Dumpster diving for treasures to resell online isn't just a myth, there are real people doing it and making good money at it. The eBay Scavengers, 2 couples who live in rural areas of the United States are making it happen. They have been selling on eBay since 1999 and run successful stores selling mostly items they find in dumpsters or in other people's trash. Mikey and Wendy, and Jay an Ryanne are the eBay Scavengers.
How did The eBay Scavengers get started?
The eBay Scavengers started their business after moving to rural areas of the US to "get away from economic nuttiness of urban living." Coming from tech backgrounds, they figured out how to use the internet to earn a living while using the discarded resources around them to make enough money to live on. They see the abundance of America, the over-consumption, and the resources available to anyone who wants to make the effort to claim them.
Their business model revolves around finding things as cheaply as possible (free is best), strive to list 500 items as quickly as possible, sell them on Buy it Now, if over $30 add Best Offer, and prepare to have a lot of storage because inventory piles up quickly. Ryanne suggests listing 20 items a day to build the store, in which case the store will be stocked at 500 items in about a month.
What do they sell?
The eBay Scavengers sell just about everything - rugs, Bakelite jewelry, vintage clothing, vintage typewriters, various antique and collectibles, the list is huge. They recognize that there is a buyer for just about everything and people around the world are looking for very specific items. They seek out items in their area that may not seem valuable to people living around them, but have value in the eBay marketplace. It takes time to figure out what those items are and to find them.
The eBay Scavengers were recently featured on eBay Radio and interviewed by Griff and Lee. Ironically, they were in Europe on an eBay buying trip and explained that trash isn't as easy to come by in other countries as it is in the US.
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