Will to power; list to profit

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Last week I continued my minimal hunting schedule, focusing instead on getting organized on the business side of things. I did some culling of my yard sale stuff, putting about seven boxes of less salable stuff back to the curb. I made sure that the boxes were visible, and as a result the vast majority was taken by other pickers. I did this to make more space for better stuff and to reduce clutter in general.

I also spent a fair bit of time listing things on eBay. Several of the items I listed sold within days (and sometimes within hours), which was pretty awesome. My sales have been great lately. According to eBay, I’ve sold nearly an item a day over the past two months, which seems pretty good considering how small my store is. I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback too – my score is now up to 94. Getting to 100 will be a milestone for me! I have a lot more listing to do, but I do feel like I’m getting caught up.

The pickings were slim last week, unlike the week prior. The enigmatic dumpster only ever got this full, and didn’t even get taken away this Monday as the previous bins did. I guess whoever is filling it was busy with other things.

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Most of the bags were full of old magazines, but none of them were particularly interesting. I spotted this container sitting on a shelf at the left hand side of the bin.

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It was full of bits of jewellery, many of which seem hand-made. Some were complete, while others are just nice metal shapes.

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The bits come in gold-tone, silver-tone, and copper-tone. They have that old metal smell, but that cleans up easily enough. I’m thinking it might be cool to sell a few, and use others for arts and crafts projects.

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I also saved two packages of charcoal art paper, still in their original plastic wrap. Both are marked 22.45$ at top right.

I found two old alligator (crocodile?) handbags at a spot in Hampstead. They seem to be made of legit leather. Neither are in good condition (though the one on the right is decent outside of the broken handle), but I figure someone might want to recycle the leather.

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I saw nothing in front of my spot in Verdun, making me think it might be the end of the line for that particular place.

However, a spot in Cote St-Luc provided a couple useful things, including: two nice vintage staplers; a JFK memorial magazine; a wallet with old Israeli coins inside; an empty vintage wedding journal; some kind of Hebrew scroll; and a few other doodads.

Overall, it was my slowest week in quite some time. Most of that was probably due my minimal schedule, though who knows if I would have found anything regardless. Mid-February definitely isn’t the best time to find garbage, at least here in Montreal.

Last week’s garbage sales (February 16 – February 22)

I may not have many finds to talk about, but I did make a bunch of sales!

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1. Ho Hang vintage cologne: On eBay for 85$. This sold within hours of my listing it. I think I found it at my spot in Hampstead, though it could have also been from Cote St-Luc. Regardless, it never made it to the blog. I’m pretty happy with the money! I never would have guessed that I’d be making good money selling old scents.

2. Vintage Dunhill cardboard pipe box: On eBay for 30$. This had been sitting around my room for a long time, waiting for me to fix it up a bit and list it. Last week I finally did, and it sold within a day of being listed. I’m glad to see it leave my home. This was the last remaining item from the box of old pipes and pipe accessories that an older man kindly gave me this summer in Mount Royal.

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3. Small vintage banner – Game 8 of 1972 Summit Series: On eBay for 85$. I came across this again when organizing my old stuff. I did a bit of research and found that it was a banner from the famous Game 8, where Canada beat the Soviets thanks to a late goal by Paul Henderson. It sold very quickly, making me wonder if I should have charged more. Regardless, it’s a good price! Found this fall in Cote St-Luc, but it never made it to the blog.

4. Guerlain Shalimar dusting powder: On eBay for 44$. Another item I listed this week that sold fairly quickly. Found around a month ago in Hampstead.

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5. E.E. Fairchild fortune telling deck: On eBay for 35$. Yet another item listed this week. It’ll be hard to keep the store stocked if things keep selling at this pace! Found a couple weeks ago in Verdun.

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6. St Joseph’s Oratory charm bracelet – 1920s-1940s: On eBay for 90$. I was speculating a bit on the price when this was listed, but it ended up making me a nice chunk of change. I thought it was a very beautiful. Found in May in Verdun.

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7. Sterling silver Waterman “Ideal” fountain pen: On eBay for 150$. This received a fair bit of interest, and finally sold this week. Found early August in the Plateau next to Jeanne-Mance park.

8,9: Two Expo 67 Passports: On eBay for 70$. A buyer from China bought both, as well as another passport I had from the 1935 Expo in Brussels. I’ll add that Brussels passport to the profit total next week, as they bought that piece on Monday. Both of these were found this fall in Cote St-Luc.

Total: 589$, 12257$ since May 18 and 2574$ since the new year began. A very nice week, largely due to my listing several new items. I also sold some broken Blackberries, I didn’t add them to the total as the payment hasn’t come through yet.

New listings

I offer a discount to local buyers who can come pick up the item themselves (and preferably pay me in person, saving me the eBay fees). Email me if you’re interested in anything you see.

1. Super Mario Cheez Whiz jar (from 1989)
2. The Black Cat 1940s fortune telling game
3. Tag Heuer watch
4. Box of samples – Lanvin Oxygene perfume
5. Matt and Nat vegan changepurse
6. Yves St Laurent Opium perfume
7. Yves St Laurent Opium perfume (larger bottle)
8. Framed WWII-era photograph by Yousef Karsh (the subject is a Canadian military Colonel)
9. Tokyo Bay watch
10. Vintage hand-painted metal lunchbox (Etsy)
11. E.E. Fairchild fortune telling cards (SOLD!)
12. Guerlain Shalimar dusting powder (SOLD!)
13. Summit Series Game 8 banner (SOLD!)
14. Vintage Dunhill pipe box (SOLD!)
15. Ho Hang Balenciaga Cologne (SOLD!)

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also enjoy reading your comments! Keep in mind that I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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Fake out

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My plan for last week was give myself a bit of a break by checking out only recently productive (or known) spots. This pile was in from of the same house in Hampstead that provided some jewellery a little while back. The house had a “sold” sign out front, and judging by the unusually big pile of trash out front it looked like the family had recently moved on. I’d like to note that disposing of trash like this is totally counter the regulations of the town of Hampstead, not that I care too much.

I mentioned becoming somewhat paranoid of security officers, particularly in Hampstead. There seems to be more security officers per capita there than in other neighbourhoods, and none of them have any real work to do outside of harassing the evil trash pickers that dare to enter their domain.

I almost had another encounter while looking through this stuff. I was loading some items into the car when I noticed one of their white SUVs drive by. It stopped not far away before turning around and parking – just sitting their and watching – 25 meters behind me.

Knowing I was being watched, I did my best to look as cool and confident as possible. I ignored the SUV and acted as if I was just packing the car. I had the trunk open, so I started moving my stuff around randomly in a way that looked meaningful. I closed the hatch and opened the passenger door, lowering the seat (it’s a hatchback) and doing the same thing. After about two minutes of randomly moving things around the SUV pulled away from the curb and drove down the road, leaving me to my business.

I managed to save a fair bit of decent stuff, including: a Swiss army knife (or at least a nice imitation); a working electric razor and hair thing (I’m not sure what it does, exactly); a new (with tags) Matt and Nat vegan change purse; a collection of lightbulbs; and a bunch of other stuff, such as unused tea bags and saran wrap.

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There was a decent looking Dell laptop in a box near the back, but unfortunately I didn’t see a power cord. Cosmetically at least it’s in nice condition. This laptop is worth around 150$ in good working order.

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The most fun find was a working fog machine with a bit of extra fog juice. These cost about 50$ new, and I’m sure it’ll get some use around here.

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Figuring I’d take a break from Hampstead, I went to nearby Cote St-Luc to check out a couple of locations there. I came across this recycling bin by accident, thinking that I was on a different road than I was. I figured I’d check it out, just for the hell of it (and because the house was for sale).

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I pulled this blue bag out from inside the bin.

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Inside were two different laptops. This one came with the power cable, and works totally fine. It looks to be barely used (a former business computer, if my estimations are correct). It’s a HP 530 running Windows Vista – nothing too fancy but still good enough to do your basic tasks. It seems to be worth around 100$. I’ll likely try to sell it locally, on Kijiji or Craigslist.

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This laptop (a Dell Vostro 1000) was also inside the bag, but the power cable did not come along with it. If it works (and it might, seeing as the other one did) it’d be worth around 80$.

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After my brief journey to Cote St-Luc I went back to Hampstead to check another place I’ve been keeping an eye on.

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I found this plated silver menorah inside an old box of candles. One of the candle holders is broken off, but should be easy enough to solder back on. The centerpiece is also missing a nut, but that should be easy to replace.

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I also found a small collection of buttons and other things. The clasp at the bottom right is marked 18k, and is worth almost 20$ for its weight in gold (.68 grams). The pieces at the middle bottom look like amber. Both the ring (silver plate, bottom right) and the silver plate spoon cleaned up quite nicely. As for the buttons, they look somehow special or unusual. I wonder if the one near the middle is tortoiseshell.

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Wednesday evening brought me to Verdun. There was more trash out front of this spot (which has provided all the cool fortune telling stuff) than usual, which makes me wonder if the apartment has to be cleared out for the end of the month. It was a pretty damn cold night, but I managed to sort through all the junk.

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That word describes a lot of the stuff quite well. There were a couple bags mostly full of aged toiletries, as well as around fifty sample sized tubes of toothpaste. Still, I found some neat stuff, such as: a 1950s set of tree spotting playing cards; a tobacco pipe with a metal filter taped inside; a book on handwriting analysis; a Polaroid camera (“the Swinger”); a Devilbiss throat atomizer; an old Charlie Chaplin film reel; and a large collection of old keys (including one skeleton, a two old locks). Let us know in the comment if you know what the little glass dish below is for. It’s around 3″ tall.

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I also saved some old photos and postcards. There were several large format photos featuring 1950s-1960s schoolrooms.

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A couple of the postcards were quite old. This one is dated 1919 on the back.

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When I was done in Verdun I moved on to my productive spots in Cote St-Luc. This spot is the one that gave me that nice Dunhill lighter, as well as some decent vintage perfumes.

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There was less stuff on the curb this time around, but the finds were also more interesting. There were two different copies of this Montreal based Hebrew newspaper from January 7, 1958.

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There was also a bit of jewellery. The most noteworthy piece was this mid-century sterling silver brooch by N E From of Denmark. It’s worth around 30$.

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Otherwise, I found this cool old leather wallet. The top was decorated with a nice embroidery piece. It looks sort of dirty, but it’s just because there’s some old, broken plastic in the way.

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The pockets held only three very old photographs, likely from the 1930s or 1940s. I thought it was oddly touching that these were the only things left inside.

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I’ve keep keeping an eye on that enigmatic dumpster. This week nothing was put in there before Sunday (it’s replaced each Monday), when it was again filled to the brim. I dug around there a bit, but didn’t find anything super exciting.

I did bring home a carved wooden rooster, some tools, and a couple of vintage hand-painted bottles. The one on the left is cobalt blue underneath, so I might clean off the yellowed old paint and bring it back to its original colour.

I’ve been doing the same minimal trash picking schedule this week. There haven’t been many finds so far, but hopefully one of these places will pull through and give me some stuff to talk about!

Last week’s garbage sales (February 9 – February 15)

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1. Vintage Paragon tea cup and saucer: On eBay for 60$. This was one of my favourite cups of that big collection (yellow is my favourite colour). Found early October in Ville St Laurent.

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2. Murano glass vase: On eBay for 50$. Found mid June in Mount Royal. (It’s the one on the left).

3. Apple iPhone 4 for parts, repair: On eBay for 30$. I forget where I found this, and may not have mentioned it on the blog.

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4. “Roller Speedway News,” August 1939: On eBay for 28$. Found in May in NDG.

5. “Smoking and Cancer” comic book by Canadian Cancer Society (1971): On eBay for 12$. Found mid June in Mount Royal.

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6. Vintage Guerlain bee perfume bottle: On eBay for 37$. Found mid September in downtown Montreal.

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7. Vintage Anchor Hocking mugs: On eBay for 50$. I love these mugs, but can’t turn down the money. Found in the Plateau in September.

Total: 267$, 11668$ since May 18 2014 and 1985$ since the new year began. A pretty decent week. However, I’ve had some issues with a couple buyers not paying for the items they bought (the Expo 67 passport and vintage taxi meter). Those accounted for 180$ of profit, which I’ve subtracted from the total. I’ll avoid mentioning “incomplete” sales going forward. The items are now relisted.

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also enjoy reading your comments! Keep in mind that I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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The enigmatic dumpster

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The weather has been quite cold for some time now, which had made trash picking more difficult. It’s harder to sort through bags, for example, and to be thorough to the extent that I like to. Driving is definitely more annoying; the streets are narrow and dangerous, while parking is also a challenge. The cold, in general just makes the practice feel less carefree, even when considering the privilege of driving a car.

I also haven’t been in the best mental groove. I’ve been doing this picking thing for a while now, but encounters with neighbourhood security services still sometimes put me on edge, especially when I’m going to those places often. I can get self-conscious, paranoid, and edgy. Last week wasn’t particularly good in this regard, though I still got the job done and found some neat stuff.

For this week, I’ve decided to take the week mostly off from hunting. I still have some productive spots that I’ll still check out (and I’ve actually made some pretty nice finds this week doing these minimal runs), but I won’t be doing much exploring beyond that. I figure that mid-February isn’t the best time for throwing out trash either, so it’s the perfect time to take a little break. I’m going to focus instead on organizing my room and listing on eBay, as I haven’t been particularly active in this way of late.

My first notable finds of the week came on Wednesday night. I wasn’t planning on going to Verdun, but I had to go to Ville Emard to buy a laptop (more about this later) and figured I might as well check an old spot while in the area. I hadn’t found anything there the previous couple of weeks, making me think that the source had run out, and I was somewhat surprised to see more cool old stuff. This is the place that provided the dentist tools, vintage Montreal tram tickets, fortune telling cards, and old restaurant menus from posts past.

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There was more fortune telling stuff this time around. This “Black cat fortune-telling game” was made in the 1940s, appears to be unused or lightly used, and seems to have some collectors value. One just like it but in worse condition sold for 37$ + shipping. Not too shabby!

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This deck, by EE Fairchild (and likely made in the 50s) is also in nice condition. I should be able to sell it for around 25$.

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I couldn’t find anything on the internet similar to this “K. K.” deck. It was made in Vancouver BC for a Knicknacks and Novelties Co.

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This little booklet full of colorized photos of Mount Washington (New Hampshire) sat near the bottom of the recycling bin. I went to Mount Washington as a kid, and vaguely remember a few of the scenes from my trip. This was made in the 1940s as well, judging by the cars in the background.

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I also saved some old postcards, many of which were souvenirs from cruises.

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From Verdun I took Highway 15 north towards Cote St-Luc. I went to check out the place that provided the nice Dunhill lighter the other week. Along the way, I came across this pile of stuff sitting out front a house for sale. Most notable was a collection of framed art and prints, visible somewhat in the box closest to the front.

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I thought this framed image of a Cote St-Luc community swimming pool was kind of cool. It looks to be from the 1960s. There were other nice framed items though, including a (about 2′ tall) Vanity Fair lithograph of Sir George Truscott (with a certificate of authenticity on the back stating that it’s an original from 1908), a large embroidered image of a castle (which unfortunately has a busted frame), a work of art by Canadian artist Tilya Helfield, and a small sterling silver plaque portraying the wailing wall in Jerusalem.

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The Dunhill lighter spot offered a few beauty-related finds, including some vintage Yves St Laurent perfume, a working (and seemingly unused) Lady Sunbeam razor, and a set of nail tools. They’ve been tossing out a ton of this kind of stuff over the past few weeks, but most hasn’t been worth taking.

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Otherwise, I’ve been keeping my eye on the dumpster that provided all the sterling from last week’s post. The bin was taken away and replaced last Monday, after which it was filled up again and replaced this Monday.

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The dumpster last week contained a bit of furniture, lots of bags of clothes, and many more artist canvases. The cold and the sheer quantity of junk made it difficult to sort through it all. This nice framed piece (which appears to be painted fabric, and about two feet long) was close to the front of the pile, making it easy to find. The frame looks like one of those new plastic frames that try to look vintage, but it actually is made from old wood. It has an Art Nouveau (late 1800s – early 1900s) look to it, and might be worth a bit of money.

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At the bottom of one bag was a collection of old photos, many dating back to the 1930s.

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There was also one really old photo. The back is dated 1889.

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In that same bag (and inside another smaller bag) was this old German book.

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My roommate speaks some German, and was able to tell me that it’s basically a journal of someone’s explorations. I forget the guys name at the moment, but it might be Johanni Georgio. Publication dates of 1610 and 1611 can be seem on some of the pages, but it could also be a reprint.

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Someone wrote their name and the year (1881) on the back cover, so it’s at least that old. The outside is in rough shape but the pages are in decent condition, outside of a few that are likely missing. If anyone knows anything about this book (or any of the following items, for that matter) let us know in the comments!

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This spot has a certain unpredictability about it. I’m curious about the history of the house, as it’s provided some very cool old stuff. This tiny (under 3″ tall) pottery piece looks sort of ancient, and was resting near the bottom of a bag of clothes. It’s in good condition, outside of a little break off the edge. It’s made from a very red earth, which could help identify its origins.

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These beads (which were in the same part of the bag as the little pottery piece above) are also pretty interesting. They look to be very old and made from clay. Several have images of birds etched into them, while others are adorned with different patterns. They come in different sizes, with the larger beads measuring around 2cm long while the smaller come it at about a centimeter. Here’s a look at the ones that stuck out the most.

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The one at the bottom right looks a bit like a cat. It was impossible to capture the entire design in one shot (maybe if I had some kind of panorama mode) but you can kind of see the tail curving back in on the right hand side.

This is a good time to remind you that you can see larger versions of all these photos. With the larger size photos, you can just click on them and zoom in. On the smaller, gallery-style photos you have to click, scroll to the bottom right of the screen and click where it says “view full size.”

Intriguing stuff, and I look forward to learning more about it! I hope this enigmatic dumpster provides again this week.

In other news

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I decided to invest some money in buying a new laptop. My old Macbook (which I saved from the trash) still works nicely but wasn’t fast enough to do much in terms of photo editing. Considering how much time I spend doing that these days, I figure the increased efficiency will pay for itself over enough time. It replaces both my laptop and my bulky desktop computer, which also opens up a bit of space in my room.

Last week’s garbage sales (February 2 – February 8)

1. Aynsley tea cup and saucer: On eBay for 35$. One of many found early October in Ville St Laurent.

2. Nina Ricci “L’air du temps” perfume: On eBay for 24$. I believe this was found in Snowdon sometime this summer.

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3. Lot of 8 1960s Topps Hockey Cards: On eBay for 35$. It’s too bad these were glued to a scrapbook, as the value could have been a fair bit higher. Each card had red paper stuck to the back. Found in Ville St Laurent in early September, though they never made it to the blog.

4. Vintage photograph of Kelso Roberts, former Toronto MPP: On eBay for 4$. I’m glad someone appreciates this photo. Found a couple summers ago in the Plateau.

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5. Vintage Jean Chretien campaign pamphlet, poster: On eBay for 20$. This was a great piece from back when he was one of Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet ministers. Found early March in Mount Royal.

Total: 118$, 11581$ since May 18 2014 and 1898$ since the new year began. Not the best week, but I do like how I’m getting rid of stuff I’ve had for a while. I’m down to 106 items in my eBay store, which is a testament to how much I’ve sold, and also the fact that I need to get to listing more items. I plan on focusing more on that in the coming days.

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also enjoy reading your comments! Keep in mind that I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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