Garbage FIMO

I happened upon some good stuff at this spot a couple months ago. It was productive for a few weeks, but the trash bags stopped appearing after that. Now, there’s a big dumpster in front of the house that’s more than likely being filled with renovation junk.

That seems like a pretty common progression, especially with larger suburban homes. People move in, stay a while, eventually the house is cleared out and sold, and then the new owners want to spruce things up a bit. At this point the sight of one of those dumpsters makes me wonder what kind of garbage I may have just missed. That feeling is kind of like a past tensed FOMO, a fear I missed out.

Thankfully I didn’t miss out on this stuff, though I’ll never know if there was anything good in the weeks prior to my stopping there.

This spot was good for cool vintage radios. In the middle is a Sony 12-band portable radio that already sold for 80$ + shipping. In general, it seems that radios with shortwave capabilities are a good bet to have value. The Discman and Walkman are worth around 20$ each if they work.

Another vintage portable Sony radio sold very quickly for 60$. This one didn’t have shortwave, but it did have two pretty good speakers.

I saved several like-new sleeves and holders, the nicest of which is the green leather one made by Rolex.

I think it was made to hold passports, but it could also serve as a wallet. Inside were a couple of booklets that came with Rolex watches, of which I found none. I expect the holder to sell for around 80$ however, given that it’s in near perfect condition.

There were lots of eyeglass frames, most of which were cheap and not really worth taking. These Serengeti sunglasses are decent though, and I expect that they’ll sell for around 30-40$. They’d go for more, but unfortunately they’re a bit crooked though that can probably be fixed.

Here’s a Timex fitness system that looks to have barely been used. Not a tonne of value here, but they do seem to sell for around 25$.

Otherwise, I saved some decent yard sale stuff. I found another old Startac phone, those are always good for a laugh at least. The pottery is from Roseville, but isn’t the type that’s worth a lot of money. That belt is kind of cool, and I always like finding those scraper knife things.

I didn’t find anything particularly mind blowing at this spot, but I should make a few hundred bucks from this stuff when all is said and done.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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


I found some nice stuff on Thursday, and also saved something toxic from making it to the landfill.

In one of those bags was a little jar of mercury! Judging by its label I’d guess it was made in the 40s. The listed weight is one pound, but it’s around half full (weighs about 240 grams according to its scale, and presumably about 30 grams of that is the jar). Regardless, for its size the jar is quite heavy, and it’s interesting to feel how it sloshes around in there.

From what I can tell mercury is safe enough in this form, ie: in a glass bottle at room temperature. It’s even relatively safe to play with it in your hands – my friend’s mom apparently used to break thermometers and play with the mercury, and I also read some accounts of students touching it as part of a high school science class. However, it is still quite toxic, especially if inhaled. It’s especially bad for the environment, particularly in the food chain. Seafood is particularly vulnerable to mercury, and through biomagnification it can affect larger animals (like us) as well.

So, it’s good that I saved this from going to the dump! It’s also probably good that it didn’t get crushed by the garbage truck, as the mercury in theory could vaporize and end up in the face of the garbage collectors. I’m guessing whoever tossed it wasn’t paying attention to what they were throwing out, or didn’t know just how toxic mercury can be.

This is the first time I find a significant amount of mercury. I’ve seen a few old mercury thermometers before, but those apparently contain only up to around 2.5 grams. Finding this makes me wonder if there are any other toxic elements collecting dust in people’s basements. Maybe someone has a jar of cadmium, arsenic, or radium kicking around.

Fortunately, I also found some stuff here that I can use or sell.

I found a couple little plastic containers, once of which held a small collection of Wade figurines.

They’re not worth much, probably around 3$ a piece, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

I saved plenty of neat old junk, including two card games from Canada’s centennial (1967), a couple pairs of cool no-name frames, and two rolls of veneer.

Sorry these photos aren’t as good as they are usually, I’m still figuring out how to take photos at my new garage space. The lighting definitely isn’t as ideal as it is in my light box, but it’s better for taking larger group shots (which saves me a lot of time, and generally makes it easier to share extra finds).

Here’s a couple of cute strung together cardboard animal figures. I’d guess they’re from the 60s or 70s.

The jigsaw was a nice find. It’s old and a bit dirty, but still seems to work great. My friend will likely make use of it in some future woodworking project.

Otherwise, I saved some leather scraps, powder paints, and some vintage watercolour paints. I’m not sure if any of the paints are still good, but I figured I’d give them a chance.

I’ll definitely be returning to this house this week. Hopefully I find more old junk, and less mercury.

I’ve been having a lot of luck lately in my garbage runs. In fact, I have a backlog of photos on my computer waiting to be shared. I’m sure I’ll have another post up by the end of the week!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.