Dumpster Diving at Ulta: A Comprehensive Guide

Wondering how to start your dumpster diving quest at Ulta? You’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the legalities of dumpster diving at Ulta and also touch on some of the best strategies to make the most of your dumpster diving haul.

Dumpster Diving at Ulta

The process of dumpster diving involves individuals salvaging the waste from the dumpsters and finding items that have some value to them. Dumpster diving may involve both commercial and residential locations. For beauty fanatics, Ulta is one of the best locations to dive into the dumpsters.

Ulta is one of the largest US-based corporations operating a chain of 1200 beauty and cosmetic stores across the 50 states. Cosmetic stores like Ulta have adopted great return and refund policies. This means if I return a cosmetic item but the packaging is already damaged, it can’t go back on shelves. Most of the time, it ends up in a dumpster at Ulta. Therefore, while dumpster diving at Ulta, you often find makeup and cosmetics with damaged packaging.

Moreover, Ulta Beauty offers both high-end and drugstore cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances, in addition to its own brands of beauty products and fragrances. This makes Ulta a great place to go dumpster diving and find a variety of cosmetic and makeup products.

Related: Dumpster Diving at Walmart

Is it illegal to Dumpster Dive at Ulta?

It is not illegal to dumpster dive at Ulta per se. However, since most of the Ulta stores are considered private property, you need to make sure there are no trespassing restriction signs clearly visible in the location. If you do not see such a sign, that’s a green signal.

On the other hand, if you can clearly see the No Trespassing sign at Ulta and still went to rummage through their dumpster, you may be cited for trespassing. This may lead to a lifetime ban. Or at worse, you may be charged with disorderly conduct, illegal dumping, or littering.

Therefore, if you are dumpster diving at Ulta and someone from the management asks you to leave the premise, you must leave immediately.

What is the best time to Dumpster Dive at Ulta?

Most of the Ulta stores open at 10 AM and close their doors at 9 PM on Monday through Friday. On weekends, they operate from 11 AM to 6 PM.

According to some Ulta employees, Ulta stores usually restock their shelves one to three times a week, usually between Mondays to Fridays. There is no fixed schedule and time for restocking, but once the store receives new shipments, employees refill the shelves right away, or if the shipment arrives in the evening, they will restock the next day.

Therefore, the optimal time to go dumpster diving at Ulta is right after the store opens from Monday to Friday. This is because there are fewer employees working at this time and you will have a high chance of not being interrupted. Moreover, since new shipments usually arrive early in the morning, you’ll have a better chance of hitting discarded treasures in Ulta’s dumpsters.

What to look for while Dumpster Diving at Ulta?

The items you would want to look for, while dumpster diving at Ulta, highly depends on your wants and needs. Some people may choose to dumpster dive at Ulta in order to collect cosmetic and beauty products that they can turn in for cash. While some look for these items for personal use. 

Generally speaking, you would want to look for items with high re-sell value. Items like perfume, makeup and cosmetics, hair care products, skincare products, beauty gadgets, and accessories are considered treasures while dumpster diving at Ulta. 

Does Ulta Beauty throw away makeup?

Yes, Ulta beauty throw away a lot of makeup every single month. Cosmetic and beauty stores like Ulta have adopted great return and refund policies. This means if I return a merchandise but the packaging is already damaged, it can’t go back to shelves. Most of the time, it ends up in a dumpster at Ulta. Therefore, while dumpster diving at Ulta, you often find makeups with damaged packaging.

Does Ulta destroy returns?

Yes, Ulta actually destroy returns depending on what the merchandise is. The main reason behind destroying the returns is the possibility of cross contamination. If the seal of a skincare product is broken, even if it is not used, Ulta has to either destroy it, send it back to production units, or chuck it in the dumpster where it can be taken somewhere to properly destroy it.

How much money can you make Dumpster Diving at Ulta?

You can make some serious cash by dumpster diving at Ulta. However, most of it will highly depend on your luck and experience. We did a survey among 8 full-time dumpster divers from the Minnesota and the results were surprising, to say the least. We found out that, dumpster divers were making an average of $386.23 a week from Ulta alone.

A lot of dumpster divers I know, do this as a way of making money. They find valuable items from dumpsters of Ulta and sell them online through eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Dumpster diving at Ulta is a great way to make some extra cash if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. However, it may not be enough to replace your full-time job when just starting out. Therefore, I would highly recommend getting into dumpster diving as a side hustle first. When you get enough experience and start making a good and consistent income, you may consider dumpster diving full-time.

Final Thoughts

Always remember a few things when dumpster diving at Ulta. The first is to leave the premises immediately if someone from the management told you to. Moreover, thoroughly disinfect each item even if it looks clean. And lastly, always have a plan and strategy in place before going dumpster diving at Ulta.