Craigslist: The Free Junk Removal Service

Craigslist has made huge waves in the past few years as an informal online garage sale.  It’s much easier to use than eBay, there’s no shipping charges or packaging to deal with and best of all, it’s free to buy and sell.  What most people don’t think of is using Craigslist as a free or low-cost junk removal service.

The idea behind Craigslist is that one person’s junk may be worth a good deal of money to another person.  However, some stuff really is junk and nobody will pay you to take it off your hands.  But there are a lot of people who will take it if it’s free, especially if you offer them a mixed box of goods.  Did you used to collect knickknacks but now want them gone? Maybe you have a box of computer parts so old they belong in a museum. What about your collection of 1980’s National Geographic magazines? Maybe you just bought all new kitchen utensils and want your old ones gone.

Find a nice, sturdy cardboard box and fill it with your collection of junk.  Be sure to protect anything fragile with wadded up newspaper or bubble wrap.  It’s best to keep a theme – boxes of related items will go a lot faster than one huge box containing everything you ever wanted to get rid of.

Take a few pictures of the better looking items for posting on Craigslist and make note of some of the more interesting ones.  If you have a huge box of magazines, maybe take note of issues from historical events or very old issues.  If you have a box of old computer parts then note items that might still be usable in modern PCs.

You never want to put actual trash in the box.  Leave out anything broken or smashed, anything you swept up and most of all, leave out kitchen garbage.  If anything smells funny, is slimy or otherwise disgusting then don’t put it in the box.

Once your box is assembled, it’s time to post on Craigslist.  Create a new post in the Free category and include the most attractive pictures of the items in your box.  Your description should be short and simple.  Make note of the kind of thing people may find in the box and use your best examples.  If you have a box of hundreds of magazines, be sure to mention that a few of them are from the 1940’s.  If you have a box of old computer parts, note that it contains a mixture of memory, hard drives or cables.  Do not lie, but leave enough ambiguity to pique the imaginations of potential customers.  Everybody loves hearing stories of someone finding a priceless artifact at a garage sale that the original owner never knew they had and that’s exactly what your target customers are looking for.

It’s also important to put in your post that people must take the entire box. Don’t allow people to pick and choose or they’ll take the best items and leave you with a box of even more worthless junk.  If you really want it gone quickly, then mention that you’re willing to pay five dollars if someone will come and get it before the weekend. Where else can you have someone come take away junk for the cost of a Big Mac?

The same rules apply as any other Craigslist transaction.  Don’t allow strangers in your house any more than necessary.  If you’re not comfortable letting them know where you live, offer to meet at a nearby public location.  A couple of dollars in gas is still well worth it to get rid of that old collection of Elvis figurines in your closet that nobody wants and your children dread the thought of inheriting.


One thought on “Craigslist: The Free Junk Removal Service

  1. While this is true a lot of junk removal companies donate the stuff to people in need, as well as it is much faster, but hey if you got the time whose knocking you!

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