The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Remake, Remodel -

If you of­fer some­thing, it has to be for free. You will get noth­ing for your old sofa, but given how lit­tle it is prob­a­bly worth, can you re­ally be both­ered to ad­ver­tise it in a news­pa­per or drive it to a tip? Be­sides, giv­ing it away ought to make you feel bet­ter.

Any­one in­ter­ested sim­ply replies by email. Your sofa will have a new home and will soon be oc­cu­pied by the be­hinds of like-minded peo­ple.

Be­fore ac­cept­ing a free­bie from oth­ers in your group, you are urged to of­fer some­thing first. Rather than a heap of ma­nure, which is prob­a­bly lim­ited to gar­den­ers in its ap­peal, I kicked off with my daugh­ters’ bunk beds when I re­cently joined the York group. But when I posted Hebe and Ruby’s 20-year-old, slightly wob­bly beds, bought sec­ond­hand five years ago for £35, I couldn’t be­lieve the buzz they gen­er­ated. Un­be­liev­ably, a fevered bid­ding war erupted; the beds went to Colin Weight­man from Masham, who seems very happy with them.

But surely there are mis­er­able lit­tle cheese worms out there that take ad­van­tage of this ser­vice and merely sell on the most at­trac­tive items on eBay, in flea mar­kets or at car boots?

“Mem­bers aren’t al­lowed to un­less the per­son do­nat­ing the item is aware and agrees,” says Ben Weaver, who started the group in York in 2005. “Peo­ple can sell stuff on be­cause it still means it isn’t go­ing straight into land­fill. If you want to do so we ask that you make clear that this is your in­ten­tion.”

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