Do I Give It Away, or Do I Sell It?

Craigslist, Freecycle or Both?

By now, most people have heard of Craigslist. Craigslist is a local online classifieds list for more than 550 cities in over 50 countries worldwide. It is community moderated, and largely free. You can find jobs, housing, goods, services, romance, local activities, advice – just about anything really.  When you go to Craigslist, you choose the location that you want to search for an item  in or sell an item in. Craigslist takes the newspaper’s classified ads and puts it online. It’s great when you have something to sell or are looking for used items to purchase.

Freecycle is quite a bit different. Freecycle is 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. You can find a group closest to you by starting here. With Freecyle, you sign up with a group (it’s all free). Members in that group then list items they are offering or items they are wanting.  For example, when going through the garden shed the other day, there were gardening tools I hadn’t used in quite a while and probably would never use again. I listed them individually on Freecycle and within a couple of hours, I had people offering to come pick up those items. I even had someone pick up a lawn mower that didn’t work any longer.

When to use one or the other? When cleaning out a closet, garage or shed, there are usually items that wouldn’t sell for much yet are still in pretty good condition. There probably isn’t enough to put a garage sale together with, but you would like them to go to people who will use and appreciate them. For things like this, I’d use Freecycle. If I had larger items, appliances, cars, and such that had some value to them, I’d list those on Craigslist. Think about it this way. If the item is something that you normally try to sell in the classified ads of your newspaper, use Craigslist. If the item is something that is too good to throw away but isn’t worth much money, use Freecycle. It’s very likely that when doing your Spring cleaning that you’ll find that you end up using both.

If you know of any other sites that do pretty much the same thing, I’d love to know about them.


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