Recent sales: November


After around 15cm of snow yesterday I’d say that winter is officially here. I plan on taking more time off from trash picking as a result, particularly when the roads are bad and the snow makes it hard to stop anywhere. In previous years I might have powered through regardless, but I no longer think that picking in those conditions is a good use of my time and energy.

My instincts tell me that the two weeks before Christmas are some of the slowest for trash, and looking back on my old blog posts confirms that (though the sample size is still fairly small). I’m going to keep an eye on my favourite spots, but I think I’ll take it easy otherwise. People often have better things to do this time of year than sort through old junk.

One notable exception might be local university students, some of whom are finishing their degree right about now. I’m sure a good number will move either after exams (which began last week, and end around the 20th) or before January 1st, leaving many of their old things behind. I’ll keep an eye on the situation. I did some biking around the student areas last December with limited success, but I think it’s worth trying again this year.

Either way, the trash should pick up again after Christmas. I’ve never had luck finding the mythical rich people, post-Christmas throwaways (ie: they get an iPhone X and toss the 7). I’m now convinced that the ultra rich just put the “old” stuff in their massive basements or closets. But there’s still people, like the students I just mentioned who move for January 1st and have to downsize before then. I don’t think the quality or quantity of garbage truly returns to normal until the second week of January, however.

Less picking means more time for other things, like listing on eBay. Over the summer I list less often and dedicate more time to yard sales, with the idea that I’ll get more listing done in the winter when eBay sales are stronger. It seems to me a logical strategy.

I’ve been sorting through my drawers and boxes full of potential eBay items. Some of those items end up in the yard sale box but most eventually make it online. I try to focus on the most valuable, or largest items first. I listed two big things earlier this week that sold within a day, so I’m happy about that!

Anyways, below are my November sales. It was a slow month overall, but I did get rid of a lot of clutter, and two recent finds helped to bump my earnings to an acceptable level.

1. Vintage Silva compass manual: On eBay for 10$. I don’t usually bother listing items on eBay for under 20$, but this was something I could easily ship out in a regular envelope. It didn’t take particularly long to sell either.

2. Electrolier gooseneck desk lamp: On eBay for 60$. It’s always nice to sell the bigger stuff!

3. Carnation milk punchers: On eBay for 20$. These would have been worth more, but for whatever reason one spike on each had been removed. Found in Villeray.

4. Secret Dakini Oracle tarot deck: On eBay for 50$. They’d have been worth more, but one card was missing. Oh well, they still fetched a decent price! Found in the Mile End.


5. Silver keychain fob: On eBay for 15$. This (on the left) was another one of my prehistoric eBay listings, and I’m glad to not have to look at it anymore. I found it way back in February 2014.

6. Gillette razor blade holder & blades: On eBay for 20$. These also sat around for far too long. Found in Outremont.

7. Vintage 70s Liberal party campaign ads: On eBay for 25$. Found in Villeray.

8. Framed Parc Lafontaine dogsledding photo: On eBay for 60$. This was probably taken in the 20s or 30s. Found near Decarie boulevard.

9. Vintage Pencil lot: On eBay for 35$. I ended up going with a fixed price on these, and they sold rather quickly. Found in NDG.

10. B&L wire rim glasses: On eBay for 30$.

11. Aiwa boombox: On eBay for 150$. This didn’t take long to sell! It cleaned up fairly nicely as well. Found in NDG.

12. Elgato EyeTV 250: On eBay for 75$. I forget what this thing is supposed to do, but it sold for a nice price. Found on rue Jeanne Mance in the Mile End.

13. Lot of small metal things: On eBay for 15$. Part of the junk saved from “The Muck” in Ahuntsic.

14. Vintage pencil leads: On eBay for 25$. I’m also glad that these, and the pen box below are no longer with me.

15. Peter Pan deluxe fountain pen box: On eBay for 15$.

16. Givenchy Gentleman aftershave: On eBay for 50$. This is a vintage scent that’s fairly sought after. I found five bottles of roughly the same type a couple years back – I think only one remains. I listed them one at a time to increase the illusion of scarcity.

17. Barbie lot: On eBay for 20$. These came with some extra clothes (not pictured). I’m wondering if it might just be easier to sell similar dolls at garage sales in the future.

18. Technics by Panasonic catalogue: On eBay for 20$. Another little booklet that was easily shipped via regular envelope. I’m sure it sold to an audiophile.

19. Two vintage necklaces: On Etsy for 35$.

20. Bell & Howell filmosound projector and amplifier: On Kijiji for 80$. I wish I had a better pic, but the ones I put on Kijiji were more functional than beautiful. Instead, here’s how I found them sitting by the curb. The projector must have weighed around 50 pounds, and the speaker another 20. They looked to have been made in the 30s or 40s. I might have gotten more on eBay, but shipping these things out would have been a total pain. Found in Rosemont, somewhere around 17th av.

21. Vintage Universal Genève watch boxes: On eBay for 450$. These ended up going to the same buyer in Italy, so I gave him a bit of a discount. Either way, I made about 225$ per box which is pretty awesome! These were in excellent condition, but who’d have thought that two empty boxes would go for so much? Here’s hoping I find more soon!

Total: 1260$, 25136.50$ so far in 2017. Not great, but thankfully December is going a little better!

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Last week was relatively quiet. Fortunately, this familiar pile produced some worthwhile finds. My friend and I got here just in time, as the rain really started coming down not long after we left.

I first stopped there two weeks prior and found this little Philips digital voice recorder in one of the bags. It receives pretty good reviews as a dictation / transcription tool, and I was surprised to find that it sells for around 120$ on eBay. It looks kind of “vintage,” but I guess it still gets the job done. (Edit: It sold for 120$ as I was writing this post).


A week later I saved this portable typewriter. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but when I did some research the next day I discovered that it was fairly collectible. The Hermes 3000 is one of the most desirable typewriters of the 1960s and often sells for around 600$ in excellent condition. In this condition (pretty good, but not perfect) it’s worth around 2-300$. Mine is the older and “curvier” model, which is more collectible than the later boxy versions.

One of last week’s bags had some old metal things inside. Fortunately, I also found an old wooden carrier to put it all in. I saved a bunch of old keys, two vintage locks, something made of bone, and some other curiosities. Zoom in for a better look!

This old CNR railway lock was one of my favourite finds. I didn’t find the key to go with it, but fortunately one of my readers has one that might work. Let’s hope it does! These seem to go for around 25$ without a key, but 60$ with.

I also found an old piece of wood attached to a peg, a U-shaped piece of metal, and a set of horseshoe like objects that were apparently part of an antique bed (they were stored in a smaller bag labelled as such). Any help identifying the mystery objects would be greatly appreciated!

The bags contained an odd mixed of relatively new and fairly old items. In a different one I found the St Christopher medallion you might have noticed in a previous photo, as well as this nice Parker 51 fountain pen. It’s in good, but not perfect condition due to a small dent in the cap. Regardless, it’s worth around 60-80$.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this spot on the curb going forward.

The run wasn’t over though, and there were more pens to be found. This collection came from a recently sold house not far away. There’s a lot of good pens and pencils here, but the most valuable are probably the Parker Vacumatic fountain pen (third from right, from the 30s or 40s) and the Parker 75 on the far right.

The 75 has a ciselé or crosshatch design, which seems to be more collectible than simpler patterns. I think this pen will make me around 150-170$. Not bad! Hopefully they throw out some more pens next week.

Otherwise, this pile of junk provided some good stuff last Friday.

Inside one of the boxes was a set of silver plated cutlery. It’s not super valuable, but someone will definitely buy it at a yard sale! I’ve found nice silverware before, but never any in the original presentation box.


I found this cute mid-century lamp as well.


Pretty nice eh? I’ll have to figure out whether to sell it or keep it myself.

This vintage Zassenhaus coffee grinder was my best find, however. It seems that this model, the 532 is particularly valuable and I listed it for 250$ on eBay. I’ve already got messages about it, so I expect it’ll sell for that price. The grinder was made in Western Germany in the 60s, and is in excellent condition for its age.

That’s all for now, but I still have a backlog of things to share from earlier this year!


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Recent sales: October


1. Yard sales: 1850$. I tried to unload as much as possible before the cold arrived. It was a lot of work, but I was pretty successful! Both my storage areas were mostly emptied of junk, with only a few suitcases of recent or favourite finds, as well as some larger pieces surviving the purge.

That’s pretty much it for yard sales until April, unless I end up selling at a local market or something. Either way, I made significantly more money yard sailing this year than ever before. I did the math last night and found that I made around 5500$, which is about twice what I made in 2015 (I don’t think I did the math for 2016, but I’d guess that the number was roughly the same as in 2015).

I’d say the main reason for this increase is the fact that I raised my prices, which were sometimes ridiculously low before. Over time I’ve learned more about what people are actually willing to pay for my junk, instead of charging what I personally would want to pay (which is next to nothing, since I’m kind of cheap and get so much for free anyways). I also found the process a little less overwhelming than in years past, and as a result I was less motivated to get rid of things as soon as possible.

We’ll see how the 2017 season goes. Perhaps the new garage space will help increase profits further, or at least add to the variety of things I’m willing to take.


2. Gold and silver scrap: 1200$. Another nice haul. I did well with that silver dish from a little while back, which earned me about 450$ on its own, but I had a decent collection of junk gold to melt as well.

3. Simonds saw tool: On eBay for 35$. This neat antique tool took a long time to sell. So did several other items on this list.

4. Series of Notman & Sons photos: On eBay for 125$. I figured these would go for a nice price! They were found as part of a great collection of old photos early in the summer. The Notman museum has record of these photos, and apparently they were part of a Junior League performance of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”

5. Parker VP fountain pen: On eBay for 90$. It was in great condition. Found in Villeray.

6. Parker Vacumatic desk pens: On eBay for 90$. The ends looked to have been chewed on, but the barrels and nibs were in good condition. These will be part of a future blog post!

7. iPod Classic: On eBay for 50$. Found in NDG.

8. Canadair lot: On eBay for 50$. This was all from a spot in Villeray. I would guess that it’s now part of it an aviation collection.

9. Michael Kors handbag: On eBay for 30$. The first of two Michael Kors handbags that took forever to sell. At least both customers were very happy, and left good feedback.

10. Supertest service pins: On eBay for 60$. These didn’t take long to sell. Unfortunately, after the initial pile of quality junk I saw nothing else at that spot.

11. Magellan handheld GPS: On eBay for 60$. From the “Very Rich People” series.

12. Michael Kors handbag #2: On eBay for 40$. It looked like it had barely been used, and even came with the receipt.

13. Herend Hungary dish: On eBay for 20$. Just a cute dish. Found in Outremont.

14. Lot of three vintage calculators: On eBay for 15$. None of these were particularly valuable on their own, so I listed them all together as a lot. Overall it was more hassle than it was worth, and next time this tier of vintage calculator will probably go into the yard sale bin.

15. Empty Grace cartridge box: On eBay for 30$.  It’s not just watch boxes that have value. This one was made to hold a vintage high-end record player cartridge, and sold quickly once listed. Unfortunately I can’t find the picture on my computer.

16. Royale Ambree EdC: On eBay for 18$. I’m pretty sure this was my oldest eBay listing, though that lot of bullfighting ephemera is pretty close. It was probably online for 3 or 4 years, and I’m glad to not have to look at it ever again.

17. Vintage Ski-doo toque: On eBay for 35$. I listed this when the weather cooled down and it didn’t take long to sell. Found in Rosemont.

18. Expo 67 passport: On eBay for 30$. I find Expo 67 passports generally go for around 30-40$, assuming they’re in good condition and have a solid collection of stamps. This one had an old ginkgo leaf stuck between the pages.

19. French far-right literature: On eBay for 150$. More racist ephemera from that spot in Rosemont. It seems that people are buying it for research purposes, which is good.

20. Postcard lot: On eBay for 10$. This was a collection of vintage holiday / dumb joke cards. It was the last of lots I listed last year – the ones I organized by geographical region were much more popular.

21. Dresser: On Kijiji for 50$. Unexceptional but solid. Found with my mom on a run in St Michel.

22. Mirrors: On Kijiji for 50$. It took me a while to realize that these kinds of things might do well on Kijiji. The mirrors were quite old, and likely part of some long since replaced medicine cabinets. I still have the windows, and have added a few more to the collection since then. Both the mirrors and windows are great for upcycling or interior design projects.

23. Roto-toms: On Kijiji for 100$. The drums were nice, but the stands were in too rough of shape to be worth much. I threw them in with the drums as part of the deal. The chimes sold at one of my yard sales, I think for 20$.

Total: 4188$, 23876.50$ so far in 2017. If only every month could be so profitable. Now it’s time for me to listed a bunch of stuff on eBay in anticipation for winter, which is usually a great time for sales.


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2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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