The garbage collection schedule has a pretty huge impact on what I end up finding (or not finding). For instance, while the trucks generally start their rounds at 7am some streets aren’t covered until 3pm or later. This effects when people put out their trash. People are way more likely to put out their bin the night before if their collection is at 7 or 8 in the morning, while those with late pickups are much more likely to put theirs out the next day.

For example, the garbage at the spot that provided the old leather coat, silver cigarette holder, and vintage bullets from a couple posts ago is only picked up around 2pm, and the people at that particular place only put out their trash around noon.

I’m not usually out picking at that time, but I just happened to be in the area that day and got lucky. Of course, as they say you have to be good to be lucky, and my knowing that the trash on this street was not collected until late certainly contributed to my good fortune – I went out of my way to check it out, after all.

I’m very loyal to places that provide interesting trash, so I started doing a late morning run (starting around 11am) to see if any other treasures were being tossed. One time I got to the house too early, so I ended up covering a few other streets that were also later on the collection schedule. As a result I found a couple of sweet things that I never would have come across on my usual picking itinerary.

Two nice finds came from this spot in Westmount. These people seem to be slowly clearing their basement or something, as I remember finding some neat books here many months ago.


I found this cool board game amongst a bunch of otherwise uninteresting business-related books and papers. It’s called “L’attaque!“, which was apparently a precursor to the more well known Stratego.


The game was made in France sometime in the 1910s or 1920s, which was a bit unusual as most others I saw on eBay were made in England. I listed it on eBay and it sold fairly quickly. Check out my next sales summary to find out how much it went for!



I also found a 1980s Casio data bank computer. It was made to be portable, and is roughly the size (a little taller, and a bit less wide) than your average scientific calculator. This is a great example of why it’s good to research the going rates for vintage items. I’m not sure who’s buying them, but one recently sold for 43$ and another for 65$. The latter should be an attainable price for my PB-110, especially considering the fact that it looks unused and comes with a leather pouch. I just have to get a battery in there.


I came across another spot in Westmount the next trash day. I took a slide projector (in a box near the back) and sorted through the bags, taking a small trinket box and some art supplies. Before I finished a woman came out of the house and asked me what I was looking for. I showed her the box and the supplies as an example, hoping to alleviate whatever concerns she may have had. Unfortunately she was not comfortable with my looking any further and asked me to leave.

I didn’t think I saved anything particularly exciting at first, but it turns out I underestimated one of my finds!


I figured this little box was silver plate when I saw it. I gave it a quick look over and saw no markings, so I tossed (well, gently placed) it in the car, thinking it was a good yard sale item if nothing else.


However, I looked it over again later and noticed some British silver marks on the side. When I saw them I said “this thing is sterling!?” out loud to no one in particular. Indeed, the trinket box is sterling silver (92.5% silver) and was made in Birmingham in the 50s.


eBay prices vary a bit. Boxes that are put up on auction usually sell for a bit under 100$ (always a bad idea to do auctions for this kind of stuff in my opinion) while others have gone for 200$ or more (around 600$ for one!). Mine’s a bit different than most – it’s by a different maker (I’m not sure who exactly) and doesn’t have wood on the top section which I think makes it less attractive to cigarette connoisseurs. It think 200$ is likely a fair price considering it’s otherwise free of dents and other damage. However, if anyone has any advice regarding pricing let me know in the comments!


Otherwise, I took a few days off from picking to focus on listing. I also switched up my routes, checking out Verdun on a Wednesday night and trading my usual (but currently dry) Monday night NDG / Hampstead run for Villeray. Villeray is not quite as good of a garbage day, but it’s sometimes better to try and find the “hot hand” rather than stick with a poor producer.

As for miscellaneous finds, I saved some vintage soda bottle holders (Verdun);


… some change from a box in NDG (from the garbage day before the switch!);


… an unopened Stella McCartney “Nude” perfume gift set that sold as I was writing this for a nice 55$ (Villeray);


… a framed moth (Villeray);


… and a couple cast iron doohickeys (TMR).


If anyone knows what these might have been for let us know in the comments! Just to clarify these aren’t connected (as it sort of looks like in the photo) but they do match. I figure they’re legs for something, but for what I have no idea.

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Recent sales: October 26 – November 8

Online sales have continued to pick up as the holiday season approaches and the cold weather sets in. Unlike last time there were no big-ticket sales (nothing sold for over 100$) but the smaller profits still added up to a respectable total. I plan on spending the next few weeks listing as much as possible for the Christmas rush, and I’m optimistic about reaching my goal of 20k for the year.


1. 8mm projector: On Kijiji for 40$. Found a few weeks ago in TMR.


2. Wood chandelier: On Kijiji for 100$. I really liked this chandelier. I might have kept it myself if I was a homeowner, but as a renter it doesn’t make much sense to get too involved in home renovation. Found early September in TMR.


3. Broken 50″ Plasma HDTV: On Kijiji for 60$. Found two weeks ago in TMR.

4. Perfumes: To a reader for 18$. Included a half bottle of Chanel #5 for 15$ (Hampstead), and a nearly empty vintage bottle of Guerlain Mitsouko for 3$ (Golden Square Mile).


5. Sankyo wind-up musical keychain: On eBay for 33$. Found this summer in Westmount.

6. Ray-ban aviators: On eBay for 40$. The lenses weren’t pristine, but they were in good enough shape to net me some cash.


7. Gold plated Montblanc pen: On eBay for 70$. Found May 2015 in TMR, but just recently listed. A quick seller! There was a bit of damage to the plating, otherwise it would have went for much more.

8. 1950s restaurant menu (Cascade Lodge in Saco Maine): On eBay for 12$. Found late January in Verdun.


9. Vintage brass adjustable book holder: On eBay for 90$. I would have love to have kept this (I’ve been using it in the interim) but I’m not rich enough to turn down 90$. Found March 2015 in TMR.


10. Chalkware barmitzvah cake topper: On eBay for 23$. I was wondering if this would ever sell. Found May 2014 in Snowdon.


11. Moschino sunglasses: On eBay for 48$. One of many nice pairs of sunglasses I found in Westmount back in May.


12. “Discover Shibui” – 1960 issue of House Beautiful: On eBay for 50$. Apparently this is one of the more valuable issues of this magazine. Found late April in NDG.


13. Lot of WWII-era felt patches: On eBay for 50$. Found in March at that same spot in NDG.

Total: 634$, 17072.25$ since the new year began.

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Dominion No. 12


I returned to TMR last week and avoided getting another ticket. I was paranoid for most of the run though, which wasn’t too fun. I stopped at this place, which provided the picture frame from a couple posts back, but the bags were kind of torn up. I didn’t look long because I didn’t want to get blamed for causing the mess, which would result in a different kind of fine. It seemed to mostly be junk anyways. I imagine the bags were ripped apart by a raccoon.


I didn’t find much that night, but I was able to make a bit of money off this big 50″ Panasonic Plasma TV. I brought it home and tried turning it on. It didn’t work, which wasn’t really a surprise. However, the problem was with the circuitry, not the screen itself (which is the most valuable part). I listed it on Kijiji and ended up selling it within two days for 60$. Not bad! I’ve passed up on TVs before (largely because they take up so much space, and I had less room to work with at my old place) but I may take them going forward. At the very least I can flip them to guys like this for a quick profit.


I came across this spot with some interesting junk outside on Thursday night in Montreal West.


One bag held a bunch of clay masks, which I presume were bought during trips to Central America.


They look extra creepy when photographed in this light!


There were also a bunch of fantasy (mostly dragon) figurines. Many were busted, but a few were salvageable.


I gave this sweet stained glass dragon lamp to my sister. It fits her decor nicely! There are a few cracks to the yellow part of the stained glass, but it’s not at all noticeable.


I also saved this cool dragon figurine. It was made by Melody Pena of Windstone back in 1986. These are fairly collectible. In fact, mine just sold as I was writing this post for 75$!


I’ve also been keeping an eye on this stately home not far from downtown. The place is huge and was likely built in the 1920s. Whoever owns it now is tossing out some interesting stuff. There were bags and bags of magazines, including stacks of House Beautiful and Town & Country, most of which were published between 1950 and 1970.


I saved a box of Birks teas which I’d guess were made in the 1950s. The teas aren’t good anymore, but the boxes are attractive.


I also saved a couple nice jars …


… two cool vintage maps;


… a photography magazine featuring British women in various degrees of undress (this may sell for a decent amount on eBay);


… some unused vintage ink;


… a box of shells in an old Oglivy’s box;


… and a cool sterling silver cigarette holder.


It’s marked as being made in Germany. I should be able to make a shiny penny from it on eBay!


I made a couple of odd finds in front of this house as well. I pulled this box of bullets of out a black bag. The bullets are quite old, probably having been made in the 40s or 50s. I was a bit scared of them, not being an expert on how well munitions age (and knowing that old, though admittedly much larger shells have killed people in the past). However, putting them back in the bag for the trash collectors to crush didn’t seem like a good idea either. I thought it over and figured they were probably safe enough to take, though I drove home gingerly (and made sure to have them point away from me) just in case.



This old leather coat was also interesting. It’s in very rough shape (very stiff, dirty, and has a few rips) but I took it because it seemed somehow special. Specifically, I wondered if it had First Nations roots. A lot of Native Canadian history has been lost, largely due to the cultural genocide that occurred here over many generations, so I figured the coat was worth taking just in case it had some historical value.

I posted the coat to Reddit’s “What is this thing?” message board on the off chance someone knew something about it. To my surprise, someone (who is trained as a “Native American art curator of objects”, according to their other comments) chimed in. They said: “Aw, this is lovely! It’s a circa 1930s deerskin jacket in the style of an early 19th century hunting frock coat. It’s likely Cree or Cree-Metis – it’s embellished in a manner that has its roots in Santee Dakota style quillwork, but uses the silk floss embroidery that was being taught to Native women in southern Canada on the east coast and in the Prairie by French Catholic nuns as a kind of mission civilacitrice.”

This person seems to have legit knowledge of the coat. Unfortunately they didn’t reply to my last comment asking if it still had historical or monetary value given its condition, and if so who or what organization might have interest. I’m pretty busy right now trying to get some publications ready for Expozine this weekend (come by in you’re in Montreal!) but maybe I can research it more when that’s all done. In the meantime, if anyone has any information about the coat let us know in the comments! A few more close up shots are below.


Otherwise, I saved a large vintage VW bug toy made by Tonka (NDG);


… a half bottle of Chanel #5, which I sold to a reader for 15$ (Hampstead);


… some nice original art (Ville St-Laurent);


… a working vacuum cleaner (Hampstead);


… and a vintage Peugeot bike. I found it in Ville St Laurent on one of their heavy garbage days. It looked like it had been sitting unused in the basement or garage for many years. It had two flat tires and an ugly seat but otherwise seemed fine. I figured it needed new tires and inner tubes, but they actually still hold air after all these years. The bike would actually be pretty decent for trash picking: the diagonal women’s frame makes it easier to mount and dismount (something you do often while picking) and it already has a nice rear basket holder. I’m going to give it a try, and if I like it I’ll keep it for myself!

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