12 Spots to Score Free or Cheap Pallets

Discover how to score free pallets from local businesses, especially small stores dealing in dry goods. Learn the best times to inquire and why they're eager to give them away rather than dispose of surplus stock.

free pallets near me

Looking for “free pallets near me”? We’ve got you covered. This guide cuts to the chase, offering actionable advice on where to find free pallets locally. Whether you’re upcycling, engaging in DIY projects, or need them for your business, keep reading for tried-and-true methods and insider tips to find free pallets (or at least cheap ones!)

1. Shop Small Businesses

Local small businesses, particularly small stores specializing in dry goods, are prime spots for locating free or cheap pallets. That's because these businesses frequently accumulate surplus pallets from regular deliveries of supplies and may prefer to offer them at no cost rather than contend with the hassle of discarding them.

Here are some you might consider checking out:

  • Neighborhood hardware stores
  • Community grocery stores
  • Specialty pet shops
  • Independent retail outlets
  • Walmart

2. Check in With Pallet Recycling Companies

Due to their high volume of deliveries and limited means of disposal, large companies frequently accumulate excess wooden pallets that they need to remove. This is where the services provided by pallet recycling companies can be incredibly beneficial.

Simply making a courteous inquiry with these recycling companies could potentially reward you with an assortment of free pallets which these establishments would be pleased to part with!

3. Talk to Bigger Retail Stores

Retail stores represent an excellent opportunity for those in search of clean pallets. Various store categories frequently have excess pallets available that they'd otherwise discard or recycle.

The inauguration of new retail outlets can be a jackpot due to the surplus of pallets they may have while unloading their initial stock!

4. Find Pallets at Construction Sites

For those looking to get free pallets, construction sites can be a hidden gem offering high-quality, single-use palletized shipments. Contact site managers at these locations and see if you could secure a steady stream of free wooden pallets. It could be as easy as that!

5. Search Free Pallets on Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace

Venturing into the online realm can expand your chances of finding free pallets. Places such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are often gold mines for securing free or low-cost pallets in your locality.

Creating a post indicating you’re ‘in search of’ (ISO) or conducting a prompt investigation using terms like ‘free pallets near me’ might reveal an array of options previously untapped.

6. Check Freecycle Networks for Used Pallets

During your online exploration, it’s worthwhile to look into Freecycle networks and other free stuff apps, like LetGo and OfferUp . In these spaces, you’ll often encounter people who are looking for free junk removal and would be pleased for you to come and collect their used pallets – a situation that benefits everyone involved!

7. Establish Your Own Pallet Pickup Service

Have you thought about turning your search for pallets into a profitable enterprise? Initiating your own pickup service could unlock numerous possibilities and even the creation of large businesses. Check-in with local small and big businesses, dry goods industries, and pallet recycling companies. If agriculture is big in your area, connect with your local farm - they may have used pallets from their chicken coops! This can also be a great way to score free firewood!

8. Partner with Distribution Centers

Distribution centers can be a pivotal resource when seeking pallets for your projects. These facilities frequently discard pallets that fail to meet their strict criteria or have minimal damage, like petroleum stains or pallets that are slightly broken, but which are often still ideal for various applications. Just note, they may charge just a small fee or there could be no cost associated at all.

9. Find a Pallet Recycler

Recycling centers often have an abundance of free pallets in great shape that you can obtain. There might be non-standard pallets available either for free or at a nominal cost. By tapping into this resource, you’re able to secure not just low-cost or inexpensive pallets, but sometimes even fee-free ones – it’s a fantastic way to find and get your hands on no-cost and low-priced pallets, that are in good condition without looking through a dumpster or the trash!

10. Explore Unconventional Avenues

There are also some other resources for acquiring free pallets. It may come as a surprise, but newspaper companies frequently have some of the best pallets that they're willing to discard, especially if you offer to have the pallets picked up. A local hauling company is another great place to inquire about wooden pallets.

11. Check with Your Local Postal Service

Postal services might offer a supply of free pallets, especially following singular shipments or during times of seasonal high demand. So if you live near a USPS, stopping in and asking about their new or used pallets is a great idea!

12. Find Pallets at Educational Institutions

Surprisingly, educational facilities like local schools and colleges are a great place to find free pallets due to the various shipments they receive. By just asking, you may be able to save money by grabbing any free wood pallets they may have.


Things to Know Before You Get Free Pallets

If you've never picked up cheap or free wood pallets before, there are just a few things you'll want to be privy to beforehand.

Identify Quality Wood Pallets

During the quality inspection, scrutinize the pallets to ensure they are robustly constructed and steer clear of any that display obvious damage or contamination from dangerous substances. Be vigilant for safety risks such as boards that are either loose or fractured, nails sticking out, and wood splinters.

Understand Heat-Treated vs. Chemically Treated Pallets

When selecting pallets for crafting and DIY projects, bear in mind that they vary widely. Pallets that have been heat treated typically offer greater safety and durability compared to those treated with chemicals. These heat-treated variants tend to be more resilient against mold and pests, rendering them a superior option for your endeavors.

DIY Project Ideas for Your Pallet

After finding your wooden pallet, let’s explore the various applications it can serve. With just a dash of creativity (and maybe a quick trip to one of Lowe's Outlet Stores), these pallets offer endless opportunities for crafting unique furniture pieces and garden solutions to home decor innovations.

Elevate Your Garden

Attention all gardening aficionados! Pallets offer a unique and space-saving opportunity to convert them into either vertical planters for lush walls of greenery or horizontal beds perfect for growing vegetables, especially suitable for city dwellings with limited garden spaces.

Re-Imagine Your Furniture

Are you intrigued by the idea of a corner couch with a rustic touch or a storage trunk with an old-timey feel? Maybe you’re captivated by the thought of a table featuring an array of hues and contemporary hairpin legs. These one-of-a-kind items can all be fashioned from repurposed pallets – unleash your creativity!

The Legalities of Pallet Collection

It’s crucial to remember the importance of property rights when it comes to collecting pallets, even if they’re free. Make sure you always obtain consent and confirm who owns the pallet before taking it to prevent any legal complications.

Recognizing Ownership Stamps and Safety Markings

Before starting to load the pallets, it’s imperative to look for an ownership stamp. Look out for labels bearing names such as:

  • CHEP
  • PECO
  • iGPS
  • Coca-Cola

Materials and assets that are marked as belonging to third-party companies or specific organizations remain their property. Unlawful possession of these items may result in legal repercussions.

It's advised to avoid any wood pallets that have been chemically treated, so take extra caution to see if your pallet bears any of these abbreviations before working with it:

  • HT (Heat Treated): This means the pallet has received heat treatment through conventional steam or a dry kiln chamber
  • DH (Dialectric Heated): This means the pallet has been heat treated using dielectric heating (basically microwaves)
  • MB (Methyl Bromide): This means the pallet has been treated with methyl bromide (a fumigation chemical treatment)
  • SF (Sulphuryl Flouride): This means the pallet has been treated with sulphuryl fluoride (also a fumigation chemical)


Free Pallets Near Me: FAQs

Does anyone collect pallets?
Indeed, businesses that specialize in recycling often gather pre-owned wood pallets to refurbish and resell them, providing other companies with the opportunity for reuse. They typically offer a modest sum for each pallet they acquire, especially if the size is sought after. This process presents an excellent avenue to dispose of surplus pallets while also potentially earning additional income.

Are blue pallets illegal?
Blue pallets are not against the law to possess. Since they belong to CHEP, it is expressly forbidden to sell, trade, or use these pallets for any secondary purpose.

What does Lowe's do with their pallets?
In 2019, Lowe's implemented a sustainability initiative by ensuring that their pallets were either reused, repaired, or recycled. This practice diminished the demand for new wood and successfully returned a significant quantity of material to be repurposed or processed for recycling.

Where is the best place to get free pallets?
Obtaining free pallets can often be as simple as visiting local hardware stores, building sites, furniture retailers, or grocery shops. It is crucial to request authorization before acquiring any pallets. Best wishes on your quest for free pallets!

What should I look for when picking up pallets?
Ensure that the pallets you select are sturdy and steer clear of those that exhibit any damage. Also, be vigilant for marks indicating ownership on the pallets. Before removing any pallets, it is crucial to obtain consent.


- Vanessa