How to Find Free Stuff on Craigslist

It's as easy as a few clicks

person searching on Craigslist

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Craigslist is a great place to buy and sell things, but did you know that you can also find a ton of free stuff there? It's true that not everything free is of high quality, but nothing quite beats a zero-cost pickup, especially if you're on a tight budget.

Expect to find pretty much anything: TVs, couches, pianos, clothes, music CDs, firewood, grills, mattresses, name it! More often than not, people just want to get rid of things that are taking up unnecessary space in their house. You can use this to your advantage, and the best part is that it's extremely easy to start by browsing through the dozens of listings from the comfort of your home.

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Choose Your Craigslist Location

Craigslist map

Visit Craigslist and select the city that's closest to where you live. Countries and continents are located at the very top of the page, and then more specific areas further down.

If your location isn't listed, see Step 3 below; there might still be a way to find what you need.

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Find the Free Stuff Section

Craigslist for sale categories

On the classified ads for your chosen city, select free under the for sale section.

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Narrow Down the Listings

List of free items for sale on Craigslist

To help find something specific, you're given a few search options on the left of the page.

You can filter by items that have an image to be sure you know what you're getting, or make sure the listing was posted today only, search for items a specific distance from another location, filter by condition (new, salvage, excellent, etc.), locate only items that are deliverable, etc. The search bar is how you narrow down the results by keyword.

The search tools are, of course, optional. You can also just browse through the listings manually.

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Select Your Free Stuff

free above ground pool listing on craigslist

Browse through the listings of free stuff until you see one that sounds like it might be something you like. Select the item's title or image to view more information about it.

Be sure to read over the description. If you'd like to get the Craigslist item for free, you might need to contact the person ahead of time, before you arrive. They may want you to call or email, or a porch or curbside pickup might be preferred, so follow whatever directions they have.

If the description doesn't state how to contact the person, choose reply and then the show email button near the top of the page to message them.