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My experience on Craigslist free (or near free) stuff ...
Old 09-04-2018, 12:33 AM   #1
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My experience on Craigslist free (or near free) stuff ...

It all started with my desire to upgrade my old PCs in multiple rooms. B/c I am watching a lot of youtube and live streaming, I needed more recent systems. I also needed bigger monitors (i.e, needed 32 inch TVs for PC monitors) as my eyes got ... older. So, I started looking for bargains on Craigslist and found that some people are generous enough to give stuff away. This is my experience with Craigslist' "free stuff." In random order ...

  • If it is too good to be true, don't bother. It is either a scam or you are just too late to the game.
  • Most stuff are not worth the trip and worthy items are not easy to get. If givers leave the good stuff on public place, e.g., drive way, for 1st come 1st basis, it is definitely not worth the trip unless you are living just a few blocks away.
  • Many givers don't respond. I usually give up after the first contact goes unanswered knowing that similar items will show up again and again I just need to be patient.
  • If it is worth something to you, offer some money as a token gesture. This works better and is my oft used strategy. Besides, I really don't want something for free when I am well off to begin with.
  • Many people are giving stuff away to reduce landfill. I try to do the same by getting & giving stuff away via Craigslist. IMO, this is a noble endeavor for both parties.
  • There are definitely good deals to be had, much better than you can get stuff from EBay. E.g, I've bought a quad core PC for $25, a decent receiver for $15, etc.. Most people I've dealt with are nice but be cautious nontheless.


Please feel free to comment, share your experience.
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:13 AM   #2
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If I am giving something away I put it outside with a sign and put it on CL but I certainly don’t respond to questions.
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:09 AM   #3
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I just put the stuff in front at our other house on a busy road. If it contains various items of questionable quality, the sign reads - Free Must Take All. This strategy hasn't failed yet. However I do feel a little guilty about contributing to someone's hoarding addiction.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:35 AM   #4
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I also "curb it". Got rid of 4 broken bicycles that way recently.

Have you tried freecycle.org?
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:39 AM   #5
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I know! "This is free, but I need to know how well it works." People!

Once, I posted a used car on CL, but did not sell it there, b/c people drove me nuts with questions. "Why are you selling the car?" being the favorite. "Because we want a new car, you booby," was the response, although we left off the last 2 words. Ended up selling the car to someone at work.

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If I am giving something away I put it outside with a sign and put it on CL but I certainly don’t respond to questions.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:15 AM   #6
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I use Next Door for free stuff.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:22 AM   #7
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If I am tossing something that works I put it out front on a weekend when the local market draws a lot of traffic. It is almost always taken. I posted some big stuff (e.g. windsurfers) on Craigslist years ago.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:46 AM   #8
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I, too live where "curbing it" gets almost instant results.

DD has become pretty frugal, and uses NextDoor, FreeCycle and Craig's List to find some incredible bargains and free stuff. She certainly lives well above her means at virtually no cost.

Craig's list is hit-or-miss for me as a seller. I posted a chicken coop I'd built years ago, thinking someone might want it before I tore it down. Figuring I had less than $200 worth of materials in it, and it was old, I asked $95. I had a lot of interest, one person telling me they sell new for $700. The buyer gave me $100 and did all the work to haul it away themselves, while I wasn't home (neighbors knew they were coming.)

Other things never sell. I just put a big shop-size air compressor on there for about half of what everyone else was asking, and never got one call, e-mail or text.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:27 AM   #9
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I, too live where "curbing it" gets almost instant results.
We live out in the country so we don't get many people driving by to set things out. Besides, most of the folks out in our area are rich with fancy homes and cars and probably aren't the type to stop for free stuff. We're the poor folks on the mountain.

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DD has become pretty frugal, and uses NextDoor, FreeCycle and Craig's List to find some incredible bargains and free stuff.
I've never obtained or given anything away with free listings. For me, if I can't get at least $20 for something, it's not worth the trouble of posting an ad. And the free stuff I've seen on my occasional glances wasn't anything I would want anyway.

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Craig's list is hit-or-miss for me as a seller...
Other things never sell. I just put a big shop-size air compressor on there for about half of what everyone else was asking, and never got one call, e-mail or text.
I have had fairly good luck buying and selling things on Craigslist. Every car we've bought or sold over the last 10-15 years or so has been through Craigslist.

On the other hand, I did try and sell a bunch of my mom's furniture earlier this year when we sold her house. I was surprised the cheap dressers and shelves sold faster than the nicer oak table, hutch, and roll top desk. It took a while, but I eventually sold most items, albeit at a much lower price than I expected. Then again, I sold an old train signal light for $250. It was just junk to me, but they were more than happy to pay for it. One mans junk is another mans treasure I suppose. Some items just took too long to sell so we gave up and took them to Goodwill.

For items small enough to ship affordably I usually sell through Ebay. My biggest problem with Craigslist is the no-shows who schedule a time to come out then never show after I've waited around all day. It really ticks me off that they couldn't bother to text or email to let me know they're not coming. So inconsiderate.

Like you, I also tried selling a couple of air compressors on Craigslist. One was a small pancake compressor from my mom, the other was my nice Porter Cable twin tank compressor. Ironically, the small pancake compressor sold right away while mine took several weeks to sell for far less than it was worth.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:42 AM   #10
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It depends on my mood if we sell or give away. We have given away perfectly good stuff.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:03 AM   #11
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DF uses the free tree. stuff by the tree, and hang the free sign on the nail in the tree. When it's gone, take-down the sign. Works best on busy roads.


I often see a neighbor trying to sell things that IMHO I would be offering for free. IE 30 year old filing cabinets, office chairs that have been in the rain for a few days, very old couches, TV trays.



Every time I move I have 4 piles, trash, free, donate, sell. Sometimes the move date gets close enough where the 'sell' items end up in the free pile. I always try to post a pic of the free stuff to my friends as I'd rather them take something then a total stranger. But I'd rather give to a stranger than toss in the landfill. Living on an island groomed this train of thought. Hardly enough room for the people on an island, let along all their rubbish. If you ever visit an island you might think "man why does that person have so much stuff in the yard". Well, it's because they don't want to fill the landfill. Or they hoard lol.



I've never filled more than a single trash can during a move. I feel like that is a win for everyone. I've seen some people who literally need to order full size construction dumpsters when they move. Doh!
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:04 AM   #12
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I tend to try to sell big or somewhat valuable things on Craigslist... I price them low since my objective is to get rid of them rather than optimize profit. Seems to work ok in my area.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:06 AM   #13
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I've gotten amazing stuff on craigslist's free section. One offer I dropped everything (had a turkey in the oven and just yelled at the husband to take it out in 15 minutes) to drive over - got there and all the stuff was still on the curb! Was lucky it was collectable "junk" that most folks don't realize is worth big money in the right circles.


I mostly do OfferUp and Nextdoor but still check Craigslist every week or two if I know it's the season for folks throwing out/selling the stuff I want.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:07 AM   #14
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Like others, anything we want to give away goes to the end of our driveway with a FREE sign, everything has gone, most items within hours.

I’ve never used CL but I might some day. If I do it’ll be an exchange at a police station or the like, not at our home or anywhere suspect. We done exchanges with items sold on eBay and NextDoor.

I’d never bother to look for anything free, so far anyway.

And I doubt we’ll ever do another garage sale. We’ve done it twice, not worth the aggravation even though we made $800 from one sale.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:20 AM   #15
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I put something for free once on CL, it was the hardest sale I ever made.
everyone wnated to play 50 questions.
now I will put it on for cheap and give to them when if they show up.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:42 AM   #16
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Like others, anything we want to give away goes to the end of our driveway with a FREE sign, everything has gone, most items within hours.
When I moved from my house of 26 years, we had a lot of stuff to get rid of (major down sizing and, yes, we’re a bit of pack rats). When it came down to a few days before the move, I started putting stuff out for free. Everything went. I was surprised that it was gone in the two days I had left. Surprised the last person didn’t take the sign
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:43 AM   #17
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There have been a few times when we have tried giving things away-to no avail. A working fridge, then an older upright freezer, and a good piano.

In all three cases we decided to list for a price. I think we sold the fridge and the freezer for $80. each. Both sold immediately. Our goal was just get shut of them and not have pay to have them removed.

The piano took a little longer but it sold. We thought that we had successfully given it away three times. Always fell through. Put it up over Chrismas. Got one phone call, a viewing, and voila it was gone the next day.

I suspect that some people think that a give away means useless junk. That is why DW suggesting we put a price on these items. Not for the money but rather to avoid the expense and bother of disposing of them. Worked like a charm all three times.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:50 AM   #18
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Our city has an online form you fill-in with what stuff you want them to haul away [anything that doesn't fit in the "Herby-Curby" (large trash can on wheels) is supposed to go through this process]. The form is pretty detailed as to what you want them to haul away.

They reply with a specific day that you need to put the stuff out there.

Every time I've done it (maybe 6 or 8 times), someone has come-by and scavenged the pile. They don't take everything, but they do take a lot of stuff that I thought might have "belonged" in the landfill.

So I don't know if the information leaks out of the city's forms, or there's a legit way to get the information, but there is certainly "front running" going on. It could be just by using a schedule (but I wasn't able to find a schedule defining which neighborhoods get pickups on what days).

Anyway, that's what keeps me from putting free stuff on Craig's List. I get the best of both worlds...the "best" stuff gets scavenged and what isn't good enough goes to the landfill. All with one online form.

I'm inclined to put smaller "good" stuff (that would fit in the trash can) on the form, and might do that if I can pair that with another legitimately large item to get rid of. But usually that's just a box in the trunk that gets dropped-off at Goodwill.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:53 AM   #19
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I just put the stuff in front at our other house on a busy road. If it contains various items of questionable quality, the sign reads - Free Must Take All. This strategy hasn't failed yet. However I do feel a little guilty about contributing to someone's hoarding addiction.
what happens if they leave half the pile scattered around the yard? Lasers take out their hamstrings?

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Old 09-04-2018, 12:10 PM   #20
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Have cleaned out 4 homes using estates sales and CL. Specialty items sell better on CL. The best item was a Murphy Bed installed in a bedroom. The buyer said he regretted the purchase when he realized how much work was involved. I gave him a choice of another item on sale for nothing.

I have found that it is better to ask $100 and reluctantly accept $80 than to offer it for free. People assume free means garbage. I leave a callback number that is not an interruption so I can scan the voicemails at my leisure.

I never return calls asking is it still for sale or why are your selling.
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