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Eighty Japanese answering machines that don't work, blow-up dolls that contain lethal gas etc etc - these were the tools that Derek Trotter used to carve himself out a millionaire lifestyle in Only Fools and Horses. But that dream could also be yours.

Actually, to be fair, www.salvagesale.com is a professionally run outlet from people that have been in the salvage industry for years. The Internet is obviously a great medium for this sort of thing and you won't believe what you can find here. The site is in its early stages so a lot of the categories are empty but if you're bored sitting at your desk for an hour or so, have a look.

Using the established online auction set up you can bid for anything from telephones to rotting food to the most serious bit of industrial equipment (we waited for one pic, tagged with the line "This item was part of a gasification plant. Please click on the image for additional details", and were surprised to find what must be a 50 foot by 50 foot steel vat structure - serious stuff).

Anyway this is another of those great examples of where the Web comes into its own - there are pics, papers, descriptions, email addresses to ask the seller questions etc etc etc. We know that this all seems obvious now but just think back even a year ago.

There is a computer section but the only thing in it when we looked was a load of LanLinker routers. So if you're in the bulk buying business or just want to know what strange stuff you can buy, check it out. ®

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