Retail chains frequently toss mannequins in dumpsters behind the mall when they remodel or close locations. That is why dumpster diving at a mall is often one of the best places to find a free mannequin. Sometimes museums and fashion schools will also throw away mannequins because they often get more mannequins than they need donated to them by retailers. If dumpster diving is not your thing, try searching websites like Freecycle and Craigslist. We so many retail chains going out of business this year, many times they will sell their mannequins to the public. Or the employees will take the mannequins and then sell them on Craigslist.
If you just need the mannequin for an art project or Halloween display you may not care if it is missing limbs or or a stand. But if you are using the mannequin to display clothes in a window or online, sometimes the time and effort required to find replacement parts for a “free mannequin” cancels out the savings.
So that is why buying a used mannequin (we usually have free shipping on used mannequin) is frequently a better alternative than getting free one. At Mannequin Madness we also sell replacement parts such as mannequin stands, hands and connector pieces which will fit some of the newer mannequins on the market but not many of the vintage ones.
If you get a free mannequin and it needs some refinishing there are lots of DIY tutorials online and on Youtube to give you tips on how to give your mannequin new life. We have a few blog articles about as well just do a search on our blog with the word repair or refinishing.
We also have this post on easy DIY ways to camouflage any damage on the mannequin’s body, such as glue flowers to to head and painting the mannequin a wild color.