Dumpster Diving at Target: A Comprehensive Guide

Wondering how to start your dumpster diving adventure at Target? You’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, I will discuss all the legalities, and strategies, and also highlight some expert suggestions for a successful dumpster diving quest at your local Target store. As a result, this information is applicable to both novice and experienced dumpster divers. Let’s get started without further ado!

Dumpster Diving at Target

Target is the 8th largest retailer in the United States and currently operates approximately 1,931 stores throughout the US. They offer everything from a wide variety of food and general merchandise — from clothing to household goods to electronics and toys. Moreover, Target specifically customizes the assortment of each of their store based on its neighborhood and local guests. This makes dumpster diving at Target an adventure in itself and you’ll never know what items you may find in their dumpsters.

The success of these retail giants usually lies in their customer satisfaction index. And as we all know, one of the best ways to satisfy customers is by providing a top-notch return and refund policy. According to Target’s return policy, most items sold by Target and returned within 90 days, will receive a full refund or exchange. And if you are wondering what happens to the returned merchandise with damaged packaging, well! most of it goes to the dumpster. This is what makes dumpster diving at Target a thrilling experience. You will usually see fully-working products with damaged packaging tossed in the dumpsters of Target.

Target mainly operates in two ways. Most of their stores are standalone stores but some are inside a mall or a shopping complex. If your local Target store is inside a shopping complex or a mall, it is going to be a little tough on locating and diving into their dumpsters. However, if your local Target store is a standalone store, the dumpster is usually located at the rear end of the property.

Related: Dumpster Diving at Lowes: Everything You Need to Know!

Is it illegal to Dumpster Dive at Target?

Target does not encourage dumpster diving at their property, but it is not illegal to do so. While dumpster diving at Target, you need to always keep in mind that, most of the Target locations are considered private property. This means if they don’t like you on their property, they could trespass on you.

Therefore, always ensure that there are no trespassing restriction signs plainly visible on the premise. It’s a green signal if you don’t see such a sign. If, on the other hand, you ignored the No Trespassing sign at Target and proceeded to explore their dumpster, you may be charged with trespassing. This could result in a lifelong suspension. In the worst-case scenario, you could face charges of disruptive conduct, illegal dumping, or littering.

Therefore, if you are dumpster diving at Target and someone from the management requests you to leave the premise, you must respect their order and leave immediately.

Additionally, I would urge that you review your state’s dumpster diving rules and regulations. This will ensure that you are not breaking any laws while dumpster diving at your local Target store. You can review your state’s law from the search box below.

What is the best time to Dumpster Dive at Target?

The majority of Target stores operate from 8 AM to 10 PM. Therefore the best time to go dumpster diving at Target is always either right before the store opens or right after the store closes. This is the time when there are fewer employees working and the chances of interference are low. Moreover, a lot of Target employees claim that they restock the shelves 3-4 times a week. The restocking is done either before 8 AM or after 10 PM. During the restocking of shelves, the items that are not sold either go to the dumpsters or compactors for destruction.

Weekends are also ideal for rummaging through the Target dumpsters. Since Target is busiest on the weekends, the store anticipates a higher volume of returns and refunds on these days. Since we know Target discards returns with broken packaging, you may expect to see a lot of returned merchandise at Target’s dumpsters on weekends.

What to look for while Dumpster Diving at Target?

The goods you’ll want to look for while dumpster diving at Target mostly depends on your wants and needs. Some people go dumpster diving at Target in the hopes of finding electronics and outdoor products to sell. While some people are searching for these items for their own personal use.

In general, you should look for items that either have a high resale value or has an application for you. Sleeping bags, rugs, furniture, books, pet products, etc are all considered gems while dumpster diving at Target.

How much money can you make from Dumpster Diving at Target?

You could make a lot of money dumpster diving at Target. The majority of it, however, will depend on your luck and expertise. We surveyed 5 full-time trash divers from Tennessee, and the results were surprising, to say the least. According to our survey, these dumpster divers were making an average of $276.46 per week from Target alone.

Does this mean, you will make a similar figure from dumpster diving at Target? Of course, not. You may make $1000 or not even a cent. It all depends on your luck and experience.

All in all, dumpster diving at Target is a great way to get some extra cash provided you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. However, if you’re just getting started, it might not be enough to replace your full-time job. As a result, I strongly advocate starting dumpster diving as a side hustle. Once you’ve developed enough experience and are earning a nice and consistent income, you might choose to consider dumpster diving full-time.

Final Thoughts

Always be cautious while dumpster diving at Target. Stay away from beverages as they usually are expired or damaged. Make sure you wear full sleeve clothes while diving into the dumpsters and watch out for broken glasses. Furthermore, even if an object looks to be clean, disinfect it thoroughly. And always keep in mind, that if someone from management tells you to leave the premise, leave immediately. Having a plan and strategy in place not only helps you save time but also makes your dumpster diving at Target a lot more productive.