Get free (and great) resources online

We love to buy second-hand stuff! If you happen to live close enough to a neighborhood with a lot of rich people (e.g: the bay area, like us), you will be surprised at the nice quality of second-hand stuff people put on craigslist. We first learnt this trick two years ago when we were looking for a recliner. We first bought a new Hancock & Moore (H &M) with ~$1600 and loved it.  However, one day we saw someone listed a similar second-hand  H&M recliner on craigslist and asked for only 20% of the price we paid. We drove there and checked it and bought it immediately. The person told us he has been using it for the past 4 years and now he is ready to upgrade it. There is some “bruise” on it, but that doesn’t bother us. We are more than happy to buy some leather care kit and extend its life for another 5-10 years.

Second-hand leather recliner we found on Craiglist

Two weeks ago, I learnt another website that is even more amazing. If you have not checked rooster, check it now. It is a community-based website where people share stuff. You can give, borrow, and lend, but there is no money involved in this community. I was looking for a scanner to digitalize old family pictures recently, so I posted a message in my neighborhood asking if someone can lend me a scanner for a few days. Within 24 hours of my post, I received three replies: one person told me he saw a free scanner on freecycle and left me the contact info. The other two not only told me they would like to give me their idle scanner but also the detailed information of their scanners in order to help me decide whether it is a good fit for my own purpose. I was a little skeptical whether this is going to work, so I kept my original ebay order just in case. I took the scanner that is closest to me and it worked great (the person wants to give it away just because he needs more space at home). I feel so excited that I saved $129 and make something be useful again.

Free scanner acquired from freecycle

Of course, you cannot get everything from these sites, but it is a great resource for things like:

  • kids’ stuff
  • experimental interest (you don’t need to buy a roller skate to see whether you like it or not)
  • digital equipments

These are the websites I like to use:

Pro: the most friendly community in my personal opinion. Beautiful website design and user-friendly as well.

Con: relatively small community. Sometimes it takes a few more time to find what you need.

Pro: Larger community with a lot of options.

Con: you need time to filter out stuff.

Pro: same as freeCycle. Even if it’s not for free, you will find some really good quality stuff with very limited budget.

Con: you need time to filter out stuff.

I registered next door a few years back but have never actively used it. However, I have heard good things about it. I think 2-3 sites are probably enough if you don’t want to flood your email box.

Share your story with me about how you saved money by using these sites.

 

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