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Thread: Getting stuff for free

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Getting stuff for free

    Yesterday I took Junior sledding across the street. While standing on top of the hill watching him sled, a gentleman cross country skiing happened to stop to talk. Evidently he had seen Junior and I sledding a couple times before because he wished us a happy New Year and asked how Christmas went. I told him pretty well, and joked Santa didn't bring me any cross-country skis. He then said what a coincidence, his wife complained to him only 15 minutes earlier that he needed to get his old cross country skis out of the garage now that he had a new pair. He then offered me his old pair of skis, bindings/boots, and poles for free! The equipment was 80's vintage and a little shabby but the price was certainly right (and I would guess the used equipment would probably go for $120-$150 at the second hand sports store).

    Ever get anything unexpected for free?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Ever get anything unexpected for free?
    I'm sure I have but cannot think of the significant items off the top of my head. I did however give a friend a like-new lawnmower for free one day. We were sitting on my front porch having a beer a couple summers ago when we started talking about lawn work and he mentioned that his mower kept dying and he was going to go out and look for a new one that weekend. I then told him I had a great one in the garage just taking up space since I don't cut my own grass anymore and he was welcome to it. He seemed very grateful. I was grateful to have the extra couple feet of garage floor space back.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Isn't it funny how it is the small things that stick in our memories? Back in 1984 my best friend and I set out to ride our bikes from the Chicago burbs to LAX. That's LaCrosse, Wisconsin, for those of you unfamiliar with abbreviations. On the first day we stopped at the confectionery in Long Grove for a drink and snack. When we told the folks working there what we were doing they handed us a box of fresh chocolate covered strawberries and wished us a good trip.

    Somewhat related, last year when I began fostering rescue dogs I put out a request of Freecycle for dog crates. I ended up with five. They were not unexpected, but I was surprised how many people were so quick to help.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I get the money for nothing and the chicks for free. Now that ai'nt workin'. That's the way you do it.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    A few years ago, my wife commented that it would be nice to get an aquarium for our oldest... so we looked and realized that it would be a few hundred dollars for a new one. Within a few days, one of the neighbors was moving out of his apartment and put a full 20 gallon aquarium set on the curb and marked Free on the sign. We have been using it ever since.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Isn't it funny how it is the small things that stick in our memories? Back in 1984 my best friend and I set out to ride our bikes from the Chicago burbs to LAX. That's LaCrosse, Wisconsin, for those of you unfamiliar with abbreviations. On the first day we stopped at the confectionery in Long Grove for a drink and snack. When we told the folks working there what we were doing they handed us a box of fresh chocolate covered strawberries and wished us a good trip.
    Sidenote: I've been to Long Grove and know the place you talk of.

    Can't recall ever being as fortunate as many of you though. I did win a $500 gift card to one of the regional malls in town once during a Christmas promotion a few years back though, does that count? I had to buy stuff at several stores and with each purchase came a chance to win it. Unintended consequence though was being signed up to get a lot of e-mails from said mall.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Join freecycle.org
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Was just chatting with one of the IT guys about buying a video card for my computer in the coming days. He mentioned he had an extra and is going to give it to me...so there's that.

    Had a few free pieces of furniture, but that's about it.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    I'm sure there's been other stuff, but the free item that sticks in my head is a free dinner... when we lived in NM in 2009/2010, we went out to eat at our favorite restaurant in Santa Fe and a couple decided to pay for our meal out of the blue. They said that we reminded them of their younger days and how they weren't able to go out much when their kids were young (our son was a toddler at the time and was behaving himself at the table, which I'm sure helped). It made me feel a little awkward because I couldn't really return the favor, but the free meal was very nice.

  10. #10
    I once got an upgrade from steerage to first class on a flight to Vegas.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Faust_Motel's avatar
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    People know i fix up bicycles as a hobby, so free ones find their way to me a couple of times a year. I have a gorgeous Motobecane touring bike in pieces right now- Reynolds tubing in the frame and everything.

    I also peruse the dump swap shop every Saturday and was rewarded with a nice Eames shell chair I'll be restoring this winter. The things go for like $400 bucks on eBay!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Now that I think of it... I think I need to give away some free stuff... anyone want a broken snow blower?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Well, there was that trip to Hawaii, as some of you may remember... 2009? We had to pay taxes on the value of the trip, which was way more than I'd ever spend on a vacation anywhere , but it was worth it.

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  15. #15
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    My friend offered me his old 37" flat screen TV when he bought a new one recently. I figured he could sell it for $300 or $400 bucks, so naturally I asked why he would offer a free TV to me... he said that he'd rather know someone was going to get good use out of it than just sell it for money. What a nice guy!

    A guy from work also gave me a 32" flatscreen for free a few months ago.. not sure why I so easily come by TVs but I like it!

    Come to think of it, my bedframe, dresser, side tables, computer, patio furniture and desk were all given to me as well. I havn't had to buy much.. I guess I'm just in the right place at the right time!

    I was flown to Toronto for free once too, and given accomodation! I won that in a contest.

    I also won a mountain lift pass in a random draw this Christmas.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Right now, Apple has 12 days of giving... It sounded like it would be cool... but it has been lame stuff like games, music, and videos. Come on... where are the productivity apps!
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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