09/10/2019 at 11:45 am #67650
I’ve been a scavenger most of my life (though I’ve only adopted the moniker this year, inspired by the podcast). So I’ve had many unusual scavenges, most of which I’ve long forgotten. But yesterday I had a somewhat atypical score.
Here in Central Florida, we’re pretty fresh off of a major hurricane scare. I’ve been needing some fill dirt/sand for 4 holes in my yard, one that was a particular ankle twist hazard. Well, someone piled 11 sandbags, each filled with about 60 lbs. of sand out by the road. I pulled up in my Navigator and loaded the back. Now I have a small stack of sandbags for the next hurricane and was able to fill some annoying holes in my yard.
I actually had a similar score 2 years ago after hurricane Irma came through. Then, I filled 3 decent sized depressions in my back yard. The sand looks bad for a month or two, but the grass eventually fills in and it looks just fine.
What are some of your unusual scavenges?3+
09/10/2019 at 12:29 pm #67653AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
I was given a prosthetic leg. Dunno if it counts as a “scavenge” bc I was given it, but it was way up there for unusual! Came with the foot and a shoe, and bags of prosthetic socks. I ended up doing pretty well with it. I’d happily have a pipeline of the prosthetic socks, but they don’t actually turn up that often.2+
09/11/2019 at 11:28 pm #67689
Amatino – I’d consider that a scavenge. You had the mindset to realize you could make money off of it. Think of how many people would pass on something like that, even for free. It’s definitely a very niche item. This isn’t a contest, but you still may have won!
@ Sharyn – Now that’s a funny thought. Opening a box to find a bunch of chickens.1+
09/10/2019 at 12:59 pm #67654SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I have a story to tell, but it’s not exactly a scavenger one. I manage a freecycling event in my town that happens twice a year. People come up in cars and drop off stuff they don’t want, and other people park and take what they need. It is strictly for personal use and not for resale, but I could take something for that purpose if anything decent is left over at the end (usually not).
Anyway, last year the 4H down the road was having some kind of bird event (chickens or doves or some kind of bird). A guy got confused and came to our freecycling event and started to unload his car. I wasn’t there when he first drove up, but I walked up, opened a large case, and saw all these birds in it. At that point, we figured out that he was in the wrong place, but he had given away some very nice equipment. I think some of it was wood or metal working equipment. I tried to find some of it for him, but I think he recovered only one or two things.
I’ve found syringes with saline solution, food, makeup, and a few other prohibited items that I had to remove. We use volunteers, so they don’t always look up to see if the items are OK or not.2+
09/12/2019 at 7:13 am #67694TemudginParticipant
- Location: Washington DC
Amatino beat me to it but I’ve had a prosthetic leg also, only I paid for mine. It was at a weekly auction in the depths of the Oakland CA ghetto that had a contract with the city to sell unclaimed estates and was one of those things that the auctioneer was begging for bids on. When he got down to $1 I took it. That was in my days as a flea market dealer so it was good for some creative displays until someone bought it.
One of my favorite scavenges that gave me many years of good use was a Weber gas grill with a broken lid handle that I happened upon at the curb. The handle was an easy fix.
Another would have to be the $120 in twenty dollar bills I found tucked in books I got in an estate cleanout. It was a rowhouse in North Philly that all manner of antique and specialty dealers had already been through but there was a truckload of stuff left, including a couple bookcases of mostly hardback fiction. I wouldn’t touch something like that today but I was a lot less particular in those days.0
09/12/2019 at 9:47 am #67700Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
I found a Rp 2,000 note in a book last Tuesday. Unfortunately it’s Indonesian rupiah 🙁
A small aluminium cylinder that unscrews. Inside the lid is a metal spike and beside it two holes. Think it’s a device for huffing nitrous oxide from chargers.
Last week a working and clean $200 cordless vacuum with its charger- thrown out because the plastic catch holding the dust cylinder was broken.
A public address system, dumped in a layby on the Groby bypass. That was yesterday evening- maybe someone stole a van from a music festival and dumped the contents. Left that for the authorities…1+
09/12/2019 at 2:03 pm #67718AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
Ooh, Temudgin, we picked up our charcoal grill at the dump. It was rusted through on the base, which slides out for easy cleaning, and had a broken handle and side table. Looked up the brand and bought a replacement base ($20) and the hubs made a new wooden handle and table top (junk lumber off the ranch). That grill is in our backyard and has given us 4 years of yumminess!0
09/12/2019 at 2:33 pm #67719gfd_622Participant
- Location: Indiana
I found an old football that had one quadrant painted as Family Game IU Vs. Minnesota, with the date and a score of the game (IU won that year – it was an old football, I forget the details). It may have been one of the game balls that, after the game they painted it as a memento of the game. In any event, I got if for $1 and listed it in auction format starting at 25 with make offer. A guy offered me 75, and I took it right away. I asked him about it and what it was that he liked and his told me that his friends dad (or maybe his friend) had played in that game, and he was getting it for a nice present for his friend. What luck, first that I found the ball and listed it on eBay, but then that he happened to be browsing eBay for an auction when I listed it. Crazy. I thought that was cool – he was very pleased and loved the ball. That was a good toy story day, item reunited with somebody that will get some pleasure out of it.5+
09/14/2019 at 11:04 am #67780
gfd_622 – That’s a great story. In addition to scavenging for our own benefit, we play another role in the food chain. We bring objects that would be otherwise lost, forgotten or destroyed to those who will find value in them.1+
09/16/2019 at 11:18 am #67810Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
My cousin was telling me about these great stores (mostly located around Kansas City) called It’s $5. All Amazon returns and everything is $5 on the first day. 2nd day everything is 2 for $5, 3rd day it’s 3 for $5, etc. Anyway it sounds like the Goodwill bins on steroids and people have found ChromeBooks, dashcams, Leatherman pocketknives, etc. All are returns to Amazon. The strangest thing my cousin found was a dental mold press for making crowns and teeth! And of course someone bought it for $5!
Am interested to hear if anyone else has been to the It’s $5 chain yet. The closest to me is in TN about 3 or 4 hours away. I may have to try it but I bet the place is chaos the first day of each new week.0
09/16/2019 at 11:23 am #67811
There is a place like that here called Treasure Hunt.
It has become the “redneck mecca” of my area. They post videos on their facebook page of the insanity every week. It’s not something I’m inclined to go to.
It is a brilliant business plan though!0
09/16/2019 at 11:25 am #67812
Here is the local place’s facebook page for your entertainment:
09/16/2019 at 11:57 am #67816Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
That is entertaining. Everyone seems orderly. I wonder what it’s like the second they open the doors and if fist fights ever break out. I notice a lot of giant Ikea type bags. I wonder how much of the stuff people buy ends up back on Amazon.0
09/16/2019 at 1:16 pm #67823
On the weekends there is a massive line outside just to get in. They only let a certain amount of people in at a time. People show up the night before to wait in line!0
09/16/2019 at 12:47 pm #67819
09/16/2019 at 2:36 pm #67826VintageTreasuresParticipant
They have the same thing in Ohio called “Price Drop”. I saw it on a Youtube video from Pudgy Picker. She didn’t mention anything about any fighting over the items but I don’t think she’s ever gone on the first day.0
09/22/2019 at 8:55 pm #68135
Man, that Amazon 5 Dollars place, Price Drop and Treasure Hunt all sound pretty awesome! I wish we had something like that near me. Scavenging and reselling is my full time job (well, I’m also a freelance woodworking project writer & tool reviewer for a big home improvement website. But my biggest income is from reselling). I find lots of great items, but more sourcing options would certainly be welcome.0
09/25/2019 at 7:25 am #68245catmomParticipant
- Location: new york
My husband and I are avid cyclists. On the weekends we go out for rides between 30-60 miles. We are always trying different routes and back roads on our rides and now we stop at yard sales and curb junk piles! We also do combined trail/road routes on our gravel bikes. This past Sunday we went off road and came across a large pile of kitchen items that looked like garage sale leftovers tossed out in preserved parkland.:-(
There were 2 Nordic cake pans that I couldn’t figure out how to bring home on my bike so yesterday I returned to grab the pans and see what else I could salvage to donate to the local church thrift store. So I’m going through this pile of stuff and I see “Made in France” on a pan. Turns out these items were from a serious baker’s home! I got 4 Le Creuset Pots and Pans, several Nordic holiday baking sheets, Wilton baking items, cast aluminum 3-D Professional holiday baking molds and filled 2 bins with more stuff I need to go through! These items were in NEW condition!
My husband and I were trying to figure out why these things were tossed? This is hundreds of dollars worth of cookware tossed in the woods. So strange!
Another hobby of ours is cleaning up our local woods. We have special carrier bags to haul out trash on foot but there was so much broken glass that i’ve contacted the town to pick up what I couldn’t take. There is a lot of wildlife here. I don’t want them getting cut up!
Cool scavenge! BTW we come across ALL SORTS of curbed stuff riding our bikes! Liz2+
10/07/2019 at 11:58 am #68716TemudginParticipant
- Location: Washington DC
A funny thing happened to me this Saturday. Even though I have plenty of inventory at the moment and didn’t want any more, my family talked me into going to an antiques flea market with them. In light of my protestations they promised they wouldn’t let me buy anything unless it was really worth it. We got separated while browsing and I stopped at one of these surly old guys who sells antique hardware and tools and such. No clothing or dishes so they just dump their boxes out on their tables and it looks like piles of junk. With this guy there is junk but there are hidden gems. I’ve seen him before and he knows what things are worth. It sounded like he was actually selling stuff really cheap that day, though, so I put together a little pile to buy. He wanted $10 for it which was cheap for what it was so I gave him the $10.
I was putting it all away in my backpack and he started packing up for the day. He was muttering to himself that he was done with the flea market, he was tired of all this crap, and he was going to sell online. He turned around to me with a box in his arms full of vintage spark plugs and said “do you want this?” It took me a minute and a little back and forth for me to realize he was just giving it to me so I took it. I kind of had my hands full and he pulls out a banana box and says “I’m going to make you a box”. He walked around his five or six tables and just started pulling random stuff and whole trays of things and throwing them in the box.
He filled the banana box and grabbed another banana box and starts filling that. Every once in a while he’d stop and show me something and have some comment like “look at that – I could get $20 for it but nobody wants it” and throw it in the box.
My wife comes by and said “what the hell are you doing” but at least she knew to whisper it in my ear. I said I don’t know but this guy just wants to give me stuff so I’m standing back and not bothering him. To her credit she didn’t say another word and my son totes the first box off to the car.
And the guy kept going. Three banana boxes, a medium moving box, and two large blue bins later the guy said ok that’s enough and shook my hand. I thanked him, wished him the best and walked off.
It’s one thing to buy some table lots at an auction and end up with boxes of stuff but this was a bit unexpected. I’ll just have to make some more room in the basement.4+
10/07/2019 at 4:55 pm #68744
Nice score, Temudgin!0
10/07/2019 at 4:15 pm #68738
Catmom: Nice find! It’s a real shame about people who think the world is their trash can. Luckily there are people like you who make an effort to do something about it. But finding that awesome bakeware was an awesome bonus.
Temudgin: Now that’s the kind of sourcing I want to stumble into! Hopefully you’ll make a nice bit of cashola from the stuff.2+
10/07/2019 at 5:13 pm #68750
Probably the most profitable score I’ve made was at a bid sale I used to go to. One pallet was various boxes marked Freightliner, I put in a bid of $200 not for sure what I was getting. The next morning I found I had won that lot and I recall as I was driving in to pick up that and some other pallets I won, I was hoping it wasn’t going to turn out to be a mistake (wouldn’t be the first time, for sure).
When I went to list it there were 50 or so reefer trailer compressor replacement clutches that sold for over $100 each. Also, a box of 100 or so heater resistor boards that went for $25 each, as well as other assorted parts that sold well. I guess the total was around $10,000 in sales spread over 4 or 5 years.
I could use a few more scores like that.5+
10/11/2019 at 7:10 am #68887tam from Tam’s Vintage & MoreParticipant
When we first started out we went to a barn sale in southern Wisconsin. It was being run by a young couple who were new to estate sales. We should have rented a truck and bought out the place. Instead we filled our car with all manor of cool stuff. Everything was priced super low. The best we got was a Sydney O covered roaster. We paid 50 cents and it sold on auction for over 100 dollars. It was the sale that turned us into much more serious sellers.1+
10/17/2019 at 3:48 pm #69227mallybillsParticipant
- Location: Sandy, Utah
We went to an estate sale in the Salt Lake area. The man was a 2XL and had a TON of Tommy Bahama shirts. We literally stuffed our Prius completely full of items from that sale. I think we ultimately listed 40-50 2XL Tommy Bahama shirts, about 20 pair of 40 x 32 jeans and dress pants for men and about 15 pair of size 13 NICE men’s shoes (including some Tommy Bahama shoes). We got everything for about $1.50 each and have already sold almost all of it (it’s been about 3 months since we listed it all). We sold everything for $15 – $25 per item. It may not necessarily be that unusual, but we were stunned to see so much of the same thing in one place.
Another nice benefit of the find was the ease in listing. The guy would buy the same shirt, but in 5 different colors. Same with the dress pants, etc. So, we’d just group everything by the same style and whip out several of the same listing, just in different colors. It was awesome.2+
10/23/2019 at 7:08 pm #69510simplicioParticipant
That’s easy. Picked up a small package of vintage 80’s diapers at a thrift store for $5 (kind of expensive I thought!), sold them for about $250 within 60 seconds after listing.
O Tempora, O Mores etc etc2+
11/04/2019 at 10:39 pm #70057
Simplicio – Wow! What a great scavenge and sale! I bought several packs of diapers about a month ago. They were modern (Toy-R-Us Kids) and I didn’t sell them for nearly as much, but I knew that by adding them into the deal I was buying, I could flip them quickly on Facebook and they’d pay me back for the rest of the lot.
Within a day they were sold and everything else I got was paid for. I’ve been selling the other items on eBay for decent profit. But that $35 doesn’t compare to your $250!0
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