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Extra, extra, read all about it…

Exciting times – has put together it’s first press release and it’s heading out into the universe!   Wonder whether anyone will read it?   :)

Front, back and sides


We have had a few bigger things listed recently, and sometimes one picture doesn’t quite do the job.

So we are pleased to announce that now you can upload multiple photos of things you put on FreelyWheely. Oooooo!

It does require a bit of a trick though, when you are choosing the pics you have to hold down the Ctrl key to select more than one.

Then instead of one picture on your item you get a mini gallery that you can click or swipe forward and backward

Hope you like it :)



No, Sir, when a man is tired of London…

Ah yes, well Samuel Johnson or not, “Whereabouts are you in London” (or whereabouts are you in big city X) has become a popular cry on FreelyWheely, and you could get a bit tired of hearing it.

We’re very careful that we don’t show people exact locations, but sometimes the way that we were getting a description of a locality was really too vague, and this means that if you lived in a big city you’d repeatedly get asked where you were.  It also meant that people would request things and then find that they weren’t that near to where they were.

So we can triumphantly announce that we have come up with a better way of doing it!  Now you Londoners can tell your Shoreditch from your Shepherd’s Bush and your Clerkenwell from your Cockfosters, and we are rolling out the same ingenious system to other big cities.  Hope you like it :)

Sherry, a Mince Pie and a Carrot for Rudolph

The festive freelywheely team would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas!

As a special present (which I’m sure you’ve noticed already!) we’ve finally launched the redesigned site.  It is quite different, it has taken a lot of work, and we really really hope you like it.  A lot of things have been improved, particularly to make everything easier to use on a mobile phone, streamlining various bits that were shoehorned in as we got bigger, and making it all a lot more readable, understandable and straightforward.  Especially big thanks to for their expert web design skills and really going the extra mile in helping us get it right.

Hope you are having an excellent Christmas wherever you are, and that you have a brilliant new year.

Look before you LEAP!

As more and more people realise that FreelyWheely is a great way to get rid of their unwanted items – for free – to people local to them, we are thrilled to see links to us appearing on council websites, environmental action groups, money saving sites and other places too.   We love it :)

One of these great organisations is the Ewhurst LEAP (Local Environment Action People).   We would like to say a big “HELLO” to them, and thank them for recommending that the residents of Ewhurst use FreelyWheely to advertise their unwanted items on-line.   Thank you for joining us – we are thrilled that you have!

Trigger Finger

New high speed alerts!

You can now get us to send you an email the very second a new item is added near you!

To do this find the “How Often To Tell Me” box on the “My Details” page and select:

“Whenever something local is posted”

If you pick this we’ll send you an email instantaneously the moment there is a new local item.

Button Moon

It’s hard to see something from someone else’s point of view, especially when that thing is something you spend your life poring over.  But we are doing our absolute best to do that, because while we might be FreelyWheely experts, nobody else needs (or wants) to be.

Last week we received a concerning email from a freecycler who was frustrated by the  navigation of the site,  and we’ve set to work to solve these problems.   The following documents the changes so far.

  • The first improvement

It used to be that the action buttons (e.g. Editing, Publishing, Withdrawing) were only shown on the page for the item.

But there were also similar buttons on the “My Items” page which would take you to the item page to do that thing.

So two sets of buttons, called the same thing, in different places, which did different things.

Exactly.  Confusing.

The weak excuse bit is that this is because we had tangled these buttons into the code for that particular page, and it was hard to have them anywhere else.

But, no more.  We’ve untangled and shifted them and we now have the same buttons on the item itself and on the “My Items” page.  Wherever you are, you see the same buttons, and they do the same thing.

Consistent, and simpler.

  • The second improvement

Something we should have cottoned on to before, is that “End Item Early”, “Choose Requester” and “Withdraw Item” are all sort of overlapping.

For example, if you click “End Item Early” on an unrequested item, then that is just the same as withdrawing it.

And if you click “End Item Early” on a requested item, actually you just want to choose a recipient.

So why wasn’t it like that?  A completely reasonable question.  So now you won’t find an “End Item Early” button at all; you can either withdraw an unrequested item or choose a recipient if the item has been requested.  Much simpler.

  • The third and other coming improvements

Next we are going to review all of the wording that we use (for example, is “New Item” more obvious than “Post Item”?  Is there a better word than “Requester”?  Do we use our terms 100% consistently?).  Then we are going to look at the Draft / Publish bit – do we really need to have a preview?  Are people missing that they need to publish?  And then we are going to look at typical tasks such as contacting a recipient or commenter.  How easy is it to find their details and can we make it any easier?

We take the usability of FreelyWheely extremely seriously, and there is always room for improvement, so stay tuned for further updates and as always, if you have a niggle, however small you think it might be, get in touch with – I guarantee we will do something about it.

Can We Keep The Octopus?

We’ve been thinking a bit about some bigger changes to FreelyWheely. (Cue ominous music…)

No, nothing bad :)

We think it is time to make the site look a bit different.

What colour is a freecycle?

The last year was a very exciting time for us, and we have grown enormously. As part of that we’ve had to improve lots of the things that make the site work.

One thing we haven’t changed much, but is definitely creaking at the seams a bit, is how FreelyWheely looks. We’ve bolted on bits here and there (and pretty much everywhere) and that, combined with the sheer volume of items being posted, means that it’s no longer the amazingly wonderful experience we’d like it to be.

And we’d like it to work better on mobile phones

And we’d like to be able to sort out the huge number of pages of things

And make finding things easier

And lots of other things.

And to be honest it’s time to recognise that we can’t do it all ourselves, and that we need help. In the graphic art sense at least.

This process is going to take a while. We’ll keep you up to date with developments, but if you have ideas, suggestions, or to be honest, if you are a web designer and this is up your street, then please please get in touch at

The Ambassador’s Reception

And an (extremely) belated, but very Happy New Year to all of you!

We’ve had a very very busy festive time and new year, but now the the cupboards are finally bare, the final ferrero rocher has been eaten, the chocolate money too, and we’ve finished sledging and making snowmen, it is time for us to be knuckling down to fix a few of the things you’ve asked us to do.

the ambassador freecycles his ferrero rocher

Not the FreelyWheely Christmas party

Last week someone sent an email in to say that they had accidentally un-subscribed from the New Items Near You email, how could they re-subscribe?  This was, as it turned out, a very good question – you couldn’t.  Now though, we are delighted to be able to report, you can, with a new checkbox on the My Details page.  If you happen to also be in this situation, just change the box and you’ll start receiving the updates again.

This coincided nicely with another request, where we were asked how to set how near a freecycled item needed to be to appear on the New Items Near You email.  This was an excellent suggestion – obviously in a rural community a bigger range makes more sense than in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, and simply from good energy saving reuse freecycle principals everyone would naturally not want to be going miles to pick things up.  Now, it turned out that this function was actually extremely (interestingly) difficult to get working, but sufficiently strong coffee was applied and the final working version is also now live right there on the My Details page underneath the resubscribe box.

Finding a White Piano

You know what it’s like. You’re searching for that cuddly lop eared rabbit or white upright piano and you just can’t find them anywhere near where you live. Well, you might not have noticed that FreelyWheely has a search facility. Here at FreelyWheely Towers we know roughly your posting location and the location of other posters. That’s how we’re able to tell you when things come up near your home. But you too can search for stuff.

You will see at the top of the “Available”, “Wanted” and “Chat” pages there is a header that reads:-

Showing items within 10 20 50 100 Any miles of you.

You can click on these distance markers and new items will be displayed at those distances from your home.  Also when you select an item you will see just below the item title a word in blue text which tells you where the item is located and in which country. Yes, you are right, not all the items are in the UK.

It pays to look further afield for those elusive items and for requesters who are prepared to travel some distance to get something they want.

Thanks for reading and keep FreelyWheeling.