It's not a secret that people give away or throw away lots and lots of stuff. Stuff that's outlasted its usefulness. Stuff that's broken. Stuff that reminded them every day of their lousy purchase.
We've gotten useful castaway items right from within our subdivision. We scored a nearly-complete set of patio furniture that just needed a little bit of cleaning. Recently we happened upon a stash of building materials: pressure-treated wood and other odd pieces.
A few days ago, my father-in-law picked up a Radio Flyer wagon that was thrown to the curb. The front axle was bent. He fixed that very easily, and now it works great for carting small garden equipment back and forth from the house to the garden.
Easy fixes … if you know how!
People throw away things because it's a good deal for them to do so. The value of what they're throwing away is less than the value of the space it's occupying in their lives, whether that space is physical, emotional, or both. None of us are a room without a roof.
I'm all for taking advantage of good deals. If it's better for them to throw something away, then great.
On the other side, if it's a good deal for someone to pick up the discarded merchandise, that's great, too!
Here are five reasons that should not be deal-killers when you're deciding whether or not to pick up free stuff:
- Missing parts. If it's only one or two parts missing, they most likely can be replaced with a bit of scavenging or researching.
- Dirt. The patio furniture we picked up needed a good cleaning. But that was it. After that, it was in remarkably good shape.
- Rust. Rust can be removed if it's slight, and not structural. Covering the item with a rust-preventive paint will keep it from coming back too quickly.
- Cosmetic damage. A dent in an otherwise functional item isn't a big deal. Heck, I pay for damaged items! (At a discount of course!)
- Slight structural damage. The wagon my father-in-law picked up was slightly damaged. Slightly-damaged items can be fixed with some tinkering.
What other things about discarded items shouldn't scare you off?