Dumpster Diving At Best Buy (2024 Update)

Dumpster diving at Best Buy is an unusual concept that has been gaining traction among frugal tech enthusiasts and environmental advocates alike. 

This activity involves scouring the retail giant’s discarded items for electronic goods that, although deemed waste by the store, may hold untapped potential. 

In this article, we will uncover the legality and the potential of dumpster diving at Best Buy.

Dumpster Diving At Best Buy

Dumpster Diving At Best Buy

Best Buy. is a leading provider of technology products, services, and solutions. 

It was founded in 1966, and the company has grown to become a staple in the American retail landscape. 

Best Buy operates a seamless multi-channel operation across its physical stores, websites, and mobile apps, offering consumers a range of electronics and appliances. 

Renowned for its commitment to sustainability and community outreach, Best Buy aims to enrich lives through technology by addressing key societal challenges.

Best Buy is known to discard a plethora of valuable items, including electronics, appliances, and even video games.

According to statistics, the company generates almost 47,000 tons of waste each year.

A significant portion of this waste can still be functional or repairable, making Best Buy a hotspot for dumpster divers.

Is It Illegal To Dumpster Dive at Best Buy?

Dumpster diving is subject to varying legal status depending on the location.

In the United States, the Supreme Court ruling in the case of California v. Greenwood in 1988 held.

The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside the curtilage of a home.

This ruling has led many to believe that dumpster diving is generally legal.

However, things get complicated when it comes to individual businesses like Best Buy. 

If a dumpster is located on private property, it is technically off-limits without the property owner’s permission. 

However, businesses may have specific policies against dumpster diving.

As of writing, Best Buy has not publicly stated its stance on dumpster diving, but it’s safe to assume that they would rather you didn’t. 

What is The Best Time to Dumpster Dive at Best Buy?

If you’re interested in dumpster diving at Best Buy, timing is everything. 

The most opportune time varies from store to store, but generally, late evening to early morning hours, approximately from 10 pm to 6 am, are ideal. 

This is when the store is closed, meaning there’s less foot traffic and employees around.

The closing time can also be the best time, around 9 PM during the week and 8 PM on Sundays.

This is when stores usually discard their unsold or returned items. However, it’s important to note that such activities should be carried out responsibly.

What to Look While Dumpster Diving at Best Buy?

When dumpster diving at Best Buy, safety should be your top priority. Ensure you’re equipped with the right gear, gloves, a flashlight, and sturdy shoes. 

Remember, most Best Buy merchandise gets returned for being defective or broken, so be aware of what you pick up. 

Electronics such as laptops, gaming consoles, and tablets may seem appealing, but they often have complex issues. 

Instead, focus on items like HDMI and charging cables, routers, or phone cases. 

These accessories are often discarded in their packaging and are likely to be in better condition. 

According to a 2015 study by the Consumer Technology Association, around $1 billion worth of consumer electronics are returned annually, many of which end up in dumpsters. 

Here is the list of things that you should look for:

  • Electronic Accessories (cables, chargers, headphones)
  • Returned or Opened Items
  • Display Models of Electronics (TVs, laptops, tablets)
  • Damaged Goods (slightly damaged but functional)
  • Packaging Materials (for reuse or recycling)
  • Outdated or Unsold Merchandise
  • Promotional Items and Posters
  • Office Supplies (notepads, pens)
  • Batteries and Power Supplies
  • Small Appliances (toasters, coffee makers)

Does Best Buy Throw Away Electronics?

Best Buy does not simply throw away electronics. In fact, Best Buy has one of the most comprehensive electronics recycling programs in the United States. 

Since the inception of its recycling program in 2009, Best Buy has responsibly recycled more than 2 billion pounds of electronic waste, underlining its commitment to sustainability and responsible disposal.

The company accepts everything from televisions and computer monitors to cell phones and cameras. 

Therefore, if you have electronics you no longer need, instead of throwing them away, you can take them to Best Buy for responsible recycling.

Best Stores In US For Dumpster Diving At Best Buy

Several Best Buy locations are known for discarding returned or slightly damaged items. 

For example, spots in urban areas, such as New York City and Los Angeles, are often hotspots due to the high volume of customer returns.

In 2020 alone, it was reported that Best Buy had approximately $400 million in returned merchandise, a portion of which could have ended up in dumpsters.

Most of the stores in populous areas or near large universities tend to have a higher turnover of electronic goods, making them promising spots for dumpster divers.

Here is the list of the best buy stores and best locations for dumpster diving in the US:

  • Near Universities
  • In Urban Areas
  • Close to Technology Hubs
  • Adjacent to Shopping Centers
  • In High-Traffic Commercial Districts
  • Near Residential Areas with High Population Density
  • Close to Tourist Attractions
  • Near Public Transportation Hubs
  • In Areas with a High Concentration of Young Professionals

How Much Can You Make From Dumpster Diving at Best Buy?

The potential earnings from dumpster diving at Best Buy or another similar retail outlet can vary greatly depending on a few key factors. 

On the one hand, some dumpster divers have reported finding valuable items such as electronics or appliances that are only slightly damaged or even brand new, which can be sold for a profit. 

For instance, one could find a returned laptop with a minor defect, which, after a $50 repair, could be sold for $500, yielding a profit of $450.

However, it’s important to consider the frequency and luck involved in such findings. 

So, while the potential for sizable earnings exists, it’s far from guaranteed. 

Lastly, the profitability of dumpster diving depends on the effort invested in refurbishing, cleaning, and selling the items. 

Those who treat it as a full-time job and invest considerable time and effort might make a few hundred to a thousand dollars per month.

Meanwhile, those who do it casually might only make a small profit or even just save money on items they would otherwise buy.

So, if you are planning to dumpster diving at Apple Store, Dunkin Donut, South Dakota, or Petco; first you should check the state laws before going to your hunt.

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