Thursday, December 27, 2007

How to reply to a FreeCycle offer

Freecycle is a wonderful way to help save the planet. It's a very simple idea - a mailing list for people in your area to give away unwanted things (or ask for things that people might want to give away). We're having a premature spring clean this month because we're moving house. So we're listing loads of things, and we've had loads of replies. Some are fast and terse, some are polite and thoughtful. If you want to be the person to collect the goods, here's the best way to ask for something:
  • Greet the person who posted the message. It's only polite. I find that the word "Hello" helps. Or the abbreviation "Hi".
  • Tell them that you would be interested in the item (without presuming
    that they will give it to you).
  • Tell them how it would improve your life, or someone else's life.
  • Don't abbreviate your message. Use full words.
  • Make sure that your email software is set up to use your full name. I'd
    much rather agree to pass something on to a named person, instead of
  • Thank the person for their time.

Some may argue that speed is of the essence, and that the fastest email
will win. Maybe. But unless you're sat there watching the emails roll
in, you're probably not the first to reply, anyhow.

Besides: Freecycle is about reducing consumerism and landfill use. Which email approach do you think is most appropriate?

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