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By Josh Smith
For those of united state who have actors away the shame of scouring v bags that trash – colloquially known as dumpster diving – there space potential prizes aplenty.

You are watching: How to dumpster dive at gamestop


And if you’re a gamer, Gamestop dumpsters deserve to be a yellow mine.

Video games, functioning controllers, strategy guides, keep displays: all have the right to be discovered strewn amongst the debris, ready to be snatched up by anybody ready to dive into a (moderately dirty) refuse bin.

But just how do this gaming treasures finish up in dumpsters to begin with? The answer is basic - if you’ve seen the inside of a Gamestop, you know that shelf real estate is an extremely hot commodity. Stores room packed wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling through games and gaming accessories. Through Gamestop handle in trade-ins together an enormous component of their business, those trade-ins are handled among three ways: They’re offered as-is, they’re refurbished, or lock tossed in the trash.
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Video courtesy that TKsJohnsFilms

Gamestop’s 2012 annual Report (released in march 2013), notes that the company runs a refurbishment facility in Grapevine, TX that specializes in repairing games, consoles, and mobile devices. In fact, Gamestop boasts the in 2012 an ext than 12 million games and nearly one million consoles to be restored. The report for 2013 isn’t expected to show a decrease in those statistics either, if their annual trend continues as it has because the start of their refurbishment center.

Despite those figures, Gamestop tho throws far perfectly beneficial games and accessories. Because that the most part, together anybody in retail have the right to tell you, the longer an item sits top top a shelf unsold, the less an important it becomes. The is this items, the ones girlfriend pass over time after time as soon as you visit Gamestop, that end up in the trash. However as the adage (and Macklemore hit) goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” i m sorry is why part dumpster divers have actually amassed Smaug-like hordes of terrific video video game loot.

But like most things that have a reward, over there is likewise an inherent risk.

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Is over there treasure inside? Or just broken glass?


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Dive in ~ Your own Risk

Certain states and also cities have actually regulations the exist to stop “diving” in particular areas, making the threat of arrest a strong deterrent. To be much more explicit - dumpster diving may not it is in legal in your town. even when it is legal, there may still be legislations which you need to abide by. Because that instance, if you have actually to accessibility private property—which consists of scaling a fence—you’re breaking the law and also can be cited together such. Additionally, if you circumvent a lock or leaving trash strewn about, you most most likely breaking a regulation or city ordinance.

There’s also, girlfriend know, the whole ‘blindly scouring with dark bags and boxes with no easy method to recognize what’s inside’ thing. If the possibility of stumbling across a dirty needle or sticking her hand into a ripe diaper is lessened at a location like Gamestop, there’s always a chance. We room talking around digging through garbage, after all. Perhaps dangerous items like broken glass are likewise a distinctive possibility.

But to those that take the risk, finding themselves knee-deep in a Gamestop dumpster may just land lock a treasure or two. Or 20.

YouTube directors john H. And also Richard G. Fill their channels, “TksJohnFilms” and also “OKChief420,” respectively, v videos of their excursions to regional Gamestop stores. Plenty of of their videos are wildly enthusiastic, like when John H. Found unused playstation Network and Microsoft clues cards or as soon as Richard G. Found an entire Xbox 360 Kiosk, television and all. Others room depressing; for instance, when Gamestop damaged hundreds of dollars the gaming hardware and also game discs before tossing them in the trash. John H., surprised through the findings, tape-recorded them while sounding frustrated and annoyed in ~ the unnecessary destruction. “It had the potential to it is in mega-haul number four, however it doesn’t even come close,” the says, a beat tone come his voice.

When asked why he goes right into dumpsters, man H. Says the main reason is “to conserve perfectly fine video games, accessories, and also even consoles being in a landfill whereby they would never be supplied again.” and also while that's a an excellent way to watch it, it's no altogether altruistic.


Video courtesy of okchief420

Dumpster diving, especially from Gamestop, is not without profit for the countless who discover usable hardware. Numerous divers have actually no worries placing their items increase on eBay or Craigslist. “Making a little extra cash because that something the got for free!” is component of the allure, john told me. He approximates that he made more than $1,000.00 in 2013 indigenous items he is sold. And also that’s only checking the dumpsters double a month.

Potential Treasures

It isn’t simply older Nintendo 64 or Sega Genesis carts turning up in Gamestop's trash. Multiple Xbox 360, playstation 3 games, and also some older console hardware consistently make an appearance. When you probably won’t uncover an Xbox One video game in there yet, you may be able to find a headset, controller, or even a handheld console among the debris.Gamestop, conscious of this farming trend, has issued a policy called “Field Destroy,” a directive that sees employees ruining the items front to having actually them tossed in the trash. Gamings are scratched or broken, controllers have actually their cords cut, and also strategy guides space ripped to piece in an attempt to ensure human being like man H. Can’t take it advantage. After ~ all, every of the games and also accessories that are thrown out space still embraced by Gamestop for keep credit. So in bespeak to prevent someone from getting “something because that nothing,” the items space destroyed.But why rubbish the product?
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Look very closely - these discs room all cut. Plenty of retailers damage product before throwing the away.


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With institutions like operation Supply Drop and also Children’s miracle Hospitals in need of donations, it would make an ext sense to simply send their unwanted assets to them and also not worry around dumpster divers in ~ all. The question of whether offered items would be accepted was answered by Kate Richardson of Maine medical Center, “When it pertains to toys & clothes, the Hospital typically prefers the they space new. As far as games go, it would be much more open come accepting offered items. Specifically plastic items simpler to wipe down and sanitize.”Not every Gamestop locations totally adhere come the “Field Destroy” order. Many locations merely toss assets still in working condition. We reached out to Gamestop an ext than as soon as to ask about their ar destroy and also refurbishment policies, however did not receive a response. Because that those who desire to try their hand in ~ dumpster diving, john H. Supplies up some veteran advice:“First and foremost, don't it is in nervous about it. I've faced by employees and also managers prior to when ns was searching through the dumpster, and also each time they had actually no problem with me looking with it,” a emotion echoed by many in the dumpster diving community.
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A repertoire of game Boy, GBA & DS carts saved from the landfill.

He continues, “Secondly, go any time the the work you feel most comfortable. I go during the day since that is the many convenient time to go, and less suspicious. And also finally, respect the dumpster. It might sound silly, yet after a few of my videos obtained a most views, ns noticed i wasn't the just one Gamestop dumpster diving. I've viewed Gamestop bags ripped apart and thrown behind the dumpster, i beg your pardon is exceptionally disrespectful, and also will likely reason that save to start destroying everything they throw out.”Before throwing caution to the wind and also diving head-first into Gamestop dumpsters, girlfriend should certainly check the dumpster diving regulations for your area. When cashing in ~ above a beautiful collection of game stations 3 games sounds magical, and also replacing that headset i beg your pardon is held along with duct ice is a height priority for any gamer, gift slapped with a fine or finding yourself in handcuffs no worth the trouble once a basic phone call could help you protect against the hassle.Respect the dumpster.

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Josh smith is a freelance tech and video clip game writer/podcaster, and also an olympic medal-winning hugger. He deserve to be found on Twitter at
Sm1ttySm1t.