Today I got myself a Yamaha keyboard and it's FREE! Value for money is my thing, but getting something nice for free? What a feeling!! No doubt it's a used, Yamaha Portasound PSS 260 of yesteryears, but it is working perfectly and that's all that matters... The ex-owner had upgraded to a newer model and had put this old one up for grabs on FREECYCLE.
So what is FREECYCLE? Well, if you don't already know, you can actually guess from the name that it is a 'place' where you can get things for FREE. As for the 'CYCLE', I guess it comes from the word 'RECYCLE' and basically owners offer their belongings that they no longer use or need to interested parties. The wares are advertised via the FREECYCLE virtual site which uses the Yahoogroups platform. Therefore, to take part in this exercise, you have to become a member of the FREECYCLE group. Members will receive regular updates via their e-mails on the things offered or requested. For more info, go to www.uk.freecycle.org.
So, what can you get (or offer) at FREECYCLE? Well, anything from washing machines to chicken poo (honest!:)). Just a few minutes ago some smart alec even offered some 'sense of humour' (???:)). Some of the things offered were brand new, many were used items, while quite a number, damaged ones (to be used as spare parts). Just name it - branded items, junks - you can get it here.
How do you 'book' the things offered on FREECYCLE? Well, most of the time, you e-mail the person concerned indicating your interest. Some owners preferred to be contacted by phone. A few, offered on first-come-first-serve basis: whoever made it to the place first, gets the 'prize'. Macam-macam ...
So what's the catch, you ask? Well, none actually. These are people who just want to dispose unwanted items, or as some of them put it, "find a worthy home for a treasured belonging". So they and us (the 'junkies' :D) are actually doing our bit to save the environment (read: recycle). If there is a catch at all, it's just that you will have to pick up the items from the owner's home. If it's a Yamaha keyboard like mine, no sweat, right? But if it's a set of IKEA Ektorp sofas? You'll definitely need a van! And the things can be from any part of town - near or far.
Whoever started this initiative, hats off to them! This eco-friendly concept should be introduced in my country (Mary Jane the almost environmentalist: this is my challenge to you, babe!! :P). But I'm sure the kiasu (or should I say the money-minded???) amongst us would probably scramble for the things on offer and exchange them for cash at Cash Converter outlets! Dah tau dah ...
In the mean time, the kids are enjoying their Yamaha Portasound ... courtesy of Ellie and Jez (thanks a million, guys!! :)).