Actually Free makes claims that you can get freebies with resources like Craigslist, Dumpster Diving, and other community resources. Skeptics may doubt this claim, especially if they’ve never tried it. Everything they give away must be junk, right? Why would they give away something for free if it’s in good condition or if it has any value? Why don’t they sell it if it’s worth anything?
There are numerous answers to these questions. Sometimes it’s a matter of not having the right skill set. Other times it’s a matter of convenience, and for others it’s related to their personal life situation. The following are multiple scenarios that give perspective on why some people are motivated to give their stuff away, or throw it away, even it if has value. The cliche “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” would apply here if these situations only involved disposing junk. There is place for a discussion on why junk can be valuable to some people or in some cases, but this is not that discussion. While people do try to give away trash on Craigslist as a method of obtaining a free junk hauling service, you will not find any similar scenarios below. These are reasons why people would give away items that are in good, working condition. It’s not even uncommon to find items that are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars for free.
These are some reasons why people give (good) stuff away:
They are trendy and they upgrade often. Once they upgrade (their technology, furnishings, home fixtures, whatever) they have no use for the items they’re replacing. They have no one in their personal lives to give the old items to. And they don’t care to make a few extra bucks selling their old stuff in a yard sale.
Sometimes people can’t make up their mind and money is not an issue. So they keep trying until they get it right.
Some people are compulsive shoppers but not compulsive in storing.
Some people are compulsive in storing; they’re called hoarders. Sometimes friends and family of hoarders have an intervention.
Some people don’t have the time or the organizational skills to have a yard sale, or they don’t wan to hassle with it, but they know they need to declutter.
Some people tried the yard sale thing and they weren’t able to sell everything.
People want to reduce waste and save the environment, so they give items away instead of throwing them away.
People consciously give to help others to serve their neighbor. Yes, it happens.
Grandparents who have no interest in video games might buy them for when the grandkids come over, but then decide they don’t want to keep them anymore. (The video games not the grandkids).
The baby grew up, so the couple wants to help out other parents by giving them their baby items.
People get divorced.
People get evicted.
The boyfriend or girlfriend moves out and leaves stuff behind. And the current resident wants the stuff out.
College students leave stuff behind every semester because they know they can replace anything the next semester with the “daddy scholarship”.
People have to move and they can’t afford a bigger truck.
People sometimes have to move into a smaller house or apartment and can’t fit everything they have.
A family member may pass away and the family just wants someone else to enjoy the possessions left behind without the possessions being there to remind them of the loss.
People don’t have the physical capacity to move large, heavy items like sheds, hot tubs, pool tables, refrigerators, furniture or even manufactured homes. All of these could be valued at hundreds or thousands of dollars, even in used condition.
Local businesses get new assets in order to stay up to date and offer their previous furniture, office supplies, vending machines, etc. for free.
Apartment complexes have a regular turnover of tenants, all with different life situations that may cause them to leave items behind or throw them in the dumpster. By the time it reaches management their only concern is making the place rent-ready for the next tenant.
People buy distressed properties and try to clear them out for rehab or for rental.
Businesses go bankrupt and they have to clear out all their assets. I’ve seen office furniture that could fill the entire office go for free because they were going out of business. They had to get rid of their large items so they could avoid paying rent another month.
This list is probably small compared to the situations that could happen. There are plenty of cases where people are motivated to give stuff away even if it’s working or has value. If you’ve ever been to a thrift store, then you have verification of that. Everything in the store was donated, yet the thrift store is selling it, so clearly it has value.
Skeptics may argue whether the stuff that is given away is actually valuable or not. But really this article isn’t for the skeptics anyway. If you want to learn ways to get free stuff or even make money by selling stuff you can get for free, then this article is a good reference for you. Now that you know there are multiple reasons why people would give stuff away, you can use the resources they use to connect with them and take the items off their hands. Commonly the resource is Craigslist, but there are other sources as well. You may even go dumpster diving or curb shopping.