Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time - more info.
Craigslist, though not the only place you can do this, allows you to get free goodies in your area without much trouble. No matter what you’re looking for, there is a big chance of finding it for free on Craigslist, and it’s always worth a try. However, since there isn’t exactly a step-by-step guide on how to get free stuff on Craigslist, I have taken the time to provide you with precisely that.
To find free things on Craigslist, follow these simple steps below.
Table of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- How To Get Free Things On Craigslist – Step-By-Step
- Related Questions
- There are many different things offered for free on Craigslist, and you can find anything from books and clothes to furniture.
- Since everyone likes free things, you won’t always be the one to get the item on offer.
- Because free listings often get a lot of attention, you might be waiting a long time before getting a reply.
- You can also offer some money, less than the item is worth, to get a seller’s attention. Offering something of value in return goes a long way.
- Be aware of scams and other hidden agendas on Craigslist. Your safety is more important than a free item.
How To Get Free Things On Craigslist – Step-By-Step
Finding free things on Craigslist isn’t a complex process, but it can still be tricky to figure out the first time around. For this reason, you will find a step-by-step guide below to show you exactly where to go and what to do.
1. Search For Craigslist From Your Browser
If you want to get free things from Craigslist, you first need to find the website. Luckily most search engines will allow you to search for Craigslist and find the one for your country or even your state or city automatically, based on your computer or phone’s location.
If you do not get the search outcome that will take you straight to your city or state, you can simply search through the towns on the homepage of Craigslist to find the one where you currently reside or want to get free things.
2. Navigate To The Free Page On Craigslist
Once you have selected your place of residence or where you would like to get free things, the website will automatically show you the categories page. The categories page is quite large, with many categories and subcategories that help you find what you need. However, we are only interested in one type, the “free” one.
When the categories page opens, you need to look under the for sale section and find the “free” link. Once you have ticked on the link, you will be able to see all the free things in that area.
3. Find What You’re Looking For On Craigslist
The next step in the procedure is to find what you are looking to get from the free page. There might be many free listings in your area or few. Either way, you can use the search bar on the current page to filter through the items on offer. If you wish to supply your store, you might not need to sift through anything and go through the list.
However, if you are searching for anything specific, like a mirror cabinet or television, the search box will allow you to see if there are any available.
4. Apply Additional Filters
Additionally, to the search function, you can also filter through items using the result filters on the left side of the page or below the search bar. These extra options allow you to look only at listings with images, listings that have what you need in the title, or other conditions such as delivery. You can also order the listings to be more relevant or be newer.
5. Inspect The Items Or Listings
After applying all the filters and sorting the items you can choose from, you need to have a look or inspect all of the listings on offer. This step allows you to choose between different conditions that come with the free item or will enable you to ensure you are not getting in contact with a scammer. This process is also called selection. Once you have found the product or goods you want, you can proceed.
6. Reply To The Craigslist Listing You Want
Once you have sifted through all the possible items you could be getting for free and have decided which you want to try to get, you can get in contact with the “seller.” You can click on the reply button at the top of the listing page.
If there are special instructions like a call or sending an email to the person who made the listing, you can go that route instead. It is always best to remember that free things are not guaranteed, and you might miss out or have to wait a while to get a response. Additionally, you can also offer some money in return if you want to get something for a bargain instead of free, as this is attractive to sellers.
7. Pick Up Your New Items From The Seller
If you and the seller have agreed that the product is yours, it is best to get it as soon as possible. Getting the item as quickly as possible leaves less time for more interest in the article to form, but it is also rude to leave something with a seller if you said you’d get it. If you leave something with a seller for too long, they might offer it to someone else just to get rid of it.
Though finding free things on Craigslist isn’t hard, you might still have some questions. Below, I will discuss and answer some related queries about using Craigslist to get free goodies as well as getting free stuff from other places.
Are There Other Places I Can Get Free Things?
If you have tried using Craigslist with no luck, or if you just don’t like using that platform, there are some other places you can also look for free things. Below is a list of the alternative media platforms you can use to get in touch with people giving free things away.
- Freecycle – As the name suggests, freecycle is a website made to give free things away instead of throwing them away. Naturally, you can both give and receive free goodies using this site, and similar to Craigslist, it works based on your location and your town of residence.
Freecycle is a free-to-use service and a non-profit organization made to help keep good-condition-goodies out of landfills. Have a look at the website here.
- Facebook Marketplace – Facebook is another platform with an added “shopping section” that you can use to find free things, called the Facebook Marketplace. On the Facebook Marketplace, you can filter through many items for sale in your area, and if you’re lucky and sort the things from low to high price, you can even pick up some free goodies.
In addition to the sorting ability, you can also go specifically to the free section to find items with no price. However, there are many scams on the free things page, so be sure that you don’t get scammed. Click here to view the Facebook Marketplace.
- Oodle Marketplace – Oodle Marketplace is like Craigslist’s lesser-known but very popular sibling. On the Oodle Marketplace, you will be able to buy and sell goodies, and you can do so for free if you wish or search hard enough.
Though Oodle doesn’t seem to have a free section, you can use the price filter boxes to put the maximum price at $0 and show only free goodies. Like other platforms, this is a popular method to advertise items with no specific going price but are negotiable. For this reason, I advise you to have a close look before responding to a free item listing. View Oodle here.
How Do I Make A Listing For Free Stuff?
If you have something in your house that is taking up space, have an extra item, or just want to get rid of something, making a free listing on Craigslist is an excellent way to ensure it goes to a good place. If you would like to try this method of getting rid of something you don’t use, you can utilize the steps below to help you.
- Go to the Craigslist website – To make a listing for a free item on Craigslist, you first need to navigate the Craigslist website the same way you would find free things. Once you’re on the Craigslist website, you can proceed to your state and city before continuing with the next step.
- Click on “create a posting” – You can find the “create a posting” button on the left side of the website at the top of the page. If you’re struggling to find the button, you can look just above the events calendar seen on the left sidebar.
- Select for sale option – The first thing you need to do to create a listing is select the listing category. If you wish to give an item away for free, you can select the ‘for sale by owner” option, after which you can click the continue button below if the website does not continue automatically.
- Select the “free stuff” category – Once you have selected the initial product type, you can choose the second category on the new page. If you want to give something away, you should select the “free stuff” option that you can find about halfway down the category list. After clicking on the category, you should automatically continue. If not, you can click “Continue.”
- Fill in the details of the item on offer – Now, you need to fill in all the details for listing the thing you want to give away. There are only four required fields: a space for a title, description, the language used in your listing, and email address. You don’t need to put more than a dash into a field to continue without giving any information.
- Add photos or pictures – If you are looking to get rid of something quickly, you should add some images to help other people see what you’re offering. You can also choose not to add any media and simply continue to the next page.
- Finalize the post – Just before you finish your post, Craigslist will show you a preview of how your post will look. If you are okay with everything, you can click the “publish” button and finish the process.
How Do I Stay Safe When Picking Up Free Stuff?
As with most services that help people contact sellers, especially those famous for the trading of free stuff, there are a lot of scams you need to be aware of before organizing a meet-up for a Craigslist item.
One of the significant errors people make is sending money upfront or meeting up in a secluded place without anyone else around. The mistakes mentioned before are ones you need to avoid at all costs. Meeting in a public area is always recommended, as it is always taking at least one other person with you. In addition to this, anyone that knows about scams will allow you to pay as you receive the item.
Why Aren’t I Getting Any Free Stuff From Craigslist?
Unfortunately, free things come at the price of effort and time. Since we would all like to receive free goodies, there will be hundreds of queries about free products, and there is no guarantee of getting any. The best thing you can do is be kind to the seller and be patient in waiting for a response. Treating a seller as a person is a great way to put you in the front of the waiting line to get free things.
How Can I Get A Seller To See Me?
Since so many people want free things, your reply or interest in a free product may go unnoticed if you do the same as everyone else. If you’re going to give yourself a better opportunity to get the item, you can offer some compensation. You can do this by putting forward a trade or sweetening the deal with a dollar or two. Even offering a small amount can put you in the lead and spark interest.