Rehash, Free Cycle, Craigslist, and eBay

by Kevin on May 14, 2008

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. With inflation increasing, gas and energy prices skyrocketing, and your pay not moving an inch every dime you can save on just about anything is a grand savings.

You can find all sorts of deals online. Just take a look at eBay and Craigslist. People are selling stuff out of their closets and basements for (usually) bargain prices. I have had great success with Craigslist. I bought my car on Craigslist from a private seller. When I left Birmingham after an internship the summer before I graduated, I sold an old, disgusting loveseat on Craigslist. The loveseat had a broken spring, kind of smelled, and was ugly. I bought a $75 slipcover for my use during the summer and listed it on Craigslist for $50. It sold and the woman brought cash. I figured I got a steal by cutting my losses to $25. To top it off my then girlfriend was more than pleased to see it go!

But those sites require you to have money. There are other ways to grab some deals… and in the following two cases you can grab items for absolutely free.


I had heard of FreeCycle in the past. For the uninitiated, straight from their webpage:

Welcome! The Freecycle Networkâ„¢ is made up of 4,362 groups with 5,099,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

The FreeCycle webpage doesn’t actually do all that much. It just links you to your local freecycle group which is done all on Yahoo Groups. I guess as a grassroots organization it is easier to use a free service like Yahoo than running everyone on the group’s local server.

With FreeCycle, there are three different terms you will see on listings: offer, wanted, and taken. As you might imagine, offer means someone is offering the item to be picked up. Wanted is an item someone is looking to get for free. Taken means someone had offered an item, and it has now been taken (so don’t waste your time contacting the offer-er).

A look at my local FreeCycle group, here are some of the most recent listings:

  • Offer: Shopping bag full of wire coathangers
  • Wanted: Vanity Table and Chair
  • Offer: Freezer (needs some repair)
  • Taken: Two identical Graco Car seats

The two identical car seats sounds like a great deal — if you could verify they had not be damaged. The coat hangers… hey, someone might need them. If you’re handy you could get a freezer for free — just haul it away yourself.

Clever Dude recently snagged a Garmin for free on FreeCycle! Unbelievable. This is the exception, not the rule.

Rehash Clothes is a relatively new player in the “get stuff for free” arena. Here’s how they describe themselves:

By Rehashing, you can shop for clothes without spending a penny, all while helping the environment. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

So you wear that new dress three times before you get tired of it. Rehash it to someone else and grab another dress from a different user.

I haven’t read of anyone using it, but it seems to be coming along just fine.

So, where do you go to get the best deals on “stuff”? Would you trust someone to send you clean clothes?

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