Double Pro Fighter

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I’m a little behind on my summaries, so let’s make this one quick! I’ve been frequenting this spot in Villeray for close to a month now.

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On my first visit I saved a cute set of pink glass dishes, which I gave to a friend.

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One my second I found a collection of vintage food and medicine tins, including four cans of salmon and mackerel that look to be from the 1960s. I’ve mentioned before how food expiry dates, particularly for canned good are mostly meaningless. However, I really don’t want to know what tinned salmon looks like after 50 years. It might actually still be technically edible, but it sure ain’t fresh. Regardless, I took them because I love their labels.

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On my third week I came away with a nice silver hair barrette. I think it’ll clean up well and sell for a decent price on eBay.

I didn’t find anything interesting there this week, but I’ll be sure to keep my eye on the situation going forward.

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I found some more interesting stuff in front of the house in Mount Royal that produced the silver coin and tobacco pipes a few weeks back.

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A small white plastic bag held a bunch of interesting vintage junk, including rulers, magnifying glasses, pencils, thumb tacks, and a St Christopher medallion. The fountain pen at center right is quite nice, and has a 14k gold nib.

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The “good luck” horseshoe clip is marked as being made by an M. Myers & Sons, apparently in 1870. It’s a cool, if not particularly valuable piece. It sold at my recent art market sale.

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I also liked the Coca-Cola ruler. It features the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” A lot of vintage Cola-Cola stuff is pretty valuable, but these rulers are fairly common and don’t sell for a lot. I sold it at the art market for 3$, which a good deal for both parties in my book.

A lot of people tell me I under-price at yard sales. However, I think my prices are based on a savvy understanding of cost / benefit analysis. My motto for yard sales is “there’s always more garbage.” I bring home lots of things each week, but most isn’t really valuable enough to bother listing on eBay or Etsy. Yard sale stuff accumulates quickly, and the more it piles up the more stress it causes me. So making sure these items leave my life as soon as possible is a benefit, because I never have to think about whatever it is ever again, let alone having to bother with packing it and unpacking it, potentially multiple times.

Lower prices also have the obvious pro of encouraging more shopping and repeat buyers. Many people have told me that my yard sale was their favourite one ever. Low prices make things more fun for everyone involved. I like giving good deals more than I like haggling for a high price, and customers obviously prefer this tactic as well.

It helps that I have few expenses associated with my finds, so even making fifty cents from some random thing is more or less pure profit. That’s the beauty of selling garbage! With yard sales, I’m happy as long as I can make my usual 200$ (give or take) a session.

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I otherwise found a couple musical instruments, including a vintage c. 1920s xylophone …

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… and a collection of buttons.

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My best find though came from this spot in Cote St Luc. There were only two bags on the curb, but they looked a bit angular and sat out front of a recently sold house so I stopped to check them out. It was a rainy night, but thankfully the black trash bags (somewhat ironically) generally do a good job protecting their contents.

Inside one of the bags was a whole bunch of old gaming stuff, including a working Super Nintendo, three controllers (and some others for use with different gaming systems), a Multitap (which allows for four controllers to be connected to the Super Nintendo), and an Double Pro Fighter game duplicator.

It all adds up to a nice payday overall. The Super Nintendo and controllers are together worth around 100$. The Multitap goes for around 50$. The Double Pro Fighter is an odd case. Apparently they were very cheaply made, and it is nearly impossible to find one today that actually works. Nonetheless, they sell for decent money, presumably to the collectors market. One sold for about 60$, even though there were no guarantees made to it actually functioning. I listed mine for a bit more, because I suspect the right buyer is willing to pay extra for this piece of gaming history.

Tune in soon for a summary of last week’s finds!

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24 thoughts on “Double Pro Fighter

  1. I had a Coca Cola ruler just like that back in the day.

    I really enjoyed reading your yard sale method analysis.

  2. Anon says:

    if you decide to open one of those tins of salmon, it would be really interesting.

    I am suspecting it would be fine to eat (although do not recommend, as who knows if they used lead to seal the seams).

    However what would be interesting, is I am thinking that the quality of the actual salmon back then might have been much better than now days, (due to overfishing etc), and the salmon may well look much firmer, etc.

  3. Manon says:

    Wow! Great findings! The dishes seem to be pink depression glass, quite nice and wanted.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_glass

    • martng says:

      Thanks for the info. They do have a sort of depression glass feel to them. The color is definitely right. I’ll do a bit more research…

    • martng says:

      I just looked at them. They’re marked as being made in Indonesia, so definitely not depression glass. They’re still cute though, and are likely knockoffs of the style.

  4. Salmon is the buffalo of the pacific northwest.

    The thing about garage sales is that it’s now or never. Take a chance, or it won’t be there later. Someone is more likely to spend the money if the price is low, they can risk the money on something that ends up not working. A higher price takes more time, and on another venue, you can at least hope for a fix if there’s ä problem. Most garage sales, you may not even be sure where they were once they’ve closed.

    People selling their own stuff knows what it cost them, and may be overly optimistic about how much thy can get for an item. If they aren’t about to move, they often can afford to wait. But if you get the stuff for free (and this applies to book and rummage sales with donated items), there can be liability if things don’t sell, having to put it away and store it. A sale with the same stuff is likely to turn people off, I’ve been to some of those sales. So you have to get rid of it. So selling cheaper may bring in more by quantity selling, and limits what’s left over, rather than selling a few items at higher price and having to deal with leftovers.

    Every so often I go to book sales that have a price drop towards the end, “buy a bag of books for ten dollars”, or “all books half price”, which helps clear out the stock. If you really want something, buy it early, it may not be there later, but late, it’s a matter of the buyers taking things home rather than the seller packing it up.

    Michael

    • martng says:

      Yup, it’s a sad state of affairs with the salmon these days. Thanks for the garage sale insights as well. After my last sale (at the art market) I looked through all my stuff and purged about half of it, because I won’t be able to have a yard sale till April most likely. I was also frankly quite sick of seeing some of the items I was selling, particularly ones I’ve had since around this time last year.

      Just to clarify, when I “purge” items I put them in an open box on the curb for others to pick through. People might wonder why I don’t donate it to charity, but a lot of the stuff is very random and likely to just be tossed by a charity. Better in my mind to let the artists / collectors of the Mile End get their chance at it.

  5. joe says:

    check the expiry dates,odd thing,the salmon & mackerel seem awfully familiar,like i might have bought them before (adonis?mourelatos?p.a?some other ethnic market?) but other detail,1) they’re bilingual,2) 0zs & Metric,neither happened in quebec before somewhere around 1978,joe.

    • martng says:

      I’m not sure they have them but I could check again. (When did expiry dates become a thing anyways? I suspect people back then more just used their “common sense”).

      I suspect their from the early 60s (possibly also the mid-late 1950s) mostly because of the font and colours used. But I may be wrong. Some companies in particular are always behind the times in terms of graphic design.

  6. Ann says:

    You can always see if a store or restaurant want to buy your tins to use as decor. I would open a tin and make a youtube video of the process.

    • martng says:

      Funny that someone’s selling the label on eBay. Just goes to show how much I could theoretically list. I don’t think it’s worth the time though, I’m busy enough as is. Great story from the museum.

  7. I’m also way behind on my blog, I’m still posting about stuff I found in October! Very jealous of your Nintendo stuff. I tend to hoard my Nintendo finds, I’m not even sure on my reasoning for that. I know it’s in demand and valuable now, but I think I’m afraid that if I sell it, the prices will go up even more and I’ll kick myself for not having waited. I found a game that’s worth $150 but I just can’t bring myself to sell it yet.

    • martng says:

      Markets fluctuate for sure, and it can be difficult to know whether or not you’re selling before, during, or after an items peak value. I personally just sell things because I want them out of the house. For 150$, I’d sell the game. It might increase in value, but it might also just randomly break or deteriorate while you’re storing it. Or if your credit card is accumulating interest that 150$ could be worth more like 200, or 250$ depending on how long the debt goes unpaid. Or it could decrease in value, if more children of the 90s unload their collections and saturate the market. So there’s a lot of things to consider. I personally would take the money and run, but it might be a good thing to ask someone more familiar with the Nintendo / gaming market. Perhaps /r/flipping on reddit might have good advice.

  8. Huguette says:

    I am happy to return to Montreal after living one year in Toronto.Toronto is a city where residents ,I found,look down upon scavengers even more than in Montreal.In Ontario,there is no refundable deposit for aluminum soft drink cans and beer cans,only for beer bottles.It is so bad out there and so expensive in Toronto.In Quebec we have a reundable deposit on most aluminum cans and people are more into scavenging on the whole.Montrealers throw out still too much reusable stuff,but I think we are better than Toronto.Thank you for your blog.

    • martng says:

      I haven’t picked enough in other cities for sure, but I do have a feeling that Montreal is at least relatively picker friendly, particularly in denser historically working class neighbourhoods like the Plateau, Rosemont, Verdun, St Henri, Villeray, and so on.

      At some point I’d like to pick in different cities, if just for fun. I’d be curious to see if I could find anything cool in Toronto, or New York. I know there are cool things being tossed everywhere, but it’d be cool to see in what way the things were different than they are here in Montreal.

  9. mica walters says:

    Those buttons are great (well…except for that clown. Eek!)! I have quite a collection myself, but I don’t find many French examples down here in Oklahoma. I had a great time slowly looking at each of them and love that you post higher quality pictures for this very reason.

    • martng says:

      I always love finding button collections. They’re fun to look at, and tell a tale of their previous owner. People also like looking through them at yard sales.

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