Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Have you ever walked into a store, and just thought “dang, this is overwhelming"? Because I know I have. Specifically, the time when I walked into a certain boutique on 5th Avenue in NYC, because I'm a freelance writer, and I don't have 5th Avenue money. I'd consider those price points a rather painful experience.


But guess what? Retail can be painful in many other ways, as explained here by the shoppers of Reddit. RelapsedCatoonist asked:

Which store is the most painful to shop at?

​Speaking of painful, let’s talk about the stores that are hella confusing to navigate.

Sears was a beast.

“It used to be Sears when they were still around.

It was impossible to find anyone, they never had what I wanted, and I went to the same Sears for most of my life. When I was younger, it was a beast, but near the end, you can tell it was dying.”

Spirited_Dot_2629

“Sears has become a case study of poor management. With their early history as a catalog store they could have repurposed themselves using that image arcing to the internet age and competed with Amazon. Instead the CEO pitted different parts of the organization against each other in the belief that the competition would make the company stronger but all they did was eat each other and aid in its destruction.”

Tacknosaddle

Why are Hot Topic stores so small, anyway?

scared hot topic GIF by South Park Giphy

“Hot Topic. I never understood how every Hot Topic store I've been to has the same squished layout. I still occasionally go because it's one of the few in person places I can shop for fandom merch (at least where I live). But c'mon, why it always gotta be so thin and narrow?"

SleepWithLolliPops

​The smell in these shops are unbearable.

“Abercombie and Fitch and Hollister are not ideal places to shop when you have asthma.”

StareyedInLA

“Also, why do they advertise clothes by plastering the walls with photos of topless models being photographed from the chest up? The guy isn't even wearing anything that you're selling; why is he there?”

CyanMata

These guys are totally right about Hollister and Hot Topic. But what about the smaller stores?

People do this???

“Most of the convenience stores in my neighborhood. There's almost always a person buying lotto tickets. They can't buy them all at once though. First they need to get their previous tickets checked/cashed in. Then they need to buy their weekly tickets. Then they need to buy a couple scratch'n'win tickets, which they quickly scratch off just the verification area. Depending on those "winnings" they'll buy more. When that's done, they'll look at how much change they have left and buy a couple more tickets.

Meanwhile, there's a line of people forming behind the gambler as they treat the cashier like a slot machine.”

Mailordermonster

​It’s a clothing store, not a club.

Animated GIF Giphy

“Any store that I can hear before I see. Dark lights and thumping music is really not necessary in a clothing store and I'll walk straight past every time no matter how good the clothes are.”

Mck-_-

​This is so messed up.

“Any stores with their exit located behind the cash registers forcing you to cut through a line of people waiting to pay.

F*ck your tricks.”

Iusedtobeonimgur

“My local Walmart has blocked off every unused register so you have to go through a line to exit the store. And they want you to stand in line with nothing (or a bag of meds you picked up from pharmacy) wait your turn, and tell them you don't need to checkout before you can leave.

I refuse to do this and usually just squish past people if I have to go in.”

Imnotacrazyperson

​The most painful of all retailers.

“Cellphone carriers.

You can't get anything done at AT&T or similar without them trying to sell you 15 things and services that are totally irreverent to what you need.

That is why I switched to Boost because they will actually just sell you a phone without trying to sell you half the store.

What should be a 10 minute experience of buying and activation of a phone ends up being about half an hour.

On that note, rereading this, this is totally a first world problem.”

VindictiveLem0n

On second thought, maybe we should just shop online instead.

​Looking at you, LUSH.

How Are You Help GIF by Your Happy Workplace Giphy

“Any store where employees are constantly hounding you about helping find something. Please leave me alone to browse in peace, if I needed help I would come ask.”

-eDgAR-

“I used to work at a Target and were told we'd get yelled at if you didn't ask. It was also a theft deterrent. I go to Target all the time and no one asks me which I am okay with actually.

I really hate how the American meaning of good service is bugging your customer/patient/whatever constantly as opposed to just flagging someone down when you need something.”

Antwon2kx

Nothing wrong with boring underwear.

“Victoria’s Secret can suck it. Went there as a teenager with a group of friends to get "properly fitted" for bras. The sales lady was all positive and enthusiastic and assured us that they had the perfect bra for each of us. Get to me, and I measured at 34AA. She frowns and says, "oh we don't carry that small a size, you will have to special order it." So I had to sit there on a stupid pink velvet bench and watch my "normal" friends pick out frilly bras.

That experience ruined my self-esteem for years. Luckily, now I love my little t*tties and my boring underwear!!”

Brik42

Nothing wrong with being barefaced, either.

“Holy sh*t, Sephora 100%. If you're not wearing at least 7 shades of eyeshadow they think you're either stealing or don't belong there.”

Hailmac

Ulta is like that too though. They try to steer you towards the super expensive brands or they talk down to you. when joked I was just looking for a concealer in almost white because I'm pale to a girl there, she got snippy with me and was like ‘actually you mean fair skinned’ lmao.”

Tish-of3Marys

So to sum it up--turn down the music, stop cleaning your carpets with nasty perfume, and leave me the hell alone. Shopping would be a much better experience that way.

They gotta make money, sometimes they just go about it in an unethical way. Retailers--be the change!

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Can you see Harry Potter at a football game in the Midwest? Chowing on a corn dog, throwing back some good ole Pepsi-Cola? Or can you picture the Harry universe living and loving in the great U. S of A? What would casting look like against the backdrop of the great harvest plains? I have so many thoughts and ideas. The first thought, the change would never work. Keep the story alive on British soil.

But, for fun, let's chat about the idea.

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If Harry Potter was set in the United States, how would the story change?
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RobinHiggins/Pixabay

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Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!