us end up with a surplus of something - and this is a really good way of disposing of something without wasting it - it goes to someone who needs it. The fact that no money ever changes hands is just right too - everyone can share in the giving and the taking.
I recently unsubscribed from Freecycle after being on their list for a couple of years. I found it hard to unsubscribe (the normal "Leave Group" function on Yahoo was disabled by the admin), and had to beg the snotty, unhelpful, ineffectual dictator who owned the list to take me off. Why won't they let people unsubscribe of their own free will? Mind-boggling.
I never once saw anything on Freecycle that I would be interested in. Twice, I posted about furniture and used items that I didn't want, carefully following every one of the many ridiculous rules for posting, but received absolutely no responses. When I posted the same items on Craigslist, they were out of my house within 24 hours, and I got to choose from dozens of interested responders.
Freecycle seemed to have a lot of rules that they selectively enforce: for example, we had a couple of "single welfare mommy of too many kids" type members who would use the list to beg for free electronics and clothes for their large and varied broods. Because of the wide age ranges plus genders of children they begged for, members suspected these posters were eBay resellers, not genuine freecyclers. This was against the rules, but the mods did nothing to stop it, even though other members responded that they were sick of seeing this type of begging spam. The mods also continually allowed people to post offers of free pets, (especially guinea pigs), even though this, too, was against the rules.
Craigslist is far more effective and doesn't spam me.
I have been a frequent user of Freecycle mainly offering items but occasionally placing a wanted. The concept is very simple but i have noticied that replies to an offer often now want you to deliver!!! Also a huge increase in wanted ads for TV's, Laptops etc some even specifying the make. I think there should be a limit on the number of wanted items you can place although I do understand this would make it hard work for the unsung heroes the Moderators.