Very rich people pt. 5

I’m having my last yard sale of the year tomorrow! I may also do one on Sunday actually, but I don’t want to promise that just yet. Anyways, it will be at 4096 Coloniale near Duluth starting around noon. If you can’t make it Saturday and want to know if Sunday is a go, send me an email or Facebook message and I can let you know. Also do that if you’re interested in a specific item and you’re wondering if it’ll be at the yard sale.

The last part of this Very Rich People will showcase the bits of jewelry I found. These pieces are all costume jewelry, but some are signed by companies like Sherman, Weiss, and Boucher, all of which go for pretty decent money on eBay.

For a while I thought this would go down as the best spot to not provide any silver or gold. However, I ended up finding those earrings, which are busted but still good for silver scrap. The clasp of that faux pearl necklace is also silver.

However, these earrings were easily the best pieces I found. Marked Chimento and 750 (18k) gold, they weigh around 10.2 grams, which means they’re worth close to 400$ in scrap alone. However, they’re in perfect condition, so their actual value is more than that.


I currently have them listed at 800$, which might be a little high but not by much…

I’ll finish off the series with this pack of printer paper. Not very exciting, I know, but it did save me from having to buy some.

That may be all from that great pile of trash, but I’m always finding great stuff that rich people throw out – those people just happened to be very rich. I’ll share some more soon enough.

I’ll bulk up this post with a few other recent finds. I found some snowshoes poking out of a trash bin not far from Olympic stadium.

They’re nice old ones, marked as being made in Lac Megantic Quebec.

I could sell them, but I’m leaning towards keeping them for the winter. I might actually go snowshoeing, who knows. I’ve been talking about doing that for years.

I also found a smaller pair of snowshoes without bindings, which I’ll try to sell at the yard sale.


Those trash cans were filled with old garage / basement junk. I dug around a bit and found a dirty old canvas bag that smelled strongly of must. I knew it was worth a closer look, however, as that material was often used during the wars. As it turns out, the bag was made to hold a WWII-era US Army combine.


I was able to clean it up pretty nicely in the shower, and the musty smell was mostly gone after it stayed outside for like a week. The zipper has some issues, but it’s an interesting piece regardless and should sell for 30-40$.

I found some intriguing stuff at one place in NDG. Unfortunately I’ve seen nothing but kitty litter there since, but maybe the spot will come alive once again. It seems that whoever lived there was an engineer or engineering student, and this photo envelope contained some unusual photos, presumably taken before Expo 67 that show it under construction.

Zoom in for a closer look! From what’s written on the envelope I’d guess they were taken in February of 1967.

I found more interesting engineering related photos as well.

These ones are a fair bit older, I’m guessing from the 30s or 40s, and look to me like a dam under construction.

I also found a bit of junk. Slide rules are always a fun find, and I liked the wooden cheque from “Banque Dubois.” There were some nice cufflinks, though none were made of precious metals. The Expo 67 flag with the UdM pin was also interesting.

I found a bunch of old books and VHS tapes at another spot in NDG. None were particularly exciting, though I did enjoy finding this old tin.

It contained a little box, along with miscellaneous sewing bric-a-brac. I’m not really sure what that oval glass thing is supposed to be, if you have any ideas let me know.

Inside the box was an old collection of string. Unfortunately, string doesn’t really stand the test of time very well, but the box itself was sturdy and nice. There were also some sewing needles and a couple thimbles that might sell at a yard sale.

I love finding sewing stuff, in large part because there’s often interesting bits and bobs mixed in. These old pins were in a small brown envelope marked “extra buttons.” They’re service badges from Supertest, an old Canadian oil and gas company that disappeared in 1973. Supertest operated lots of gas stations in Ontario and Quebec back in the day, so people from central Canada may remember them.

The pins ascend in years and materials from five (sterling silver), to 15 (gold filled), to 20 (10k gold, with a small diamond or diamond-like object). Petroliana is a big market right now, so I should be able to get a bit of money for them, even if just for a bit above their weight in silver and gold.

As usual, I’ll be keeping an eye on this spot going forward!

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.

38 thoughts on “Very rich people pt. 5”

  1. that oval thing is a darning egg, to put in the toe or heel of a sock to hold the shape and press the needle against. lovely finds, as always. love, aint bea

  2. Yay … snowshoes for you! It’s important to treat yourself sometimes too.
    Yup, that’s a darning egg. You may find other variations on the darning egg theme in your wanderings.
    And a great bunch of jewelry, just in time for holiday posting.
    Keep up the great work! Your blog is always my favourite reading matter for the entire week!

  3. dont sell your 18k earring for scrap xmas is just 10 friday away and maybe a anxious hubby will buy them as a present. we love reading your blog!! nancy and rich jan

  4. The engineering photos are great, real historic. Mind if I post them on “Montréal Then and Now?” Facebook group?

    As for the snowshoes, I highly recommend that you get new bindings for them. Otherwise you might never want to go out again. The $27 ones on this page would be good enough, and a heck of a lot better than what’s on there:

  5. Hi Martin,
    It has been a long time since I last replied here, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to response to my question about listing items on Ebay awhile ago. To be honest with you, with the economy doing better, I have been trying to focus on a different source of income, other than garbage picking. I have to say you are spot on about rich people having better garbage than others. Two weeks ago I stopped at a house that had an interesting box sticking out, inside the box was an antique “candlestick” phone, an old watch making machinist tool, 2 laptops. Under the box, the bag had a wheat penny album with about 20 pennies and a stamp book that said on it $1,453.88 and there were many old stamps that seemed to add up to the figure. This Thursday, I saw an old draw sticking out of a recycling bin and in my mind I remembered that house, from my previous finds. This time I said to myself I would really check thoroughly, if they would throw out $1,453.88. The first bag had a bunch of glass used in watchmaking, so the next bag had jewelry and I ended up taking 6 bags instead of going through each one, with a 5 drawer plastic cabinet on the bottom of one trash barrel. I’m still going through everything but this is some of what was inside 1 – 0.5 oz 14K gold ring with stone, 7 – albums of very old coins, the oldest was 1878 all silver. Some of the albums were dimes,quarters,Jefferson’s, + there are coins not in albums that are silver too. There is one piece of jewelry that looks like wire-cable from a suspension bridge, but it said “sterling” on it and weighs 5.4 oz = at a minimum over $70 in scrap, a very beautiful cake server that is sterling, a nice sterling medal, as well as other jewelry I’m trying to identify. There are many many antique watch faces, well as expensive watches in disrepair. I was just humbled to be so lucky and if it wasn’t for that draw sticking out of a recycling bin, I would have just passed it by.

    Take care,

    1. Keep checking that spot! If you can send me pics I’d be curious to see the stuff too. I think trash picking can be reasonably profitable work, but you just showed why it can be beneficial even if you’re just casually paying attention to what’s on the curb. It sounds like you happened upon a place where the people, who maybe inherited the stuff couldn’t have cared less about it. Sometimes that’s because they’re already rich from the inheritance, or the face that the house being sold is worth a lot more than the stuff is. Regardless, it sounds like you got at least a few grand worth of stuff, and most of it is easy to liquidate.

      I would temper expectations on the stamps (will be hard to get book value for them) but the watches, if nice will be worth good money even if busted. Especially if the cases are gold, silver, and so on. Watches are always a hot market, and the coins should be very easy to sell. But yeah, keep going back to that place on garbage / recycling days until you’re sure there’s nothing left to be found.

    2. Oh yeah, and I’m also very jealous lol. I’ve found some great stuff, but your spot might have put my “very rich people” to shame with their wastefulness. I did find some very nice stuff recently though, not including the things I’ve recently posted about, so I can’t feel too bad…

      1. Martin,
        My hat is off to you for all you do, you make it look easy when in reality it’s anything but that. I went to the gym after sending my last reply and from there (10:00 P.M. till 8:30 A.M.), I was scavenging a few towns over, when they had their bi-annual bulk collection day. It’s amazing what people discard, with many items I will be using for my personal use. One item I picked up that I’m listening to NPR on as I write this is a VTG Boom Box Sanyo M9825 AM/FM EQ Cassette Tape Player Recorder Ghetto Blaster, that is in excellent condition. Here:

        I was talking to a guy that pulled up beside me as I was scavenging, mentioning how much good stuff we discard, when it could be donated, giving the items a second life.

        1. Cool, those big boom boxes are often worth a bit of money. Some of them are worth a lot of money. I found one recently but have yet to test it.

          1. Martin,
            Last night I went over the items I found and I was wrong about the oldest coin being 1878, it was actually a 1856-o half dollar. I was also wrong about find 7 albums, when the correct number was 8 + 1 I found 2 weeks ago made 9 total. When I was looking at the 1856-o coin, in my mind this circulated coin passed through the hands of people that were alive while Abraham Lincoln was in office and they could have seen or heard his voice + at that time in history slavery was still legal in the south too. I would like to have an archive like you have of all the finds, so maybe people will realize how wasteful we are and to also remember all of my great finds personally.

            I hope you had a successful yard sale/s, if you had them Saturday and Sunday. I know where I live the weather has been especially nice for being the middle of October.

            1. Cool, yup it’s interesting to think of the history of these things! I found a handful of coins a while back, the most valuable of which was a late 1700 post-colonial US coin that I eventually sold for about 300$. Not all old coins are that valuable, but some are.

              The yard sales were very good. I got rid of a lot of stuff, and now my storage is pretty clear. I’m happy about that.

              1. WOW, 1700 post-colonial coins would be super cool and I would have to keep at least one. I forgot to mention one coin I found was in a holder and can make out a face. I was thinking it could be a Roman coin, but I will have to do a little more research to see if Google imagines has one that looks similar.

                That is great to hear your yard sale moved a lot of your inventory. It must feel good to see it gone, especially the money it generates for you too. I have just about all my finds, expect for an old Steiff elephant I sold for $100.I need to start moving it out like you do, because basically it’s money just stored up.

                1. Yeah it was pretty cool, you can see the coins in the post titled “Nova Eborac” (this was a few years ago now). I still have most of the other coins, they aren’t particularly valuable but they are cool.

                  I used to keep a lot more stuff, but I don’t anymore. I want the money more than I want more stuff. I keep mostly decorative items like art, furniture, lamps, and so on. I also keep the junk that’s not worth much but is interesting and tells a story.

  6. Hi Martin,
    As always I find your blog so much fun to read and the extra knowledge from your research is great. Wanted to mention the spools of thread. They’re fairly old especially if the spools are wooden. The thread might still be OK. I found some of my old sewing stuff the other week and there was one wooden spool. The thread was still good. They’re quite collectible.
    Have a great weekend and good luck with your yard sale(s).
    P.S. Still think you need to travel throughout Canada giving seminars on garbage picking and arrange to travel around the cities with the individuals. LOL!

  7. This whole thing would make such a great tv show. Just a thought. I LOVE reading about your adventures. I live in Nelson, BC where there just aren’t enough very rich folks for this kind of hobby, but I love stopping at Free piles nonetheless and taking a boo. Found some lovely things that I was actually in need of. There is A LOT of STUFF in this world right now. Thank you for you and for sharing what you do!

    1. I’ve been to Nelson, it’s a very cute place. The whole population is less than in one of my “garbage routes” however, so picking there would be difficult. I’m sure there’s some good stuff occasionally though…

  8. Your blog is one of my favorite things to read, too, and I am not even your mom. I don’t understand how anyone could throw jewelry (and money) in the trash! Glad you save all of this stuff. Come and do a sale in California and I will bring all of my friends. 😉

  9. WWII US Army gear is highly collectible in the re-enactment community. If you haven’t already, do a little research on value. Don’t let the zipper concern you, re-enactors will often swap out bits and pieces to recreate gear. A former co-workers husband was into this and taught himself to sew in order to repair his own gear.

  10. It is astounding people throw away such beautiful jewellery.What do you think these folks who threw them out do for a living?

  11. You might wanna google dominion bridge wiki, pretty significant company, one of canada’s more significant ones 😉

  12. In regard to the snowshoes. Don’t try them or you’ll ruin them. If the gut has not been treated for years they are brittle and will snap with your weight on them. Use for display or sell.

  13. Which neighborhood did you find this expensive jewelry in?Was it TMR?Very interested.Great finds.

    1. The yard sale was a lot of work, and I also put a lot of work into organizing my storage. All that tired me out, but now the organization stuff is mostly done and I can get back on a more normal schedule.

  14. Hi Martin,I love your blog and I am a translator,illustrator and investor;I love rescuing books from the trash for my collection.I have a big condo.Please read this very sad story and if you find tossed books here,do rescue them.Find out the address of the bookstore.

    After 24 years in the business, Westcott Books is closing its doors

    Shuyee Lee
    3:32 PM

    Another longtime English second-hand bookstore is closing its doors.

    After 24 years, T. Westcott Books is turning the page.

    Terry Westcott, owner of the store commonly known as Westcott Books, said his landlord let him stay even after his lease came to an end a year ago but now a new tenant paying more rent is moving in in January.

    “Which was a very big surprise to me. I thought I was going to be good here for the next few years,” Westcott told the Natasha Hall Show.

    The wake up call came when the landlord came in recently to do renovations and had to take out some bookcases, tossing out about 600 books in the process. They will end up as donations. Westcott said it was done by the book.

    It’s a sad day in the neighbourhood when a bookstore closes its doors. It’s especially sad when the 74 year old owner, Terry Wescott, is unceremoniously forced out from a landlord seeking to kick him out asap. So much so that over 1000 books of the store were collected earlier this week by the landlord and dumped in order for him to be able to start breaking down walls. Over 1000 books that were mr.Wescott’s property – taken without compensation – to be thrown away. No courtesy or respect for the man or for his books. For anybody who has walked into this bookstore, you would know that mr.Wescott is a soft spoken man, with limited means and connection which makes him helpless in the face of a pushy landlord. Does anybody know of a retail space in the Plateau (west of St-Denis) with decent rent and especially decent landlords? Meanwhile, if you are as upset as moi about the mistreatment and theft of property then here is the landlords contacts to send him a hello (or whatever choice word you’d like to use): Merci! #Montreal #books #booklover #bookstagram #reading #secondhand #usedbooks #igersmontreal #mtl #localcollective #usedbookstore #bookstore #bibliophile #twescottlibrairie @mtlblog @ctvmontreal @thebeat925 @montrealgazette @themain @stlaurentlamain @coderremtl @val_plante

    A post shared by Woven By Wander (@wovenbywander) on Oct 30, 2017 at 1:57pm PDT

    Some school librairians are coming in to take away some of the inventory but Westcott doesn’t know what’ll happen to the rest of the roughly 19,000 other books. He was supposed to be out by the end of last month.

    Westcott used to work at other used book stores such as Argo Book Shop and Russell Books and had built up a loyal following at the store commonly known as Westcott Books.

    “Well, they’re very disappointed, they really enjoyed coming in here and browsing and getting away from the craziness in the world and seeing the craziness of books, I guess,” said Westcott.

    After 18 years on Ste Catherine St. West and six years on St.Laurent Boulevard, the 68-year-old book shop owner says moving again is out of the question but he’ll miss the business.

    “The thing that I love the most is the human contact – being with people and talking with people,” said Westcott.

    “It’s very addictive.”

  15. I hope somebody helps find Mr.Westcott find another store with cheap rent where he can continue to sell books.Mr.Westcott could also take several hundred books to his residence and keep them.In any case,all those other books must not be thrown out.Keep tabs.I hope people keep tabs on this.

  16. Hi,Martin,read this ad from the free section of Montreal Craigslist’s Free section from LaSalle.

    Moving bazar sale all you could take for 20.00 (7684 brodway lasalle)
    7684 brodway

    We have an amazing offer for anyone in need of a great deal. We have a 8 1/2 and we are moving to a 3 1/2 too many gifts and things we have collected over the years we could not take. The ideal is you will pay 20$ at the door once you are in take anything you want. Please text

    , congrats to the first 10 customers who enjoyed a great deal. Here is the address for any one who is interested 7684 brodway lasalle h8p1j1

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