The top 10 freebie websites you have to see
The Freecycle Network (is made up of many individual groups who give away unwanted items to other people in their area. They can also pick up free stuff from other members - from books and clothes to furniture, computers and even cars.
Originally set up in the US, Freecycle.org has been matching people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them in the UK since 2003. It now boosts 5,047 groups spread across the country, with just under nine million members.
Freecycle is completely free – all you need to do is sign up to the group in your local area. You’ll then receive email alerts of items up for grab and requests for ‘donations’.
As a member of a group, you can post a wanted message or respond to other members. It’s also encouraged to alert the group when you receive a item.
You can also browse other networks to see what’s up grabs in other groups – but don’t request anything unless you’re sure you’re able to collect it.
At the end of 2010, a rival to Freecycle was launched – iloveFreegle.org.
Most Freegle groups were originally part of The Freecycle Network, but broke away to set up on their own because of “untenable” changes.
Again, once you’ve signed up (for free) you can post an offer of something you want to get rid of, or a wanted ad for something you need. It is smaller than Freecyle, but with 354 groups in the UK and 1.3 million members, it appears to be catching up.
Snaffleup is a recycling website that allows you to ditch unwanted items and potentially acquire new delights from other users. It’s free to use – just search for items by keyword, category or by location.
Each item you select comes with a map of where it’s located (to keep collection fees at a minimum) and an easy way to contact the owner. You will need to sign up before you can contact a donator, but this is free.
If you want to get rid of an item, then you’ll need to register for free with the site first. Then click the ‘get rid of stuff’ tab and fill in an item’s description and, if you want, upload a photo. If anyone is interested, they will contact you to arrange collection.
You can also opt to receive emails – these can be based on your searches for specific items or more general alerts when new things become available in your area.
Gumtree.com describes itself as a ‘classified community’ and is available in most cities and towns across the UK and Ireland.
The website mainly lists things up for sale (from property to pets) as well as small ads for rental properties and jobs.
However, it also has a freebie section. Scroll past the sponsored links and ads, and you’ll find a wealth of listings, mainly for furniture and household items. At the time of writing, the London website featured free frog spawn, hair cuts and even a greyhound dog.
As with any classified or freebie website, be careful about responding to adverts, and take someone else with you when it comes to collection.
Still relatively unheard of in the UK, classified website Craigslist is a household name in the US.
What it lacks in website design it more than makes up for in content – you can search for property, jobs, for sale items and services on the site, not to mention online romance and activities such as sewing classes.
Like Gumtree, Craigslist.co.uk is now available across most of the big cities in the UK and includes a ‘free’ section.
At the time of writing, the London site featured a free Lexmark printer, a book collection and a John Lewis sofa. However, Moneywise spotted plenty of listings that offered free iPhones or laptops but were little more than a link to a commercial website.
Claiming to be the “biggest, most established and original direct swap shop”, Swapz.co.uk is free to join.
You can search for items being offered for free by other users and respond to items wanted by other users. Products up for grabs range from antiques and collectables, to DVDs, stamps and musical instruments, as well as clothes, furniture and toys.
7. HOT UK DEALS
Founded in August 2004, HotUKDeals.com operates as an online community where people can share discount vouchers and freebies they’ve spotted.
Registration is free and open to everyone. Features includes the latest top 10 hottest deals, competitions, and deal requests.
FREE SAMPLE WEBSITES
Google ‘freebie’ or ‘free samples’ and you’ll be inundated with search results. Because you had to supply your name and address in order to receive samples, it’s important to use a website you trust.
Also, as with most things in life, there is a catch – in order to receive a free sample you will in the vast majority of cases have to register with a website (normally for free) or sign up for an e-newsletter.
While this isn’t the end of the world, the last thing you want is for your inbox to be flooded with emails. Moneywise recommends you create a special email account just for free samples.
Another thing to watch out for is expiry dates on offers - not all websites update regularly so check the sample is still up for grabs before you sign up.
Freebielist.com is worth checking out; the website is really easy to navigate and each offer listed is easy to understand so you know what it is you're signing up for. You can also sign up to its weekly newsletter to receive new offers directly into your inbox.
9. BRITISH FREEBIES.CO.UK
You do have to sign up (for free) to Britishfreebies.co.uk to see the latest freebies added to the site. However, non-members can browse the different categories to find free samples.
Freestuffjunction.co.uk lists the most popular free stuff on its homepage, but you can also search by category. Although it’s not the most attractive website, but it often features offers that aren’t on other sites.