The Do's and Don'ts of Successfully Getting Free Stuff

When I bought my condo, I was traumatized by all the stuff in the basement.  It turns out the building was a rental for many years before going condo in 2002. So everyone that lived here, left something. It was cluttered with old chairs, computers, chemicals and paint.  And lets not forget the pool table.

I went into action- Curbing items, taking the chemicals to the recyle center, and even putting metal out for the metal guys. Yup, I had it all figured out.

I even sold some items on Craigslist. Then there were some other items that  weren’t really sellable in my opinion. A few odds and ends. I decided to list them on freecycle. Freecycle is a site in which you offer items that you don’t want to others for free. Its based on the premise of recycling and keeping things out of the landfill.

So I listed my items. Boom! The response was crazy. People were emailing every few minutes. I got over 20 responses for a light fixture and 40 for a ceiling fan. Yes, people want your free stuff.

I told the first responders that they had to be able to pick up the items that day. One lady emailed back that she could not come over but sent a friend instead. She really wanted that old ceiling fan!

Last week another set of neighbors moved out. They decided to follow in our building tradition and left some stuff! One set of mirrored doors that the wife insisted on keeping after she saw us loading into a metal guys truck-so they sat for a year! And an old TV minus the antenna and cords they took!

So, I have spent more time then I would like trying to get these things out of the basement. As any person trying to sell or give away items, I want them gone now! DON’T PLAY WITH ME PEOPLE!

So here is my advice to you, if you are trying to waggle some free stuff:

1. Its not an department store- don’t try and schedule an appt to come over and look at it!

2. Be responsive. Don’t play the email game. If you don’t respond immediately(we all have a smart phone), the seller will go to the next person(yes I did that more than once).

3. Don’t expect the seller to help you load your car. Bring a friend if the items are heavy. I always tell the person ahead of time if I feel they will need help.

4. Don’t agree to take the item if you don’t have a way to pick it up. This was the case when we were giving away a pool table. One lady went round and round to find someone to pick it up. Five hours later, she had a truck here.

5. If you don’t have the time to come and get it, don’t ask for it. The seller doesn’t want to hold you stuff and then have you change your mind. Then the process must start all over again.

Remember, you are getting something for free! Most of the time, the seller is juggling with more than one person who wants the item. So respond, set up a time for pick up, and enjoy!!


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