Dick’s Sporting Breaks and Discards Golf Clubs, Dumpster Diver Finds

A Reddit user was outraged to find wrecked golf clubs while dumpster diving at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Unfortunately, the destruction of goods in retail is not uncommon.

Broken golf clubs in a dumpster, a Dick's Sporting Goods storefront
Source: Grouchy_Swordfish_73/Reddit, Getty Images

What do retailers do with unsold merchandise? You throw it away.

Much to their dismay, a Reddit user who was dumpster diving outside Dick’s Sporting Goods found a pile of wrecked golf clubs.

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The Reddit user was deeply disappointed by this discovery – but why do companies destroy and throw away goods? Read on for the full story.

Golf clubs in a shop.
Source: Getty Images

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A dumpster diver found wrecked golf clubs in a Dick’s Sporting Goods dumpster.

“So heartbroken by Dick’s Sporting Goods,” wrote Reddit user Grouchy_Swordfish_73 in a post on the r/DumpsterDiving subreddit. The post included an image of broken golf clubs in a dumpster.

Some of the racquets had “DEMO” stickers on them, suggesting they were demo racquets that customers could try before buying a new one.

It’s not surprising that Dick’s wants to replace the demo clubs with new ones from time to time – but it’s a shame the store has chosen to destroy and throw away the old ones rather than finding a home for them.

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“This should be illegal. Not only is much of it recyclable and going to landfill, it’s just a huge waste. If you have to throw out that much stuff on a regular basis, stop ordering that much stuff in the first place,” commented another.

Some of the destroyed golf clubs could be saved.

The destroyed golf clubs are not totally wasted. In a follow-up post to the original Reddit thread, Grouchy_Swordfish_73 said they salvaged “a bunch” of golf club grips and backs to sell.

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Why do companies destroy and throw away unsold goods?

The company is destroying the goods for a tax write-off, Sacks said in a video.

“They order an employee to intentionally cut it open so no one can use it. And then they write it off as a tax write-off due to the same tax loophole as if it was accidentally destroyed,” Sacks explained.

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Another reason retailers, particularly luxury brands, are scrapping their merchandise rather than donating it or offering discounts is to avoid brand debasement, they say HuffPost. The more exclusive a product is, the more a store can charge for it.

Fashion label Burberry came under scrutiny in 2018 after it burned $38 million worth of unsold inventory, ironically just months after launching an initiative to keep products circulating. The Hollywood Reporter reported.

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