Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Always be listing


I haven’t been picking as much recently. Instead, I’ve been focusing on getting things listed before the Christmas rush. I’m up to 235 eBay listings which is an all-time record for me – I think I had around 150 at this time last year. More listings means more money, as the Scavenger Life folks always say, so this listing spree bodes well for my profitability in the short-term.

Despite all my efforts though I can’t seem to defeat my pile of unlisted items. The further I dig, the more I find. Some of the stuff I’m listing has sat around for years. This can be reassuring when I think of it all as future cash, but frustrating when I approach listing it as a battle that I can’t seem to win. The latter feeling though is avoidable if I’m able to curb my workaholic tendencies.

Regardless, I’ve still been picking via bike in the Plateau and Mile End. It’s a good way for me to get out of the house and do some exercise. I’ve had a bit more luck in these neighbourhoods recently, perhaps because the cold and snow deters some of others pickers who would normally patrol them. I came across the pile above while walking to the post office.

I found some miscellaneous electronic bric-a-brac in one of the bags. I thought the best score would the the Apple keyboard on the bottom, but unfortunately a bunch of the keys don’t work despite it looking fairly clean. If it worked it’d be worth around 40$.

The real get might end up being the Elgato EyeTV thing (second from top left). For some odd reason they seem to be going for pretty good money – between 60$ and 200$ at BIN. This despite it being released way back in 2006. I picked it up thinking that it was probably junk, but it must do something that no other product can do. I listed mine for 170$, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

On another bike ride I saved a collection of mostly American pennies, some Wii controllers, a vintage 1980s calculator, and a relatively modern digital camera with a busted screen. The Wii controllers were a nice find because my roommate was actually looking for some. I threw the calculator in with an eBay lot of vintage calculators, and I’ll soon include the digital camera in a lot of busted or untested digital cameras. On its own the camera would fetch me around 15$.

I had some good luck on my Monday night bike ride.

Based on what I found I’d guess that someone around my age (but richer) moved and ditched some of their old crap. The toque is a nice find, as I have a tendency to lose a toque or two every winter. The sunglasses aren’t fancy or anything – they’re made to promote Budweiser and Coke – but they look cool and their lenses actually protect against UV. They’ll make good yard sale material! The watch is a Puma, which is a decent marque.

Buddy also threw away a bunch of change. A lot of it is foreign money, but there’s a fair bit of Canadian currency in there too. I’ll bring it all to the change machine once I get enough.

I also found a busted LG Nexus phone. It’s a 16gb D820 from 2014 so it still has some value as a “for parts” unit. I’d guess that it’s worth around 30-40$ in its present condition.

My favourite find though was this Bluetooth speaker. I’ve been wanting one for a while and it actually works great! These look to sell for around 100$ but I’ll be keeping it myself. I don’t have much space to work with, so I appreciate that it’s compact and doesn’t come with a lot of wires.

I came across a vintage clock not far from my place. The previous owners could have put it inside the trash bag, so I expect they placed it on the curb hoping someone would bring it home.

The big (14″ diameter) Ingraham wall clock reminds me of school. This style of clock is pretty popular right now, so I’ll probably list it on Kijiji for 80$ or so, though I am tempted to keep this for myself as well. I like its minimal design, or maybe the nostalgia it invokes.

Last but not least, I’ve been finding lots of vintage toasters. I came across this old 1950s chrome Sunbeam T-20c in Outremont. These seem to be pretty collectible, as they sell for between 60-100$ on eBay. It’s an automatic toaster, meaning that all you do it put the toast in the slot and it will lower and rise by itself. Pretty cool!

Then on my Monday evening bike ride I came across this pile, which featured two plastic shopping bags… each of which had a vintage toaster inside.

If the one on the left looks familiar it’s because the toaster is a Sunbeam Model T-20B – just slightly older than the one I found in Outremont. It seems to be similarly valuable, but unlike the T-20C (which seems to work perfectly) this one has some quirks. Mainly, the darker / lighter dial doesn’t do much of anything; this resulted in the burning of my test bagel. It’s probably an easy fix for someone, and given it’s otherwise excellent cosmetic condition I might be able to sell it “for parts or repair.” If anyone’s interested in a project let me know!

The other one was made by Morphy Richards and while very attractive isn’t quite as collectable. It’s also missing a handle, so I might just put it on the curb for someone else to take home. It seems to work just fine though.

That’s all for now! I actually had some good finds on Monday night and I’ll share those with you soon, maybe next week. Otherwise, I’m going to keep on listing. Check the links below if you want to see what I’m putting up.

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot. I decided recently to list a bunch of old jewelry I have in lots because I don’t think I’ll ever have the time or motivation to list the pieces individually. One lot is of jewelry that needs some repair or general TLC, while the other features pieces that are good to go. The former I listed for 40$ + shipping, while the latter is an auction starting at 100$ + shipping. If you’re interested check the links below. I’ll relist the auction as a BIN (set price) listing if it doesn’t sell, and as usual I’ll adjust the price downwards if they sit around for a while. However, I think these are pretty decent deals especially if you’re into a significant number of the pieces.

1. Jewelry lot (auction)
2. Jewelry lot (needs TLC)

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to

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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