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O.K., I am addicted to three things:
- Old Dutch Sour Cream & Green Onion potato chips;
- Smartfood White Cheddar popcorn (the crack cocaine of popcorn); and
- Freebie shopping in Second Life.
Of these 3 things, only one is non-fattening! So now you know another reason why I am so devoted to discovering (and blogging about) steals, deals, and freebies in Second Life—it’s zero calories. 😉
So I decided today to compile all the best and most up-to-date information I had about freebie hunting in SL into one handy blogpost, since so many of my tips are scattered all over this blog!
The Top 17 Freebie Stores and Locations in Second Life
- UPDATE May 18th, 2023: If you go to only one freebie place, go to Palomma Plaza on the Galli sim. It’s the successor to the venerable freebie store The Free Dove, which was operated with love by Palomma Casanova for a staggering 17 years, until she passed away earlier this year. Palomma Plaza is a loving memorial to Palomma’s passion, with the freebie store on the sprawling main level, and a shopping mall on the second floor. This is a particularly good place to find lots of modern, high-quality men’s and women’s wear, jewelry and accessories, and hairstyles for both men and women. Palomma Plaza is still getting set up, but there’s already a lot there! If it is run anything like The Free Dove was, it will be regularly updated with new items, so it pays to pop in and wander around every few months, just to see what’s new!
- The freebie store at the Ajuda SL Brasil: Although it has undergone a reorganization, and some of the great freebies I used to be able to find here are now gone, this is still one of the better freebie stores on the grid. There’s a good collection of freebies for both women (on the 1st and 3rd floors) and men (on the 4th floor), including the freebie versions of the Valentina and Max Altamura mesh avatars (the Max body comes in two skin tones). Also, this is still the single best place to get free outfits for child avatars, with a separate section located on the ground floor. Most of the signs are in Portuguese, but freebies are freebies in any language! 😉
- New Resident Island (NRI) has a completely revamped freebie village, featuring a wide variety of carefully curated outfits from head to toe, for classic system avatars, as well as free mesh avatars (using the Roth2 and MFMB bodies for men, and the Ruth2 and MFMB bodies for women). These complete outfits include bodies, clothing and shoes, hair, even animation overrides! All you have to do is drag and drop a folder onto your avatar, and you’re done! Unique to NRI are a line of tiny fairy avatars, as well as a line of small cat avatars and clothing for them. Step-by-step instructions with diagrams make this the perfect place for newcomers to Second Life, whether you accept the outfits as curated, or mix and match them with pieces from the other freebie spots on this list.
- The Helping Haven Gateway: from the central spawn point on the sim, head east and follow the signs to the Freebie Village, where there are four large white buildings. Two of those buildings house men’s and women’s free clothing, footwear, and accessories, a mix of modern, high-quality mesh apparel and some older system-layers-and-flexiprim items. This is the place to go for hats! You can also pick up the freebie versions of the Tommy and Estephania Altamura mesh avatars here.
- The Sexy Shoppers Freebie Market on the Grouse sim has a small but serviceable selection of freebies for female avatars.
- The Freebie Megastore on the London City sim has recently improved its selection, offering the freebie versions of the Robert and Jenny Altamura mesh avatars and a small but growing selection of mesh clothing, including some specifically designed for Altamura male and female mesh bodies. (I recently paid a return visit and there’s a lot more male and female mesh clothing!)
- The tiny, nearly-empty freebie store at UniHispana Crea offers the freebie version of the Altamura Emanuelle mesh avatar, and a very small selection of male and female mesh clothing, including some specifically designed for Altamura female mesh avatars. Be sure to wander around to the back of the store, or you’ll miss the freebies there!
- A freebie store where you can pick up free, high-quality mesh clothing for thirteen different brands of men’s mesh bodies is Fitch (PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ADULT-RATED, GAY LOCATION!); more information here.
- UPDATE May 25th, 2023: The Energy Weekend Price Event has a skybox where you can pick up about 20 group gifts of women’swear and women’s clothing and hairstyles, if you join the #ENERGY# Weekend price group for free (one gift requires you join the Mesh Body Friends group for free). I would check back weekly, just to see what’s new.
- Central Park, a newbie-friendly hangout spot, has several well-organized collections of freebies in their freebie stores located here on a sky platform. Please note that, unlike the other stores on this list, when you click on the panels, they will either tell you about in-world location where you can pick up the gift (and give you a SLURL), or provide a link to the Second Life Marketplace where you can pick up the item. It’s important to note that there are TWO stores for female avatars, and two stores for male avatars; the “basic” stores are located in front of you at the spawn point, and marked by the big pink and blue arrows, and the “advanced” stores, which are located behind you when you teleport in. In the “basic” stores, there are panels with free classic (i.e. non-mesh) male and female avatars with complete outfits, including hair, mesh clothing, and shoes! To get these complete avatars, you must join the Adventure Scouts group; the group is free to join.
- The Ardent Lake Gift Shop offers men’s and women’s jewelry, makeup, some Bakes on Mesh/Omega applier clothing, eight women’s shapes, plus a large selection of home and garden decor! All items are free, many are full permissions, and no group is required.
- With the advent of Bakes on Mesh, the older system-layers-attachments-and-flexiprims clothing can now be used on newer mesh avatars! Here’s a blogpost which lists several places to find such clothing for free (plus a couple to avoid at all costs!).
- Ayuda Virtual has a moderately-sized freebie store with both men’s and women’s clothing, as well as some free furniture for your home.
- The Cuddle House (a communal, women-only hangout) hosts a skybox womenswear store run by Rebel Spirit, where the second floor has numerous free women’s outfits available; just join The Cuddle House group for free to pick up these gifts. The clothing is mostly dresses and costumes. Here’s your taxi!
- The Fantasy Freebies section in the Faery Crossing castle is a great place to pick up many different kinds of wings, mermaid/merman tails for both classic system and mesh avatars, and other fantasy gear!
- Virtual Ability is a notable freebie location for two reasons: you can pick up free wheelchairs for your avatar here, and they also have a small but decent selection of free home decor. (They also have blue and pink shacks with a small collection of older, system-layers-and-flexiprims clothing for men and women; you can probably find more modern, mesh creations at the other freebie spots on this list, although you could certainly use them with Bakes on Mesh avatars as well.)
- UPDATE June 2nd, 2023: The German Newbie Center on the New Berlin sim has a small but well-organized collection of free clothing and footwear for both male and female avatars. No group needed; just click and take!
The Top 23 Stores with the Best and Largest Selection of Free Group Gifts
Most stores offer group gifts to people who join their store group, but these stores are notable for the number of freebies they give out, or in some other way (like a rotating freebie every day or every week, to keep you coming back):
- Scandalize has, without a doubt, the most generous selection of group gifts of any store on the grid (women’s clothing, footwear, and jewelry); the group costs only L$20 to join*, and it is well worth it (and watch for times when you can join the Scandalize group for free). Please note that most of the gifts (over 200!) are located in a skybox above the store (here’s the exact SLURL, but if it doesn’t work, just go to the Scandalize store, head for the gift wall located to the right of the main entrance, and click on the sign that says “Touch +200 Group Gifts” to get there). *While you do have to join the original Scandalize store group to pick up some of the gifts in-store, you have to join the new Scandalize Store group for L$20 to pick up all the gifts in the skybox. I have no idea why there are two groups!!
- If you join the LSR Fashion Friends group for L$99, you can pick up over 80 fatpacks of womenswear at their new group gifts store—and it looks like they’re adding more fatpacks regularly! Here’s the exact SLURL.
- Hilly Haalan operates a small group gifts store with over 125 free gifts (women’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry; the group is free to join). Just look for the teleporter sign at the spawn point for the sim, and click on “Gifts”.
- COCO Designs has several low, black group gift walls scattered around the store, with well over 60 high-quality gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; the group is free to join).
- Legendaire has a good selection of group gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; the group costs L$49 to join the last time I checked, although they have been free at times in the past). They also have a free, no-group-needed gift every day, on a panel located outside, next to one of the store entrances (here’s the exact SLURL). I just pop in every day, just to see what the new freebie happens to be!
- Nilsy has a free women’s outfit (offered in a wide variety of sizes to fit most mesh bodies) every week in the middle of their store, so I always pop in once a week, just to see what it is. No group needed, just click the Gift of the Week panel! There’s also a few other freebie group gifts on the store’s front counter, plus some lucky chairs.
- NYNE offers dozens of free women’s hairstyles and other group gifts (the group is free to join). Just click on the bags located on the shelves next to the front counter to pick up all the group gifts from previous years: 2018, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 (plus the advent calendar gifts from 2021 and 2022!). Just inside the entrance is the current month’s group gift.
- monaLISA has over 100 group gifts of women’s apparel and footwear (the group costs L$50 to join).
- If you join the Glitterati by Sapphire group for L$100, you can pick up over 100 group gifts of dresses and gowns at the Group Gifts area in the in-world Glitterati store. (Most of the past group gifts are in a large box labelled “Past Group Gifts” on the floor.)
- Sintiklia has a massive free gift wall with over 60 gifts of women’s hair and makeup (no group is required).
- Juli Fashion Design has a huge group gift wall with over 60 gifts of womenswear, plus a few men’s outfits, too! (The J-Store Designs group is free to join, just click the Join Group sign on the counter.)
- Gabriel has set up a new FREE BEE store where you can pick up tons of menswear for absolutely free (no group needed). More information here.
- UPDATE May 25th, 2023: Another place to pick up free men’s clothing is DUK, which has 14 group gifts on their gift wall (the DUK group is free to join). Be sure to check out the Mazzaro store located directly across from DUK on the same sim, where you can pick up another 12 menswear gifts if you join the Mazzaro store group for free!
- UPDATED MAY 11th, 2023: WellMade has a very generous group gift wall, with over 30 free group gifts for women of clothing and footwear; the WellMade Store group is free to join.
- Beautiful Dirty Rich offers you dozens of free fatpacks of womenswear (the Beautiful Dirty Rich store group is free to join).
- Decision offers 17 free group gifts, mostly menswear fatpacks, but also some womenswear, too! The Decision group is free to join.
- Enchantress has over 50 free group gifts of women’s clothing, if you join their store group for free (there’s also many gifts for the various freebie groups on a nearby wall).
- B SASSY has a whopping 78 womenswear gifts in the gift room at their store! The group is free to join.
- Toxic Bish has a wall with 24 group gifts of womenswear, plus 14 Lucky Letter boards! The group is free to join.
- UPDATE May 18th, 2023: Spotlight offers 13 generous fatpacks of womenswear on their group gift wall next to the front counter (the group is free to join; just pay L$1 for each gift, and your Linden dollar is automatically refunded).
- UPDATE May 18th, 2023: Emerald Couture has a group gift wall with 18 outfits for women, plus numerous lucky chairs and lucky boards! The Emerald Couture group is free to join (and you’ll need to join the group to get the gifts, slap the lucky boards, and sit on the lucky chairs). Bring some friends (or alts) to turn the letters faster!
- UPDATE May 19th, 2023: Looking for women’s shoes? KC Couture has 24 free group gifts of women’s footwear on the gift wall in their store (the group is free to join).
- Rowne has a gift wall with 13 group gifts of fashionable womenswear, including a full fatpack of women’s dress pumps, a wardrobe staple! (the Rowne group is free to join).
The Shopping Events with the Most Freebies
- FaMESHed is a popular monthly SL shopping event which often has freebies.
- The monthly MIIX Event usually has some gifts, plus a free hunt (or gift) if you join the Hype Events group (the group is free to join).
- The annual Second Life Hair Fair has free hair gifts at many of the participating vendor booths. (The annual Skin Fair usually has a few gifts as well.)
- Second Life has an official Shop and Hop shopping event as part of their big anniversary celebrations (usually running from the middle of June to the first week of July), and every Christmas season there is also a special seasonal Shop and Hop event. Monitor the Second Life Featured News blog for news of other Shop and Hop events held at various times of the year, such as Valentine’s Day and Hallowe’en. At these events, there will be a freebie at every single store in the shopping mall, which spans up to ten whole sims! Plan to attend nearer the end of the event, when you won’t have to fight the crowds and lag.
- Check out the yearly anniversaries of regular shopping events; quite often there will be freebies at all or most of the participating vendor booths. For example, the Cosmopolitan, FaMESHed, and eBENTO events all have their anniversaries in May, and the popular Uber event celebrates its anniversary in late August and early September with many wonderful free gifts.
The Top Eight Blogs (and One Discord Server) to Follow for Freebies
- My own blog, of course! 😉
- FabFree (Fabulously Free in SL)
- Midnight Magpie
- Dancing in the Square
- Second Life – FREE (this is a little-known-about Russian-language group on Vkontakte, the Russian version of Facebook, which often lists items I don’t see on other freebie blogs; use the Russian-to-English translator in your Chrome or Firefox browser or Google Translate to read the entries)
- Low price Fashion In Second Life (a Japanese blog, which again sometimes lists freebies that I don’t find anywhere else; use the Japanese-to-English translator in your Chrome or Firefox web browser)
- Either SL Freebies Cheapies Dollarbies Lucky Chairs Hunts, the SL Freebie Blog Feed, or the SL Freebies Directory (all three are blog feeds of Second Life freebie blogs, and there is a lot of overlap between them)
- There is a wonderful Discord server devoted to finding and sharing news about freebies in Second Life! It is called FreebieQueens SL and here is an invitation to join us as we share tips and tricks.
The Top Six Groups to Join for News About Freebies
- Fabulously Free in SL: their group is free to join; here is a list of the gifts you can pick up with that group tag active
- Maitreya Gifts, Sales & News: their group is free to join; follow their blog to find out what gifts you can get with this group
- Mesh Avatar Appearance Maniacs (MAAM): it costs L$50 to join the MAAM group; here is a list of freebies you can pick up with that group tag active
- SL Frees & Offers: their group is free to join; here’s their list of group gifts
- TeleportHub.com: it costs L$10 to join their group; here is a list of gifts you can get
- THIRD LIFE [Frees, Gifts & Hunts]: their group is free to join, although they have charged in the past; here is their blog
Ryan’s Top Ten Tips for Freebie Hunting
- Be patient: Freebies can come and go; freebie stores like Palomma Plaza and Ajuda SL Brasil rotate their freebies regularly, so it’s worthwhile to visit every couple of months, just to see what’s new. It can take some time to pull together a complete look from various components picked up as freebies at different times from different stores and events.
- Akeruka has been giving away freebie or dollarbie Bento mesh heads (both male and female models) twice a year for the past couple of years. In fact, if you had joined the Akeruka store group for L$150 four years ago, you would have been able to pick up no less than 14 male and female heads, which works out to only L$11 per head! A truly outstanding bargain! So join the Akeruka group and watch the notices for the next giveaway announcement.
- Looking for an inexpensive, Maitreya-Lara-compatible mesh body? Slap the Midnight Madness board at LucyBody, and wait until it hits 350 (usually a day or two) to receive a free Atenea female mesh body, which is completely compatible with clothing designed for Maitreya Lara! The feet on the Atenea body are Slink-compatible, with three heel heights (flat, mid, and high), but the newest version of this body also includes a special foot setting compatible with Maitreya Lara high-heeled shoes. (You can pick up a Bakes on Mesh HUD to use with this body for only L$250, to be able to wear BoM skins with it; see image above.)
- Check out the Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies section of my blog regularly. In particular, monitor my two constantly-updated blogposts about free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for male and female avatars (although they both are a little out-of-date by now). If you are looking for free women’s hairstyles, check out this blogpost (although this blogpost is getting out-of-date now, too).
- Watch for announcements of free group join periods, and join the store group when it is free (Scandalize regularly offers free group join periods, for example).
- Don’t forget to check those stores which have lucky boards or lucky chairs. Some may require you to pay a fee to join their store group, though. Others require either a free group join or no group at all.
- Hunts are often a great way to pick up free or inexpensive items. You can check to see what hunts are currently going on using the Hunt SL and SL Hunts blogs.
- December is easily the best time of year to pick up lots of freebies! Many stores have Advent calendars or Twelve Days of Christmas calendars with free gifts each day. While some stores require you to visit each day to pick up that day’s gift, other stores allow you to pick up the entire calendar’s gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! Some events which usually have many Christmas gifts are Epiphany, FaMESHed, the Dubai Event, the Swank Event, the Man Cave, and especially the Cosmopolitan event, which has a Christmas tree groaning with gifts. Don’t forget the Holiday Shop and Hop event, where every participating merchant has a free Christmas gift for you!
- Watch the Cat Pink SL series of YouTube videos for news about hunts and other freebies.
- Don’t forget your default Second Life inventory! For example, many of the newer starter avatars have good-quality hair and clothing you can reuse, mix and match to good effect. For example, here’s a blogpost which lists all the beautiful eyes you can reuse from the starter avatars. Also, check out what’s in the Library folder at the very end of your Inventory window—for example, the Pulled Back Bun hair from the Library / Accessories / Hair Design Options / Pulled Back Bun folder in your Inventory is free, adjustable, tintable, and uncomplicated. Perfect for use under hoods and hats!
Happy freebie hunting!