Budgeting | Personal Finance | Article

I Surfed Carousell, Craigslist, and Gumtree for Free Stuff Online, Because Why Not

by Sophia | 26 Apr 2019 | 6 mins read

What could be better than huge discounts that (seemingly) save you money? Easy, we’ll do you one better: free stuff online. It might sound too good to be true, but if you’re looking to spend zero dollars on stuff in Singapore, there are various platforms for you to look through.

And yes, as I’ve learned from my time scrounging through countless listings… free lunches do exist.

But of course, not everything up for grabs is useful or practical. In fact, it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster looking through Carousell, Gumtree, and Craigslist. Here’s the free stuff online I uncovered.

Category One: Food

1. Ghost Pepper Chilli Prawn Crackers (Halal)

Suffer the full force of ghost peppers for exactly $0. I scrolled down further and found retail prices for the actual packs, since the real freebie here is just a sample pack. Worth it if you like to live on the edge and kill your sense of taste.

2. Blessed Sauce (Korean BBQ Sauce)

I came across this and felt a sudden lack of blessing in my life. Surely some blessed sauce could spice things up a little.

3. Just Ten Dollars’ Worth of Food Items (Because We Love You)

This actually surprised me, though I figure $10 can’t fill a whole grocery list. However, I couldn’t verify the legitimacy of this listing (for one, it’s inactive), so love yourself, try your luck, and see if you get some free stuff online in the form of groceries.

Category Two: Furniture and Appliances

1. Electronic Piano

This caught my eye straight away – I mean, if you like music but you can’t afford an electronic piano or keyboard of your own yet, this might be something worthwhile. Though I counted about 10 spoilt keys. You can pretty much only play songs on the higher ranges, and on the black keys. This is a high-pitched songs-only zone.

2. Bookshelf from IKEA

I have to admit, this bookshelf looks really neat. If you’re someone with a lot of clutter to sort through (hasn’t Marie Kondo taught you anything?), this could be a quick fix to sort out that mess. Unless, of course, you love mess.

3. Bookshelf from IKEA, Episode Two

Slightly smaller than our previous contender, but still looking very solid. Perfect for bookworms who keep buying books despite a huge backlog of unread books, and who are also broke.

4. Fan (Minus Rotating Capabilities)

The lack of ability to rotate its head didn’t strike me as much as the fact that Ken is requesting, specifically, three packs of baby wipes (80 pieces each!) in return. I wonder what he needed to clean up.

Category Three: Accessories, Skincare and Clothing

1. A “Tumblr Tee” With Attitude

Just in case it wasn’t clear enough you’re not to be messed or trifled with, this edgy Tumblr tee will back you up on a bad day. Perfect for metalheads who are still feeling raw over Watain’s ban. You tell ‘em.

DISCLAIMER: That translation is not at all accurate. You’ve been warned

2. Hello Kitty Pencil Holder (Only 12 Pencils)

If you have a colour pencil set of 12, this is the perfect holder for you. But if you have 13 or more, look elsewhere, thanks.

3. Skin Protectant Cream – Elizabeth Arden

Skincare and makeup are expensive AF. Free stuff online like this might be a huge steal if you need to protect your skin. Bonus points to OP for laying out a ruler in front of the box to show people how big it actually is.

Category Four: These Were Totally Unexpected

1. Free Instagram Likes (On Your Journey to Becoming an Influencer)

Come to think of it, my Instagram account does feel kind of stale. I’ve been putting out entertaining, quirky content (with great captions), only to rake in less than 60 likes at a time. Maybe this will be good for me. Suitable for those seeking quick endorphin hits.

2. Encouraging Word(s)

Just one word? What if I need more? Maybe this is where I find my self-esteem and long-lost confidence. Especially when I get antique encouraging words…

(Not gonna lie: despite how random this is, I do appreciate the sentiment behind it.)

3. Tarot Relationship Readings (To Weed Out Scrubs)

This is it. This is exactly what I need when my paranoia runs wild and it’s time to dig up the truth. If my guy is cheating on me, I’m going to find out for free. And maybe finally someone will be able to guess the number in my head for once.

Post-hunt: the spoils of war

OK, so despite the ups and downs of trawling through freebie sections on Carousell, Craigslist, and Gumtree, I did get some cool free stuff online out of it.

After chatting with a bunch of people on Carousell and getting someone’s number off Craigslist (living on the edge, hey), I came out of my treasure hunt with an electronic keyboard (yes, the one listed above) as well as 100 envelopes made out of recycled magazine pages. (Who am I sending letters to? That’s my business! But score one for being environmentally friendly and chasing my passion in music!)

piano me
Me actually playing the piano. All mine… all mine!!

But seriously, if there’s one thing I learned from this, it’s that there are always free stuff online out there waiting to be passed on from person to person – instead of directly heading into the trash bin. As they say, one man’s junk is another person’s treasure.

This is also why freeganism and dumpster diving are growing trends even in Singapore. People are beginning to appreciate the scarcity of our resources and the danger of huge wastage.

Also, you get to save tons of money if you just take an old bookshelf off someone’s hands instead of splurging a few hundred bucks at IKEA for a brand new one. Your bank account will thank you later. Maybe this is why millennial homeowners are able to furnish their cribs for cheap.

Coupled with being able to save the environment and reduce unnecessary wastage… well, why the hell not?