Monday, October 18, 2010

Dumpster Diving

There is a dumpster across from my apartment. Luckily it's nicely enclosed by a fairly well designed brick structure so I don't have to look at the garbage that's often spilling over into the parking lot. There are some kids that like to play around this dumpster; it's weird. They hide behind it and wait for people to throw stuff away then make a game of finding out what they threw away. Contrary to popular belief, these kids are not homeless. But, the other day I saw them play a little role reversal. In fact, I had to double take. One of the kids was throwing stuff away! Four perfectly good tennis racquets. Part of me wanted to go grab them, but the more sane part of me said I make over 1000 dollars a year, I'm not going to rummage through a dumpster (eventhough the things were already on top). Now, this may be gross, but let's say you could sell those for 5 bucks each. That's 20 dollars with very minimal effort, just because someone was dumb enough to throw stuff away that still had value. Not to mention the two couches I have seen out there in the last couple days, one of which I took for my apartment.

This all made me think, how much money could you make from reselling stuff other people throw out just because they are too lazy to go through the effort of finding someone to buy it from them? Just sell the stupid junk on ebay. Technically, you are getting an undefined return on your investment if it costs you nothing. Talk about a good reward/risk ratio...infinty.

I have decided from now on if I see someone throw out junk, I'm going to put my ego aside and take it. Let's say I find 10 bucks worth of stuff a week for a year and invest the $520. Then, I continually add $520 bucks every year assuming I continue to find people's worthless crap (worthless is relative here, it's actually worth something if I can sell it) I'll have over 14 grand by the time I'm 34. And that's just from selling other people's stuff. I'm going to go ahead and thank my neighbors in advance. They may provide me with a downpayment on a house. If possible though, I'd really appreciate it if they just set their stuff next to the dumpster, rather than dropping it to the bottom. It will make my life much easier, and much less smelly.

These posts are not meant to be taken as investment advice. Everything written is solely the opinion of the poster.

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