10/05/2019 at 9:45 pm #68639
On rare occasion I’ll buy shipping supplies. But beyond the free USPS and eBay supplies, most of my shipping material comes from a handful of shopping center dumpsters on my area. I score tons of air pillows and used boxes.
But what has me excited enough to share is that a local store has recently purchased a bunch of new displays and 3 days this week I filled the back of my Lincoln Navigator with the bubble wrap it all came wrapped in. And not the tiny stuff; I’m talking huge sheets of the big bubbles (the good stuff I can’t afford to buy).
Almost every piece is 4 feet wide and anywhere from 4-20 feet long! Most of it is clear, but there’s also a huge bundle of green bubble wrap. There’s also a bunch of 4′ x 2′ sheets of the quilted “bubble” wrap.
I now have the largest stockpile of box filler I’ve ever seen in my life. OK, brag over. Feel free to add your own. Where do you get your shipping supplies?
10/06/2019 at 8:16 am #68644Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
I go out on Sunday mornings and have several honey hole recycling dumpsters that I find great packaging materials.
I haven’t bought styrofoam for months as the Ashley furniture store never fails to supply me with more than I need.
10/06/2019 at 9:31 am #68645JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Great find. Where do you store it all?
10/06/2019 at 10:02 am #68646plightParticipant
One day on craigslist someone listed free bubble wrap in huge rolls. I went to get it and it turned out to be a company that makes bubble wrap! They gave me a car load in my suv and I still have some a couple of years later. Its the large bubbles so I don’t always need that but its come in handy a lot.
They told me that from time to time they have too much so they just list it free on list. I haven’t seen it since.
10/06/2019 at 10:33 am #68648
There’s an Ashley Furniture store in one of the strip malls I frequent (“normal people” get joy from the fronts of strip malls. I prefer the back sides.). But they have one of those enormous construction dumpsters that sits in a ramped pit with railings around it. It’s a great source for large sheets of cardboard. But it’s physically difficult to get anything smaller out of it.
Some of my sweetest shipping honey holes are:
* Once Upon A Child – Good boxes and lots of air pillows (though if their dumpster is nearly full, they cut them open to save on space).
* Ross – The dumpster is often filled with large clear trash bags full of smaller clear bags (that new clothing comes in). Crumpled, the bags make an awesome lightweight filler that bulks nicely and pads as well as packing peanuts in small boxes. (Then I use the trash bags in my kitchen trash can, scavenger style). It’s also often filled with large clear bags of plastic hangers, which I sell on Facebook by the hundreds.
* Ulta Beauty – They often have air pillows and the small bubble wrap. That’s where this recent jackpot of large bubble wrap came from. I also get a lot of cosmetic displays (I grab and sell the nicest ones on Facebook Marketplace) and beautifully printed fabric advertising banners/signs (that I sell on eBay) from this one. It’s amazing how frequently they go through displays. They’re usually cheap, too-specific “junk”, but some have been exceptionally nice.
* Michael’s (the craft store) and Bealls – I often find small-bubble sheets and bags made of small-bubble wrap in these dumpsters.
* Dollar tree – A good source for smaller, longer boxes. I also score cases of “gently expired” snack items and crushed box items like zippered food storage bags, aluminum foil, etc… all of which are perfectly fine to use.
10/06/2019 at 10:50 am #68649
@ Jay – I have a 6-foot pile of the stuff in my eBay storage room. I also have a huge garden tub (which I’ve never used) in the master bathroom that’s filled with air pillows, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, etc… Lately I’ve been acquiring the stuff faster than I can use it, but I’ve had droughts where I couldn’t list certain larger items until I found more packing material.
If needed, I can store tons of material in the loft of my woodworking shop. I never have, but the space is there if I need it. I also know that it’s sellable locally if I ever want to purge some. I just hate seeing that kind of thing go to waste, given how over-priced it is when you have to buy it new.
Every month or so I find a few sheets of the quilted stuff; it’s beautiful, highly protective stuff, but can only be broken down at the perforations (if you cut it smaller it deflates). It’s very rare that I find the large discreet-bubbles bubble wrap. If I had a local reselling friend I’d be glad to share some of the wealth from time to time.
10/06/2019 at 11:46 am #68653
Jay – I’ve only been questioned twice and I’ve been doing it off and on since around 1991. I just try not to linger:
1) In the mid-90’s I was stopped by a police officer who asked what I was doing. I told him and he didn’t have a problem with it.
2) This past January I had a guy at a church next to the post office come driving up to me really quickly telling me not to dump in their dumpster any more. I explained that I’ve NEVER put anything in their dumpster; I only look for things I can resell. But someone does dump in their dumpster (and fills it to the rim). I know because I’ve made almost $2,000 from their dumpster. Once it was completely FULL of 48 sealed cases of Teavana tea makers (see my profile picture; it was taken after I’d already removed some of the cases). I made over $1,300 from that score alone.
Several other times, it’s been full of cases of sealed bags of chips, snack crackers and other items. We kept many cases, gave dozens away and sold a ton more through auction. I got several sealed cases of Harry Potter wands from that same dumpster. But now they keep chains across their driveway to keep people out. For half of this year, that was the ultimate honey hole!
10/10/2019 at 8:56 pm #68872Curious CuratorParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Wow Steves Stuff! That’s awesome! I have a connection at one of my retailers and one of the managers saves me a huge bag of bubble wrap. I love getting that huge bag of recycled bubble wrap! I feel like I hit the lottery when I go pick it up. It is so useful and all of it is clean. I am able to be generous when packing and that makes me feel better about shipping fragile items. I just shipped a huge bowl I was so worried about and luckily, the buyer left positive feedback. Made me feel good to know they liked the item and that it arrived safely.
Jay, I know in some states, it is illegal to dumpster dive. In Illinois, it’s okay to dumpster dive. I have never done it, but if push came to shove, I would not be opposed to it.
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