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How do you ask for free stuff?

Posted by Raptor666 none (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 14:42

Just wondering how one goes about asking for free stuff. I found some food manufacturing places nearby that I could ask for 55 gal plastic drums, but I don't even know what to say. I feel really dumb asking for something for free (or cheap). I'm especially especially embarrassed asking for trash eg there's no Starbucks nearby, but there's is a Dunkin Donuts, but it makes me feel pretty cheap and stupid asking for used coffee grounds. They're probably thinking, "what kind of bum is asking for trash?"

What do you say, exactly, when asking for stuff, without seeming like a giant fecking dumb miser? (Which is exactly what I feel like.)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do you ask for free stuff?

We live in a world where recycling is a common vocabulary term. Go to Dunkin Donuts. Ask if they recycle the grounds and ask if will give you some for your garden. Ask about the barrels. Ask if they discard them or if they would consider allowing you to take one for a rain barrel. All they can say is no. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

RE: How do you ask for free stuff?

Eh, sorry, I guess I should have explained... I don't normally talk to people irl, even over the phone. I tend to avoid it and I have a lot of problems with it. It's hard for me to figure out what to say, takes a long time, especially when I'm put on the spot.

RE: How do you ask for free stuff?

I like to acknowledge that the person is a human being (not just a source for free stuff), & then ask if they re-cycle whatever, & then ask if I can pick up some of it.


"Hi. I see you've set your food barrels out at the curb. Are you throwing them away? I can sure use them in my garden; would it be okay if I took them/some/one?"


"Hi. Y'all sure do sell a lot of coffee; do you throw away your grounds? If I brought in a plastic wastebasket or barrel or tub with trash liners for you to put the used grounds in, could I pick 'em up nightly for my garden?"

It's important to offer the trash liners or bags, because they will protect the container;
health departments usually require that containers that have been in contact with food or food-trash be cleaned every day or night.
If you just bring the staff one more item to clean, they aren't likely to be enthusiastic!

ad-lib in front of your mirror until you feel comfortable, & don't over-think.

It seems to me that it's easier to approach people if I have my goal in mind, & if I keep in mind that I do have a goal, that i'm not just trying to entertain somebody or sell them on my charm/worthiness/whatever.

Try it in front of your mirror, & if you can, get a friend or colleague or family member to do a 'live' rehearsal before you go to the store or cafe.

People will help if they can, & if they can't, due to space considerations or health department requirements or corporate restrictions, they'll tell you.

If they can help, do exactly what you said you'd do, & remember to thank them every time;
if they can't help, thank them anyway for giving you their time & listening to your request, & remember to smile & wave every time you see them in the future.

Even if things don't change so that you can get the grounds etc, it's polite to acknowledge that you remember that they're human beings, & if theings *do* change (new corporate policy, etc), the person you acknowledge will be more likely to let you know & offer to help.

RE: How do you ask for free stuff?

  • Posted by JCTsai 8B - Yulee, FL (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 5, 14 at 14:54

Join the ground to ground and support the program.

Call the manufacturing places nearby about the program ask them to support the program and ask for for 55 gal plastic drums.

Call the local grocery bakery department about the program and tell them you need empty icing buckets with lids to put the ground in the buckets. Once you got the buckets, call the local gas station manager, fast food store manager or Dunkin Donuts manager to support the program and bring the bucket with lid to the gas station or fast food store or Dunkin Donuts , they will put the ground in the bucket, you can go to the store to pick up the ground about every 3 days, you can switch the empty one with the one full of ground.

I have been picking up the coffee ground in the local gas station since February this year. I went to Starbucks to pick up coffee ground every week too. Sometimes I give them the fresh vegetables in return.

This post was edited by JCTsai on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 20:57

RE: How do you ask for free stuff?

Why are you using that creepy number in your user name?

RE: How do you ask for free stuff?

  • Posted by ju1234 (8 Dallas TX) (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 15:48

What is creepy about 666?

RE: How do you ask for free stuff?

Some religions have beliefs about lots of perfectly common things that not everybody would know.
666 is a number between 665 and 667 as far as I'm concerned.

Don't worry about it Raptor.
A couple ideas for you. You could look up what the cooperate polices are for each place your interested in. That gives you a good starting place, and looking things up on the web is sure easier than being tongue tied.

One technique I use to make life simpler on the phone: I can pick a good time, one when I think the party I'm calling is there, but not extra busy. I write down my question and things I want to say in list form. Then when on the phone I can pick and choose for the list, depending on the conversation. Some things on the list don't get used, and important things don't get forgotten. I learned this with my doctors office and expanded it over the years. Less running around, less aggravating moments, and time saved. Most importantly it's better for the stress levels which in turn is better for your over all health.

I totally understand being hesitant asking for free stuff. I'm not one to do it much myself, and for some of the same reasons. Rather be this way than a rude jerk that feels entitled to anything and everything. And believe me, there are plenty of people like that.

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by plaidbird on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 16:23

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