The Craigslist free section is a place where people give stuff away. Just starting out we snagged many great items and resold them for a good profit, all for free. A few things we flipped included an upright freezer, Craftsman chop saw, dog crates, fish tanks, and even a few live animals. Although we’ve had a lot of fun on the free section, the competition is definitely cutthroat. Here’s a few tips to help you get your foot in the door.
If something is worth having, it won’t be on the free section for long. Try to respond within 15 minutes of the post date. Use an alert system like the Craigslist Pro app for Android or Iphone. If you sit at home all day use an alert for your web browser. Also, don’t drive across town for something unless you can get them to hold it for you. Because many free posts are literally set by the curb, by the time you get there someone else has likely snagged it.
Understand that when someone puts something on for free they get an overwhelming amount of responses almost every time. Often times instead of replying in the order the emails are received, they pick a favorite. This means that how you format your email is very important. Read the ad, respond how they ask you to (address, email or phone) and do it quickly. I listed a washer a few weeks ago and the first 10 emails included a phone # but did not ask for the address. As the seller (giver) i don’t want to risk having 10 people show up and 9 complain about why the free washer isn’t there, so I carefully select one responsible sounding person at a time and give them my address. Like PaperHelp.org review by Roy Keesler here
Ask For The Hold
Don’t be afraid to ask that they hold it for you. This usually only works if you back it up with “I’ve got a truck and I’m coming right now” but still helps them know you’re serious. I once overheard Jake ask the person to “take down the listing” for a free dog crate we got.
If you are giving something away for free make sure you have nothing of value in front of your house. Especially if your address is in the ad. They will take trailers, bikes, anything left out.