If you’ve read my blog for very long, you know I love free stuff from Craigslist. And that the stuff I get for free isn’t typical at all. Ready to hear my latest find?
I answered an ad that was written something like this: Wanted – someone to come to our store and pick up kitchen scraps, and take them away to be composted. We’ll give you a loaf of bread for doing it.
OK, that’s a little odd, but I’m a lover of all things related to compost, and my email address doesn’t get enough junk mail yet (can you read the sarcasm in that one?), so I responded. They actually wrote back, and it ended up being a really good deal!
What they wanted was someone to come to their all-natural, local, and homemade bread shop, pick up organic vegetable cuttings, eggshells, and coffee grounds, and take them away. In return (I get a return for taking away something I want???) they’ll give me one of their loaves of bread each time. And they want this done twice a week. Ding, ding, ding! I’m the winner! I went in for the first and second times this past week, and it really does work the way they said. I take away two full 5-gallon buckets and a loaf of artisan bread, and a few days later I return with two empty 5-gallon buckets. And repeat.
First I tried multi-grain sourdough. Yummy! And next I have a rosemary potato bread that I haven’t sliced into yet.
Awesome. Just awesome.
Before I encourage you to answer strange-sounding ads, I’ll say this: ALWAYS exercise caution when dealing with people you don’t know. For this, after emailing a few times to be sure we all agreed on the “job description”, I walked in the main door of the business during regular business hours for my first in-person meeting and to pick up the first pair of buckets. No way would I have agreed to drive up to the back, up an alley, after they closed – or any other stupid location or time that would have put me into danger.
That said, I’ve gotten several good deals from answering ads posted in public places (like Craigslist). Sometimes speed matters – being the first one to answer gets you things when the person just wants it gone. Other times being the right fit matters, so I always include a little of my personality when responding to ads. And I’m always, ALWAYS, polite, well-spoken, and pay attention to my spelling and grammar. And I always thank the person for taking the time to consider me. Considering each of these emails as a mini job application can’t hurt, and I believe it often helps. The person offering the free thing is the one who gets to choose where it goes – and I do what I can to make her decide to give it to me.
Hopefully you can use some of these tips to think outside the box and score some unusual free things yourself. Leave me a comment if you already have!