Recent sales – July

Usually eBay sales are a bit slow in the mid to late summer, but July was good even despite having one week where I didn’t sell a single thing. Here’s some former trash that’s recently found a new home.

1. Sheaffer Targa fountain pen, 14k nib: On eBay for 75$. Found in the Mile End.

2. Samsung Galaxy S3, for parts or repair: On eBay for 25$. Also found in the Mile End.

3. Owen Wood Zodiac Poster: On eBay for 75$. I’ve had this for a while. It was an insert in a 1970s Man, Myth, and Magic magazine. The poster was really cool, so I figured someone would pay good money for it. Found in NDG.

4. Vintage Elgin self-winding watch: To a reader on eBay for 80$. A nice piece. Found in Rosemont not long ago.

5. Three MacDonald’s 5-packs: On eBay for 105$. These old cigarettes are serving me well. Found in Villeray.

6. Harper’s Bazaar, February 1967: On eBay for 45$. These old magazines have finally started to sell. Found in Westmount.

7. Parker 51 fountain pen, for parts: On eBay for 25$. 51s are always worth money, even if they’re busted. I think I found this one near Snowdon metro.

8. Julbo mountaineering sunglasses: On eBay for 135$. I got a nice price for these. The buyer seems to be happy as well. Part of the Very Rich People series, they were found in Outremont.

9. Lot of three Gucci drawstring bags: On eBay for 35$. Found in NDG.

10. Vintage JBL frequency dividing network: On eBay for 50$. This thing had seen better days, but someone can definitely fix it or part it out. Found in Rosemont.

11. Lot of 50 dip pen nibs with tin: On eBay for 35$. Found in TMR.

12. Bose Quietcomfort 20 noise cancelling earbuds: On eBay for 200$. These worked perfectly fine, and looked like they hadn’t even been used. Part of the Very Rich People series.

13. Lucien Piccard 10k gold filled watch, for repair: On eBay for 60$. Almost worked fine but definitely needed a bit of servicing. Found in TMR.

14. Three bottles of Quadrille by Balenciaga: On eBay for 50$. Found in TMR.

15. Ortofon SL-15E Mk II cartridge: On eBay for 120$. Found in the Plateau with all those other cool vintage electronics.

16. Svijet magazine / book: On eBay for 30$. I wondered if I had made a mistake listing this, but it did end up selling. Found in the Mile End.

17. 7th Generation iPod Nano: On eBay for 115$. More Very Rich People stuff.

18. Lenovo Yoga 2 11, for repair: On eBay for 150$. One of my McGill move-out day finds. The laptop seemed to work fine, it was just the screen which flickered on and off (and mostly stayed off). Probably an easy fix for someone.

19. Tri-coloured 10k gold heart pendant: On Etsy for 50$. I found this a while back, I can’t remember where. Part of the reason it took so long to sell was because the original picture I took of it sucked. I felt the need to spruce the photo up a bit before I put it on the blog, and after a few tweaks (more brightness / contrast, and a bit of extra saturation) I’m happy with how it looks. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better at photo editing over the years, and that’s a skill that has helped me as a seller.

Of course, another good skill is knowing when a photo is “good enough.” There’s no need to take perfect shots every time, but it does help for certain items, high-end stuff in particular.

20. Eyeball lamp: On Kijiji for 35$. Found in Villeray.

21. Bamboo longboard: On Kijiji for 60$. Another McGill Ghetto find.

22. Perfumes: To a local buyer for 40$. They were from that collection I found recently in Rosemont.

23. Yard sale: 440$. I didn’t do many sales in July, partly because I was a bit tired after the Moving Day rush. August was a much more profitable month for yard sales.

-1. Givenchy bracelet: Returned for -20$. I figured I might as well list my returns as well. The buyer didn’t think it was authentic, and while I disagreed I figured it was a lot easier just to refund the purchase and move on. I don’t list things I don’t think are authentic, but it’s always possible I made a mistake. Anyways, the bracelet was only 25$ but I lost about 20$ because of the shipping. I had it sent back, even though I don’t plan on listing it again.

Total: 2015$, 14474.50$ so far in 2017

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15 thoughts on “Recent sales – July

  1. I see your reflection in that eyeball lamp. Hi Martin!

  2. meghan88 says:

    Wow … great work!! Love your photos. I live my life vicariously through you. Those mountaineering glasses are soooo Mad Max.

  3. Patrick L. says:

    I love your blog so much.I wonder why people in Montreal do not praise your blog.You are so cool.People in West Island(most of them) can never figure how someone can do what you do.You are just so pioneering.

  4. Naomi Shelton says:

    I have just started to read your blog and I am amazed at the things you find in people’s trash! Do the “high enders” just pitch things that are perfectly good when they are tired of them?? Not in my league, for sure.

    How did you get started doing this? I suppose a lot of people have asked you this and you might be tired of telling the story, but tell me, anyway, okay??!

    I would love to look through other folks’ trash, but I would be afraid to do it. Did you feel embarrassed or nervous when you first started out?

    Do you think a person could be successful at doing what you are doing in a small city or town? We do have our more high-end neighborhoods.

    I’ll look forward to your next amazing post.

    • Karen says:

      Being a fountain pen nut/collector, it’s always fun to see the pens you find. That Sheaffer is one of the best everyday models you can find. I have one about that age and it’s still going strong. Smart that you sometimes sell pens for parts, as there is a terrific market in repairing vintage pens. Thanks for your blog, Martin!

      • martng says:

        Thanks. Pens are something I’ve only come to realize the value of with time. Same with perfumes. Now, I’m excited to find a quality pen or Guerlain perfume. I found a couple Parker desk pens recently that I’m excited to sell. It looks like someone chewed on the end bits, but the middle sections are fine as is one of the nibs. They’re fairly vintage so they might fetch a decent price regardless.

    • martng says:

      Hi, glad you like it! From my experience the high-enders don’t do that (maybe the super high-enders do, say the Kardashians or various royal families, who knows). What happens though is that they’ll buy something new, and then put the old thing in a cupboard or box somewhere just in case (rich people usually have big houses too, so it’s easy to store something and forget about it). Then, whenever they move they’ll look through their stuff, find the thing (which by then is older), and then some will throw it out instead of trying to sell it or give it away.

      This also applies to things that they buy new but rarely use (the mountaineering sunglasses presumably being an example of that).

      I started when I moved to the city for college around age 18. I’d never seen a curbside pickup before (well, not a good one anyways, most people in my small town bring big stuff to the dump themselves) and started going on a weekly trash walk. It was mostly a fun hobby at first, and my roommates and I brought home a lot of furniture, but eventually I realized the best stuff is in the bags, and then eventually I realized that I could make money selling what I find. Once I figured out eBay I was on the path to actually making a solid income.

      I still feel nervous sometimes, it comes and goes. It sucks when you find some good stuff and then someone yells at you to get out of it. Embarassed, not so much. I’ve trained myself to mostly ignore passersby at this point.

      I think it would be harder to make a lot of money in a small city or town but it’s possible to make a bit of extra cash. The benefit to living in a big city is that I have so many neighbourhoods to choose from, and if I’m not finding anything in one neighbourhood I can try another. In a smaller town you don’t have that as much, so there may be stretches where you don’t find much of anything (that happens here too, but I’ve been lucky as of late).

      • Naomi Shelton says:

        Very interesting. Do you ever worry about the police nabbing you or anything like that? I don’t know if there are actually any laws regarding pilfering trash! Unless it would be trespassing if the trash were on the owner’s property.

        • martng says:

          There are by-laws in certain wealthy neighbourhoods but the police in general don’t care about garbage picking and I don’t think there are laws against it. I’ve had issues with neighbourhood security in the richer neighbourhoods, and have gotten two tickets. The actual police have only taken issue with me once, I think on behalf of the neighbourhood security folk (or maybe someone who called in complaining about trash pickers). In general, I think the police have better things to do than worry about trash picking. I think going out in the mornings, instead of at night makes one look less sketchy in general, especially to police, but more likely to get yelled at by average people. Pick your poison.

  5. Jennifer says:

    You are just a cool dude and I saw your reflection in the eyeball lamp! You are so secretive….But we see you! I had viewed your eBay listings a month or so ago and thought a lot of it was overpriced, but here we are and I see that quite a few items have sold. Nice job! Worth the wait for sure. How amazing that you not only saved these items from a LANDFILL but you are actually making a nice chunk of change. But why do people think it is okay to toss this stuff away when someone can use it? Laziness? What is it? Just no time? Not caring? I can’t imagine throwing away gold jewelry and money. I can see someone not realizing that a vintage item has trendy value, but jewelry and money? I just don’t understand why someone wouldn’t at least donate the items to a charity.

    • willedare says:

      Jennifer, I think sometimes we human beings throw away stuff because we do not plan well and then we run out of time… And/or maybe we are lazy? I recently helped a sibling pack up a two-bedroom apartment before a cross country move. We started out posting stuff that my sibling didn’t want to keep (couches, lamps, dressers, and more…) on Craig’s List and another sell/giveaway web site. Some items were sold for very modest prices. Some items were given away. Each transaction took a surprising (to me, who had never had to do a move like this) amount of time — which we had less and less of as the end of the month approached. We also arranged for two different non-profit organizations to come and pick up 50+ boxes of other stuff (clothing, children’s toys, dishes, glasses). That was very satisfying (although I have no idea what the non-profits actually end up doing with any/all of it…) In our last few days we were either packing her remaining possessions into boxes and loading them into a Penske truck or leaving them (such as nice pans and a blender) out by the dumpster at her apartment complex for someone — often under cover of darkness — to take away. And at the last minute we STILL ended up with a motley collection of left-over stuff — most of which got shoe-horned into the truck since our family hates to let go of almost anything… But I can imagine if one had to empty out the house of a dead relative (particularly someone about whom one might have ambivalent feelings), at a certain point it would just become easier to toss stuff into plastic bags and lug them to the curb… So a huge and resounding hurrah for Martin and other folks who re-claim some of these items before they end up in a landfill or incinerator!!!!

    • martng says:

      Some of the stuff is definitely overpriced, haha, but it’s better to overprice than underprice from my experience. On eBay, it doesn’t cost much to aim for a premium, and if it doesn’t work out you can just lower the price.

      Well that’s the big question really. I think old stuff is often dismissed as “junk” and tossed with the idea that it’s not worth much (thus, why I find good stuff in working class areas sometimes). As for the newer stuff, I guess it’s a combo of not having time and not caring. People with money of course have the privilege of not having to care so much. For gold, some people don’t know how little it takes to make a bit of extra cash. For cash, small quantities could be a time issue (finding a small collection of change in some random spot, and being tired of packing) or not caring, while large quantities are mainly due to not caring.

  6. mrspickypincher says:

    Aw man, sorry to hear about the return. But look at all the great sales! You’re doing awesome. 🙂 It just boggles my mind to see all of the wonderful things that people (especially rich people) throw out. Makes me wonder what else is going to the garbage that’s perfectly usable.

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