One nice thing about Second Life, you don’t have to spend money to have a nice life. You might disagree with me at first (witness Darius‘ lament last week about being homeless on the streets of SL; my hankie is still soaked with tears over that one, honey!), but let’s face it … if you’re resourceful, you can find a free version of just about anything you really need, whether it’s a place to live; clothing, hair and skin; even cars and weapons. Sure, the nicest stuff costs money, but some really spectacular things are out there for free if you know where to look and if you’re willing to sort through boxes and boxes stuffed with stuff.
Tip One: Look Around You
The best freebies come from the designers and builders themselves. Whenever you go into a shop, look around to see if the owner has dropped a free item or two around the place. Some aren’t all that great — how many T-shirts do you really need? — but anything is better than the default outfit your avie acquired at whatever orientation you went through. Some shop owners box up freebies and set them out on a table or near a door; others make you hunt for them.
Tip Two: Find a Good Freebie Mall
Lots of freebies are old versions of products their creators have donated to the Lindens. They won’t be as feature-laden or functional as newer or paid products, but if you’re not terribly fussy, they’ll do just fine. Many mall owners or owners of sims dedicated to education or helping new residents acclimate to the life will gather up entire collections of freebies as traffic builders, such as furniture, clothing, gestures, dances, animations, weapons, houses and cars.
Caveat: Review my fellow blogger Caliandris Pendragon’s post about freebie sites or sims that sell or pass on unauthorized copies of builders’ works.
Ready to shop? These are my two favorite locations for collecting freebies, both for the variety of items you can pick up and for their legitimacy, either because they are in the public domain, so to speak, or because they are produced by the designers or builders themselves:
1. New Citizens Plaza
This should be the new resident’s first stop as soon as he or she masters the basics of Second Life. You can set your home position here so that you always have a good place to rez at log-in; there’s a sandbox to play in, lots of other newbies to meet and great, a library full of good notecards on how to live and thrive in SL, and a well-stocked store full of free stuff.
2. Gula Mini Mall
This is my new favorite place to grab freebies. It hits on all cylinders: the items are donated by the women whose designs are sold at the mall, so they’re unique. Some are in boxes, others are in the six lucky chairs, and a few even are scattered around one designer’s yard. Once you get a few lindens in your wallet, come back and buy a lovely and well-crafted outfit from Thistle Stardust, Persephone Indigo or Jayla Mayo.
Yadni’s Junkyard and Freebie Warehouse have tons of freebies, but they can be a little chaotic and even lawless at times, with crazed newbies running around with boxes on their head, guns in their hands and massive spliffs in their mouths. Of the two, Freebie Warehouse is a little better organized but also subject to griefing, which I found on a recent visit. Still, they have lots of good things to make your SL a little more interesting.