Where to Get Free Stuff on Craigslist (and Eight Other Sites) (2024)

Jonathan van HalemandStephen Johnson

Where to Get Free Stuff on Craigslist (and Eight Other Sites) (1)

Credit: Constantin Stanciu - Shutterstock

Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch has never visited Craigslist. The site’s been connecting people who want free stuff with people who want to give stuff away for free since 1995. And it’s not the only place where you can get goods gratis—the internet is full of free-stuff services you can avail yourself of.

How to get free stuff on Craigslist

The first step is navigate to your area’s Craigslist by going to Craigslist.org and typing in the name of your city. (If you want to search for other cities because you’re willing to drive, here’s the whole Craigslist world.)

Once you’re looking at your own area’s craigslist, head to the “For Sale” column and click the “Free” tag in the navigation. You should be rewarded with a lot of listings, mostly for things you don’t want.

How to get the most out of Craigslist’s “free” section

  • Use the search: Obviously you should use the search bar to look for couches if that’s what you want. But you can also search for “condition” if you’re only looking for “like new” couches. You can also sort the results by relevance or how long listings have been there, only include listings with pictures, and more.

  • Stay vigilant: If you want the best free stuff, you have to be fast, so check the site frequently, and don’t hesitate to respond when you see something you want. Users will put their contact info directly in the listing, or look for the contact link in the upper left of the screen on a given listing. If a phone number is offered, texting is likely to get you a response faster than emailing.

  • Be flexible: People advertising on the free section of Craigslist generally just want something gone from their lives with as little hassle as possible, so make it easy for them by being ready to pick up your item quickly and without drama.

  • Consider giving your time: Some people on Craigslist want labor in exchange for the free item. If you’ve got the time, go for it.

  • Keep your expectations realistic: Craigslist free section is amazing for big things—oversized desks, couches, pianos, etc. But it’s terrible for small things.

  • Be ready to refurbish: The best free things on Craigslist are fixer-uppers, so take advantage of other people’s laziness by fixing up their gear.

The best sites to find free stuff and giveaways

Craigslist isn’t the only “free stuff” game in town. Below are eight more sites where you can get things for free, either from other people or from companies running give-away promotions of various kinds. Most of it won’t be things you’d want, but that’s the nature of the game.

Just Free Stuff: Launched in 1997, Just Free Stuff has been connecting people with freebies for nearly 25 years. The site brings together consumers with companies that are willing to give away their product in hopes of landing a new, regular customer. Giveaway categories include clothes, books, baby accessories, and more. Using the site won’t even cost you your contact information (unless you decide to sign up for their newsletter).

Facebook Marketplace: The site that has been blamed for the unraveling of democracy the world over is also the spot where you can claim someone’s unwanted bike. Facebook Marketplace launched as a feature in 2016. Peruse your local listings for furniture or electronics available for pickup. It takes luck and diligence, but you can grab some good stuff this way.

Buy Nothing Project:If you search the name of your town or neighborhood on Facebook, you’ll probably locate your local chapter of the Buy Nothing Project, an organization that looks to bring communities together to reduce waste and save people money. Anyone with something to give away can post a message (usually with a photo of the item), and all you need to do to claim it is ask for it and arrange pickup. Depending on where you live and how active your group is, you can score some really awesome stuff, from an entire wardrobe for your toddler to a bed frame (some people might also try to give away stuff like an opened box of crackers; it takes all kinds). If you aren’t on Facebook, the organization is making strides to divest itself from the social network, and recently launched its own app on iOS and Android.

Goodreads: If you’re looking to become more well-read and spend nothing doing it, this Amazon subsidiary offers frequent chances to score free books, both physical and digital copies. Periodically check their giveaways tab for titles on offer; usually entering for a chance to win involves little more than clicking a button.

Krazy Coupon Lady:The Krazy Coupon Lady, created by Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer, is an established giveaway site that’s been featured on The Today Show and TLC. While its stated goal is to help people lower their grocery bills, the website also offers an impressive “freebies” tab. Sign up for their newsletter to access, and learn how to get your hands on free food, beauty products, and pharmaceutical goods.

r/freebies: Incepted in 2008 as a place to connect its users to free products, this reddit community is home to over 800,000 members. Frequent freebies listed on the subreddit include shirts, magazines, stickers, and food. It’s a well-moderated community, so you can be sure any posts making the rounds have been vetted. (Pro-tip: Go to the “top” tab, and then click “all time” to see the most upvoted freebies on offer.)

I Love Free Things: Founded in 2006, I Love Free Things has been cultivating a directory of giveaways for nearly two decades, including free food, baby products, and pet items. Subscribe to their newsletter if you’d like, but it’s not required to access to their freebie directory.

The Penny Hoarder:The Penny Hoarder caters to an underserved demographic on the internet: people who want to get as much free stuff as they can on their birthday. Using their handy Birthday freebie list, you can ball out with 101 free offers to celebrate your completion of trip around the sun. While most of these giveaways are food related, you can also cash in on stuff like a free movie rental from a RedBox.

Where to Get Free Stuff on Craigslist (and Eight Other Sites) (2)

Jonathan van Halem

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Stephen Johnson

Staff Writer

Stephen Johnson is a Staff Writer for Lifehacker where he covers pop culture, including two weekly columns “The Out of Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture” and “What People are Getting Wrong this Week.” He graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing.

Previously, Stephen was Managing Editor at NBC/Universal’s G4TV. While at G4, he won a Telly Award for writing and was nominated for a Webby award. Stephen has also written for Blumhouse, FearNET, Performing Songwriter magazine, NewEgg, AVN, GameFly, Art Connoisseur International magazine, Fender Musical Instruments, Hustler Magazine, and other outlets. His work has aired on Comedy Central and screened at the Sundance International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and Chicago Horror Film Festival.He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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Where to Get Free Stuff on Craigslist (and Eight Other Sites) (2024)
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