49. Curbside Appeal

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June 12, 2013 by bdetienne


Americans love free stuff. We just cannot help ourselves. Don’t believe me? Let us examine the evidence. On special occasions retailers hold raffle drawings in attempt to get people inside their walls. Restaurants desiring to know more about your dining experience now print off a survey code at the bottom of the receipt and encourage you to go to their website and complete the survey. You could win…a free appetizer!/$1,000!/an iPad! Craigslist has a section devoted to people trying to get rid of something. If you find an item you like you better snag it fast or it will be gone. If you are still skeptical of my theory, think about opportunities you have had at work to partake in free food.

Let’s face it: there is an exhilarating feeling that comes from getting something useful for free. Even better, we can brag about it to our friends. “Sweet golf club! Thanks man, I got it for FREE. All I had to do was test drive a Buick.” [Editor’s Note: That was a real conversation. I was willing to test drive a Buick I had no intention of buying in order to get a free club. And if asked about the club, I was more than happy to relate the story of how it came to be in my bag.]

Tonight was yet another reminder that gratis items are in demand. I live on a street with a high volume of traffic. At all hours of the day and night cars, motorcycles, and mopeds can be heard driving by. My wife and I are in the midst of purging some unneeded goods from our inventory and one of the things on the list is an collapsible charcoal grill. Originally purchased for tailgating, it was later used more frequently at my place of residence until recently when we got a gently used propane grill (for free, of course) to replace it. I decided to set it out on the curb and see if someone driving by would snag it. The people across the street had incredible success offloading free stuff (even random stuff like empty picture frames and egg crates) last fall, so why not try it ourselves?

The grill was placed on the curb at 7:21pm. At 7:49pm, it was gone. Not even half an hour. Even a nasty scene inside and a rust-covered underside couldn’t keep a passerby from making one man’s trash another man’s treasure. They are excited about their find and I have a story to tell. So if you need to dispose of an item from your stores, bring it by my place. We will set it out on the curb…and find a nice home for it very quickly.


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