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.”