I first read about this phenomenon on reddit a month ago and I debated whether to post a discussion about it on the blog. But I just couldn’t stop thinking about it – I know about dumpster diving as an activity for people who are looking for furniture, household items and sometimes even unopened / unspoiled food. However, I only learned about people dumpster diving for cosmetics when I read a PSA on reddit’s makeup exchange forum, warning of a seller who was a known dumpster diver.
Is your jaw on the floor?
How does this work? Essentially, the diver will wait around a drugstore, department or specialty beauty store at closing time and as soon as the store associates take out the garbage, will root through the dumpster in search of cosmetics products that have been thrown away. Sometimes they’re unopened customer returns, sometimes testers, or perhaps expired or simply ‘old’ items. It truly is incredible what some of these people find in the garbage. You can read in more details about what dumpster divers have found here and here (the 2nd article follows the woman from the first article out on a night of dumpster diving for cosmetics). There are even YouTube “haul” videos devoted to this: check (1) them (2) out (3)! I do think what that reddit user was doing was deceitful – to not disclose where those ‘new / opened’ items came from and selling them for cash is quite scummy.
I don’t know what it is, but I’m fascinated by this whole underground world. Maybe I find the “sticking it to the man” aspect compelling – big corporations just tossing thousands of dollars of usable items in the trash. Part of me thinks, yes this is a great way to score free unopened / new products and help save “garbage” from going into the landfill. Another part of me thinks: Eeeeewwww that’s disgusting! As someone on a No-Buy, I could see how some people (especially those on a tight budget) would resort to alternative means of acquiring their makeup thrills!
I’m not saying I would go to the extent to dumpster dive for cosmetics, but it’s an interesting concept. I found a local Craigslist post seeking a friend to go dumpster diving for makeup with: Should I respond? 😛