WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MAY SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!
Need some furniture? How about some wood for that next project? Need some river rock or clean dirt? How about a garage door opener? Metal cabinets for the garage? Office furniture? Firewood? Hot tub? Dresser? Palm Trees?
Ok enough with the questions let us get to the point.
Before you go out and spend a dime at the local hardware store, lumberyard or even furniture place you may want to see what you can get FREE on Craiglist! Yes Craigslist, that HUGE marketplace of everything you can think of. The items mentioned above were posted to Craiglist in my area (Rancho Cucamonga) the day this article was published (June 4th 2014) and all are FREE!
Where do you find all these treasures? Craigslist!
When you get to Craigslist narrow down the page to your geographic location. You will then find a page similar to the one below. When you do click on the FREE category under the “For Sale” section.
Craiglist is a virtual gold mine of FREE stuff, however, there are some things you will want to know before you go on your treasure hunt. You will want to contact the person if possible to make sure the item is still there BEFORE you go and pick it up. Sometimes they will post a phone number but sometimes the post will say something like “If you still see this post the item is still here”. Well, that sounds great but remember you are not the only one looking for free stuff so you will want to get a move on.
Hopefully, you will win the race to the prize but how do you get an edge on the competition?
Here are a few tricks to use when hunting free stuff on Craiglist. First, you will want to download an app to your phone. Both the Play Store (Android) and the App Store (Apple) have dozens of apps that will search Craiglist to find the items you are looking for.
You can either search for specific items using “keywords” or you can just have it alert you every time something comes up in the FREE category. The free category is in the “For Sale” section, even though the items are free.
You can also find software that will do this for you on your home computer, but the phone method works the best and it will even map the location for you and guide you to your treasure.
Look for what are called “Curb Alerts”. These are posts either by the person giving the items away or by someone who happened to see some things placed by the curb for pick up. These will normally ask that you do not disturb the homeowner. Just take the items and do not ask for help loading. Sometimes people will help but hey, you are getting the stuff for free so bring some help if you need it.
Here are some search tips.
• If you want to find specific items search for the exact words in the title only as shown.
• If you only want to find items in a certain area or city then separate each with the pipe symbol as shown (|). The pipe key is on the same key with the (\) just hold down the shift key and hit \ and the | will come up. This is considered “OR” searching.
• If you want to find wood but NOT fire wood you would enter a search like this. “wood –fire”. Just put the – sign in front of any word or words you do NOT want included in the search.
• Want to find wood floors or flooring in one search? Just enter wood floor*. The asterisk will act as a wild card and will return “wood floors & wood flooring”.
• Want to find a leather couch, chair, or loveseat but not a purse or wallet? Enter leather (couch | loveseat | chair) –purse –wallet
Note: All the above search techniques also work on Google.
Keep in mind most of what you will find will be used items. Some in good shape, some in definite need of repair. With a little paint and some TLC you should be able to turn someone else’s trash into your treasure. Oh and when you are done with an item you no longer have a need for, put it on Craiglist and pay it forward.
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