Old stock


I went out a fair bit last week despite it snowing a tonne, or probably many tonnes. I think there was 20 or so centimeters one day and another 15 not long after. All that snow makes it hard to drive or park, not to mention bike. I took it easy the first half of the week while the snow removal went down. I didn’t want to lose my parking spot (it was unlikely I’d get one even half as nice) and figured that people were too busy shoveling to throw much out anyways. Thankfully, I did have a few productive runs later in the week.


Let’s start though with an interesting find from the week before. I got around to sorting through all those clothes I found in the Plateau. A lot of them look pretty decent and likely yard saleable, perhaps even Etsyable. I’m not really a clothes guy though so this flag was of greater personal interest. I didn’t know what it was at first, but was able to quickly identify it as the flag of the Azores Liberation Front, a right-wing paramilitary group whose goal was to gain independence for the Azores Islands from Portugal. The organization was of note for only a few years in the mid-70s and this flag appears to be pretty uncommon as a result – I can’t find any on eBay, and there’s not even very many referenced on Google. My plan is to list it on eBay for 100$ and see if anyone bites. I think a flag collector, particularly one with an interest in aspirant peoples might find it interesting.


I found a bit more junk at that spot in CDN where I found that silver picture frame. There were a couple of vintage Parker ballpoint pens, nothing too fancy but nice nonetheless. The Swiss Army Knives were cheap knockoffs, but a cheap knockoff is still better than nothing. That Timex watch looks to be in nice shape, though I don’t have a battery to test it with.


I also found a couple of self-help tapes / cassettes that should make for good yard sale material. The Bruce + Kris Jenner exercise video is a blast to the past for a variety of reasons, and apparently Tony Robbins went by Anthony Robbins in the 80s. Both are still in their original shrink wrap.


I stopped at another spot when I noticed two bags of books sitting on the curb. Inside the bin were even more books, and fortunately they were placed in bags. There’s nothing quite as annoying as coming cross a bin stuffed full of books, as getting to the ones on the bottom without making a mess is pretty near impossible.


A bunch of them weren’t in great shape – they looked like the had spent a little too long in a basement. But a lot of them were still in good condition, including a number from a set of Victor Hugo books published I think in the 1930s. I don’t think that set is in good enough condition for me to list them on eBay, as book collectors tend to be a picky bunch and I don’t know think they’d be worth the hassle of describing and listing, but I’ll bet that they’ll be a hit at yard sales.


I went back to that same spot on garbage day and found a bit of decent junk. Inside one bag was a collection of screws which should come in handy, especially to my roommate who does a lot of woodworking.


I also found a box full of old photo junk. Nothing too exciting really, but there was a box of slides there that appear to have been taken at an Eric Clapton show in the late 70s. I have them listed on eBay for 40$, and they should sell for around that.



I also saved this dark room enlarger doohickey that might make me 50$ on eBay.


I came across this spot later on that day and saved a bunch of decent stuff. I’m glad that empty box was there, I needed somewhere to put my finds!


I salvaged a bunch of nice jewelry boxes, a lot of which are from Birks. Unfortunately none of them came with any jewelry (though I did find a broken 14k gold chain that’s worth about 40$ for scrap), but some of will be useful for mailing out eBay junk. The ones that are less conducive to mailing, like the watch boxes I’ll try selling at a yard sale. Also in the box are a couple sample sized vials of Chanel #5, a 100ml bottle of Teck by Molinard (already sold!), a snow globe, and a few vintage lottery tickets from the 70s.


I also saved these cool framed butterflies. I’m sure someone will pounce on this at a yard sale.


My best find however was a large collection of wooden combs, toothbrushes, and safety razors, most of which were still sealed in plastic. The look to have been made for a local startup, but judging by their website they’ve since moved on to some different designs.

I won’t share the name of the startup here, as I’m sure they’re not the only one that has tossed out old stock over the years. And in a way I get how a small local company like this might not want to donate their old stuff, as by doing so they would devalue the very market they’re trying to access. Still, it’s a little frustrating to see these things get manufactured and then tossed out in favor of a slightly different design. It’s a waste of resources, and it’s obviously not great for the environment. Plus, the products are actually nice, so they really should be put to use.

Oh well, at least I was there to save it all! I’m not going to get rich here, but this stuff should make me a bit of money over time. I’ll probably bring several of each to every yard sale, maybe selling the razors for 2$, the wood combs for 1$, and the toothbrushes for .50$. I’ll probably still have some left by this time next year, but I don’t mind if it brings me some easy pocket change.


Otherwise, I saved this cute three-footed dish from some bags in Outremont. It’s pretty small, about two inches tall, and looks to be quite old. I doubt it’s worth much – for one, it probably used to have a lid – but I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows where and when it might have been made. It looks similar to a lot of old Nipponware to me, but there’s no makers marks that would help identify it as such.


I’ll finish with a funny story. A while back one of my roommates requested that I find him a French press. I did, and for a while it worked out well for him. However, the other day we were talking in the kitchen, and as he was trying to empty his can of coffee into the press he tapped the glass a bit to hard and it broke. Fortunately for him I had found this other French press just a couple days before, and it wasn’t long before he was able to drink his usual morning cup or three. This press is actually nicer too, it’s a real Bodum while the other one was a cheaper knockoff. This just goes to show that there are benefits to having me as a roommate!

16 thoughts on “Old stock”

    1. They can, definitely. Like that watch box I sold a while ago for 180$. These are newer though, and while they still have value it doesn’t really make up for the cost of shipping – it’s relatively high due to the size and weight of the box. It might make sense in the US thanks to much cheaper USPS rates, but it would cost around 15-20$ to mail these anywhere which would severely cut into my bottom line.

  1. So much snow! I’d have stayed put too. Better that than having to walk three blocks or more to pick up the car at a worse parking spot.

    Small money items add up to big money. Just keep the turnover turning over. 🙂

    That little footed gizmo does look like Nippon ware. The size of a salt cellar (a few on this page http://www.ebay.tv/sch/i.html?_sop=3&_nkw=nippon+salt+footed&_frs=1) … or an egg vase (see https://www.etsy.com/market/footed_egg_vase).

    You’re a great roommate!

  2. Watch boxes can sometimes fetch a decent price on Ebay and beat up old books put together in a set and marketed as ‘decor’ sell well on Etsy. Where are you going to sell the toothbrushes? I might be interested in some if the shipping to the US is not too steep.

    1. That’s true, I think though that it might be one of those things that’s easier to do in the States because USPS is that much cheaper. For instance, that Burberry watch box seems to go for 30-40$, but shipping from Canada will probably cost at least 15-20$ on its own (it’s fairly large and heavy), leaving me with a pretty tiny profit margin. I have so much stuff to list as is, so these are the kind of things I avoid dealing listing because it’s more trouble than its worth.

    1. It’s about 10″ tall I’d guess. I already have a few emails about this so you might be too late, but you can always send me an email of your own in case one of those deals falls through.

  3. There’s a subreddit (/r/Shave_Bazaar/) for selling and exchanging old school shaving supplies. You might be able to trade some razors for some blades, soaps, brushes, etc for your own use or sell a few.

    1. I don’t really shave much, haha so no use for that stuff. I figure yard sale is the best bet because I can make some decent money without much effort (better to save that for more expensive stuff).

  4. I find this blog fascinating. I do this on a smaller scale here in Florida. I mostly pick up items I may use but should start trying to use them to turn a profit. Keep it up. JB

  5. Hi there,
    My fiance and I are also garbage pickers and living in Mtl. We do a lot of swaps as well. I met get a Birks necklace at a swap and it comes without the box. I see that you found some of them and it is not in your listing. How much would it costs ? I can pick it up in Mtl. Thank you !

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