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In the blog comments recently, we've been discussing "parting" out appliances and computers. Sellers have said that they can make more money by selling pieces of a microwave vs the entire microwave. Why? Because sometimes people just need to replace a part, and most manufacturers charge a premium for original parts because they want you to buy the entire item new. It's unfortunately not in a corporation's business model for consumers to fix old items. Often parts aren't made or easily found anymore. We had this experience recently trying to replace the plastic shelves inside our refrigerator.
Selling parts is great too if you find a broken appliance that's being given away for free (or found in the trash). For example, someone sold just the lid to a water tank of a Keurig coffee maker for $20. I see this junk all the time. Now I see little gold nuggets.
This week, we talk with Jeremiah Dyke of ALC Recylcing. He works as a Math Professor in his day job, and then sells mainly computer parts through his eBay store. He partners with local non-profits to get donations of old computer equipment and shares the profits with these good causes. Win, win. Reminds me a little of the interview we did recently with Todd and his recycling operation. Both are true scavengers making money from the detritus of our society.