FILES - Guidelines and Etiquette

The Guidelines and Etiquette file provide the basic guidelines for your members to follow. While there will be slight variations from group to group, those rules in BOLD (in *this* section only of course) are required of all groups.

Here are a few examples you can use regarding the Guidelines and Etiquette file for your ReUseIt members. Simply copy and paste, and feel free to edit your introductory paragraph and optional areas as necessary!

***Replace all XXX references with your local group name***
OR ***Replace all reference to ReUseIt with your local affiliate name***


Example #1 - Guidelines and Etiquette File with Introduction

Dear XXX ReUseIt Member,

Thanks for being a part of ReUseIt. This message is sent to all subscribers upon joining, and periodically thereafter to the entire list.

If you're new to the group or want a quick refresher on making the most of our ReUseIt group, please read on!

The ReUseIt Network is an on-line forum that serves as a tool to make connections between community members who want to help each other, themselves, and their environment. In a disposable society where many items are discarded long before they have actually outlived their use, The ReUseIt Network helps get things from people who have them but don't want them to people who want them but don't have them.

Our goal is to find new uses for unwanted items that would otherwise be thrown into the trash. The primary benefit is that it reduces the amount of reusable items that end up in the trash with a secondary benefit of reducing the overall amount of items thrown into landfills. Reusing items not only cuts down on goods in landfills, but also helps reduce the strain on our natural resources by keeping useable items in circulation, reducing the need to manufacture additional goods.

The ReUseIt Network also provides an opportunity for those looking for an item to ask for it. Requests for items may jog the memory of someone who has an unused item stashed in the garage or basement waiting to be used. It is a great way to help get rid of those things which we may have forgotten, giving every member the chance to ReUseIt!

USING THE REUSEITLIST

To post a message, simply send an email to XXX-Group@yahoogroups.com or click on "post" at the XXX ReUseIt group web site (see link below).

To unsubscribe, send an email to XXX-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.

To post, read, or reply to messages or to manage your membership settings (including email delivery options), visit the group site (AKA main page) at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XXX

To read list archives (especially helpful for new members who may find recent posts of interest there), visit the main page and click on "messages" on the left.

For more information on ReUseIt in general and a list of other ReUseIt groups and their affiliates, visit http://www.reuseitnetwork.org/ (Highly recommended!)

A certain structure helps the group run smoothly and effectively for everyone's benefit. Remember, the success of this group depends on all of us, which means each of us need to do our best to keep on task. Thank you for taking the time out to ReUseIt!

(Remove this line--> While there will be slight variations from group to group, those rules in bold (in *this* section only of course) are required of all groups <-- Remove this line)

1) KEEP IT FREE, LEGAL & APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES. This means, for example, no pornography, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, firearms or other weapons. This is our only required ReUseIt rule and it's a pretty easy one to abide by.

2) SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR POSTS. Use these phrases to make it easy for others to delete or view. (There may be slight variations on these from group to group as well).

OFFER: Thingamajig (Your General Location)
TAKEN: Thingamajig
WANTED: Thingamajig, any condition. (Your General Location - please use sparingly and don't ask for money or an extravagant item like a diamond ring which we'd all like to have.)
RECEIVED: Thingamajig
ADMIN: new ideas, thoughts, etc. (Used by Owners and Mods, local policy dictates)

3) PLEASE DO NOT POST THE SAME "WANTED" POSTING MORE THAN ONCE A MONTH. (Here, too, there will be variations from group to group)

4) NO POLITICS, NO SPAM, NO MONEY, NO PERSONAL ATTACKS/RUDENESS, NO PROSELYTIZING/RELIGION. It's all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Remember that the premise of this group is to reuse items. Let's keep it focused and on track.

5) YOUR APPROXIMATE LOCATION: Try to list this in the body of your e-mail as well as in the subject line. OFFER Couch (downtown). “I've got a couch and live downtown. Nearest intersection: Speedway and Stone.”

6) KEEP IT ALL IN ONE E-MAIL. Got more than one thing to give away? Keep it all in one e-mail please and just number the items for your own clarity. This reduces the overall number of emails we all have to receive. This guideline varies from group to group.

7) CAN WE USE REUSEIT GROUPS TO FIND NEW HOMES FOR PETS? Some groups say yes, but keep it legal & be lovingly careful. For groups that say no, please refer to Petfinder (www.petfinder.com) to find a pet in your local neighborhood. It depends on what you and your fellow members have decided on locally. Animals requested for breeding purposes are not permitted.

8) NO TRADING PLEASE. There are lots of other places to trade which can be quite fun. Swap meets and Flea Markets come to mind.

9) RESPONSES GO ONLY TO OFFERER. It keeps down the total number of emails.

10) PICK UP. Arrange as you like. Generally, you'll wait until you get a handful of responses or maybe overnight, and then you can pick whomever you like! That's half the fun. I always ask that people consider giving your local charity first priority if one should respond. Arrange pickup with one person only, rather than "it's on the porch, whoever gets here first gets it." Remember that natural resources are precious and fuel is one of those resources we should be focused in on for conserving. It's also recommended you give your phone number to one person at a time or ask for the recipient's phone number to make arrangements for pickup, otherwise you'll get swamped with phone calls.

SAFETY. Be aware! It is up to each individual member of ReUseIt to be consciously aware of the potential risk of having "a stranger" come to your home to pick something up when arranging for pickup of items offered. ReUseIt moderators facilitate the list only and assumes no responsibility for this risk. You may want to arrange to meet in a public place or leave the item on the front porch without mentioning whether or not you will be home at the time of pickup.

11) A BRIEF NOTE ON ETIQUETTE: We are all local volunteers and we've got a great little community here. When you arrange to pick up an item from another member, it is basic good manners to accommodate them as much as possible in terms of scheduling. Be punctual and show up at the designated time or location when you say you will. They are giving you something you asked for and requesting nothing in return except that you keep your scheduled appointment and pick up the item as agreed upon. If you have to cancel, the courtesy of a phone call or an email is appreciated so that the giver of the item can make other arrangements.

That covers the basics. Thank you for taking time out to ReUseIt!

Regards,
Your XXX ReUseIt Moderators


Example #2 - Guidelines and Etiquette File with Introduction

Dear ReUseIt Member,

Thanks for being a part of ReUseIt. This message is sent to all subscribers upon joining, as well as every two weeks to the entire list. If this message hasn't been updated since the last time you read it, feel free to move on to the next post.

If you're new to the group or want a quick refresher on making the most of your membership, please read on! (Yes, this is a long message, but it contains essential knowledge for all members and will answer MANY common new-user questions, so please take the time to read through it.)

Rules update regularly. We ask that you put your general location in your OFFER e-mail. Also, we have added the rule that there are to be no repeat postings more than once a month. I think this will help keep us all more sane so that we all don't keep seeing all those repeats.

USING THE REUSEITLIST

To post a message, simply send an email to XXX@yahoogroups.com or click on "post" at the XXX ReUseIt group web site (see link below).

To unsubscribe, send an email to XXX-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.

To post, read or reply to messages, or to manage your membership settings (including email delivery options), visit the group site’s main page at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XXX

To read list archives (especially helpful for new members who may find recent posts of interest there), visit the main page and click on "messages" on the left.

For more information on ReUseIt in general, along with a list of other ReUseIt groups, visit http://www.reuseitnetwork.org/ (Highly recommended!) You can also find ReUseIt along with other related recycling-related sites by visiting the XXX main page and clicking on "links" on the left.

A certain structure helps the group run smoothly and effectively for everyone's benefit. Remember, the success of this group depends on all of us, which means each of us need to do our best to keep on task. Thank you for taking the time out to ReUseIt!

(Remove this line--> While there will be slight variations from group to group, those rules in bold (in *this* section only of course) are required of all groups <-- Remove this line)

1) KEEP IT FREE, LEGAL & APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES. This means, for example, no pornography, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, firearms or other weapons. This is our only required ReUseIt rule and it's a pretty easy one to abide by.

2) SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR POSTS. Use these phrases to make it easy for others to delete or view. (There may be slight variations on these from group to group as well).

OFFER: Thingamajig (Your General Location)
TAKEN: Thingamajig
WANTED: Thingamajig, any condition. (Your General Location - please use sparingly and don't ask for money or an extravagant item like a diamond ring which we'd all like to have.)
RECEIVED: Thingamajig
ADMIN: new ideas, thoughts, etc. (Used by Owners and Mods, local policy dictates)

3) PLEASE DO NOT POST THE SAME "WANTED" POSTING MORE THAN ONCE A MONTH. (Here, too, there will be variations from group to group)

4) NO POLITICS, NO SPAM, NO MONEY, NO PERSONAL ATTACKS/RUDENESS, NO PROSELYTIZING/RELIGION. It's all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Remember that the premise of this group is to reuse items. Let's keep it focused and on track.

5) YOUR APPROXIMATE LOCATION: Try to list this in the body of your e-mail as well as in the subject line. OFFER Couch (downtown). “I've got a couch and live downtown. Nearest intersection: Speedway and Stone.”

6) KEEP IT ALL IN ONE E-MAIL. Got more than one thing to give away? Keep it all in one e-mail please and just number the items for your own clarity. This reduces the overall number of emails we all have to receive. This guideline varies from group to group.

7) CAN WE USE REUSEIT GROUPS TO FIND NEW HOMES FOR PETS? Some groups say yes, but keep it legal & be lovingly careful. For groups that say no, please refer to Petfinder (www.petfinder.com) to find a pet in your local neighborhood. It depends on what you and your fellow members have decided on locally. Animals requested for breeding purposes are not permitted.

8) NO TRADING PLEASE. There are lots of other places to trade which can be quite fun. Swap meets and Flea Markets come to mind.

9) RESPONSES GO ONLY TO OFFERER. It keeps down the total number of emails.

10) PICK UP. Arrange as you like. Generally, you'll wait until you get a handful of responses or maybe overnight, and then you can pick whomever you like! That's half the fun. I always ask that people consider giving your local charity first priority if one should respond. Arrange pickup with one person only, rather than "it's on the porch, whoever gets here first gets it." Remember that natural resources are precious and fuel is one of those resources we should be focused in on for conserving. It's also recommended you give your phone number to one person at a time or ask for the recipient's phone number to make arrangements for pickup, otherwise you'll get swamped with phone calls.

SAFETY. Be aware! It is up to each individual member of ReUseIt to be consciously aware of the potential risk of having "a stranger" come to your home to pick something up when arranging for pickup of items offered. ReUseIt moderators facilitate the list only and assumes no responsibility for this risk. You may want to arrange to meet in a public place or leave the item on the front porch without mentioning whether or not you will be home at the time of pickup.

11) A BRIEF NOTE ON ETIQUETTE: We are all local volunteers and we've got a great little community here. When you arrange to pick up an item from another member, it is basic good manners to accommodate them as much as possible in terms of scheduling. Be punctual and show up at the designated time or location when you say you will. They are giving you something you asked for and requesting nothing in return except that you keep your scheduled appointment and pick up the item as agreed upon. If you have to cancel, the courtesy of a phone call or an email is appreciated so that the giver of the item can make other arrangements.

That covers the basics. Thank you for taking the time out to ReUseIt!

Regards,
Your XXX ReUseIt Moderator


Example #3 - Guidelines and Etiquette File with Introduction AND Alternate Guidelines

ADMIN: XXX ReUseIt Etiquette
Rules, Regs and Policies ** Updated CURRENT DATE**
_________________________________________________

Welcome - We are glad you are here!

The ReUseIt Network is an on-line forum that serves as a tool to make connections between community members who want to help each other, themselves, and their environment. In a disposable society where many items are discarded long before they have actually outlived their use, The ReUseIt Network helps get things from people who have them but don't want them to people who want them but don't have them.

The ReUseIt Network also provides an opportunity for those looking for an item to ask for it. Requests for items may jog the memory of someone who has an unused item stashed in the garage or basement waiting to be used. It is a great way to help get rid of those things which we may have forgotten, giving every member the chance to ReUseIt!

If you have been a member of a ReUseIt group in the past, then you already know the basics. However, some rules/policies vary from state to state and group to group so please read - then reread - the info below.

This group serves CITY, STATE, in addition to the surrounding area.

XXX ReUseIt Guidelines and Etiquette

THE BASICS:

*KEEP IT FREE, LEGAL & APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES. This INCLUDES your Yahoo profile. No pornography, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, firearms or other weapons. No advertising your yard sale either, please, as this involves money.

*NO Spam is to be posted to the group OR sent privately to group members. Offenders WILL be removed.

*NO Politics. NO Religion. NO personal attacks or rudeness. NO money. NO trading/bartering.

The rules above will be enforced with *NO* exceptions.

YAHOO GROUP BASICS:

*If you are new to Yahoo Groups and don't have a Yahoo profile yet, please go to http://groups.yahoo.com/ and set one up. You do not have to put your full name and info on the profile but you should have one to access mail delivery options, view the pictures in the photo album, participate in polls, and do all that other good stuff. It only takes a few minutes to complete. You'll be glad you did!

While you are there be sure to check your marketing preferences and turn them all OFF so you do not get spam from Yahoo.

*All NEW members are moderated to prevent spam and/or harassing posts. Members will stay moderated until it is clear that the guidelines are understood and will be respected. Thank you in advance for your understanding on this matter.

*E-mail Settings** We request that you have your delivery options set to 'Individual mail', 'Daily Digest' or 'Special Notices'. With Individual mail you will receive each post in a separate email message. With Daily Digest you will receive a group of messages once or twice a day. Using Special Notices will mean you need to read all the messages on the groups website, you will only receive important information from your Moderators in your in box At a minimum, please set your email preferences to Special Notices so you will get all the important things that your groups moderators have to pass on. Group moderators reserve the right to make changes if you are not in compliance with this very basic email rule.

*DO use the same profile and address for all your posts. We match up addresses when cleaning the archived messages and it can be very confusing if your TAKEN post comes from an address different than the OFFER post.

*DO NOT use more than one profile or email address in an attempt to post more wanted messages and receive more items. That is dishonest and quite rude to the other members.

*DO NOT use taglines, signature lines and/or footers that are excessively long or contain business information, addresses, or phone numbers. They will be edited/removed at the moderator's discretion.

*DO NOT contact another member to be rude or judgmental or comment on a post they've made. If you have opinions about what someone posts or says, we expect you to be mature enough to keep them to yourself. Personal attacks towards our members will not be tolerated!!


HOW TO POST:

*When you respond to a post, the message should go to that person, not to the group. Contact the individual directly at their private email address by hitting your reply button.

*To post via the web page, go to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XXX/

*To post to the group via email, write to
XXX@yahoogroups.com.

*Use correct Subject Lines for messages. Moderators will either edit the post or reject it and ask you to resent it. The Subject Lines to use are:

Offer: (example: I have a Purple doo-hickey....)
Taken: (example: Purple doo-hickey has been claimed/picked up)
Wanted: (example: I need a Purple doo-hickey....)
Received: (example: Thanks, I got the doo-hickey I needed...)

*DO indicate what area you are located in when posting offers and when responding to messages. PLEASE note this in the Subject Line or body of your post. It is VERY important to do this so that you don't get tons of replies from folks to far to come pick up your item.

*Please post more Offers than Wants! Keep the Wanted posts to a minimum. Be realistic and considerate when making requests. Other groups have very strict rules about how many Wanted posts per person per day or week or month are allowed but we hope to avoid doing that here. Police yourself on this one so we don't have to. Thanks in advance for your cooperation and understanding on this very important matter.

*NO Cross-posting. ReUseIt works best when kept at the local level. If you belong to more than one recycling group, POST TO ONLY ONE GROUP at a time. Due to the amount of complaints received on this issue, we will enforcing this rule as best as we can. Messages cross-posted to several groups at once may be deleted or rejected, without notice, at the moderator's discretion.

To avoid cross-posting, please follow these simple suggestions. If you want to Offer an old freezer (or whatever), send your message to the group closest to you first and consider that one your "home" group. If after a few days you don't get any takers for your item, move on to the next group. This is more for your benefit than anything else - if you send the Offer to 1000's of people across the state, you'll get more replies than you can answer and most of them will be too far away to make it worthwhile. The same goes for wanted requests - try your home group first and post to the other groups ONLY if you don't find it in the first group. We don't mean waiting an hour or two either - we mean days!

*DO NOT post for the same item repeatedly. Once per month is more than enough. Be patient. Not every wanted message can (or will be) answered right away. Your messages remain in the archives, which are open to our members to browse at their leisure so they are still out there. If you are not getting replies to your Wanted messages, pay it forward and post some nice Offers. Repeated messages may be rejected or deleted without notification.

*DO NOT post a dozen wants in one day! You probably won't get the kind of responses you are looking for if you do and will eventually be ignored if people recognize you as the local "greedy Greta". Also, it is not necessary to go into great detail about why you need or want something either. Just the request is good enough most of the time and in actuality, a long detailed story can do more harm than good sometimes.


WHAT TO POST AND WHAT NOT TO POST:

*DO post offers for all the good stuff you don't need anymore... furniture, appliances, toys, clothes, lawnmowers, car parts, etc. If it's still good, then someone probably could use it. If you have broken items, describe them accurately. Some members like tinkering on broken things and it's helpful to know the exact condition of the item they may be looking for.

*DO post a Taken message when your item is gone and a Received when your Want has been met. We cannot keep the archives up-to-date if you do not. We will be positively ecstatic if you can include the original message number in your post as well!

*DO NOT post "generic" taken messages, such as Taken: all the stuff I posted. PLEASE include the item names in your Taken message as a courtesy to others.

*Please DO NOT write an entire message in capital letters. That is considered screaming in Internet etiquette and it is very hard on most people's eyes. Contact the moderator if this is an issue for you.

*DO NOT post your phone number or address directly to the group. Such information WILL BE edited out of messages and the message will be deleted from the archives. Give this info ONLY to the person willing to come pick up your item. Meet in a public place if necessary.

*DO NOT submit free-for-all posts (such as "It's on the porch, whoever gets here first can have it.") Posting in that manner encourages hundreds of people to head that direction, and 99% of those people will walk away disappointed and empty-handed, after having expended a great deal of time and fuel for nothing. Please pick out a few items, post them and set up a specific time for folks to pick the items up. That approach may seem like more work but if people are making unneeded trips for nothing it will sour them towards you and towards reusing it in general and that's not good for anyone.

*NO requests for money EVER. We list items that are FREE only.

*NO requests for Frequent Flyer miles, phone cards or special events tickets such as ball games or concerts. We are sorry and wish we could help but ReUseIt is just not the place for things like that. If anyone has something like that to share they will post an offer.

*NO requests for Sunday paper type of coupons - there are other groups and web sites just for that.

*NO requests for gmail accounts or similar non-tangibles.

*DO NOT offer prescription drugs. It is illegal to transfer a prescription to another person, not to mention unsafe.

*DO NOT post a taken message in an attempt to claim someone else's offer - ONLY the original poster should send the taken message. Repeated offenses on this rule may result in your removal from the group.

*NO advertising your garage sale unless it is to offer what is left over. DO NOT post your address to the group, just the general area and what time to show up. Folks close enough to come by can email you for the exact address.

*If you are an EBay seller, thrift store owner, or a reseller of any kind, FULL DISCLOSURE OF YOUR INTENTION TO SELL ITEMS RECEIVED FROM REUSEIT MEMBERS IS REQUESTED UP FRONT. You MUST disclose your intent to sell either in your original Wanted post or when responding so the gifter can make an informed decision with all the details and facts. Members have the right to inquire as to the intended use of any item they offer.

*NO TRADING. Bartering has its own set of laws and regulations and such transactions are taxable and reportable to the government. ReUseIt is simply not set up for that sort of activity. However, there are webs sites and groups for trading and/or bartering out there to be found if that interests you.

*Do NOT contact folks in response to a want they posted and offer to sell them something. If you are not willing to give it for free at this time, please don't bring it up. Repeat offenses on this rule will get you removed from this group.

*DO NOT request money for your offers either. FREE means FREE.


A FEW LAST THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

*Gifting does NOT have to be 1st responded, 1st served!! It's been suggested that the first person to reply to your offer may not always be the best person to take your item, so consider the people who can't stick by their computer all day. To simply choose the first responder every time stops MANY deserving people from ever having an opportunity of participate. Many groups ask their members to wait 24 hours before deciding who will receive their item. This cannot really be enforced but sometimes it would be helpful to those that don't have as much computer access so please consider it if your circumstances allow. The ultimate decision is up to the person giving the item and to choose the recipient as they see fit.

*If you have responded to an offer this is no guarantee the item is yours until you hear from the offerer and they tell you it is! Give your personal information (privately, not on the list) to one potential gifter/recipient at a time, and ask for their phone number in return.

*Once you are set to give or receive an item, make arrangements as you like but please practice common courtesy in accommodating people's schedules.

*Arrange pickup with only one person at a time. Often it is possible to gift an item without having to rearrange your schedule by simply leaving the item in a designated location, such as the porch or along side the garage. Share this info only with the receiver, not with the entire group.

*DO NOT promise your items to one person and then give them to another. Again, please treat others the way you would wish to be treated.

*DO NOT take more than you were promised. If someone agrees to leave an item on the porch for you, don't take advantage and take the other items left for others!! Word does get around.

*Check the archived messages frequently and see what wants you can fulfill. Maybe you forgot all about that old purple doo-hickey sitting out there in the garage but somebody needs it, so give it away already! Consider gifting to a person with an existing request rather than posting to the group. Keep in mind and don't worry about) that the archives will contain more Wants than Offers, as the completed transactions would have been deleted already.

Thank you all for being here and taking the time out to ReUseIt!

Gratefully,
Your XXX ReUseIt Moderators

* ReUseIt today for a better world tomorrow *

*If you feel you need to unsubscribe, we hate to see you go and hope you will return if you can. Keep in mind that Yahoo can take up to three days to update after a change is made so you could still receive mail after leaving a group and there is nothing we can do about that. Also, whatever mail is already in the pipeline will be delivered by your ISP and there is nothing we can do about that either. One thing that might help is to switch to no mail first, wait until the mail completely stops and then unsubscribe. Please DO NOT make repeated changes in your status or reply to numerous unsubscribed messages, as this will slow down the update even more.

This message repeats at least once a month. Please reread often just to refresh your memory!

Thank you!