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I need to get something off my chest…the stigma behind dumpster diving

Posted on October 18th, by admin in Uncategorized. 1 Comment

I was recently having drinks with one of my mentors in NYC. He asked me what I was up to and I briefly went into what I was trying to do here with Gmargin.

In case you didn’t know- I started this site because after I graduated college in 2009 I started a full-time job where even though I worked insane hours, I didn’t make enough to live securely in New York City (where my job was located). Because I wasn’t working a “normal” post-grad corporate job, I thought I was the only one in my position until one day a friend working at Bank of America admitted that he was being partially supported by his parents. In fact, almost every one of my friends was either being partially supported by a family member or working another job to make ends meet.

My job didn’t allow me the flexibility of another part-time job and my parents were not able to help so I used eBay and Craigslist to come up with my rent money. Two years later the concept for Gmargin was born; I am going to help as many people become financially secure (and I’m going to do it without commodifying my users).

Here comes the embarrassing part that I rarely mention, that I didn’t tell my mentor about because I was afraid he would laugh or disregard this site. My eBay and Craigslist stock came from what many people would call dumpster diving. It’s a bit different in NYC because people leave their garbage on the street in bags instead of dumpsters but conceptually it is the same.

If you are starting out and you have no (literally no) extra income and you want to build a website or buy some items wholesale to sell on eBay, the best way I know how to make money is selling people’s discarded items. I actually made over $1000 dollars in August doing jus that (click here for link). To be clear, that doesn’t always have to mean dumpster trash (although it usually does), you can go to your Aunt Bertha and ask her for items she no longer wants and sell those, you can go to Goodwill and buy up every cashmere sweater you can find and re-sell those, or like me you can check the compactor room of your building a few nights a week and sell your haul on Craiglist. I made the majority of my rent payment selling items that I found in the trash rooms of the very building I was paying the rent for.

If you want some more inspiration, check out this picture from a Gamestop dumpster. Or check out my August Stack Challenge and see what I found!

Gamestop dumpster- not my picture, source unknown

Gamestop dumpster- not my picture, source unknown

One thought on “I need to get something off my chest…the stigma behind dumpster diving

  1. A suggestion, from my years-ago diving days:

    It might be best to not advertise exactly where you’re getting stuff from in so many words.

    I worry that if the corporate levels of these stores get wind that you’re diving stuff and reselling it, they will lock their dumpsters up, or install *shudder* compactors.

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