Recent sales (August 15 – September 11)

I’ve been doing a good job lately listing or otherwise dealing with things from my “death pile” (ie: a collection of stuff that sits around doing nothing and makes flippers feel overwhelmed). That’s a good thing because more listings means more profit. A lot of these items (like an Apple TV remote) are of low value but it all adds up. My overall earnings for the period were just okay, but considering how slow my sales (particularly eBay sales) were at this time last year I’ll take it.


1. Vintage 1960s Cronel divers watch: On eBay for 55$. This was a nice looking piece. Found in the Plateau not long before my move in June. It didn’t make the blog, largely because I was so busy at the time.


2. Lot of 1930s Canadian National Steamships menus: On eBay for 25$. Found last year in NDG.


3. Vintage B-D Yale syringe: On eBay for 25$. It’s the one at bottom left. Found last year in Cote-des-Neiges.


4. Anime DVD sets: On eBay for 70$. One set called Tactics (5 discs) sold for 30$, while one called Nadia – the Secret of the Blue Water (11 discs) sold for 40$. I know nothing about anime, but the huge collection I found last year while walking with my sister in the Plateau sure has made me a lot of money – I’d guess around 750$ so far with more yet to sell. They were all in black garbage bags, which goes to show how profitable it can be to open those things up.


5. Pratt & Whitney enameled plaque: On eBay for 25$. From what I understand this plaque was taken from a WWII fighter jet engine. If the enamel was in better condition it would have sold for closer to 100$. Found in Villeray a few months ago thanks to a tip on a Facebook trading group I follow. Apparently a man had passed away and his apartment was quickly cleared out. The pile was largely picked through by the time I got there, and unfortunately some of the pickers left a hell of a mess. Still, I was able to find a few things of value.


6. Antique metronome: On eBay for 65$. Found earlier this summer in TMR.


7. WWI pennant – 40th Battalion: On eBay for 110$. One of many very cool old pennants I found in Montreal West earlier this year.


8. Vintage UFO-related publications, most of which were printed by Gray Barker / Saucerian publications: On eBay for 50$. There was indeed a market for this old UFO stuff. In fact, from the buyer is a university librarian and writer whose current project is a bibliography of Saucerian publications. It’s cool that these might contribute to something interesting! Found about a month ago in Rosemont. I also sold two pieces (the vintage National Enquirer and another piece) to a friend for 5$.

9. Apple TV remote: On eBay for 20$.


10. Casio G-Shock watch: On eBay for 50$. Found on one of my bike rides in the Mile End.


11. Silhouette Titan eyeglasses: On eBay for 55$. Found a while ago in TMR.


12. Original iPod Nano: On eBay for 75$. This is the model that was recalled and can be returned for a new iPod. I didn’t feel like going through that process again so I sold it as it was. The profit is pretty close to what I would have made from the replacement iPod anyways. Found in Rosemont early in the summer.


13. Vuarnet Pouilloux Skilynx sunglasses: On eBay for 70$. These were actually given to me by an old guy who was clearing out his apartment in the Plateau. He had lived there for about 40 years. They were part of a larger collection all of which he found in the park over many years. For a few weeks I made a habit of dropping by every trash day to see what was on the curb, and occasionally he’d hand me stuff like this as well. It was a pleasant experience all around. It happened around the time I moved, so unfortunately none of this was ever mentioned on the blog.


14. Vintage cast iron door back plates: On eBay for 100$. The same guy who gave me those sunglasses threw out these door plates. They ended up going for a nice profit.


15. Vintage Napier silver plate toothpick holders: On eBay for 65$. I was a bit overzealous when packaging these, which bumped me up a shipping weight class and cost me around 8$. Still, I don’t mind making the occasional mistake when the overall profit is good. Found earlier this summer in TMR.

Sterling silver spoon - 1909 50th Birthday, 30 years in confectionary business

16. W.H. Luden souvenir sterling silver spoon: On eBay for 22$. This find dates back to the beginning of the blog. It was by far my oldest listing, and now it’s finally gone. I overestimated its value at first, and it only sold after several price revisions. Still, the spoon sold for about twice as much as it would have earned for scrap metal. It was made in 1909 to celebrate W.H. Luden’s 50th birthday and 30th anniversary in the confectionery business. Apparently he was the guy who invented cough drops way back when. Found in the Plateau way back in October 2012.

17. Vintage Sharp Calculator: On eBay for 15$.


18. Canon Powershot S3 IS camera: On eBay for 55$. This is one of the nicer product photos I’ve ever taken. All it took was some natural outdoor light, a sheet of poster board, and a decent camera. Still, I bought a light box (I have yet to set it up) so that I can more consistently take photos like this. Outdoor light is pretty inconsistent, and that can be frustrating. Found a few months ago in TMR.

19. Lot of 6 (mostly) silver Navajo button covers: On eBay for 50$. I can’t find the pictures on my computer but you can check them out here. Found with lots of other great stuff this January in TMR.


20. Lot of 4 East Carribean Authority notes: On eBay for 25$. I sent these untracked to India. It’s somewhat risky, but they had gone unsold for a while and I was happy to see them go. So far I’ve had good luck sending low value items overseas untracked.


21. Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones: On eBay for 40$. They look to have never been used. Found around a month ago in Glenmount.

22. Yard sale: 100$. It was a pretty slow day for foot traffic, likely because people were taking end of summer trips. Still, a few regular customers came and made the day worthwhile. I’ve had a bit of a dry spell lately, so it’ll be at least a couple more weeks until I do another sale. I really just don’t have much left to sell right now.


23. Perfumes: To a reader for 80$. The Guerlain at right was the more profitable, netting me 40$. I found that one in the Plateau. Otherwise, a bottle of Le Male by Jean-Paul Gaultier I found in Cote-des-Neiges went for 20$. A few others were part of the deal, but I can’t remember which ones.

24: iPod: To a friend for 25$. It’s the grey one in the picture above. Found in the Plateau.

25. Loose change: Exchanged at a machine for 20$. I used bring my coins to TD Bank because they offered a free coin counter service to customers. However, they have now retired the machines due largely to a lawsuit claiming that the machines were shortchanging their users. I couldn’t care less about the miscalculations to be honest – I would have been perfectly happy to take home 97% (which seems to be around what they were actually paying out) for the privilege of not having to count my own coins. Besides, the only competition seems to be those Coinstar machines which take over 10% of the total. That just feels like a bad deal. If anyone knows of any alternatives that don’t include rolling let me know!


26. Marantz 2225 Receiver / Tuner: To a friend for 200$. My roommate ended up buying this off me, which was convenient because I didn’t have to worry about shipping the thing. None of the lights work but it functions very well otherwise. This specific model is of interest to collectors – one refurbished 2225 tuner sold for 550$ on eBay. Found this July in Outremont.

Total: 1497$, 16548$ since the new year.

34 thoughts on “Recent sales (August 15 – September 11)”

  1. Congratulations on your sales. And on not having much left for yard sales. Both good accomplishments. And thanks for the term ‘death pile’ – I have one and didn’t know it had a name!

  2. So many great articles Martin! Glad you had a good summer, even if not as good as last year. Keep it up! Love reading your blog every week 🙂

  3. Good article. My selling on ebay is slow currently as well. I’ve been selling on local FB rummage sale sites and doing much better. I had my last yard sale Labor Day weekend. So am doing the FB sales until next spring, when I’ll hold another yard sale.

    1. It’s probably a good idea to try the Facebook sites. I like to avoid the whole meeting people for sales thing myself (people are flaky, and I find organizing meetups irritating) but it does make sense to do so for certain products. For me, as long as I can weather the storm financially I feel alright knowing that I’ll make a tidy sum around the holiday season.

  4. I hot a Canon S1 or maybe S2 last year for $20 at a garage sale. It’s “only” 5mp, but god enough for my use. But the zoom is 12x, which is really great. It was an expensive camera when new, some better features including the ability to add lenses. Though I suspect the lenses would be expensive. But at this point “old” digital cameras are being discarded, either tossed are real cheap at garage sales, but some have more use now than others. Though at garage sales it’s hard to tell sometimes what the camera is. I thought mine might be a DSLR, but it’s not.

    The lights on the Marantz may be easy to replace, if the cover comes off easily. The bulbs might be soldered in, but many such equipment had sockets for the bulbs.


  5. Reading your blog always lifts my spirits. You are walking the walk and showing the rest of us how to live much more lightly on this amazing planet. THANK YOU. I liked seeing antique metronome (we had one like that when I was a child) and hurrah to the person who bought those Silhouette glasses. I recently had to replace one earpiece (or whatever one calls the metal part which rests on top of one’s ear) on my pair and it cost $125… Now someone has TWO potential earpiece replacement parts for a much lower price!

  6. Martin – my bank will take a customer’s loose change and send it to a central location to be counted. For free.

    I mentioned your blog on another blog I follow – The NonConsumer advocate. The blog writer is a big fan of yours. I mean, who isnt!!!!

    1. Lucky. I assume there’s no branches out here in Canada eh?

      Glad they liked it! I signed up to their Facebook page and am enjoying getting their notifications.

  7. Is it possible for me to sell my old iphone (just got a new one this week) if the screen occasionally is slow to respond to touch? it does that for a few minutes, then it acts fine. Would people still want to buy that phone? where would I sell it?

    1. Depends on the model. iPhone 3s are pretty much worthless at this point. The 4s (particularly the 4S – sorry if this is confusing to read) have a bit of value but not much – I’d say maybe 40-50$ for a phone like yours. Anything in the 5s or above and you should be able to make a decent amount of cash even in that condition.

      I would sell it on eBay, or maybe Craigslist / Kijiji if you’re comfortable meeting people and are okay with getting lots of annoying lowball offers.

      Also, I would Google that issue as it might be easily fixable. For example, you should try doing a factory reset to see if that helps. If you’re planning on selling the phone you should do this anyways (it deletes all personal information). It could just be a software issue, or maybe you have too many apps and it’s slowing down the phone.

      1. Thank you! It’s an iPhone 6. The issue is sporadic. I could try craigslist. How do you word that there’s an issue with it?

        It’s because of your blog that I didn’t just toss the phone! Learned from you that items in all conditions can sell 😌

        When my new phone arrives, I’ll do a factory reset which may solve the touchscreen problem.

        1. If it’s an iPhone 6 you should be able to get a couple hundred for it still. I usually just note that there’s an issue in the title by writing something like “read description” “as is” or “has issues.” On eBay I would list it under “for parts / repair” and note the condition as well as you can.

          Good luck and glad I could help! I wouldn’t be surprised if the factory reset helped as well.

  8. Just found your blog through The Non Consumer Advocate Kate. I am finding it so interesting to read. Thank you for sharing your treasures with us! FYI I too am finding ebay extremely slow this time of year.

    1. Glad you like the blog! eBay always seems to be a bit slow this time of year. My guess is that people have spent a lot of their disposable income on “back to school” stuff or summer vacations. Once they earn a bit of spending money, and particularly once the cold sets in they’ll be buying our junk again.

  9. Glad to see business is beginning to roll along again. Love your descriptions, and all the little “extra” roundings you add, which make for such an interesting read.

  10. I am a plumber in Ontario.Last week I visited Montreal for business and pleasure.I also spent one day with a wealthy ,dear cousin in his house on Kindersley street in Town of Mount Royal.I have read on your blog you patrol this burg for trash.Did you find treasures on Kindersley,Jasper or Thornton street in TMR?

    1. I remember finding things on Kindersley at some point earlier this year. I think that’s where I got those Titanium frames I sold recently and some vintage Polaroid film that I flipped for a nice profit. Also, a broken drone that I sold for about 200$. It was actually pretty good at one point, I haven’t found much there lately.

  11. I would like to find some good food through dumpster-diving.Do you think around Marche Jean Talon there are a lot of good spots for dumpster-diving?Would it be possible for me to find almost-new bread,pastries,bottles of tomato sauce,etc there?

    1. I suspect, but don’t know, that it’s too obvious. Markets are a place to check, but surely others are already checking. Fifteen or twenty years go there was some story bout a woman who got in trouble when checking the garbage at the Atwater market.
      Remember too that markets here are primarily fresh produce.

      You are probably better off finding quieter places. My friend Helen, who was homeless, found a bakery on Sherbrooke Street that tossed an awful lot of bakery goods. She got her produce from a small fruit and vegetable store near McGill. In both cases there was more than she could use before it went bad.

      One problem is that finding where the garbage is may take some effort. That bakery on Sherbrooke street, there wasn’t an obvious back door. In other cases the dumpsters my be locked up.

      There are probably groups that collect such “garbage”, and certainly I’ve seen notice about demonstrations about finding food in the garbage. I don’t remember any names. People’s Potato at Concordia (and I think there’s a similar group at McGill) has a daily feeding, I think it’s free and open to non-students. Find them, and they may be able to provide some pointers. Now is the time to look, with universities just starting up again, that sort of information is more visible.

      I was once in a Laura Secord when they tossed a big bag of cashews, I was very tempted to go looking for it later.

      The Mirror had an annual Survival Guide that they’d publish this time of year, if you can find an old copy some might still be relevant. Cult Montreal, sort of taking over from the Mirror, they had a Survival Guide the first tear, but I’m not sure they continued it, and I’ve certainly not seen any mention this year.


    2. Jean-Talon market used to be good for dumpster diving, though apparently things aren’t as good recently. I don’t dumpster dive there enough to really say more than that. I would suggest joining one of the Montreal Dumpster Diving Facebook groups. Or just check the garbage of your local grocery store to see what’s there.

  12. Congratulations on reaching the milestone of 5000 subscribers to your blog.Many of us thought it would be only in 2017 that you would reach that milestone.Your 5000 followers do not even include the many semi-regular visitors to your blog.You can charge more money for advertising on your blog.I hope at least around a 1,000 of your blog subscribers live around Montreal or are former Montrealers.Am curious to know what percentage of your followers live around Montreal?

    1. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing where my followers come from (at least specifically, in terms of cities). Montreal however is definitely represented strongly in my following, I would guess that they make up around 500-1000 of that total.

      I should also note that I make no money from advertising!

  13. I am a laboratory technician and chemist employed by McGill university.I love your blog and encourage middle-class colleagues in academia to trash-hunt occasionally.Most are not too interested,but some actually show a lot of interest in this.Please stay in Montreal forever.Montreal needs you.We live in a big,wasteful city that is still quite wealthy.Despite the fact you do not speak French,you have a very rosy future in Montreal.

  14. Last time I used a Coinstar machine I found that they would waive their fee if I would take a gift card so I elected to take an Amazon gift card and just applied the amount to my Amazon account. Watch out though, i believe the machines now keep coins that aren’t recognized so don’t dump handfuls of foreign coins into them.

    1. I’ve heard bout the gift cards, but I’ve not seen them offered here. I don’t know whether it’s a Canadian thing or a Quebec thing, but I keep hoping to see gift cards offered, but I’m disappointed.

      I wonder how many people throw out unused gift card? Even mostly used cards might have a few dollars on them. Obviously finding some cards is better than finding others.


      1. I suspect gift cards are thrown away fairly regularly, though most of them might only have a few dollars left on them. I’ve personally never found any, but I’m sure they’re out there.

  15. I found an Ipod that looks like those, but I can’t figure out how to tell if it’s first gen – the back is the shiny kind, so it’s impossible for me to read the serial number. My grocery store has an automated kiosk that you can either sell or recycle old tech, but I have no idea if they give decent prices.

    1. I’ve seen some beat up old devices but I’ve always been able to find the numbers. You should be able to read the serial number unless it’s been totally wiped off somehow. Sometimes you’ll have to look at it from a very specific angle. It’s a guarantee that the kiosk won’t give you a great price but it could be worth it to you if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of selling it on eBay or Kijiji. Keep in mind too that a first generation iPod can be worth decent money if it can be returned for a new iPod.

    2. Oh, and you might also be able to find the serial number in the “settings” tab of the iPod. That’s assuming it works, of course.

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