Hot dog! It’s like day 3 and I’ve already got me a weird ass garbage find! One of my favorite places to find free stuffs is in a store’s garbage. You heard me. Stores throw things out ALL THE TIME. I find perfectly good things that they just can’t sell or maybe were displays or maybe they remind the owner of his ex-wife, who knows! It’s mine now. Back off.
First, let’s go into the legality of this. If the garbage is out by the road it is fair game my friend. I wouldn’t go picking things out of a garbage bin inside a store, or out of a mall’s garbage compactor (though that thing is FILLED with goodies), because you may get into some trouble. In the retail jobs I’ve had, stores would throw out items that were removed from their inventory because they couldn’t sell or they were slightly damaged or they were returned, and employees legally weren’t allowed to take them. What a waste!
Back to my find… In this case, Anthony and I were walking back from 16 Handles on Nassau Boulevard in Garden City – prime real estate for both garbage and, you know, real estate. It looked like a new store was about to open up and they had cleaned out whatever was previously in there. It could have been a bar at some point because there were really cool old beer crates (rotting wood though, no good for a re-sell), broken promotional Heineken mirrors, Halloween decorations, and *cue angels singing * A BOX OF 1,000+ NEW BIRTHDAY CARDS. I grabbed two fistfuls and floated on clouds spun of gold, kittens, and children’s dreams all the way home.
Ironically I hate birthday cards! But I mean, I have to be an adult sometimes and conform to the social norms of giving not so funny pieces of cardboard to people on their birthday… ‘cept now it’s for FREE 99 instead of $4 a piece. Woot and woot.
Tip #1 is to only take a reasonable amount. Could I have taken the whole box? Sure, but what the fuck am I going to do with that many birthday cards? I can’t resell them and I don’t know nearly that many people. It would take up too much space in my tiny quarters. I watch a lot of “Hoarders”, OK? I know their spiral.
My other big piece of advice for finding awesome things like this is major: Throw your perception of pride right out the window! Did we look slightly ridiculous combing through a store’s awesome garbage while an ongoing line of Lexus’ and Mercedes’ drove by? Who cares! I got me some free birthday cards for life and all they got was some passing judgment, if that. Don’t ever worry about how it looks to others because the feeling you’ll get from finding something cool for free will far surpass that.
Play on playette,