Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In the trash you shall find it!

As you may know by now, I am no stranger to a little trash picking from time to time. You may remember when I found my daughter's old Ugg boots carelessly thrown in my trash can. I fished them out and sold them on eBay for $32. Well, sticking my head into trash cans continues to pay off for me!

I have routine whereby I drive over to a local middle school and retrieve cardboard boxes out of the school's reclying dumpster. It's a great source for shipping boxes in all shapes and sizes. One day after grabbing a few boxes, I naturally took a peak in the adjacent school trash dumpsters. School had just wrapped up for the year and you never know what might be in there. I've come across some useful items; scissors, writing paper, books and more. Once I even found an entire set of stage pieces built for the school play, "Seussical, the Musical". I told my eccentric-musician friend about all the colorful Dr Seuss pieces, and he salvaged them for his music studio basement!

On this particular day, I opened each trash can lid and did a quick scan inside. On the last one, I peered down and took note of a varsity style jacket bundled up in between some plastic trash bags. I speculated it was probably a kid's jacket left in the school's lost and found. When the school year ended, the custodian tossed it in the trash. On the front of the jacket I could make out some kind of stitched logo, I figured it was the school mascot or something. Being naturally curious, I reached in and pulled out the jacket.

As I shook out the jacket I began to chuckle to myself. This was no school jacket...it was an embroidered State Police jacket! The logo I spotted wasn't the school mascot, it was the State Police insignia stitched on the front! It was a quality garment too; colorful embroidered State Police Insignia, varsity bands at the waist and cuffs. The size was even right...adult/extra large. (I find XL is the most popular Men's size to sell. Look around, there's more XL guys out there then any other size.)

I could not believe my luck! Normally, I have to labor through racks and racks at the thrift stores to find law enforcement gear. Here was one just laying in the trash waiting to be discovered! As noted in my blog last month, law enforcement shirts, jackets and hats are all hot eBay items to sell.

Although it wasn't really dirty, I ran the jacket through the wash just to take off any "trash can" smell it may have picked up. The jacket came out fresh and clean. Since It was a jacket, I waited until Fall to post it on eBay. Once up for auction, the law enforcement collectors took notice....my trash can find sold for $28 big bucks!

Isn't it amazing what people throw away? Money found in the garage...uh, I mean school dumpster.
Pin It now!


  1. You know what they say... one man's trash is another man's treasure.

  2. Have you ever had any problems selling Law Enforcement items on eBay? I understand they have some strict restrictions. I once had a Sherrif's Explorer shirt in my store, and eBay cancelled the listing. BTW, great stories!

  3. Rita-I am glad you like my stories, thanks!

    I've had a couple minor roadblocks selling police stuff, I talk about it a few blog entries back. I sell only State and Federal law enforcement with no problem. But local police may get uptight if you list their department's stuff and can notify eBay asking it be removed. That may have happened to your Sheriff's Explorer shirt, although I can't see why they would get upset over that. I would guess it depends on the individual police department.

    Thanks again and keep checking back in for more!