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Why This Seller’s Backyard Stash Is Giving Neighbors Nightmares

This backyard stash of printers has neighbors aghast
Why This Seller's Backyard Stash Is Giving Neighbors Nightmares

The lesson one online seller seems to have learned the hard way: don’t buy 2,000 computer printers unless you have a place to store them. Especially if you live in a cold climate.

Neighbors appalled at having to live next to what became a pile of commercial refuse told news reporters this week that the problem started last spring. One person supplied a news station with a photograph showing the New Hampshire home’s driveway piled high with enormous pallets of printers – enough to fill a small warehouse.

But that gigantic pile of neatly stacked boxes in the driveway became wall-to-wall garbage in the backyard after the homeowner reportedly removed the ink cartridges and discarded the printers and boxes in his back yard where they have been sitting for nearly a year.

Neighbors told reporters they are concerned that wild animals and vermin seeking shelter over the winter made homes in the refuse, and the town said it has been trying to get the homeowner to clear out the mess.

Think those neighbors exaggerating? Take a look at this CBS Boston News report.

The lessons for others thinking about purchasing in bulk: know what you’re getting into (run the numbers!), and don’t bite off more than you can chew. You can purchase branded items from liquidation firms, but that doesn’t mean brands will allow unauthorized retailers to resell the items.

A local newspaper said the seller had acquired the printers through his former liquidation business that he had had to shut down abruptly, and he had no other place to store the printers.

For sellers who find themselves in a bad situation (hopefully never anywhere near as dire as the man in this story), consider researching recycling or donation options. For example, 1-800-Got-Junk says it handles unwanted printers – though it’s not clear it could have handled the sheer number of printers in this case, especially now that they’ve been sitting outside unprotected in the cold and snow.

What would you do if you found yourself in a situation like this New Hampshire businessman?

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

5 thoughts on “Why This Seller’s Backyard Stash Is Giving Neighbors Nightmares”

  1. As long as the yard is fenced I think the neighbors should stick their noses in someone else’s business. Maybe I don’t like all the junkers they have parked in the driveway that don’t run. Or the smell of all the dog crap laying around in their backyard from their dogs.

    1. If you watch the video you’ll see that the back yard is easily visible from the street. It looks like a dump. It is a dump! Would you like living next to that? How about if you’re trying to sell your house for the highest possible price, with that dump next door? Hmmm?

      When living in a civilized society, there are rules and responsibilities. Not turning one’s property into a dump, in a populated neighborhood, isn’t too much to require of its residents. Dumps eventually become health hazards, with potential animal and ground contamination issues.

  2. This seems to be a bad governance problem.

    They should have zoning codes to cover situations like this and if they don’t then it is a problem for local government and the voters to solve.

    Once that is fixed the rest will fall into line.

  3. The way to handle neighbours is to tell them nothing about you and give them nothing to see. Mine dont even know my name.

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