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Deciphering the Free Ads On Craigslist

Updated on August 13, 2012
Hurry, while supplies last!
Hurry, while supplies last!

Curb Alert!

I appreciate a good deal. Be it a used item at the thrift store or a closeout sale at the retail stores, saving money is always a good thing during these tough economic times.

Occasionally I will take a peek at Craigslist to see what deals are out there in my neck of the woods, but I have to take caution, entering the free section on Craigslist is like entering a new dimension. Anything goes when you're giving it away so you have to pay very close attention to the details.

Some people just want to help. For instance, they have some extra bubble wrap and don’t want it go to waste. They post it on Craigslist in hopes of finding somebody that at that moment needs….bubblewrap. Problem solved.

Other times it seems that the poster has come up with a clerverly veiled plan to get some work done around the house, and they make quite the sales pitch.

If indeed what’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, there is significant booty on Craigslist. But I can't imagine what one would do with some of the items being given away.

Below are a few examples of actual items posted, I've taken the liberty of adding what you more than likely will find when you arrive to pick up your freebies.


It's a dream come true...
It's a dream come true...
Going to turn this down?  I think not...
Going to turn this down? I think not...
Yes, it's free!!!
Yes, it's free!!!

Antique sectional – The couch is over 30 years old and was used when we got it in the late 80’s. It has a spring that sticks out of the back so be careful with that.

Free Firewood – We would love to get someone out here to clear out these old trees.

Free Mature Shrubs – See trees, but with bushes.

Free Mulch - Only it's not mulch, it's brush, and it's in our yard.

Free Tires – The local authorities have recently informed me I can no longer burn these.

Free cassette tapes – Most containing dictation on UFO’s and the connection they have with dolphins

Free Paint – The landfill won’t take these.

Ceiling Fan– We just upgraded, come take this hideous monstrosity.

Free "Well used" recliner - We don’t have a truck with which to take this to the dump

Free Mobile Home - We really need this thing off our land. Be careful of the coyote that lives inside.

Free Styrofoam cooler – Slight fish smell.

Free retro grill– Needs grates, burner, and igniter.

Free Xbox, men’s shirts, baseball memorabilia – Scorned woman seeks revenge.

Swing Set – From the mid seventies, enjoy the lead paint.

Tanning Bed – I also have skin cancer research

Free Pool – A clump of faded blue plastic that has sat in our lawn for the past ten years, please come haul away this eye sore.

Variety of Free Stuff– Various odds and ends of useless items such as, one flip flop, a 9 volt battery, a decapitated bobble-head, the owner’s manual to a 1979 Chevrolet Chevette, a cordless phone sans base, and 17 wire coat hangers.

Tomato Plant Cages - Untangle this mess of wire yourself.

Free VHS tapes – Junior is 45 and cleaning up his room in Mom’s unfinished basement. Do not touch anything!

Basketball hoop – Let's see, there's a pole, a backboard and.....did we mention it's free?

Landscaping rocks – Chunks of broken up concrete.

Curb alert – Our junk is your junk.

Complementary haircuts – Be prepared to sign a waiver as you may or may not lose one of your ears as beauty school students practice.

Free extension cord – I’m very lonely, please come out and visit.

Encyclopedias– As I now have internet access.


These are just a few of the many items people are trying to give away. From odd to downright gross, there are many head scratching things people want gone .They say there is something for everyone, let's hope you're ready to work for those free coat hangers...


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    • innerspin profile image

      Kim Kennedy 5 years ago from uk

      I wonder if the mobile home is still available - I'd take it just for the coyote. Small ads always interest me, one time I saw an ad for a 3 ton bloke and tackle. Had me giggling for ages, a bit like your hub, thanks!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Well, buyer beware...maybe it should be changed to taker beware ...isn't it amazing the things people think you want? You've done a great job here and made this fun to read.

      Voted up, useful, funny, and interesting.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Alecia, and if you ever do, proceed with caution!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Funny stuff. Thankfully I've never decided to grab anything off of Craigslist but I'll keep this in mind if I need to!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Bill, there are deals to be found, as these comments can attest to, but it may be more trouble than it's worth...

      Nicely done Theophanes, and you're right, changing locations can be I'm from Va, the deeper south you go, the more free trailers you can find! Thanks for reading!

      I agree Janine, but somewhere, there is someone that really wants that other flip flop! Thanks!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      It is amazing what people try to give away, lol!! Seriously just throw it away!! But Pete, very funny indeed and have shared and voted up too!!

    • Theophanes profile image

      Theophanes 5 years ago from New England

      I'm proud of myself. I got rid of a TV for free on Craigslist. It had a working DVD player attached. Did I mention it was state of the art whenever DVD players first came out, that it had an ass the size of a rhino, a screen the size of a computer monitor, and I could barely carry it to the curb because it was so flipping heavy? Good times. I didn't have to pay a disposal fee...

      I love browsing Craigslist. You want a real laugh change your location to some interestingly desolate and impoverished area and scan the personals. This used to give me hours of entertainment seeing how many men in Central and Northern Maine listed having teeth as a positive attribute! PS never meet any of the personal ad people - I have a sneaking suspicion they are all out of their minds.

      Loved your article, you sure speak the truth!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm laughing but this is also very true. I love craigslist but learned very early on that ads are not always....shall we say....factual.

      Great job Pete!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      That's awesome Becky, however more often than not, free firewood means come take down these trees! Thanks for reading!

      And there's lot's of it out there LaThing, Thanks for reading!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Lol, lol...... Loved the list.... Specially, "...scorned woman trying to take revenge!", haha

      I for one, avoid anything free. I always end up with the junk! Voting up and sharing :)

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I have run up on some of these things. I have also found some darn good things. I got a dresser once. Solid, all wood, it needed sanding and finished. Turned into a $300 profit for me when I got done with it. Got an old drop leaf table from the 20's, light sanding, varnish, sold it for $450 a week later. If you know what you're doing, these free things can be good.