This mail is sent to all members of the Yourgroupnamehere Freegle group. If you no longer want to be in the group, send a mail to $firstname.lastname@example.org .
We have occasional problems with people not showing up to collect items, or changing their minds. If you're getting stuff for free, it's only fair to be polite and thoughtful about the pickup arrangements - as most of us are. So 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. 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... but if you can't turn up, it's courtesy to let them know. If you were staying in for someone, you'd want them to let you know if they couldn't come, right?
When you post an OFFER, you can choose who gets it however you like. There are always going to be no-shows - but you can reduce the chances of it happening to you by choosing people carefully.
First-come-first-served is often not the right choice. Some people pounce on items and send a quick "I'll take it" just to get dibs, without really thinking about whether they actually want it. If they change their minds, they might just not show up. So if you pick the first response, you're more likely to have trouble. Plus it doesn't give people who don't sit in front of a computer all day a chance, and you might get a later reply which makes you wish you'd not decided already.
Instead, use the Fair Offer Policy and take some time out and evaluate your responses for at least a few hours, if not for a whole day. If someone takes the time to reply politely and explain why they want an item, they're much more likely to show up, or at least let you know if they can't.
After you have picked someone, let them know, but 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. Once you've told someone they can have an item, please don't just change your mind and give it to someone else, unless arrangements fall through; if you do chance your mind, please let them know.
Remember that not all no shows are deliberate. People get lost, have car troubles, run late from meetings, or have one of many other reasons for not showing up on time. Exchange phone numbers, so you can let each other know.
But sometimes after all this, the person can still be a no show. So save the replies you received just in case, so you can move on to the next person who wanted it.
And because, one day, you might find that you can't pick up something when you said you could, try not to get too annoyed at people who do that to you - they may have good reason.
$myname $groupname co-Moderator.