Getting free stuff is amazing.
Scoring free items from local listings on Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor and OfferUp can help you save tons of money — and that deal-finding adrenaline rush is hard to beat.
But snagging those zero-dollar deals on community buy-sell pages is tough. Free items can get marked as sold in a matter of minutes, so you need to be quick.
Thankfully, there’s an app that tracks all those free listings in one place and notifies you when new items become available in your area.
Fittingly, it’s called the Freebie Alerts app.
Here’s how it works and what you need to know to start scoring your own free stuff.
What Is the Freebie Alerts App?
Freebie Alerts is a free app that sends you notifications when people in your community post free items on popular online marketplaces.
The app combs listings from several online marketplaces, including:
When a free item is listed in your area, you’ll receive a notification on your phone. You can filter your results by keyword and refine your geographic area so you only see the items you want.
The app doesn’t appear to track Craigslist for free items anymore, which is one downside.
Freebie Alerts has been around for over four years, according to the App Store, where it has a 4.7 rating. At the Google Play store, it has a similar 4.6 rating and over 1 million downloads.
How Does Freebie Alerts Work?
You don’t need to create an account to use Freebie Alerts. Just enter your zip code, and the app will populate with all the free items in your area listed on major marketplace sites.
You’ll receive push notifications on your phone when a new item is listed nearby.
Click on the item to review photos and browse details.
Each Freebie Alerts post will show you the time an item was listed, how far away it is and the site it was originally posted on.
If you like what you see, just follow a link to the original online marketplace post.
Because you’re redirected to the original site, you’ll need to make sure you have that app downloaded (like OfferUp or Nextdoor), otherwise you won’t be able to contact sellers.
How to Filter Your Results on Freebie Alerts
Freebie Alerts lets you customize your results.
You can “whitelist” items so you only see free listings with certain keywords, like couch, TV or toys.
You can refine your geographic search results — which are based on the zip code you entered — from 1 mile up to a 50-mile radius. (You can also search a different zip code anytime).
You can unselect listings from certain sites too, in case you only want to see Facebook Marketplace listings for example.
There’s also an option to turn off or snooze notifications.
Can You Post Items on Freebie Alerts?
Freebie Alerts not only scans popular marketplace sites, it also allows users to create their own new posts directly in the app.
Like most things on the app, it’s simple and straightforward: Write a title and description, then upload a few photos.
If someone is interested, they’ll contact you directly through the app.
What Kind of Stuff Can You Find on Freebie Alerts?
You never really know what you’re going to find on this app.
When we looked, some of the most common free items included:
Bed frames, mattresses and headboards
Leftover building materials and supplies, such as fencing, posts, dirt, pallets, 4x4s, etc.
Desks and other furniture
Baby stuff and kids’ toys
We also came across some fun finds, like a free ping pong table, a stack of board games, a pinata and a pool table.
Are There Other Apps Like Freebie Alerts?
There doesn’t appear to be another app quite like Freebie Alerts. There are tons of apps with the word “freebie” or “free stuff” in the title, but most of them are geared toward finding free samples, coupons and discounts.
Freebie Alerts seems to be the only app — that we could find, at least — that combs multiple online marketplace sites for free stuff and sends you notifications so you never miss a deal.
Freebie Alerts App Review
Freebie Alerts is basic and simple yet incredibly effective at finding free items in your area without constantly hitting refresh on Facebook or OfferUp.
You can filter your results, which makes it easy to only receive alerts for the items you’re interested in.
It’s also nice that you can use Freebie Alerts without creating an account or undergoing two-factor authentication. Simply enter your zip code, and you’re good to go.
Freebie Alerts isn’t without its faults, though.
It isn’t as effective if you live in a rural area where fewer people post free items online. The app is only available in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Not every free post is a hidden treasure, either. There’s plenty of outdated furniture, broken electronics and just random stuff mixed in there. There’s also the occasional scam ad, where someone says an item is free in the headline but in the description you find out it’s actually $50. However, these misleading listings aren’t common and you can report them in the app.
Finally, most listings require you to pick up the item (they won’t deliver it to you), so you’ll need reliable transportation to snag the deal.
Still, the thrill of the hunt is part of the fun, right?
How to Score Other Freebies
Getting free stuff from your community is great, but there’s plenty of other ways to get free items.
Looking to grab a few free things and great discounts? Here’s a list of some of our favorite freebie finds.
Happy bargain hunting!
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.