I have a nice young couple with two adorable kids living on my street. From my "nosey neighbor" observations, their kids are constantly showered with expensive gifts from their well-to-do grandmother. I see the grandma most weekends, when she pulls up in her fancy BMW sedan bearing gifts for the grandkids. It's clear that she buys so much stuff for the kids that the young couple can't keep up with it all. To deal with the constant gift influx and clutter, they resort to throwing out grandma's previous gifts! For the life of me, I don't know why these folks don't just sell the stuff on Craigslist or have a yard sale? I suppose it's part of an affluent mentality, whereby they either can't be bothered, or they just don't appreciate the value of a buck. I shouldn't complain though. Due to their wastefulness, I've picked up some pretty nice things out of their trash!
About a month ago, the young couple were house cleaning again. The results of this clean-up were tossed curbside, awaiting the next trash collection. Trying to be inconspicuous, I slowly drove by to see if there was anything I could re-sell. There at the curb sat a cornucopia of potential inventory including; a wooden high chair, a fancy stroller, a table lamp and a baby jumper. I made a mental note of the items, then went on-line to determine what had the best re-sale value. I passed on the baby jumper, knowing similar models seem to pile up at the local thrift stores. Being a guy, I completely ignored the table lamp. I decided on the stroller and the high chair, figuring I could make me a few bucks between them. I wanted my son to be part of the recovery mission plan, but with kids you have be careful. You never know how they'll react to participating in a trash run! I tried to be as casual as possible with my guy. My instructions to him were as follows,
"Hey buddy, go take the dog for a walk. Oh, and by the way...grab that high chair and stroller while you're out there too."
To my surprise, the kid didn't give me any resistance. Sometimes I think he actually enjoys our occasional trash picking misadventures. Once he got back with the neighbor's trash (and our dog), I reviewed what we had...and it was good!
The wood high chair was a little dusty, but otherwise it was in perfect condition. I discovered it was made by "KidKraft", a company that specializes in quality wood furniture for kids. I couldn't find the exact model on the KidKraft website, but I estimated the chair sold new for around a hundred dollars. Learning this, I couldn't believe my neighbors would just throw such a nice piece of furniture out to the curb! I cleaned it up and photographed it in the backyard. This is how my trash picked treasure looked on Craigslist :
Classic Children's High Chair Wood KidKraft Pottery Barn - $40
Beautiful classic children's high chair in all white. Hard to find all-wood piece made by Kid Kraft. Very clean. Similar models found in Pottery Barn or elsewhere retail for $100. Nice price here! : )
Although a great piece, I wondered if there would be much interest in a wooden high chair? After all, unlike KidKraft, most chairs are made of plastic, making them durable and easy to clean. No concern was necessary on my part. After just a few days, the trash picked high-chair sold for $40 bucks! The buyer sent her husband to meet me in the parking lot of Lowe's Home Improvement store to pick up the KidKraft chair. The guy was my favorite type of Craigslist buyer-no fuss/no muss! Telling me he was in a hurry to catch a football game on TV, he slapped two twenties in my hand, grabbed the chair and hauled out of the parking lot! Just that quick, I turned trash into cash!
The stroller is another story. It's a high-end Maxi-Cosi stroller that retails in stores like BabiesRus and Amazon for around $150! If this were warm weather season, the stroller would have been sold by now. But understandably, very few moms are looking to take their baby for a stroll in sub-freezing temperatures. With nothing but snow and freezing temps for weeks to come, I've received little interest from buyers. But once spring arrives, I think I'll have no problem selling the Maxi-Cosi stroller for at least fifty bucks! Once again, not too shabby for curbside "trash".
|From trash to table!|
So all-in-all, I found over $100 dollars of good stuff sitting out in the trash! Based on this experience and my previous trash treasures adventures, I am pretty confident I could turn trash picking into a lucrative side business! But with thrift shops, this blog and eBay, my plate is pretty full...for now at least!
Have you ever salvaged anything from the trash? Share your best trash-pickin story in the comment section below.....
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