Every year since 2005 I have given away toys or dress-up costumes FREE on craigslist. They are brand new in the package. In those 8 years I estimate about 2,000 free gifts have been given, from me personally, from my home and businesses. THE LAST 2 YEARS I HAVE BEEN FLAGGED FOR REMOVAL over and over again, by several people (or maybe just by one person over and over) each time I try to give something away.
Some of the things I have given: all new: blenders, kitchen gadgets, toys, books, clothes, princess dresses, doll clothes, dolls, capes, costumes, crowns, wands, jewelry, books, etc.
I, as ི♥ྀ Tricia The Fairy Godmother ི♥ྀ, like to give funds and tangible items to families in need. In the past I had 20-60 nice inquiries for each item I offered to gift for free. I always ask that there be a need, and if you can afford it, please don’t take from someone who can’t.
The last 2 years 90% of the email requests I get are either rude (“I want it”), greedy (“I’ll take them all”), or look or sound like spam, scams, or frauds. So I have had to get very discerning about which emails I reply to. My craigslist ads now request a “personal” sounding email, with an introduction (first name, which item you are hoping to receive, what city you live in, what relation the child is to you, what the need is, etc). The 10% of people who read the simple instructions on how to POLITELY ask for my free items, using GOOD MANNERS, always get a reply, and I try to get that free gift to them right away.
I say in my ads that all other emails will Not be answered, will be Deleted. That weeds out the scams, spams and frauds hopefully.
In the Free section of craigslist you cannot promote your business, so I make sure Not to violate that rule. I say that they must pick up from my home. Some people ask if I can ship, so I offer to ship most lightweight items for around $3.99 (cheaper than gas) which covers my postage, packaging materials, confirmation/tracking number, my ink/labels for printing the postage, my trip to the post office, my fees for accepting paypal or credit/debit payments securely, etc. I don’t make a profit from this!
For two years most of my Free Costumes in September and October have been flagged for removal. I turn right around and repost, trying as hard as possible to adhere to the terms and conditions, so that CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OF NEED CAN RECEIVE MY FREE COSTUMES.
Finally, today, discouraged, I wrote an open letter To Whomever is Flagging my Free Costumes for Removal, asking them to please stop and explaining that my free gifts are really free, I am a genuinely good person, I am not trying to promote a business, and I really want to help those in need of a costume this year. 30 SECONDS LATER HE/SHE FLAGGED AND DELETED MY PLEA.
So lastly, I have written a final post to that person on craigslist, telling them YOU WIN: I WON’T GIVE on craigslist anymore. I refuse to participate in that petty battle over who has the power to press a button and flag my free costumes. I said that I will stop giving on craigslist but that I won’t stop giving. It will just be harder for those who want my free gifts to find me now. That avenue is closed to me and to them.
Hopefully people will still find my giveaways, my new gifts for children, by searching online for them, but how will they know to even look?
My personal mission to support women in small business by making purchases from their shops (doing my part to help the economy a tiny bit) and then giving away some of those creations (such as costumes, dress up clothes, jewelry, books, doll tutus, cash, and more) WILL GO ON, and ི♥ྀ Tricia The Fairy Godmother ི♥ྀ will still keep smiling and laughing and GIVING to children and families in that way. But gee, does it have to be so hard to do good in today’s world?
Human beings are not happy nor satisfied when we are selfish. We are meant to be loving and giving. We experience joy and peace when we help others.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2 Corinthians 9:7
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. -Hebrews 13:16
About Tricia The Fairy Godmother
Tricia The Fairy Godmother new Giving Shoppe (items are completely free, recipient pays a small shipping/pkg/etc fee). I will post 5 items at a time. When one is shipped, I will add a new one. Giving from the heart, for the children.
My other shops: CastlesNcrowns.net, CastlesNcrowns.etsy.com.
My blog: CastlesNcrowns.org