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 Six Freebie Stores in Second Life
- The excellent freebie store at the Ajuda SL Brasil: if you go to only one place, go here. It has the biggest collection of freebies on the grid 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 Free Dove: if you go to only two places, go to Ajuda SL Brasil and The Free Dove. This is a particularly good place to find lots of high-quality free women’s wear, free jewelry, and free hairstyles for both men and women. (The men’s section is not nearly as strong as Ajuda SL Brasil’s, though.)
- The Sexy Shoppers Freebie Market on the Grouse sim has a small but serviceable selection of freebies, mostly 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.
- The freebie store at UniHispana Crea offers the freebie versions of the Max and Emanuelle Altamura mesh avatars, and a small selection of male and female mesh clothing, including some specifically designed for Altamura female mesh avatars.
- Technically, it’s not a freebie store, but everything is free at the Kauna menswear store, tons of high-quality clothing for male avatars. It’s the best deal on the grid!
The Top Nine 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 nine stores are notable for the number of freebies they give out:
- Scandalize has, without a doubt, the most generous selection of group gifts of any store on the grid (women’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry); the group costs L$100 to join, but it is well worth it (and watch for times when you can join the Scandalize group for free).
- Hilly Haalan operates a small group gifts store with dozens of free gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; the group is free to join).
- Virtue: head up to the second floor of Abiela’s store and you will find a generous group gifts section (women’s clothing; the group is free to join). Warning: the propretor of Virtue, Abiela, tends to completely rearrange her store every few months, so the location of the group gifts may change unexpectedly!
- COCO Designs has not one but two free group gift walls with over 60 high-quality gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; the group is free to join).
- monaLISA has tons of free group gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; their group costs L$50 to join).
- Legendaire has a good selection of group gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; the group is free to join the last time I checked, although they have charged in the past).
- AZUL has many women’s gowns and dresses on their large group gift wall (the group is free to join).
- NYNE offers no less than 40 free women’s hairstyles (the group is free to join). More information is here, along with a list of other places to pick up free women’s hair.
- UPDATE Dec. 14th, 2019: Altamura has now made fourteen full-body (i.e. head and body) male and female mesh avatars available for free in their store!
The Top Five Events with the Most Freebies
- Gacha Garden: join the Gimme Gacha group for free and pick up a brand new round of freebies every month.
- FaMESHed is another monthly event which often has freebies.
- The annual Second Life Hair Fair has free hair gifts at many of the participating vendor booths.
- Second Life has an official shopping event as part of their anniversary celebrations (usually running from the middle of June to the first week of July), and every Christmas season there is the Shop and Hop event. At these events, there will be a freebie at every store in the shopping mall, which spans five 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 every July with many freebies.
The Top Seven Blogs (and One Discord Server) to Follow for Freebies
- My own blog, of course! 😉
- FabFree (Fabulously Free in SL)
- Midnight Magpie
- UPDATE April 22nd, 2020: 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 browser)
- 0L$改めLow price Fashion In Second Life (a Japanese blog, which again sometimes lists freebies that I don’t find anywhere else)
- Either SL Freebies Cheapies Dollarbies Lucky Chairs Hunts, the SL Freebie Blog Feed, or the SL Freebies Directory (all three are blog feeds of freebie blogs, and there is a lot of overlap between them)
- UPDATE May 23rd, 2020: There are dozens and dozens of high-quality freebies of every possible kind and description on The Stay at Home Club website!
- UPDATE April 22nd, 2020: There is a brand-new 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 them.
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
My Top Ten Tips for Freebie Hunting
- Be patient: Freebies can come and go; freebie stores like The Free Dove 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. If you had joined the [AK] Heads News & Support group for L$150 two years ago, you would have picked up no less than nine fully-featured, fully-adjustable Bento mesh heads by now—which works out to less than L$20 per head! A truly outstanding bargain! So join the Akeruka group and watch the notices for the next announcement.
- Join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group for L$100, which gives you access to the deals that Altamura offers on mesh heads and bodies at various events around SL, as well as many group gifts in the mainstore. For example, last Valentine’s Day there were two very generous free group gifts: the fully-featured, full-body mesh avatars Romeo and Juliet! Altamura also sometimes offers special limited freebie versions of their avatars, either in their store, at events, or at the freebie stores mentioned above. (I have found that clothing designed for the Maitreya Lara mesh avatar body tends to fit the Altamura female bodies very well, with a minimum of fuss, so finding clothing is not an issue.)
- 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.
UPDATE May 30th, 2020: If you are looking for free women’s hairstyles, check out this new blogpost.
- 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.
- Watch the Cat Pink SL series of YouTube videos for news about hunts and other freebies.
- Don’t neglect 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. 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!