Dumpster Diving at Guitar Center (Ultimate Guide)

Hello everyone, I’m thrilled to share my latest and most exciting adventure with you – dumpster diving at Guitar Center. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What? Is that even a thing?” Trust me, it is! And it’s ripe with possibilities. 

This mission isn’t just about the thrill of finding hidden treasures; it’s about giving pre-loved musical instruments a second life, sharing the joy of music. 

Let’s hit all the right notes together!

Dumpster Diving at Guitar Center

Dumpster Diving at Guitar Center

Guitar Center, established in 1959, has grown into a prominent hub for musicians nationwide, boasting over 269 stores across the United States. 

This expansive network makes it a treasure trove of opportunities for avid musicians and enthusiasts alike. 

It is here that you can find a wide range of musical instruments and accessories, from guitars and drums to keyboards and studio gear, catering to both beginners and professionals. 

The sheer variety inside a Guitar Center means it’s not uncommon to find heavily discounted items or even freebies, especially if a product has been slightly damaged or is being cleared to make way for new stock. 

You might think of it as a form of “Dumpster Diving”, but it’s more like savvy shopping, where you can save substantially on your musical investments.

Is it illegal to Dumpster Dive at Guitar Center?

Dumpster diving laws vary from location to location, and Guitar Center stores are located in numerous states across the U.S, which complicates the answer to whether or not it’s illegal to dumpster dive at a Guitar Center. 

At a federal level, dumpster diving was declared legal in the United States in 1988 by the Supreme Court case California vs. Greenwood. 

However, many cities and states have their own laws regarding trespassing, theft, and sanitation, which can indirectly make dumpster diving illegal. 

For example, if a Guitar Center’s dumpster is on private property or specifically marked with “No Trespassing” signs, dumpster diving there could potentially result in a trespassing charge. 

Some states consider dumpster contents as the property of the waste management company once it’s placed in the bin, making dumpster diving potentially a form of theft. 

Best time to Dumpster Dive?

The prime time for a successful dumpster dive at Guitar Center is late evenings or early mornings, specifically around 8 PM to 9 PM and 5 AM to 6 AM. 

This timing is typically post-closure of the store and before the sanitation trucks arrive. 

On a weekly basis, Mondays and Tuesdays are often most promising, as they tend to dispose of their unsold items after the weekend rush. 

Also you should keep in mind, diving legality varies by region, so ensure you’re aware of local legislation. 

And there’s roughly a 40% chance of finding a functional item, according to experienced divers. 

What to look for while Dumpster Diving?

When you’re dumpster diving at Guitar Center, be on the lookout for a few specific items that can be valuable. 

First, guitar strings, often discarded when worn or replaced, can be refurbished and reused. 

In 2020, over 1.5 million packs of guitar strings were sold just in the U.S., highlighting their demand. 

Second, you’ve to look for discarded guitar picks. These small items are frequently lost or thrown away, yet a pack of 12 good-quality picks can cost around $5. 

Also keep an eye on old sheet music or instructional books. Even outdated editions can fetch a decent price online; the market for second-hand music books grew by 2.5% in 2021. 

Does Guitar Center Throw Away Returns?

Contrary to popular belief, Guitar Center does not throw away returned items. In fact, they have a meticulous process in place to ensure every returned product is handled appropriately. 

According to their return policy, customers have 45 days to return an item, which is then inspected thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear. 

If the product passes quality checks, it might be resold at a discounted price, often appearing in the “Used Gear” section of their website. 

In 2019 alone, Guitar Center resold thousands of returned items, underlining their commitment to sustainability and reducing waste. 

How much money can you make from Dumpster Diving at Guitar Center?

The exact earnings can vary depending on factors such as location, frequency, and luck; some enthusiasts report earning between $100 to $300 per week. 

This is through reselling discarded items like guitar strings, drumsticks, and sometimes even instruments that only need minor repairs. 

The resale of these items can be highly profitable, especially when considering that, according to a 2018 Music Trades report, the average price of a new guitar was $433. 

However, you should also notice that dumpster diving carries legal risk and uncertainty, so it’s not a guaranteed or recommended way to make money.

What is a dumpster diving threat?

Dumpster diving is the act of searching through someone’s trash for valuable information, posing a significant security threat, particularly to businesses.

According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, physical theft, including dumpster diving, accounted for 4% of confirmed data breaches. 

In this process, intruders can discover discarded documents with sensitive information, such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, and confidential business data.

And, these details can be used for identity theft, financial fraud, or corporate espionage, which leads to substantial financial and reputational damage. 

Dumpster Diving Precautions for Guitar Center

Dumpster diving at Guitar Center, or any other location, requires adherence to important safety precautions. 

To avoid injury, you should wear sturdy gloves and boots to protect against sharp objects and waste material. 

Lastly, you should be aware of local dumpster diving laws in some US cities, it is legal, while in others it may be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine.

So, if you are planning to dumpster dive at Amazon , TJ Maxx, Five Below, or PetSmart; first you should check the state laws before going to your hunt.

Is it best to dumpster dive at night?

Dumpster diving can be conducted at any time of day, it is typically best to go at night for several reasons.

First, many stores discard their unsold goods at the end of the business day, which often falls in the evening, increasing the likelihood of finding fresh items.

Secondly, less traffic after dark provides a more discreet environment that reduces discomfort or embarrassment encountered during daylight hours.

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