A Pennsylvania woman turned garbage collection into a lucrative business after discovering that authentic designer items are often thrown in the trash.
Veronica Taylor, 32, of Quakertown, Pennsylvania, teamed up with her friend Liz Wilson, 38, to sell the salvaged items on the WhatNot auction app and in live-streamed auctions.
“It’s really like a real life scavenger hunt,” Taylor told the SWNS news agency.
Taylor began trash diving with Wilson in June 2022.
Initially, Taylor said it was “just a hobby”, finding the unusual activity “a lot of fun”.
By February 2023, it was his full-time job, he said.
Among Taylor’s finds: a Louis Vuitton wallet and designer shoes, he told the news agency.
She donates most of the food and hygiene products to charities, she said.
“You have no idea what you’re going to find,” he told SWNS. “And I get to hang out with my best friend and find things for a living.”
Taylor splits the sales with Wilson and claimed to be earning a full-time income from searching for dumpsters.
“I mean we’ve been getting between $4,000 and $5,000 a month,” she told SWNS of the women’s work. “It’s definitely not worth working at a real job.”
Container diving, Taylor said, “gives you a lot of freedom.”
Taylor and Wilson now travel from city to city, exploring dumpsters in “rich neighborhoods” and in thrift stores, they said.
“We found Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors,” Taylor said. “That’s in thrift stores. We thought, ‘There’s no way this was in the dump.’”
Taylor and Wilson said that they “assume that it’s the older people who work in the stores who don’t know much about the brands and dismiss them.”
She continued, “It really is like being on vacation all the time. The typical places where we do very well we go [to] every night, from 10 pm to 3 am, generally”.
During live-streamed auctions, customers bid on items as they discover them, SWNS said.
The money raised is “100% profit,” Taylor said. “We almost accept any offer.”
“We also give away a lot, and that’s why our fans keep coming back. They know we connected them,” he said.
“Another reason why auctions are so attractive [is] because each item starts at a dollar,” Taylor said.