Dumpster diving is a glamorous word for diving into trash or dumpsters looking for “hidden treasures” that you can sell.
Once you get past the absurdity of this, you will find that this kind of adventure gives new meaning to the phrase “finders, keepers” because anything valuable that you can find – clothes, shoes, bag, furniture, bottles, cans, etc. - is yours without worrying about someone claiming it later. You’re in the sweet zone to begin with as America is one of the biggest consumers of commercialism and excess in the world so you will definitely be in jackpot land when you get down and dirty doing dumpster diving. Yes, there’s no glamour in it but there is money to be made, that’s for sure! A word of caution: Dumpster diving is about location, so choose to forage on swanky, affluent neighborhoods and do not go at it when it’s really dark and unsafe or where you might get mistaken for a prowler. Ditto, do not jump over privately owned fences just to get to a dumpster, you want to make and save money, not get arrested for trespassing.
- Natural curiosity for finding prized stuff
- A pair of really sturdy gloves
- Protective clothing
- A pole that will help you fish stuff out of the dumpster
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Flashlight (optional but recommended)
- First-Aid kit (A Must)
Here’s how to make money dumpster diving:
- Stores often discard boxes that can be used for packing and moving things. These are often just folded and left uncrushed opening up the perfect opportunity for you to get these and sell these to people who are scheduled to move to a new home.
- Organize a garage sale with the loot you find. If you see that what you’ve collected so far is substantial enough for a weekend garage sale, make it happen. But before the big weekend, make sure all the items are cleaned, restored almost to a presentable degree, and properly tagged for price and item description.
- Collected cans and bottles can be traded for money at a recycling center. Just look for the best one that offers the best pricing for such. Vintage bottles like cologne or perfume bottles or liquor bottles fall under “special collectibles” so do not include these for recycling as they can fetch a handsome price from collectors.
- Electronics and sports items can be brought to your local computer repair or sports store for possible trade-ins or outright “cash-for-clunkers” scheme.
- Retail and commercial areas are great locations for dumpster diving where you are most likely to get canned goods that may be near expiration but are still safe for consumption, unopened paint, wallpapers, art materials, school supplies, books, decors, clothes that may have seen the end of its season or trend, golf clubs, toys, toiletries like unopened/unused soap and shampoo. Really, the possibilities may surprise you so be prepared to get amazed at what people perceive to be “discards.”
Dumpster diving is one scavenger hunt you won’t likely forget, especially when you start earning money or saving some from your incredible finds. Dive right in!