This may be common knowledge for others in this group but it was news
to me. I was in my local HD the other day and wandered down the aisle
with the hardwoods. I noticed their cull bin had a stack of red oak and
poplar cut offs stacked on the top. I looked to see if they had been
marked with the spray paint on the end as they do with their cull bin
items. They weren't marked. There were maybe eight to ten cut offs
between a foot to two feet in length. I found an employee and asked him
if they were going to go in the cull bin or back on the shelf. He said
they weren't going back on the shelf but that they weren't going in the
cull bin either. He said they would be thrown away but that I could buy
them at the regular linear foot price if I wanted them. He said they
couldn't put them in the cull bin because they are sold by the linear
foot. I can understand their position- if they put these cut offs in
the cull bin it might encourage people to saw off a foot or two and
then ask if they can have it at the cull price instead of full price.
OTOH I find it sad that this lumber is going to be thrown away. I could
use it for small boxes or drawer fronts, etc. In the past at this same
HD I have found a maple and a red oak cut off in the cull bin but
perhaps this was a mistake or they've changed their policy???
In this respect, this is just bad management policy with HD. Ours in
Houston do the ame thing. With the mark up they have on this stuff this
should be an item with good GP. They really should not have a policy of
selling less than a full stick of anything. Lowe's in Houston sells by the
Our HD here in Minnesota still puts the cutoffs in the sale
bin. I check on Sundays anytime I'm in the area, as they end
up cutting a lot more hardwood on Saturdays. This week I got a
couple of 6" red oak boards (26-28" long) for $1.01, and a
week ago I got just under a half sheet of 3/4" oak plywood for
$2.01. That was an odd one-- the sheet was cut to about 46",
and they were selling 3x4' precut sheets for $18.99 a couple
of aisles over.
In some states (like California) dumpster-diving is illegal. Reasons range
reducing employee theft to avoiding the possibility of faulty products
in consumer hands. One case that I remember was a number of bars of soap
retrieved from a dumpster (at a soap factory) that had been thrown out
they had metal shavings embedded in them...the person taking the soap
it (not knowing the soap had a problem) and many people had a very
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