Penthouse my a**,
02U2 did everybody a favor letting people in on this gig. It's not often someone with a good hustle will talk, but this is one anybody can get in on if they swallow their pride and put in a little work. If you'll notice not too many people post any real score(z)s on here. That's because it takes time. Time to find the places, time to figure out routine (trash pickup, merchandise dropoff), and time to vist regulaly.
People are so deaf about free deals due to scam artist businessmen, but we aren't selling anything here. I'll say there is a certain "check box" on job applications that I'm familiar with which made me a little less hesitant or snooty than others about d-diving. When I earned my checkbox I had trouble GIVING AWAY leftovers I had from my exploits. I found it incomphensible but people DON'T TRUST FREE THINGS. Granted unless I move I'm not telling you my exact spots that I hit but 02U2 was right on with his exasperation.
Office Stores, some take customer returns and process them early in the week, others toss every day and you can have better luck on the weekend when idiots are working and they don't D&D (deface & destroy) items.
OEM's, I've found only weird stuff, some I've eBayed others I've kept but your results may vary.
Large Businesses, IT departments don't have time to test things, nor handle leftover parts. If there is a possiblity that it's bad they replace it. One of my regular haunts that I stumbled upon had a licensing quote form Ingram Micro that listed the companies computer assets: 1000+ laptops, 400 workstations, 40 HP netservers, 60 compaq servers....All this out of 2 nondescript brick buildings. I was just walking through a business complex when I spotted some cisco router books in the cardboard recycling, there were about 20 empty router boxes.
Lastly, If you can't d-dive read http://www.fatwallet.com/forums for the hot deals (I've got tons of free or cheap stuff there, it's the place that finds all the e-commerce price errors, coupon deals, free offers and the like)
I stop by a couple times a week and I always get laptop recovery CD's (pricey on eBay, keyboards, server stuff, cords, new ink cartridges & printers (I think they came as Freebies with the IBM laptops). After I had found the list detailing all the laptops I was kind of pi**ed I hadn't found any laptop goodies, but last night I got 6 10gb hitachi 2.5" drives. They were static wrapped nicely but I haven't tested them yet. I also got 3 small computer desks (in box) 2 floor mats, 1 acer scanner w/out AC.
A last rule of thumb many businesses retail or private handle electronics broken or unwanted as expensive items and they must be handled under supervision. This applies to throwing they away as well. Most places I've found will have the stuff outside of the usual black trash bags making them easy to find. I had to remove ten trash bags to find the laptop hard drives.
Seek and ye shall find,
Maybe next weekend you'll find my crazy garage sale with all the office furniture, the lawn will look like a staples furniture floor.
"...stranglin a mandolin..."
ghostface killah lyric