One of the best and quickest ways to make money from home is to sell things on Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook groups.
It really couldn’t be any easier and there’s NO upfront cost at all. But where do you find things to sell that you get for free? It’s not like people just give away perfectly good items….
…or do they?!?!
How to Get Free Stuff to Sell
It was right after I got out of the homeless shelter several years ago. It was Christmas-time and I had no clue how I was going to provide for my family…not toys mind you, furniture! You see, I literally had NOTHING except an empty apartment.
I didn’t have a couch or a dining table. I didn’t have a bed for my kids to sleep on. I didn’t have laundry soap or even silverware. I had a blank, white walls apartment with a kitchen sink and bathroom. That was about it. I knew that I’d have to get creative furnishing it. I had no money, I wasn’t working at the time because I had been a stay-at-home-mom all of my kids lives.
The apartment complex had a clubhouse with internet, a true blessing, so when my kids were napping, I’d take the baby monitor with me and get online. I was looking for free stuff for my apartment.
Little by little, I got really good at finding free things. Since it was Christmas-time, many people were getting rid of things in their homes to make room for all the new toys. They’d put things by the garbage receptacle almost every day and almost every day, I was out there checking for people’s things they didn’t want. They’d put all kinds of nice things, usually furniture. I rarely found anything broken, but the few times I did, I fixed it and used it.
There were several pieces of furniture I got that way.
There are lots of Facebook groups now that give away things for free as well, but at the time, there was Craigslist. They have a free section and I’d be checking that section as many times a day as I possibly could.
I finally was able to afford to get internet in my own apartment, and so just sitting there checking it a lot (my goal was every 30 minutes to an hour), I’d grab the stuff super quick. I remember one time a lady was giving away clothing. There were probably 20 huge garbage bags FULL of clothing. Some of it still had the tags on. I brought all the bags up to my apartment, huffing and puffing as it was upstairs and 20 bags of clothes are HEAVY!
When I had the time, a few days later, I sorted through all the clothes by size. Teen 14-16 went in one pile, women’s size small in another, and so on. I listed the clothing in huge lots on Craigslist by size and snapped some pictures from a junky camera I had picked up somewhere or other.
It was amazing how many people were interested. I sold them for $1 a piece in huge lots. So, let’s say the teen size 14/16 clothing had 58 pieces, I sold it for $58 and so on. After all was said and done, I ended up making $300 from just that!!!!
It was at that time that I realized there was something to this. I even found the official name for it online, reselling. I was called a reseller.
Now listen, just in case you are thinking that it’s not worth the time, I assure you it is! I was able to stay home with my kids and afford my life without getting a job. My only expense was gas and since my apartment was mostly empty, I certainly had the space to store and sort things as they came in to sell. I spent much of my day doing this and having the kids help. How easy is it for them to look at a clothing tag and sort by size. I had help and we could be together!
They loved it because I would provide them awesome things that we normally couldn’t afford. A play kitchen was my daughter’s favorite score. They just LOVED going and getting things with me.
I’d go around getting everything for free that I possibly could, fixing it up if it needed it, giving it a good clean, and reselling it on Craigslist.
Eventually I even started painting furniture. I’d get a free ugly-as-could-be dresser and paint it and put a clear coat of polyurethane over it and make $60! Dining tables were my favorite. Old ugly free ones, I’d get it and then paint it (through some internet research, polyurethane is completely safe for kids and eating on the table) and make $200 on a set! I didn’t make millions doing it, but I made enough to get by and I found it to actually be fun. I liked the idea of taking something broken and fixing it up and since we did that as a family, it was even better!
So, to recap, the best places to find free stuff to resell is:
Craigslist free section
Yard Sale leftovers
Driving around seeing “free” signs in the affluent neighborhoods (that’s how I found my dining table that I literally still have. I sold the chairs and literally profited on this deal).
Near trash receptacles, especially at apartment complexes if you live in an apartment
Things you ALREADY have laying around the house (you’d be surprised at how much stuff you have!)
Letting friends know what you do and if they have anything free for you to have
Things your kids grow out of, like clothes, toys, shoes
When you upgrade to a new item, selling your old one
Applying for freebies by mail. Once you collect a large lot of free samples, you can sell them all together (if that is allowed per the product label on the item). I used to make guest bathroom gift baskets with all that stuff and sell them and give them as gifts to save me money on presents!
Have you ever gotten free stuff to sell? How did you acquire it? What is the item that you got for free that sold for the most? If you’ve never tried reselling, do you think it’s easy enough that you can do it without skills? (answer: yes) 🙂