It really couldn’t be any easier and there’s NO upfront cost at all. But where do you find free things you can sell? It’s not like people just give away perfectly good items….
…or do they?!?!
How to Get Free Stuff to Sell
It was right after I got out of the homeless shelter several years ago. It was Christmas-time and I had no clue how I was going to provide for my family…not toys mind you, furniture! You see, I literally had NOTHING except an empty apartment.
I didn’t have a couch or a dining table. I didn’t have a bed for my kids to sleep on. I didn’t have laundry soap or even silverware. I had a blank, white walls apartment with a kitchen sink and bathroom. That was about it. I knew that I’d have to get creative furnishing it. I had no money, I wasn’t working at the time because I had been a stay-at-home-mom all of my kids lives.
The apartment complex had a clubhouse with internet, a true blessing, so when my kids were napping, I’d take the baby monitor with me and get online. I was looking for free stuff for my apartment.
Little by little, I got really good at finding free things. Since it was Christmas-time, many people were getting rid of things in their homes to make room for all the new toys. They’d put things by the garbage receptacle almost every day and almost every day, I was out there checking for people’s things they didn’t want. They’d put all kinds of nice things, usually furniture. I rarely found anything broken, but the few times I did, I fixed it and used it.
There were several pieces of furniture I got that way.
There are lots of Facebook groups now that give away things for free as well, but at the time, there was Craigslist. They have a free section and I’d be checking that section as many times a day as I possibly could.
I finally was able to afford to get internet in my own apartment, and so just sitting there checking it a lot (my goal was every 30 minutes to an hour), I’d grab the stuff super quick. I remember one time a lady was giving away clothing. There were probably 20 huge garbage bags FULL of clothing. Some of it still had the tags on. I brought all the bags up to my apartment, huffing and puffing as it was upstairs and 20 bags of clothes are HEAVY!
When I had the time, a few days later, I sorted through all the clothes by size. Teen 14-16 went in one pile, women’s size small in another, and so on. I listed the clothing in huge lots on Craigslist by size and snapped some pictures from a junky camera I had picked up somewhere or other.
It was amazing how many people were interested. I sold them for $1 a piece in huge lots. So, let’s say the teen size 14/16 clothing had 58 pieces, I sold it for $58 and so on. After all was said and done, I ended up making $300 from just that!!!!
It was at that time that I realized there was something to this. I even found the official name for it online, reselling. I was called a reseller.
Now listen, just in case you are thinking that it’s not worth the time, I assure you it is! I was able to stay home with my kids and afford my life without getting a job. My only expense was gas and since my apartment was mostly empty, I certainly had the space to store and sort things as they came in to sell. I spent much of my day doing this and having the kids help. How easy is it for them to look at a clothing tag and sort by size. I had help and we could be together!
They loved it because I would provide them awesome things that we normally couldn’t afford. A play kitchen was my daughter’s favorite score. They just LOVED going and getting things with me.
There are things to buy and sell to make money, but I’d go around getting everything for free that I possibly could, fixing it up if it needed it, giving it a good clean, and reselling it on Craigslist.
Eventually I even started painting furniture. I’d get a free ugly-as-could-be dresser and paint it and put a clear coat of polyurethane over it and make $60! Dining tables were my favorite. Old ugly free ones, I’d get it and then paint it (through some internet research, polyurethane is completely safe for kids and eating on the table) and make $200 on a set! I didn’t make millions doing it, but I made enough to get by and I found it to actually be fun. I liked the idea of taking something broken and fixing it up and since we did that as a family, it was even better!
Nowadays Facebook Marketplace is an AWESOME place to score great items for free too.
All day long, people are posting free curb alerts, free things to pick up, all different things!
Right now, since things aren’t selling in our economy, I see a wide variety of people selling something for say $50 and it sits there on Marketplace, doesn’t sell, they get sick of it, want it gone and so they zero out the total, making that item free! 😮
For that reason, I put things in my watched list that I want but don’t want to pay for. One thing I put in my watch list that I wanted, just today alerted me it’s now free:
Watch the people that sell you good stuff or list good stuff at reasonable prices, because it will alert you when they sell more, thus making it faster for you to score items.
This girl sold me some Pottery Barn vase filler crystals that I had been looking for FOREVER. She was THE PERFECT seller, all the way through and the item was very well priced. People like that, you want to work with again, so follow them and have better transactions online. 🥰
To save money, be sure you don’t buy anything that you don’t know where/how you’ll use it. Otherwise, you’re just buying stuff you’ll never use.
I started gathering stuff and I’m gonna use one whole garage to put things in that people in need could use. So I’m gathering clothes, purses, shoes, baby equipment, printers, dvd players, just anything that someone in need could use and not have the money to pay for. I hope to end up with a garage full of things, little by little over time. Then when someone needs something, they could come to me and I will be like, “Hey, I have that. Come on over, take your pick of what you like!”
It will be so cool and such a big ministry. It’s a LOT of work though to gather things. 😂 More than I anticipated, but I’m hoping that God can use it to help others, and be able to share with others in His name, both for when I get my church back (in God’s timing), in the church, and people I meet just out and about.
So I’ve been working hard on that lately. Driving around, grabbing free things and buying super cheap items to set aside. Yesterday, I scored two Bumbo seats for $20 to put in the garage ministry and I was able to gift someone a couple things last week (a stroller and a Craftsman tool bench for kids) that I met and it was so great! ❤️
By doing this, I’m not only able to meet my own family’s needs of what we can use, but also ministering to those around me.
I’ve found a couple really cool tricks to find the best free stuff on Facebook too. I’ll share it with you so you can try it too where you live. 🎉
First, you need a couple different accounts, so if you have one account for your husband and one for you, use both of them. You’ll click on different things on different accounts, algorithms will be different, so you’ll see different stuff on different accounts and broaden your reach with more accounts.
A good trick to not miss someone responding back to you, while on different accounts, is to use both your phone and the computer. I have my phone next to me at the computer and one is on Messenger on the app on my phone, waiting for responses so I can get to something quick and the computer is on another Facebook account so I don’t miss messages there.
Next, when responding, never ask if something is available. If it’s not pending, just assume it’s available and say something like, “Hello, I’d like to pick this up. When is a good time for you? I’m available anytime. Thanks. 🙂”
Remember that they are looking for someone QUICK to give something to. Get right down to business and be polite.
A lot of times if I’m super interested in something and I’m sure I want to buy it, I’ll say, “Do you take cash or venmo?” This tells them, “Hey, this girl is serious”, and sometimes I’ll pay for it on venmo and then pick up the item later or another day when I’m in that part of town (this saves me on gas $$). 🙂
If you are thinking there’s not a lot of good things that people would free out, you’d be surprised. I took a screenshot of a couple things just today.
Free toddler bed:
(I have a really great post here on how to get kids clothes free).
There’s a lot of scams on Facebook through, so be careful. Never give out your text number. Many scams start with that. Never accept cashier’s checks or overpayments on Venmo.
Be sure who you’re dealing with has a real face on the account, not blank, and it’s a legit Facebook account with friends, posts, etc. Look at their ratings too. If they have less than 4.5 ratings on their stars, I never buy from them.
Be smart, but definitely think of different ways you can save money and if you’re worried about bugs/dust mites, just freeze the items you get before bringing them into your house!
I have a freezer in the garage and use it to freeze everything I can (obviously, some things you can’t freeze like electronics), but bedding, clothes, even rugs, etc. can all be frozen. Freeze what you can to kill any bugs first, then wash. 🙂 The things you can’t freeze, wash and sterilize them really good before bringing into your home.
To sterilize, I use doTerra’s OnGuard essential oil (20-30 drops in a glass spray bottle and fill it with water). I use that spray on my fruits/veggies and to sterilize stuff when cleaning.
Save on everything you can!
That birch tree in the backyard I had to cut down last week, the handyman who cut it down for me, wanted to haul it off for me (charging me an hour to fill up the trailer with pieces of the tree and another $30 hauling fee). All of that is reasonable of course, but $100 to haul off a tree??? Let’s think this through.
Right now, we must be more diligent with our money. Paying someone $100 to haul off a tree…what if I cut it down myself and part it out instead?
My son and I pulled off all the tips of the tree/leaves and started putting it in the recycle. Next, we tore off all the bark from the Birch tree and set it aside. I’m planning to sell it on ebay (people can make essential oil with it). 🙂 I can get about $90 on ebay for all that we pulled off. And the rest that’s left is the trunk, which I’m freeing out to someone in need for firewood.
It’s more work, of course, but I’m ending up PROFITING instead of having to pay to haul something off.
I’m working hard, and I think that God honors that. He honors when we glean as much as possible from things and really try to help as many people as we can.
We also have to think logically. If we spend 15 mins each way driving to a cheaper gas station that saves us 5¢ a gallon, it’s not really worth it in the end. My tank is 13 gallon, that’s a 65¢ savings. For 30 minutes of driving?! I don’t even think 65¢ savings would be worth 10 minutes of driving.
So, be careful when trying to save money and really figure things out from all angles.
So, to recap, the best places to find free stuff to resell is:
Craigslist free section
Yard Sale leftovers
Driving around seeing “free” signs in the affluent neighborhoods (that’s how I found my dining table that I literally still have. I sold the chairs and literally profited on this deal).
Near trash receptacles, especially at apartment complexes if you live in an apartment
Things you ALREADY have laying around the house (you’d be surprised at how much stuff you have!)
Letting friends know what you do and if they have anything free for you to have
Things your kids grow out of, like clothes, toys, shoes
When you upgrade to a new item, selling your old one
Applying for freebies by mail. Once you collect a large lot of free samples, you can sell them all together (if that is allowed per the product label on the item). I used to make guest bathroom gift baskets with all that stuff and sell them and give them as gifts to save me money on presents!