Craigslist Free Stuff: How to Find the Best Freebies (Guide with Pictures) - MoneyPantry (2024)

And while there are many other sites like Craigslist, CL is still one of the best places to find free stuff near you.

With everything from free furniture to clothes, books and even free mattresses, you can find so much free things on Craigslist!

You just need to know where to look.

In today’s post, I’ll show you how to find free stuff on Craigslist quickly and easily. I’ve even broken it down step-by-step so you can easily find free items near you!

Ready to score some awesome free items? Here’s how to find and collect Craigslist giveaways.

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Step 1: Go to your city’s Craigslist

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The first step is to head on over to Craigslist. Most cities nowadays have their own section.

When I searched Craigslist online and clicked the link on Google, I was automatically directed to the NYC Craigslist. So it’s likely that you’ll be taken to the page for your town.

If not, head to this page and select your country and then your city.

Step 2: Find the free section

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Now, you’ll be directed to the classified ads for your city.

There, you’ll want to find the “For Sale” section.

Under that, you’ll see a section called “Free.”

Click on that and you’ll be taken to ads for free stuff on Craigslist in your city.

Step 3: Filter the results

Once you’re on the free stuff section of your city’s CL, you’ll be able to browse all of the freebies near you.


In my city, there were a range of items available, like:

  • Washing machines
  • Sofas
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Furniture
  • Moving boxes
  • Firewood
  • TVs

If you’re looking to find something specific, then you can filter your results to find what you’re looking for.

You can use the search bar at the top of the page to enter what it is you’re looking for, like “coffee table” or “books” for example.

Let’s say I’m looking for free books. Here’s what I got when I searched for the term “Books” in the free section for my city:

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You can also use the options on the left to filter the results.

Filters include things like:

  • Search titles only
  • Has image
  • Posted today

Step 4: Browse results

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You don’t have to use the Craigslist search tools to find free stuff on the site. If you’re not looking for something specific or just want to see what freebies are available in your city, then simply browse the listings in the free section to see if there are any items that you would like.

Step 5: Choose your free stuff

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Click on the listing that you’re interested in. Here, you’ll be able to reply to the person who’s giving the stuff away.

Have a read of the item’s description first and browse the photos if there are any as well.

If you would like to get the free thing you found, get in touch with the person who’s giving the stuff away. Some people want you to call them and others will want you to get in touch through email. Most people though you can get in touch with by clicking the “reply” button at the top of the ad.

Craigslist Freebie Alert Hack

How many times have you found a free listing of an item you really wanted but by the time you contacted the seller, they had already given it away to some else?

It happens a lot. Free stuff don’t last long on CL. People snatch ’em up quickly.

Here’s a simple hack that can help you be the first to see a new listing for a free item near you.

Ste up a “Craigslist freebie alert”!

Here’s how:

  1. Go to and search for whatever free item you’re looking for.
  2. On the search results page, click on the “save search” tab (it’s on the right side of the search bar).
  3. Once you click that, you’ll be taken to a page where you can see and edit the detail of your alert (like the item name, city, etc.).

Then anytime someone posts an item in the free section of your chosen city’s CL, you’ll get an email alert instantly.

Using this simple hack, you’ll never miss out on any freebie that you want. And yes, you can turn off this alert anytime you like.

You can read more about the Craigslist saved searches & alerts here.

Make Sure You Stay Safe

That’s pretty much all the steps that I have for you on how to find free stuff on Craigslist. It’s pretty easy to find free stuff on there, right?

I have one last thing to discuss though and it’s incredibly important – safety!

While these days there are many other sites like Craigslist out there, it still is one of the top targeted platforms for scammers.

Staying safe on CL is so important. Since you have to actually go and pick up many items on CL, it means you’re meeting with strangers.

So you need to take a few safety precautions. Of course with the whole COVID-19 pandemic still going, it’s a good idea to wear a mask.

That’s not all though.

Here are some other tips for getting free stuff from Craigslist safely so you don’t fall for money scams.

Don’t invite strangers into your home

Common sense in every situation, including when you’re meeting with people from CL.

Meet the person who’s giving away the stuff in a public place

This could be in a parking lot of a popular store, at a café, bank or shopping center, or outside of a police station for example. Don’t meet in a secluded place.

Take someone with you

If possible, take someone along to the meeting. It’s better than meeting up with a stranger alone.

Tell a couple of people where you’re going

Even if you have someone to go to the meeting with you, you should also tell a third person who’s not going to the meeting about it.

Agree to call them when the meeting’s over to check in.

Bring your phone with you

Take your cell phone with you so you can get in touch with people if you need to.

Trust your instincts

If a situation seems sketchy trust your instincts and leave.

Don’t worry though. These tips are just best practice and most meetings on CL go well. It’s just always a good idea to be cautious and keep safety in mind when meeting a stranger from CL.

Closing Thoughts

Free toys, books, tools, furniture and more are available on CL. You just need to know how to find them. And thanks to our step-by-step guide, now you know exactly how to locate Craigslist free stuff!

Craigslist Free Stuff: How to Find the Best Freebies (Guide with Pictures) - MoneyPantry (2024)
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