Where to source FREE secondhand items

I love a bargain hunt as much as the next rummager, but when I get items for free, I feel like I’ve leveled up. You will be surprised how much great stuff you can find for free in the right places, of which, I’ve gathered a few here for you to check out.

Facebook Marketplace

Ah good ol’ Book of Faces. Not just for keeping track of your high school crush, the Marketplace is a veritable treasure trove of free items. I ALWAYS get major FOMO when I have a casual browse and need to remind myself I have no room to store anything – booo. To find free items, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Marketplace tab on facebook (the little shopfront icon on the top menu bar). You may need to go to the extended menu on mobile to find it.
  2. Select the category you are interested in e.g. Home Goods > Furniture.
  3. Under the ‘Price’ filter put 0 in the ‘max’ text box.
  4. Filter by distance or condition if desired. This is really helpful if you want to only search for secondhand or ‘within Xkm’ for your local neighborhood.
  5. If you want to narrow down the search more, type what you are looking for in the search bar.
  6. Press enter on desktop or tap ‘See Listings’ on mobile.
  7. Browse the available listings!

You can also browse the ‘Free Stuff’ category for a grab bag of what’s free in your local area.

Facebook free items on marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is one of the best places to source free items.

Buy Nothing Groups

Another way to find free items through Facebook (and also give away free items) is through your hyperlocal ‘Buy Nothing‘ groups. Based on where you live, you can join a group of like minded neighbours who are gifting their unwanted, useable items. It’s pretty simple, you can post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share among neighbors and also ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep in mind that there is no buying, selling, trading, bartering, or otherwise exchanging money for items or services. You should also be polite when asking to be considered for an item and gracious when you are chosen. Gratitude posts are always great!

Friends & Family

Got a friend moving or doing a spring clean who ‘just wants to get rid of stuff’? In exchange for anything that they might want to chuck, offer to help out with the heavy lifting and take things off their hands! You’ll be surprised what people will trash when they just want it gone from their home. If you feel uncomfortable taking things for free, maybe make a meal or bring a bottle of wine/carton of beer around next time to say thanks!

Swapmeets & Clothing Exchanges

Ok, so this one isn’t technically free, but its pretty close. Clothing swaps or exchanges are becoming more and more popular these days as a way to update your wardrobe without actually spending any money. Generally they work like this:

  • You bring a set amount of good quality garments for staff to check and accept/reject for inclusion in the swap.
  • You receive a ‘token’ for each accepted garment you’ve contributed to ‘spend’ in the swap.
  • Items are sorted and put on display while you wait for the swap to open (they are often at pubs or places where you can get a drink/coffee while you wait).
  • The swap opens, you pick out items then ‘checkout’ with swap staff who count and take back your tokens.

To make you you get the best out of the event make sure you:

  • Check with event organisers what brands/types of items are accepted. You don’t want to bring along items that will be rejected!
  • Bring a few extra items incase some of yours are rejected.
  • Wear neutral coloured underwear, or tight clothing (tank top/leggings/tights) so you can slip dresses and tops over your clothes to try on quickly.
  • Don’t wander around with more items than you can take away, i.e. don’t hold onto items. This is unfair to other patrons. Make your decision and put items back for someone else to take.
  • Be polite and don’t push/shove or be rude to other patrons, even if you see something you really want. It’s only clothes after all!

Have fun finding the ultimate free bargain and let me know in the comments if you have any other great places to source free items!

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