Things that are expensive new, but can be gotten free used (still in good condition)

Almost anything used to the point of being trashed can be had free, but what are some things that are expensive brand new, but can usually be found for free used, while still in good condition (not from family or close friends)?

An example I can vouch for is pool tables. A quick craiglist search will almost always yield at least a couple of people giving away pool tables if you just go and move it out of their house for them. A friend and I once went and picked one up and put it in his backyard (there wasn’t any room in his house for it). It wasn’t a slate top, just plywood, so after a few storms it got all warped, but we got a couple of months’ worth of pool out of it.

Pianos. Nobody knows how to play the thing anymore, and/or they’re moving and don’t want to have to move the thing. I’m not sure why anyone buys new pianos anymore.

Other stuff?

Maybe Gym Equipment?

A friend of mine let something that was worth around $3k go for $400 - which isn’t free, but I’m pretty sure he would have taken 0 if there hadn’t been an offer. It was pretty much in perfect condition.

Just very hard to move.

I’m going to guess your going to be limited to big or heavy items that are hard to move. Otherwise - I would guess that people would take them to goodwill or something for the tax deduction.

Baby stuff, especially clothing. People love to buy baby clothes as gifts, and babies grow so quickly that half the time they don’t get used or only get used once. Since having a baby, I’ve received bags and bags of clothing from friends.

Yesterday someone put out a solid wood dinning table made from a tropical wood I have yet to identify. The surface is badly scratched but the scratches are shallow and will be easy to fix. I grabbed it. Todays project will be sanding.

We got one of those super expensive play systems for my nieces last year, used.

It was about 10 years old but in extremely good shape because those things are built to last. It cost $650 to buy (the guy just wanted it out of his yard), but then we paid $1100 to have it moved, assembled and 3 pieces replaced.

I did have to wash and stain it, but after all that, my dad paid under $2000 for a $5000-8000 swingset that will hopefully last another 10 years.

I agree with the baby stuff too. I run a group on Facebook where local people buy and sell baby and kid stuff. That’s how I got the play set. People get a ton of stuff as gifts, and/or the kids grow out of it so fast/lose interest and you run out of room at your house and it’s not long before you’re begging people to please come take all this junk out of your house for pennies on the dollar!

DC is great for this. People have too much money, nobody drives, and people often work jobs that require sudden long distance moves. I have a $2000 dining set in my house I got for a song from a friend that moved abroad with little notice.
Craig’s List here is amazing.

Crap, I’m sorry I missed the “free” part of the OP.

But, my friend got a free play set for his kid at the end of last summer, so that’s still a thing. But not one of the super fancy $5000 ones, more like the $800 ones you find at Home Depot. So it’s still a thing!

What motivates someone to give something away that is in good condition when a brand new one fetches a decent price?

The only thing I can think of is if the object becomes a major hassle (it is big and hard to move, expensive or labor intensive to upkeep, and/or they are moving on short notice) and the person is willing to take a loss to get rid of it. That or technologies that are a few generations old (a working VHS player with VHS tapes as an example, or a working cassette player with cassettes).

Aside from that, why would a person give something away for free that is in good condition but is expensive new?

White elephants.

I think that’s pretty much it.

The pool table is a good example of this. It certainly wasn’t a high-quality table, but it did what it was supposed to do, and I’m sure the guy paid at least $500 for it, then a few years later realized it didn’t get much use and it took up a ton of space. He probably could have asked one or two hundred dollars for it, but figured it would be much quicker and easier to just give it to anyone who could haul it away for free.

This thread has inspired me to go watch the episode of The Simpsons where they get the free trampoline. :slight_smile:


I’ve gotten a barely used microwave and several like-new end tables off Freecycle.
These items seem to pop up a lot.

I would expect lots of large appliances.

similar examples: old televisions with huge heavy 30-inch crt screens that take up 5 square feet of space in the room.
Encyclopedia Brittanica in 30 volumes that fill 2 rows of shelves.

Non electronic acoustic pianos are usually the winner in this category/

Up in Tennessee you have to horse trade for a good deal. If you needed air in a jug somebody would let you out but first you’d have to agree to pay for the jug. Not because it was theirs but because of the labor involved.

Down here in Florida people seem to redecorate, or move, all the time. They set really good stuff out on the curb which means it’s free to any takers. I call it hillbilly bait and drag stuff home all the time. We used a free chest freezer for years. My younger son has his flat screen TV and other tech stuff set up on something we still don’t know what it is. It’s made with thick bamboo and reed, three sections? shelves? We think he’s using it up on-end but laid flat it doesn’t resemble anything we know of. I think a person could easily furnish a place with all the free stuff down here.

A quick perusal of the Free Stuff list on the St. Paul Craigslist says kitchen appliances, furniture, and large CRT TV sets. I do have to admire the humor of the guy who listed “freezer” in the title, and the picture is of his back yard.

A lot of aspirational single purpose kitchen appliances fall into this category. Bread makers, juicers, yogurt makers, ice cream makers, martini shakers, electric wine openers, electric pepper grinders. People buy them, use them once, stuff them into the back of a cupboard for 5 years and then give them away when they’re moving.

Home gym equipment - treadmills, step trainers or whatever the hell those things are - people buy them in a fit of self-improvement enthusiasm, then discover that exercise isn’t as much fun as they hoped - and then they have this bulky, heavy piece of clutter in their home that does nothing except remind them of their failed resolution - so it has to go, fast - which means cheap or free.

Anything that’s big, heavy/difficult to move can fall into this category - I’ve seen lathes and milling machines advertised free to collect (they’re always gone by the time I respond).

I just all but gave away a mostly functional treadmill that was in quite good shape (I charged $25 so I didn’t have the flakes lining up for it), its only problem being that it blew out the fuses in my garage whenever I tried to start the belt. It might have meant that the electrics needed repair, or it might just have been that my garage outlet (with an extension cord attached for reach) wasn’t strong enough to drive it. I didn’t care. I just wanted it out of my garage.

A nice, rather baked older gentleman whose hobby is fixing old treadmills took it off my hands, and I was happy to get rid of it.

I also gave away a large weightlifting frame thing worth about $400 a couple of years ago with the caveat “I will not deliver, lift anything, or help in any way. You must come, disassemble it however much you need to to get it in your (large) vehicle, and take it away.” Two big musclehead guys showed up, cheerfully did just that, and we all ended up happy.

So yeah, for me at least it’s big, hard to move items.