Mad Maine Vintage Shop

This little blog will chronicle my ventures into selling vintage items in a local antique market.
My booth is called Mad Maine Vintage Shop - it features items inspired by a certain popular TV show,
and I am located in lovely Maine. Viva Vintage!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dumpster dive - no can do. Curb swipe - yes, apparently.

Town rescue
I admit I am repulsed and fascinated with people and bloggers who brag about their dumpster diving.  On one hand, I am amazed at the stuff they find/rescue and often shocked at how how much nice stuff gets thrown away by our aggressive consumer society.  But on the other hand, I could never pick around in a dumpster that had both decaying food and smelly diapers - I just couldn't.  Unless I was forced to for survival, that is.  But as a hobby?  No way - unless I was writing some documentary about society and our throw-away culture.  Because then it would give some sort of cool or noble cred, right? (God, I sound like a hipster on speed).

But, I have occasionally been tempted to pick up stuff people leave out on the curb for the garbage truck - and indeed, I have put out furniture myself in the hopes that it would be picked up by somebody other than the garbage man (are these professionals called something else these days, by the way?).  However, I always feel sort of guilty, as if I am doing something bad. Still, the other day, in brilliant sunshine among fall-colored leaves, I overcame my curb reluctance, and I swiped this vintage Fisher Price Village away from its looming fate at the dump.  It is so darling, and I don't know why somebody would just dump it instead of donating it to a charity thrift store.  This particular village was made for a few years in the 70s (in America!), and it came with several additional separate parts and little people, but for the last few days my kids have enjoyed playing with it using their playmobile figures and toy cars.  They especially love the gas pump handle.

Anyway, I am putting this in my booth later this week since it looks as if vintage toys are popular there.  Gotta love a 100% profit!

Have you picked up something from the curb to keep or resell? Does it make you feel guilty?   


  1. Why on earth would someone just toss that?! It's really neat!

  2. i think dumpster diving is gross too. i don't see much put out on curbs. in my area if it isn't in the can, the garbage man won't pick it up. i did send my husband to pick up a pink toilet that someone posted on craigslist once. it is in my basement, waiting for the day when i get the pink bathroom i've always dreamed of.

  3. So cute! I love Fisher Price toys. And yes, I totally troll curbs and alleys for Big Trash treasures. I've found tons of great stuff that way, but so far I haven't picked from actual dumpsters. I sold a disco ball in my booth a few months ago that I got from an alley. I figure it's win-win. People probably prefer things not to go to the landfill. I prefer it too, and people who shop my booth already know that what they're getting isn't new, so... no down side!

  4. I think it's great when people put their items out with a "free" sign for others but I also don't understand some people not taking the time to bring something to the GW, SA or other good cause. If the trash pickup arrives before anyone picks up the stuff, it is such a waste.
    That being said, I have snagged some great stuff and that FP village is wicked cute. My son had a Sesame Street Garage that EVERY kid enjoyed playing with when they came over. It had a lift for the cars and a ratchet to take off the tires, the kids all enjoyed that toy.
    Did you go for the bigger space?

  5. suzieQ: I am going for the bigger space - I figured the rest of the year is the best time to sell leading up to Christmas, and if things go South after the holidays, I can always downgrade. I hope you get a booth there too :-)