… but it sure is a great place to find them! I’ve seen many a n’er-do-well on THE CRAIGSLIST before, trying to get people to give up their social security numbers or scam them into sending money to a “prince” in Nigeria or trying to lure them into their scary underground bomb shelter for “hugs”.
I don’t want to become the plot of a Lifetime movie, I’d like to stick to a Cartoon Network kind of life. With all that being said, I’ve also had some lovely experiences on there. I’ve found some decent apartments, begged Anthony for some adorable free kittens (without any success, yet), and even got my first internship from it! But do you know what my favorite thing about Craigslist is? The prostitutes. No not at all. That shit is insane and totally exploits underage GIRLS and perpetuates illegal, pervasive, disgusting, international sex trafficking. But I digress! No no dear reader, I love the FREE section! I think “free” is my favorite word.
Almost every day I’ll hop onto the free section of Craigslist and check out what’s going on in the county I work in and the county I live in since both are fairly accessible to me. A few weeks ago I made a killer score! This guy had just moved into a house about 30 minutes from me and had found some old mid-century furniture in his basement: a low coffee table with drawers, and two side tables with drawers. Like some kind of dingus, he was just giving it away. Having just bought a gently used Honda CR-V I was beyond ready to start loading it up with junk. I brought my mom for backup, in case this guy was the aforementioned CRAIGSLIST KILLER or just a weirdo (turns out, he kind of was), and went to pick it up. One hour drive in the rain with my “mommyguard” and a strange interaction with a middle aged man later, and me and my CRV were homebound with our goods. Well, check me out now! I turned my previously cluttered new living room into a delightful mid-century wonderland for – that’s right – free 99.
Another site I check regularly is FreeCycle.org. You have to sign up but of course, it’s free. You join a group based on your county or general area and can then see what people are giving away or in need of. It’s like one giant Craigslist free section, with
way less creeps. It’s a great way to get rid of things that have some value but that you just don’t have the energy to sell. My mom has given away our super dusty old Nordic Track, I’ve given away old comforters, and we’ve both (strangely) received awesome plants from it! Weird but true. You can also request things for yourself, like “Hey anyone got any broken computers? I love broken computers.” and some fellow weirdo out there will let you know if they have any. IS GREAT.
Basically what I’m saying is that with patience, creativity, and focus you can totally find a ton of cool free shit online. A few tips from my experience are:
- Bring a partner whenever you can. Sometimes things are heavier or more cumbersome than they appear in pictures. Sometimes the giver away-er may offer to throw something else in for free and you will need help. Sometimes people don’t have free furniture at all and just want to make YOU into their furniture, so bring a friend OK?
- Check the sites often. People post things at random times throughout the day – though I see more posts around the holidays and the changes in seasons (cleaning out their old stuff). Write or call as soon as you can to ask if it’s still available! Speaking of which…
- Be polite and a little personal in your communication with the giver of free goods. I always throw in that I’ve just moved and am trying to save money to buy a home in the future, blah blah, because then maybe they can relate to me better. If the person that contacted them before me was some gruff, rude, bitch then I may win out! Use your story to help you, or flat out lie with some sob story. I don’t care, that’s on YOUR conscience you psycho.
- Try to see the big picture. You know those people that tour houses on HGTV shows and say things like “Ew, I hate this house the walls are orange.” or “That avocado green tile is horrible! I can’t live here.” Listen bitch, yes you can. It’s called paint and imagination… get on it. This shit is free so don’t expect miracles. Imagine what you could do to something and consider any cost you put into it as its “price” since you paid jack for it. Sandpaper, paint, new knobs (tee hee), varnish, decoupage… these are all your friends.
- IF YOU EVER NEED A PIANO GO ON A FREE SITE. I don’t know if you knew this, but pianos are free now. I see a piano, harpsichord, or organ a few times a week on these sites. I guess because they’re such a bitch to move and have to be re-tuned after being jostled around so much that they’re hard to sell. Whatever, free pianos!
Oh boy, I wish you all the best of luck because I know you’re going to immediately go do this if you don’t already. If you never have before, let me know what you think! If you are already a fan of the free shit sites, tell me your greatest find! Get it girl, or boy.
Girl I didn’t know you could get down like that,