The end of summer is near. Maybe that’s a good thing, because I haven’t found much of value since it began!
I consider an average week to be one where I find around 500$ worth of stuff – that would give me an income of 26000$ for the year. I looked back at my recent blogs posts and found that I’ve had maybe two such weeks (out of a possible 16) since mid-May, and that’s assuming my Sonneman lamp and vintage US military posters make me as much as I think they can. I’d guess that over the summer I’ve averaged maybe 300$ of finds a week, or 1200$ a month.
That’s just not very good, and it’s hard not to overthink things after such an extended poor stretch. I start wondering if I’m doing something wrong, if people just aren’t throwing things away like they used to, if I’ve inspired a legion of pickers who are finding my stuff before I get there, if this cat I found eating garbage in St Michel is somehow to blame, and so on.
However, the most likely explanation here is that I’ve just run into a stretch of bad luck. Overall I can be expected to find a certain amount of garbage over a full year. Sometimes I’ll have a really good week or month (for example, this January was pretty good mostly thanks to one great pile, and it felt like I couldn’t stop finding great stuff last May) while other times will be more like this summer. I have to assume that at some point my finds will regress to the mean, or in other words my luck will switch to neutral or good instead of bad. Let’s hope my luck improves in time for the holiday season!
The week before last was actually pretty horrible. The only noteworthy thing I found was a collection of cute vintage dishes and ashtrays. At top left is an ashtray made to promote the unfortunately named Squaw Valley ski resort.
Last week was a bit better, though still mediocre from a value standpoint. I also found some disturbing old papers as I’ll explain a bit later.
I fished this little jewellery box out of some bags on McLynn in NDG. Inside was mostly junk or broken jewellery, but also a few bits of scrap gold and a nice pair of vintage screw back ballerina earrings that were tied together by a muck of twisted chains. The earrings are adorned with marcasite and small turquoise stones. I later noticed that the earrings were marked as sterling silver, but I haven’t tested them to be sure. The scrap gold (including a busted chain, a small pendant or charm, and a ring that might or might not be gold) will probably make me around 50$ when I bring it to be melted.
Someone in TMR put their entire 90s JVC stereo setup (except for the speakers I suppose) on the curb. I tested everything (receiver, cassette deck, CD player, and record player) and it all works fine. They look very lightly used, and I expect that I can sell the entire collection for close to 200$.
Rosemont was my most interesting (and also unsettling) run of the week. I came across a few different productive piles, one of which provided me a collection of vintage “Made in Japan” figurines and wall decorations. Most are repaired or slightly broken, but I think most are still cute enough to sell at a yard sale.
I found a 10k gold pendant at the same pile. It’s probably worth about 30$ in gold content.
That’s it for the nice stuff though. Not far from that spot lay some papers that you might find downright disturbing. I won’t say much about them now except that they advance far-right, fascist, and Neo-Nazi political views. I feel that I should share them because they represent a very real part of our culture, but if you prefer not to see this kind of stuff I would suggest skipping my next post. It should be done tomorrow or the next day, and will be called “Hateful Things.”