Saturday, September 18, 2010

Five Free Furniture Websites

In a previous post entitled "How to Get Free Furniture" I took a look at both Freeganism and exploring free classified adverts as ways of getting free furniture. At the time we focused on Freecycle, but there are actually a ton of other free furniture websites. This article takes a look at five examples...



Free Furniture at Snaffle Up
Link: http://www.snaffleup.co.uk
First of all Snaffle Up has easily the best tag lines of all its competitors "Don't Bin It, Give It", a simple but effective mission statement that sums up the site well. As with most of the sites offering Free Furniture Snaffle Up is community driven and for most of the postcodes we entered we were able to find a good range of stuff people were giving away. Not everything has images, but those that did looked quite impressive and we were able to spot a Free Bed, 3 seater sofa and dining room chairs.

The downside was that even though my postcode was entered these items were up to 380 miles away, leading me to believe that every single free furniture item is displayed regardless of location. Whilst no one would want to travel that far for an item (the petrol alone would defeat the point for all but the most high value freebie), and I was able to spot a free double bed only 49 miles away so it can't be all bad.


Freecycle - Free Furniture Too?
Link: http://www.freecycle.org
Freecycle takes a different approach and asks you first to choose your location rather than just giving you every free product in the UK by distance away. Once inside you local area you'll see region specific adverts and there's a lot of them.

I was quite heartened to see that a lost dog post had been elevated by the site admins to the first post and marked with an exclamation point, a good indicator that the community cares about its members and is looking out for them.

You'll need to register to see any details, and in our local area there were 909 items in total, and Freecycle have one rule, everything posted must be free. I couldn't spot an effective way to organise all the items, but you could probably live for free with just the items on there so it's a pretty good site.

Recycle.co.uk - Recycle Your Furniture
Link: http://www.recycle.co.uk
With a name like Recycle.co.uk it's easy to mistake this site for a government initiative that is simply going to bark orders at you on how to recycle more. Instead it works much like Snaffle Up (even has a very similar tag line) with you entering a postcode and the type of product you want.

You can narrow your search to be a specific number of miles from your target area although it's as accurate as the data its users. Therefore my search for Free Furniture bought up horse manure as someone had listed it under garden furniture. It takes all sorts. Their home, gardens and DIY section proved much better with categories for free sofas, tables even pottery.

Preloved - Second Hand Furniture
The best named site of the lot (in fact the only of the sites that has a remotely helpful name), Preloved has more of a feel of friendly car boot sale than a helpless free for all like some of the other big players.

Some of the content is a little odd - for example why does a website about second hand things need a forum for caravan enthusiasts? - but this seems to add to the feel of people sitting in a field looking at boxes of toys for 50p.

The main issue is despite a pretty good ranking on Google for free furniture, the site doesn't just have free products, in fact finding anything free is a nightmare. Products can only be listed as "for sale", "swap" or "wanted" with the free stuff hidden away. A shame as the site has a nice feel and clearly is a good alternate to eBay but for freebie hunters it's worth giving a miss.

UPDATE - Ian from Preloved dropped us a comment to help prospective blaggers find their free section at http://www.preloved.co.uk/free/. Be sure to check it out to jump straight in to their classifieds for free stuff. He also added they'll be doing more to highlight the section in the future, which is excellent news.

Free Furniture at Gumtree
Link: http://www.gumtree.com/
Probably the biggest player in this list, if not the most financially successful, Gumtree is full of classified adverts including many free furniture listings. You can search by location and category, so a simple search for "free" in London in the Office Furniture category is easily done. 35 results later and I've been given the opportunity to get a free office table, Ikea chair and bookshelf.

If you find Freecycle lacks refinement and want the biggest choice Gumtree is your best bet. Not once on any of the sites did I see a duplicate listing, making every site a useful tool for anyone looking to get free furniture.

Seen any other sites, or had good / bad experiences with these websites? Please leave a comment below:

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:37 am

    Freecycle are probably the biggest but they spam you with endless emails once you become a member with every single item the group posts. It ruins the service really.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Forgetful Brain8:48 am

    Still afraid to contact half the guys on these sites in case they're scams or weirdos. Why would people post their crap on these sites? Bin it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the comments, I have always wondered a litle more about the process after registration and it would certainly be interesting to try a bunch of these sites and document my findings.

    Look forward to hearing other peoples experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the write up.

    We have recently introduced a section on Preloved specifically for freebies although I'll admit that it's currently not that easy to find:

    http://www.preloved.co.uk/free/

    We will soon be adding making changes to our home page to bring this new section out in the open!

    Ian
    Preloved Classifieds

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Ian, that's excellent to hear! I'll pop a quick update to the article to make sure everyone can find the section.

    Be sure to let me know of any new development with the site - my email is on the left of every page.

    ReplyDelete

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