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There are plenty of websites that enable you to get things for free. We check out some of your options.

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  • Furnishing a rented property can be eye-wateringly expensive – but if you’re canny, you may get everything from sofas, fridges and plants for free.

    There’s a growing number of giveaway websites that list unwanted possessions, and that can be a goldmine for freebies if you’re on the hunt to furnish a new home.

    Here’s a round-up of some options.

    Freecycle and Freegle

    Web communities such as Freecycle and Freegle list masses of goods on offer in your local area. The idea is that these items aren’t then chucked out and sent to landfill, recycling them for future use to a grateful new owner.

    The people listing the goods might, for example, simply need to free up some space, or not have the time or the inclination to putting in the effort to eBay them. After all, getting rid of a large item such as an unwanted fridge can be a hassle – you may even have to pay to have someone come and take it away. But this way, you can easily free up space, and make someone else’s day.

    They are simple to use. Search for your particular location on both Freecycle and Freegle, and sign up to receive updates of what’s on offer in your area. It’s easy to search, too, if there’s a particular item you’re in need of. Both sites have the same aim – to help people give and get things for free in their local community, with people dealing directly with each other.

    Nicely decorated living room

    Gumtree and eBay

    You can also find a wide selection of unwanted items listed on the ‘freebies’ section of classified site Gumtree for your local area, with plenty of furniture also on offer. Gumtree is most popular in London – although it has an extensive network. Beware that any decent freebies will have tons of people after them, as the site has millions of users.

    Then again, there’s always eBay, where people also offer items with a buy-it-now price of 1p, which essentially means they don’t want them and are keen to offload the goods to anyone who’s willing to take them. Beware that this may include broken items, though, so check that whatever you’re looking at – a fridge, or TV, for example – is in working order first.

    Facebook groups

    A booming number of facebook groups have popped up over recent years, where plenty of people advertise unwanted items in your local area – provided you’re able to pick these up.

    It’s worth signing up to local groups such as those aimed at local mums (even if you’re not a mum) and seeing what’s on offer.

    Some items will be listed with a price tag, but there are plenty on offer for free if, say, somebody’s moving house, or doing a house renovation. You never know what you may find, and you can easily search on Facebook if you are looking for freebies.

    Top tips

    • You can sign up to receive every offer via email, and it may be worth setting up a separate account for this purpose. This way, all messages go to one place, and you can easily search for anything you’re looking for, and keep track of what’s on offer.

    • You may also want to download the Freegle phone app – or there’s the Trash Nothing app, which enables you to check out all local recycling groups for anything you might need.

    • As sharing communities, you’ll ideally want to build your profile and trust among users by also offering goods for sale – this isn’t essential, but some groups will insist you do this as part of the process. The items don’t need to be anything special – a pile of old magazines will do, and somebody is likely to want them.

    • Search using the word ‘free’ on Facebook groups to find items you may be interested in picking up.

    • Be quick – items go fast on these sites. Be clear on when you can pick the item up, and a reason why you need it.

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    Tags: renting
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