Monthly Archives: May 2017

Yard sale / new expressions

Saturday is supposed to be 16 degrees, sunny and not at all windy. That means it’s time for another yard sale! The weather hasn’t been cooperative in the month since my last one and I’m really looking forward to unloading some stuff. I have way too much right now, both from the winter and from a productive spring cleaning season, and at a certain point the excessive volume reduces my enjoyment of trash picking. Junk starts to clutter up my life, I have nowhere to put things, and I feel more like a hoarder than a seller. But yard sales always remind me that people actually want the stuff I collect, and that it oftentimes brings a little joy into their life as well.

A friend of mine convinced me to do the sale at his place, so the location will be at 5031 St Urbain (near St Joseph) in Montreal. It’s not far from my two usual yard sale spots, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. We’ll probably start around noon, and end around 6PM. Please email me if you have any questions!

One of my recent finds will come in pretty handy. I now have a legit folding table, so I’ll be able to get a bit more of my junk off the ground!

I also found this neat c.1980s Expos fanny pack that’ll be useful for holding money.

Otherwise, as you may know I’ve recently started going out in the mornings instead of at night. That means I end up meeting a lot more of the people who’s trash I’m picking. Sometimes it works out okay, but other times people ask me (in varying degrees of politeness) to leave their trash alone.

For instance, I started looking through the trash at this pile. Found a few neat things. Then a kid, probably somewhere between 17-20, comes out and asks me what I’m doing, and tells me not to look through his trash. “It’s only papers.” At least he was reasonably nice about it, offering me the little stereo system in the box on the right.

Still, there were some nice things in his trash that definitely weren’t papers (unfortunately, I was only able to look inside two bags). I found some nice silver cufflinks, a legit-looking pair of Persol sunglasses, some electronic doodad and an old cell phone to add to my collection. If I were feeling more energetic I’d have chastised him about throwing out a cell phone; he was kind of nice but still power tripping a bit.

However, he was Mr Rogers compared to the lady I met later on, who almost looked like she wanted to fight. She rushed towards me from her house, complaining about trash pickers (not me I guess, as it was my first time stopping!) going through her stuff all the time and I guess causing a mess. She wasn’t polite to say the least.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to look through any of the bags, which almost certainly held good stuff, but I did take this “street surfboard” that was sitting on top of the pile. I told her she should have donated it to charity, and she whined that she was too busy moving and dealing with all the stuff. Boohoo, I say. What’s so hard? Throw it in a box and bring it to the store literally 1km away. Some places will even come pick up donations. Anyways, there’s not much to do except move on and not take it too personally.

I think we need to come up with a term to describe people who ask scavengers not to go through their trash, especially the people who are actually throwing out great stuff. My first thought was to play off “Nimby” (Not in my back yard), but thinking of new expressions is not really my forte. If you have any ideas us know in the comments!

Despite the [insert new expression here] I have a lot of good finds to share with you, but most will have to wait for another post. I’ve been lucky finding postage stamps recently – that find saved me 6$! I also appreciated the savings bank, even if it contained only pennies.

The place that brought us those photos from my last post threw out some more photographic stuff this week, most notably this box full of old postcards. Many date back to the early 1900s. I’d say they’re older on average than the postcards from the collection I found around this time last year. However, I enjoyed finding that collection a bit more because it was much more Canadian. These look to have been collected while traveling across Europe. The way this collection is organized is cool, I’ve never seen a box quite like this one for one!

I don’t have time to photograph them all, but here’s a selection of postcards from the London section. The King George V and Queen Mary RPPCs are pretty cool. Those would date from somewhere between 1910 and 1936, I’d guess on the earlier side of that. Note the “Sept 19 / 04” written on the postcard at top right.

These ones are all from the Rome section. My favourite so far is the Benito Mussolini at top left.

I think I’ll put these in storage for now, and then list them on eBay in the fall or winter. I think that I should be able to make a couple hundred dollars from this collection, maybe more.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Hope some of you can make it to the sale!

Relevant links

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

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. 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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April sales + e-waste recycling

eBay sales have been great the past couple of months! I guess the warm spring weather inspires people to buy stuff online. I also had my most profitable yard sale ever, so I’m not broke for the first time in a while, though I should probably spend most of that money my teeth.

Before I show you what sold, here’s a collection of e-waste that I’ve saved over the past few months. I trash pick largely because I think it’s interesting and exciting, but I also care about the environment. I can’t save, or divert all that comes my way unfortunately; there’s just not enough time in the world to do right by each item I see. Still, I figure that recovering smaller sized e-waste, especially cell phones is a manageable activity.

All recycling is significant, but I think e-waste recycling is particularly important: many of the metals are dangerous for the environment if sent to landfill, but they can also be easily re-used. Recycling small electronics is really simple too, many stores have e-waste recycling boxes for virtually effortless disposal. I dropped these off just three minutes from home!

Just to clarify, I do sell these kinds of electronics when they have value. However, for a lot of the older stuff it’s just not worth the effort.

This batch of cell phones, digital cameras, and media players weighed 1.115kg. I’ll keep a running tally of how much I recycle, and hopefully by the end of the year the number will be impressive!

Now, let’s get to the stuff that actually makes me money.

1. Lampe Berger: On eBay for 45$. I found this pretty close to home, on rue Esplanade.

2. Vintage Esso map of France: On eBay for 15$. I can’t for the life of my find a picture of this on my computer. Here’s the eBay listing though, if you’re interested.

3. Malcolm X movie patch: On eBay for 26$. I decided to go the auction route in this case. I could have probably gotten more, but I’m also glad to see it leave the house.

4. Vintage Gillette razor blades: On eBay for 22$.

5. Apple adapter: On eBay for 12$. I can’t find a picture of this either, but rest assured that it’s one of those boring white AV cable things. I’ve realized that anything Apple is worth listing, even the accessories.

6. Stanley Carpenter’s rule: On eBay for 35$. I thought this was a pretty neat thing. Glad it found a new home!

7. Nikon digital camera: On eBay for 35$. I find digital cameras often enough, but only occasionally does the charger come with them. This camera looked to be in good condition, and the model still had value so I took the chance and bought a charger from China for around 5$. It ended up working just fine! If it hadn’t, I would have held onto it anyways as I’m slowly amassing a collection of digital cameras to sell “for parts / repair.” I think I found this one in Outremont.

8. Royal Doulton “Balloon Man”: On eBay for 85$. No offense to Balloon Man, but I hope he’s gone for good this time! He also sold a few months ago, but was returned to me because of a mistake by the buyer.

9. Xbox 360 accessories lot: On eBay for 35$. Whoever bought this probably got a pretty good deal. I wasn’t motivated enough to test each piece individually, so I listed them altogether on eBay at a solid discount. I wouldn’t be surprised if all this stuff worked fine. I found them with an Xbox 360 that wouldn’t turn on.

10. Vintage SAE equalizer: On eBay for 80$. I found this in front of some apartments on Wilderton (CDN) around the beginning of winter. It sat in storage until spring, when I finally got around to testing and listing it. I’m starting to get more comfortable shipping bigger items.

11. Space saving Apple keyboard: On eBay for 75$. I love these things. I found this one in that part of Rosemont with the Thursday evening pickup.

12. Game Golf digital tracking system: On eBay for 60$. Some guy on eBay offered me 10$ for this a few months ago, glad I stuck to my guns!

13. Lisham Art silver picture frame: On eBay for 175$. I wasn’t sure this thing would sell for anywhere close to my asking price, so I’m very happy with the profit here.

14. Vintage Heddon fly fishing pole: On eBay for 105$. It didn’t look to have ever been used. I had never before shipped a fishing pole, so that was neat. Found in the Plateau.

15. Longines watch, 14k gold: On eBay for 300$. This took a long time to sell. My price was too high originally, but I’d rather aim for too much than get too little.

16. Dr Oberbach biotensor: On eBay for 100$. This is a vintage dowsing pendulum for detecting energies or something. I don’t believe in that kind of stuff, but I don’t object to selling it at market value.

17. B&L cat-eye sunglasses: On eBay for 40$.

18. Small lot of empty Tiffany jewelry boxes: On eBay for 30$. Only two were in really nice condition, the other two were throw-ins.

19. Chateau Frontenac postcards: On eBay for 10$. Not too many of these postcards left now!

20. Sterling silver dog stick pin: On eBay for 40$. Found in Hampstead.

21. Oscar de la Renta Ruffles: On eBay for 60$. One of the many nice perfumes from that collection I found back in November.

22. Christian Dior eyeglass frames: On eBay for 100$. Eyeglass frames tend to take a while to sell, but I often make good money from them when they do. These ones were pretty cool!

23. Vintage 1970s “New Tarot” card deck: To a reader for 150$. These cards are destined to be framed. I found them in a recycling bag in the Mile End.

24. Vintage 25lb dumbbells: On Kijiji for 50$. Someone had turned these into sketchy barbells using duct tape. I cut the tape off, removed the glue residue using “Goo Gone,” and eventually made some $$. This was one of my best finds from St Michel, which isn’t saying much.

25. Silver bracelet, made in 1950s Birmingham: On Etsy for 40$. I think I found this years ago, long before I bought my current laptop. Thus, no pictures unfortunately.

26. Yard sale: 620$. This was my most profitable sale ever! That’s partly because I’ve raised my sometimes ridiculously low prices, but I also had a ton (maybe literally) of stuff for sale after a winter of collecting. I was so busy that day that I didn’t have time to take any photos – I’ll try to get pictures of the next one. The weather hasn’t been cooperating, but it looks like I’ll finally be able to have a second sale this weekend. I hope it will be similarly profitable, a lot of my finds didn’t even make it to my first sale.

27. Quebec far-right magazines: On eBay for 300$. I was wondering if this stuff would ever sell, and then one day it did. These transactions (the magazines were divided into two lots) worked out pretty well for me – I’m very happy with the price, and they look to have sold to an archivist with an interest in the far-right. I very much doubt that far right groups spend any money buying back their archives, but it’s still nice to know that this stuff will probably contribute to a future research project. This kind of literature is niche to say the least, and much of it is actually pretty hard to find.

I still have more far-right literature on eBay, but the rest originates from France & Belgium. And just to clarify, the first lot was bigger than shown in the picture above!

Total: 2645$, 7845$ so far in 2017. If only I could do this well all the time!

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Scotland – 1908?

I found a great box of photos last week, and I decided after looking through them that they were worthy of a separate post. If old photos aren’t your thing, I’d suggest skipping it!

For the scrapbooks I often tried to capture a full page at once, mainly to save time on my end. Unfortunately though it’s hard to take pictures like that without having some of the photos disappear in the glare. Next time I might do things differently, like take pictures of individual photos and then make them all into a gallery, though I’m not a big fan of WordPress’ gallery format (it’s not very intuitive for people who might want to zoom in for a close look). Still, it might be the easiest way to share a bunch of photos at once, and I think the editing would be easier as well.

Of course scanning is the best way to capture an image, but it’s also the most time consuming. Maybe at some point I, or someone else will take the time to carefully scan these images.

Anyways, below is a small sample (~10%) of the photos included. Most of my favourites are here, but there’s a lot of great photos that aren’t shown as well.

I found the box in one of Montreal’s wealthier neighbourhoods, and based on the photos I’d guess that this specific family has had money for quite some time. It was sitting next to a bunch of stuff that probably came from a basement.

The box also contained some old recipe books, some of which (like the 1949 Scouts cookbook) were pretty cool. You’ll be able to see them if you come to my next yard sale.

A lot of my favourite photos were in the black albums – most of them are around 100 years old. This one’s titled “Scotland – 1908?”

This is one of my favourite pages from that album. I’ve never seen a collection of portraits quite like it!

It’d be a great skill (superpower?) to be able to recognize where any photo was taken. At the very least it’d be a lot easier to market specific photographs on eBay! Maybe technology will be able to do achieve something like that someday, but in the meantime let us know in the comments if you have any information about these photos.

My favourite album was titled “[Guy’s name] 1917-1935”.

Most of the early photos look to have been taken at the Royal Military College in Kingston ON.

Click on the photos and zoom in if you want a better look!

I don’t think there was any lack of activities at the college.

I like the photos of the obstacle courses, mainly because of how makeshift they appear.

These photos (I presume of training facilities) were taken around the end of WWI. I’d guess that none of the people showcased in these albums ever made it to an actual battle. Regardless, it’s interesting to see that horses were still being used by the military at the time.

These photos are from the end of that album, presumably taken at least a few years after the war. They were shot at a photo studio in Dominion Park, an amusement park that existed up until the mid-1930s in Montreal’s east end. Here’s a great web page if you want to learn more about Dominion Park.

There were a couple of photo albums from the 50s and 60s, but most of my other favourites were found loose in small boxes or inside envelopes. I found two tintypes (bottom left), my coolest of which is the portrait with the bikes. On the right is a photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip that was probably taken around the time of her coronation (it’s also worth noting that someone doctored the photo to remove a lot of the background).

The photo at top left is interesting; I can’t claim to know much about the many different types of Native dress, but certain elements (particularly the pants, and some of the floral designs) bear some resemblance to what Nipo Strongheart (picture) used to wear. He was an early Hollywood actor, lecturer, and advocate of Native issues. However this is certainly not my field of expertise, please post any insights you may have in the comments!

A couple of these photos feature women in uniform, something I don’t think would have been seen before WWII. The photo with the dog is cute, and the postcard photo was taken in Nice.

I also saved some very old portraits that date back to the late 1800s. The names of a lot of these people are written on the back, which is good for a variety of reasons. The guy on the left looks straight out of the American Civil War.

These are maybe my favourite photos of the bunch. They’re all a bit larger, measuring around 8.5 x 6.25″. They’re signed “Notman and Son”, likely referring to the studio owned by well-known Canadian photographer William Notman. These date to sometime around the turn of the century, when exactly I can’t be sure. Perhaps someone familiar with the fashions of the time could help date it a little more specifically. Regardless, they’re very cool photos that I think would look great framed together. I would bet that, of all the photos in the box these will end up being the most valuable.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed all that! It’s been a good few weeks for found photos, that’s for sure.

I hope to have another yard sale this weekend but as of right now the weather is looking pretty iffy. If the forecast improves I’ll post an announcement telling you where to go.

Relevant links

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

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. 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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