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Bartering other peoples junk.  RSS feed

 
Shawn Bell
Posts: 156
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Yesterday, I noticed a giant stack of plastic milk crates behind a store. And when I asked the manager about them,
he said that I could have 10.

Today, I went to a used bookstore and I saw some comfrey plants for six dollars each.  Knowing the
lady who was selling the comfrey, I asked if she would be interested in a trade.

So, for six crates I got six comfrey plants and a mint plant.

Needless to say, I am a happy man!

I am always looking out for other peoples junk, it drives my wife crazy.

Anybody else addicted to this?
 
Cris Bessette
gardener
Posts: 812
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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Other peoples junk. Actually I just turned my porch into a sun room and built a greenhouse with recycled doors, windows, lumber, hardware, etc. that were piled up at friend's houses.

Some things I like to refurbish to resell or use are computers and musical instruments.
These are two categories of things that are often thrown out or sold at flea markets, yard sales etc. because people assume they have "gone bad" when all they really need is some care, cleaning and adjustment.

Reinstall software on a computer, add a little ram and add years of life.
Put some new strings on an old guitar and adjust the action and now its good for a teenager to learn on, to twang on around the camp fire, etc.
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6684
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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    I have made my living for many years selling other people's junk. When I do demolitions I sell not only the building components but anything useful within.

    When not involved in a job I constantly gather anything valuable which is being thrown out knowing that eventually I will get another perfect retail location which my demolition sales become.

    I have worked with many part time scrounge guys. Some of them are great at scrounging stuff but have no means of retailing. I have marketed for them on a commission basis. I've also traded for what they may have.

    To be a proper scrounge it's necessary to network with others. I may look in a bin and find 20 identical jackets. The next guy might find 200 plastic pails and the next guy finds some other product in excess of what he can use for himself. I constantly keep myself aware of what my brothers and other scroungers have accumulated and we make trades all the time.

   Because of my business I sometimes become the unofficial sorting house for all this stuff. People call me to find out where to get stuff and more often to find out how to get rid of stuff they don't want. This puts me first in line for the good stuff.

     Quite often people call me wanting to rid themselves of furniture that is still good but not terribly valuable. If they have somewhere to store it I encourage them to advertise it online and on the notice boards at the University just before semester changeovers. Kids who are only staying for one year appreciate price over quality. For free brings them in every time.

    By advertising a scroungers trading club you increase your efficiency since you don't need to ever turn stuff down because there's too much for personal use. You'll be doing yourself and society a favor by recycling a greater percentage of the waste stream and every meeting becomes an exciting treasure hunt.

      Thank you: Dale the demolition guy
 
                              
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I wish I had room to invite people to bring their stuff. It is bad enough keeping track of my own treasures. I'll save something knowing there will come a day I need it, and sure enough when the day comes, I have no idea where I put it.
 
Marla Kacey
Posts: 130
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
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I save stuff too.  But I usually need something just after I've gone on a cleaning binge and thrown it out or given it away.  Eeesh.
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 658
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I also squirrel away everything that "might possibly be useful".... some day or year

I'll share that we built the wall of our greenhouse with the glass from 5 discarded sliding doors.  When a friend swapped theirs for french doors, I wondered where all the old sliders went.  The first 4 window stores said they sold them to someone.  The fifth had a stack in the back that they kept for folks who used them in deck railings, to preserve their views.  They sold them for $10 each!!  and the removed sides are handy-dandy solid aluminum, great for something or other
 
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