A poll of 2,000 adults found during the last year, those in the capital have taken in a total of 14 free items – that’s more than one per month – including things such as toys, children’s clothes and video games.
Residents of Bristol claim the least free items – eight a year – but are the biggest collectors of donated books.
While those in Oxford are quick to accept tech items, and people living in Cambridge like beauty products more than anyone else.
But people from Edinburgh report the highest levels of anxiety if they’re forced to buy something new as they suspect they could have picked items up for free elsewhere.
The study was commissioned by Gumtree, to mark the opening of its pop-up shop, Gumfree, which brought its ‘Freebies’ section to life in Shoreditch on Saturday.
Shift in consumer habits
Attended by consumer champion and TV presenter Angellica Bell, and with a special offering from Charity Shop Sue, products picked up at the store also enabled shoppers to do their bit for the environment by extending the life of goods and reducing waste.
A spokesperson said: “Our results found that in the last six months there’s been a shift in consumer habits, Londoners especially are always on the hunt for freebies – so we brought them a whole shop’s worth in real life.
“But the trend of sourcing everyday items for nothing is something we are seeing across the country, particularly with the rising pressures of the cost of living and the climate crisis.”
With the cost of living crisis causing over half of Brits (54 per cent) to feel anxious, the study also found those living in Cardiff feel financial anxiety more often than anyone else, worrying about money at least three times daily.

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