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Updated on November 26, 2011

In the middle of an economic crisis, we can all use some extra cash. I am a busy old broad and don't have time to work a job. My calendar is always full during the day - homeschooling and making and selling vintage mermaid reproductions. So, I searched my brain for months and wondered what could I do at night that would not require much of my time. I had a couple of brainstorms that I would like to share AND THEY WORK!

Being the kind of person that will try anything once (as long as it is not illegal or immoral), I decided to check some dumpsters (my husband thought I was nuts). None where food is discarded - they are nasty and I don't want food from a dumpster in the first place. I kept thinking that nice department stores must through away returned merchandise or slightly damaged merchandise. One night, I decided to find out and did I come back with a haul - two brand new Black and Decker toaster ovens, Osterizer blenders, two complete sets of china - 8 place servings I might add, lamps, toys, office supplies, Alpine back packs and to top that off, eight bags of new and expensive clothes, shoes, leather jackets, and jeans and jean jackets. (My best find to date: a brand new ROWENTA pressure iron and steamer that retails for $150)! I was so excited I almost wrecked my husband's truck driving home. When I parked in the driveway, I blew the horn. He came out and almost passed out. He could not believe his eyes.

I continued checking dumspters 3-4 times per week. I decided it was time for a yard sale. I had two within two weeks. The first one made me $275. The second one made me $225. Not bad for a few dives - I am the Diva Queen (of dumspters that is:)

The trick is to find out when the dumpsters are emptied - usually twice per week. Go inbetween those times. Also, you have to move quickly and quietly. While it is not illegal, managers do not want you in their dumpsters because should you injure yourself, they are afraid of lawsuits. So, don't get caught! They will just tell you to leave - that happened to me a couple of times and it is embarrassing. It makes you feel like the little kid who gets caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar.

Next, I started watching Craig's List many hours at night. I was able to get many free items in good condition. I would bring them home, shine and clean them well, and list them for sale. IT worked everytime. For instance, a lady was giving away a very nice Barbie jeep. I picked it up, wiped it off and in two days sold it for $60.

The trick here is to get items that you know will sell. It seems that people are always looking for good used vacuum cleaners, wet vacs, and carpet cleaners. Also in high demand are all baby/infant/children's toys, clothes, car seats, baby swings.


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