Norfolk & Waveney Freegle

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Managing Offers and Requests

Managing Offers and Requests

Managing offers and requests is all done via the website, although you are alerted by email to new messages. Freegle keeps track of all the messages for you, to avoid the problem of emails from other Freeglers sometimes ending up in people's spam folders. It also means that you can keep your email address private, and if there is a dispute the volunteers can see who said what and try to resolve it.

All management of your own items and your responses to others is done in My Freegling. It summarises the stage your items and responses are at and also shows you a "To Do List" of any items that need action.

The basic flow of actions is:

Post your Offer or Request > Accept someone's response > Transfer the item  > Set your Offer or Request to Completed

There are also options to use if you want to pull out of dealing with someone, or remove the item from Freegle completely.

The information below shows the typical stages for your own offers and requests. Further down you can find information on your responses to other people's items.


Managing your own offers and requests

1. Make the offer or request

After you have made a new offer or request, two things can happen:

  • it is matched up with a request or offer already on the system, or
  • there are no matching requests.

If there are matches, you can see them and choose to deal directly with one of them if you wish. In this case, your offer or request will not be published to other Freeglers at this point. If you do not want to deal with any of the suggested matches, you must make sure you click the button to publish your item to other Freeglers. If you forget, the item will be listed as "Awaiting Publication" in My Freegling, and you can publish it from there.

If there are no matches, you will simply be asked to publish your offer or request. This makes it visible to other Freeglers and it will be listed as "Open" in My Freegling.

2. Receive responses and get more information


If people are interested in your offer or request, they can respond to it through the Freegle site. You'll get notified of new responses by email, and "Manage Responses" will also show up as a link in your To Do List on My Freegling. Click this link to see a list of all responses, and click "Details" by any response to see full information and choose how to respond.

When viewing the details of a response, you can reply using the Send Message and Ask To Change Transfer Date/Time buttons. Responding in this way does not mean you have definitely agreed to deal with that person, but that you are simply finding out more details about exactly what is wanted, possible collection times, etc. You can respond to more than one person at a time in this way.

If you know straight away that you cannot deal with a particular response (e.g. your item does not meet some requirement the other person has mentioned) then you can Decline it (you have the option to include a message when doing so).

3. Accept a response

Once you have a response you are happy with, and definitely want to deal with that person (i.e. give them your item, or accept their item in response to your request), click Accept Response. You can only accept one response, unless you said in the initial offer or request that the offer could be split among several people, or that you could accept multiple responses to your request. (See the offer/request instructions for details on this.)

You must Accept a response in order to later be able to mark the transaction as complete (see below). This also stops other people replying to it.

For now, you do not need to do anything with any other responses that you have not accepted. They act as a 'reserve list' in case your arrangements with the chosen person fall through.

4. Complete or withdraw from the transaction

After a response has been accepted, the next stage is to Transfer the item, as shown in your To Do List. Do this only when the item has been collected. It sends a message to anyone else who responded to tell them that the item is no longer available, or that the request has been fulfilled. It also lets you rate the other person (see below), and adds your item to our statistics on successful Freegles!

In most cases, everything works out and the item is collected. Rarely, the other person may let you down and not show up. If this is the case, you can send them another message to see what has happened. If you cannot resolve things, then you can use Withdraw to revoke your acceptance of their response. This leaves you free to Accept someone else's response and deal with them instead. You will be able to rate the person who let you down.

In either case, please do not use the Remove option (which is only seen on your list of items accessed from My Freegling). This takes it off the system completely.

5. Rate the other Freegler

The final stage is to rate the other person. This happens in two cases: when an item has been transferred and marked as complete, or when you have withdrawn your acceptance of someone else's response.

You can say whether you are happy or unhappy with the other person's actions regarding this item. If you are happy, you have the option to leave a public thanks message which will be visible on the front page. If you're not happy, you can say why. If you are given negative feedback, you do have the opportunity to respond and the volunteers can review the situation.

The rating contributes to the star rating you will see by people's names on their offers, requests and responses.

6. Completing a "can be shared" offer

Usually, once you've completed a transaction, your offer will be automatically closed and will no longer be visible to other members.  However, if you ticked "can be shared" when you created the offer then instead it will be left open so that, if you have any of it left, you can arrange to give it to other people.  Once you've given it all away, you can complete the offer by going to My Freegling, viewing your Open offers, and clicking on "Mark as Complete".

  

7. If you need to remove your offer or request


Sometimes you may want to remove an offer or request from Freegle. Perhaps you found your requested item by some means other than Freegle, or had to take your offered item to the recycling centre because it was in the way. To Remove your offer or request completely, go to My Freegling and view your Open offers or requests. You will see a Remove Offer / Remove Request button by each one.

Please don't use this option if you passed on the item via Freegle. Instead, click on "Transfer Item (or Withdraw if no-show)" from the To-Do List, and then use the button "Set Transfer to Completed".

 


Managing your responses to other people's offers and requests

1. Find and reply to an offer or request

Use the Browse page, set up Alerts, or look at the Recent Freegles section of the front page to find offers or requests to reply to. When you look at the details of a particular offer or request, you'll see a link at the bottom that allows you to request the offered item, or offer the item being requested. This link lets you send a message to the person in question.

When you have done this, the item will show up as Awaiting Reply on your My Freegling page.


2. Communicate further and arrange collection

If people are interested in your response, they can communicate with you through the Freegle site. You'll get notified of new responses by email, and you will also see a link in your To Do List on My Freegling if you need to reply to anyone.

Other Freeglers may send you a message to clarify whether the item is suitable. They can also request to change the suggested date and time of transfer. Responding in this way does not mean they have definitely agreed to deal with you, but that you are both simply finding out more details about exactly what is wanted, possible collection times, etc. At this stage, the item will show as being under Negotiation in My Freegling.

You can Withdraw your response at any time (e.g. if you change your mind about the item). The Withdraw button is visible when you are looking at your conversation with the person in question.

The other person can choose to Accept your response if they wish. This means they definitely want to deal with you. When they have done that, the item will show as Accepted And Awaiting Transfer in My Freegling, and your To Do list will prompt you to Transfer the item.

The other person may also choose to Decline your response (with an optional explanation - perhaps the item turns out to be unsuitable after asking some questions). If they don't contact you directly but choose to Accept someone else's response then you will get a message to let you know the offer or request is no longer open.

3. Complete or withdraw from the transaction

The item should now be collected as arranged. Only the person who made the original offer or request can click to say that it has been completed, so you simply need to wait for them to do so. Do not use the Withdraw button!

In most cases, everything works out and the item is collected. Rarely, the other person may let you down and not show up. If this is the case, you can send them another message to see what has happened. If you cannot resolve things, then you can choose to Withdraw from the transaction to show you are no longer interested in dealing with the other person. The Withdraw button is visible when you are looking at your conversation with the person in question.

4. Rate the other Freegler

The final stage is to rate the other person. This happens in two cases: when an item has been transferred and marked as complete, or when you have withdrawn your response after someone else has accepted it.

You can say whether you are happy or unhappy with the other person's actions regarding this item. If you are happy, you have the option to leave a public thanks message which will be visible on the front page. If you're not happy, you can say why. If you are given negative feedback, you do have the opportunity to respond.

The rating contributes to the star rating you will see by people's names on their offers, requests and responses.