Konec Civilizace

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I was busy for a lot of last week preparing, packing, and shipping things I had sold. I try not to buy boxes – I usually take them from the recycling – but this time I caved and spent the few extra bucks. More on that, and a poor experience with the UPS store later. All this took away from my regular hunting schedule, but I still made it out for a few runs.

I’ve been going to Cote St-Luc on Sunday nights for a while, but decided to take the night off after I struck out there last week. My first run of the week was to NDG, Snowdon, and Hampstead. I came across this oil heater not far from upper Westmount. It works fine, and I put it up on Kijiji for 25$.

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Later on, I drove by this recycling bin and did a double-take. Inside the paper bags was a bunch of books, the vast majority of which were written in a language I couldn’t understand.

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I took some regardless. Many had pretty cool covers, and I know there is somewhat of a market for vintage, foreign-language books.

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I was able to figure out the language (at least of some), mostly due to this Englesko-Hrvatski dictionary. Hrvatski is the language of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and some parts of Serbia. It was published in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia in the 1950s.

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I thought this Aldous Huxley book was particularly cool. “Konec Civilizace” translates to “End of Civilization.” Huxley doesn’t appear to have a book by that title in English, but it could be a non-literal translation of a book like “Brave New World.” I wonder if I could get a bit of money for it.

Edit: apparently it is “Brave New World.”

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The oldest was a book by Jana Nerudy, published in 1893. Another one of my favourites is a book of plants and flowers written in German and published in 1940.

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I went to Mount Royal on Tuesday night. I came across this big 40″ flatscreen TV and decided to take it home. I don’t usually bother with these types of TVs, as the broken ones are usually cheap brands that don’t even have much value for parts. However, this one was a Toshiba, which to my knowledge is a decent brand name so I decided to give it a shot. It has some issues with the screen, but it might be an easy fix according to some people on Youtube. If not, I’ll leave it on the curb for someone (hopefully more handy than I) to find.

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Not longer later I came across three golf bags, all full of clubs. None of the clubs looked spectacular, but I took the one set in front, thinking the bag itself might be worth something (it was vintage and made in the USA). It didn’t end up being worth selling, but I did salvage a nice golf umbrella and a bunch of vintage Jack Nicklaus “Golden Bear” golf bolls, which I may be able to get a bit of money for. I left the bag and clubs on the street by my friend’s place, and they were gone before long.

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Later on, I opened up a promising-looking recycling bin and saw a stack of old records. To my knowledge, records are not recyclable.

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I took the lot, which amounted to about 50 records. Many are by Hebrew bands (including a prog-rock band by the name of “Poogy”) and singers, and manufactured in Israel. There were also albums by more familiar artists, such as Simon and Garfunkel, The Band, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and John Denver. I’ll probably keep a couple, sell a few at a yard sale, and bundle the hebrew ones together to sell as a lot on eBay.

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I was pretty excited when I saw this big pile in front of a recently sold house in Cote St-Luc on Wednesday night, but it turned out to be mostly a bunch of junk.

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I did save a few things, however. I thought the cover of this 1987 (the year I was born!) Guinness Book of World Records was pretty cool.

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I also saved this doll. I’m not sure if it’s a marionette with missing strings, or something meant to be hung from the ceiling.

Otherwise, I brought home: a hebrew wall clock, two small prayer books (one with a silver plate cover), a watch with hebrew numerals, a leather punch, an electric pencil sharpener …

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… and a decorative hebrew “book.” I’ve been finding tons of Jewish stuff recently!

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I went to a going away party on Thursday night, causing me to miss a planned Friday morning run. Instead, I took a walk with a friend in the eastern part of the Plateau in the evening. We didn’t find much. However, this one spot provided some small change (maybe 5$ in all), some tennis and golf balls, an iPod charger (I needed one of these, as mentioned in the last post!), and a decent bike seat.

It was a pretty quiet week overall, likely due to people being in a rush to get everything in order for the holidays. Sales, as a direct result, have been pretty decent!

Last week’s garbage sales (December 15 – December 21)

1. Vintage Vuarnet Skilynx Sunglasses (1984 Olympics): on eBay for 75$. Found late November in Mount Royal.

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2. Lot of vintage hotel keys: on eBay for 50$. I’m happy to get this total. I know I could have gotten more selling them individually, but it would have been hours more work as well. Found in NDG and discussed in last week’s post.
3. Avon sterling silver spoon ring: on Etsy for 34$. I have another one exactly like it, which is now up in my Etsy store. I can’t remember where I found it, but it definitely came with one of my massive jewelry hauls in 2012 or early 2013.
4. Five antique Quebec law books (Set of 4 from 1909, and one from 1934): on eBay for 80$. Found in Ville St-Laurent in early November.

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Refunds: 40$ (native mask). I noticed a few extra, minor defects when examining the item that weren’t there previously. I sent pictures and the offer of a minor refund to the buyer, and he was still interested. This makes the profit around 205$ instead of the 245$ listed in the last post. A nice profit regardless.

Total: 214$ (including the refund), 8820.50$ since May 18th. A decent week. Sales slowed down towards the end, likely marking the end of the holiday boom.

In related news

There was definitely a bit of a mad rush to my eBay and Etsy stores last week. In order to save myself a bit of time and hassle I decided to bring the books and the native moon mask (from last week’s post) to the UPS Store for packing. Last time I went (with the tea cups) I received very good service for a very fair price, and felt very confident in the packing that the employee did.

This time, however was quite the opposite. I felt a bit suspicious of the person working there from the start. For one, she asked me to pick out the size of box I wanted to ship in, which I thought was a bit odd as it’s her job, not mine to know how to pack an item. I went along with the questionable requests for a while, but also became more and more suspicious. For one, I didn’t think that she had put much wrapping around the books, although I hadn’t watched closely enough to be sure.

When it came to pay, she told me the price for packing and shipping was going to be 95$, about 80$ of which was for shipping. That seemed outrageous, since one package was barely leaving Montreal and the other was going to Toronto, both of which are cheap, one day deliveries by Canada Post. Based on this price, and my serious reservations about the pack job, I declined and paid just the 15$ for the packing, which was mostly the cost of the boxes and bubble wrap.

I went to Canada Post, which was conveniently right next door, and I opened the boxes to see how they were packed. She had done an unbelievably bad job. The books had one sheet of bubble wrap around them, and were surrounded by half a box of empty space. She didn’t even put packing peanuts in there – there was nothing to keep them in place. The books would have just been rolling around inside the box. Books aren’t even particularly fragile, but I’m sure these would have been ruined or at least heavily damaged on even the short trip they were going on.

The native mask was also packed poorly. She put a couple of pages of bubble wrap loosely around it, and then filled the box around half-way with package peanuts inside. The item would have moved a lot inside the box, and I felt had poor protection at the bottom. This one was less of a total disaster of a pack job, but I’m still not at all confident that it would have arrived at its destination unscathed.

My friend Sarah was fortunately around to help me repack the items with some free newspaper (while being careful not to let it be in direct contact with the item, as that stuff tends to smear pretty badly) and some cardboard that happened to be lying around. I’m confident in the pack job that we did.

To top it all off, guess what it cost to ship the items by Canada Post? 35$, or less than half what UPS (or at least this one person) was going to charge me. I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a night and day experience with a business. Last time it was very good, and this time was a near disaster. I’ll likely use the UPS Store again, but only with fragile and valuable goods, and only if certain people are working.

New listings

2 vintage “Frontier Town” pamphlets, 1950s / 1960s
Sterling silver Avon spoon ring (the second of the two that I’ve found)
Vintage compact, decorated with mother of pearl (a little make-up box with a mirror)
1948 Winnepeg phone book

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The phone book is at a high price, but sometimes I do that with this things I most appreciate. I think that phone book is amazing, and if it were from Montreal I’d probably keep it myself. I think it’s possible to find a buyer at that price, and if not I can always lower it as time goes on.

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!

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My 128 eBay listings
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16 thoughts on “Konec Civilizace

  1. Maria Schulova says:

    Congratulations on all those vinyl records that you saved.Some of the titles are very interesting.Your trip to TMR was very interesting.Happy Xmas

  2. Some interesting stuff. That collection of vinyl has a bit of variety. Now you’ll have a few days to relax and regroup … and maybe finish off the year with a bang. 🙂

    Here’s hoping 2015 is even better!

  3. willedare says:

    I just LOVE reading about what you find and then how you sell it. What unexpected windows into different languages and cultures! Thank you for taking the time to do all of it — the finding, the research, the photos, the blog explanations, the selling, the shipping, etc. May your 2015 be ever-more-fruitful!

  4. Trish says:

    I love the translation of ‘Brave New World’. I read once that John Steinbeck’s wife found ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ in a bookstore in Japan, titled ‘The Angry Raisins’.

    Horse people will go mad for that leather punch – we are constantly adjusting our tack and they are extremely handy to have around.

  5. Lynn says:

    lots of good and lots of interesting finds, of late.

    re the packing charges..WOW…kind of you to let us all know about this. I seldom ship, but, if/when I do, I will much appreciate the kinds of things I need to watch for.

    Also,

    would like to tell you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (no idea if you will posting over same).

    would like to thank you for the much enjoyed blog, and how greatly you have influenced my viewing of “garbage” and “trash”. Truly, I had NO IDEA there were such finds.

    I wonder, if you could “teach a course” at a community college, or such? I bet many folks do not realize. At the least, I hope you are keeping notes and working on a book.

    take care.

    Lynn

    • martng says:

      Thanks for the holiday wishes! I’m glad the blog has changed your ideas on garbage. I always enjoy reading your comments.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see myself do a workshop type thing at some point. That could be a lot of fun, though I’d wait until spring or summer (I’d prefer a hands-on experience)

      • Lynn says:

        good to hear of your future plans, all the same, keep notes/dates (maybe on a calendar if nothing else), and a way to “connect” your photos and notes. You may think it is all on your blog, but I have known two folks with blogs, who had the provider turtle, and their blog/info disappeared. at the very least print it (the blog) out regularly. I think some day long in the future (you ARE young, grin), when you are OLD and GREY you might tinker with a book…

        you might even (in the future) do a book which is sort of funny/comedy book on your activities…

        thing is, you need to make sure you keep notes/data/ etc.. Because, I GUARANTEE, regardless of what you think now, you will forget/mix up a few things…. (as a middle aged person, I feel I can give this advice to someone younger…grin)

  6. Linda says:

    Please d the UPS store owner and tell himabout the poor performance of that employee. I have taken an item to UPS Store for an estimate on packing and shipping, then straight to FedEx, which was half the cost of UPS.

    • martng says:

      I should do that, thanks for the imput. I mostly use UPS as it seemed like the only legit way to get insurance for these very fragile teacups.

  7. nancy says:

    I had that John Denver album as a teen. Thank you for all of your scavenging and blogging. You amaze me.

  8. That doll is a Rajasthani puppet. The strings are for handling the puppet, used for the traditional puppet theater, native to Rajasthan(which by the way is a state in India).
    I enjoy your posts immensely. And those records do look good. Have a wonderful festive season.

  9. Kirill says:

    If you were wondering, https://curbfinds.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/img_34791.jpg this one is “Fables” by Ivan Krylov. It’s soviet-time mass-production book, so I’d say it’s worth close to nothing (I also think I night have one like this). And this one https://curbfinds.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/img_34781.jpg is “Orthodox Prayerbook”. Considering it’s title written in pre-revolution Russian, it must be published somewhwhere before 1925, so it might be worth something.

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