I was going to post a wanted for a vacuum. But I’m posting a RECEIVED with what I consider a fantastic freecycling story. I have a vacuum but there’s a catch. It’s a knock off of a Shark called a Euro Pro and the bags have become harder and harder to find since Zellers closed. I moved, bought the wrong bags, freecycled those bags then borrowed every terrible vacuum in the neighborhood. Until yesterday…I borrowed a friend’s bagless out of desperation and thought wow, with 4 cats, this is the machine for me. I should post!Having someone handy around is a bonus and this is also a story about the cost of free.As I biked to the store after returning my friend’s vacuum I saw a bagless Dirt Devil Jaguar complete with all the attachments on the curb. Seeing a moving truck, I decided ok inspection time, people leave working items behind all the time. Perhaps if it’s not working right I can ask someone to fix it for me.The lady who owned the vacuum came out. I asked if it worked. She confessed that it did but it really didn’t suck anymore and that it “ate” area rugs. I decided after flipping it over that the beater bar needed a good cleaning. I told her, “great I will pick it up on the way back”. The worst that could happen is I have to put it back on the curb.
I continued on and 3 houses up on the opposite side of the road I see the EXACT same machine only its got a broken wheel, no accessories and the electrical cord is cut off.
On the way back I used my bike to wheel the “doesn’t suck” vacuum home. Once there I ran and showed off my prize then asked the person who is handy if they could open it up and tell me if it was salvageable. We discovered a broken belt and the beater bar seized with all of the carpet remnants that the machine “ate”.
BONUS… maybe the other machine has the parts I need? Can’t hurt to go and see if it’s still there. So off on my bike and low and behold it is still laying there! Lucky me;-) I grabbed the other from 3 houses up and dragged that machine home too.
Returning with my prize I was impressed at how much cleaner the beater bar was than the other. Thinking, well if all else fails, I can switch the bars if I have to buy a belt. LUCKY ME AGAIN! All the parts needed to replace the ones in the working machine were intact.
After cleaning the parts and then taking the hose off we further discovered that the hose was blocked. Fished the hose, cleaned the filter, changed the belt and beater bar and I have a “WORKS LIKE BRAND NEW VACUUM CLEANER”!
The moral of this story… the cost of free may be a little elbow grease. But the real moral of the story is this… Freecycling patience is a virtue. You may not get what you need when you ask but if you keep asking eventually someone will have what you need. BUT, in a world of free, there is a cost.
When you become an avid believer in the system, it’s hard to shop when you know that what you need is likely sitting on the side of the street. Even if it’s not, you have 11,000 people freecycling in this area and eventually you will find what you need when you need it the most!
A Jaguar Dirt Devil like the one I just found help to McGyver would cost a lot more than the effort and time put into making it work like new.
If you post once and no one replies, just keep posting every other week. Trust me, not all of those 11,000 people are sitting at their computers waiting to give you what you want. But eventually one of them will be…
I’m Kelly Wilson and I am a facilitator with Full Circles Ottawa and a HUGE believer in I get what I need for free… but nothing is ever without a cost.
Perhaps all you have to do is post a few times…it’s the cost of free;-)
Thanks for reading my RECEIVED!