Monday, November 3, 2008

The Lowdown

I am by no means a store dumpster diving expert. But I don't mind sharing my tips and techniques. I'll break it down with who, what, when, and where.


The who stands for you and where you live. You've got to check the laws in your local area. They are different everywhere. Here, in Statesboro, Ga, it is not against the law to dumpster dive unless there is a sign on the dumpster telling you not to do so. We consulted with a police officer from our church to verify this information. The only signs posted on the dumpsters I've seen so far is "No Public Dumping". If the dumpster is locked, move along. That means they don't want you going through their trash.


What do you need? A good flashlight for starters. It is best to get a small bright one. You don't want your arm to start getting tired while you're looking through stuff. I got a cute pink (what can I say, I'm a girly girl mm'k?) mag lite at Wally World for about $8.50. Make sure it is a bright enough to light up the dumpster. These two things make a huge difference, trust me.

Second, bring something with you to be able to acquire items out of your reach. A potato rake has worked best for me so far. You also might want to bring a few boxes or bags along in case you hit the motherload. Many times there will be boxes around, but just in case, bring some of your own. May you hit the motherload my child. hehe

The best time to go is after store hours. You don't want to run into any employees. If you can't do it after store hours, then I'd say take your chances but make it snappy...very snappy. I've been both in the morning and at night, and so far, I like going at night best. Me and my PIC (partner in crime), usually start at 10 pm. If you do go in the morning, make sure you go around 5-5:30 am. The reason for this is because a manager or employee will get to the store early to get it ready to open. And as I said before, you don't want a run-in with a worker.

I haven't had that happen yet, but I did get to Goodwill at 6:30 a.m. one day, and there was a car already there. That's why I like evening dives better. Everyone is ready to get out of there and go home!

From what I've read of others and from my own personal experiences, K(mart),
G(oodwill), J(oannes), and L(owes) are good producers. Also, the big office store chains. It just really depends what you have in your area. Just make sure to dive at stores where the dumpster is in the back or concealed and not out in the open. If you're seen, people will call in and complain. Even though it may be legal in your area, doesn't mean it is condoned. So be fast, as incognito as possible and most important, have fun! Enjoy your treasure hunt. :)


Kerri said...

Thanks for the info! Can't wait to try it. My hubbie seemed interested in being my partner!

Paul Merrill said...

Great blog!!

I'll have to give it a shot some night...

Paul at