Servire Populo pt.2


Part one

Honestly a lot of the stuff in this post is closer to being actual junk than quality junk, and I should probably avoid taking similar items in the future. Still, it can be fun to look at!

I like finding vintage food. Unfortunately, the market for a lot of it is slim to nonexistent. Not many people are looking to buy lemon extract from the 80s, but I’ll often take it anyways. It usually smells pretty good at least.


I was able to sell that vintage jello for a modest profit, but the Shake ‘n Bake and ice cube bags ended up in a yard sale free box (and most likely went to the trash). I kinda knew that would happen, but I saved them anyways.

This little Christmas tree was made from a collection of plastic coat hangers. It was cute, but had no commercial value. Someone did take it from my free box though.

These people were pretty crafty it seems. I sold this cool macrame wall hanging for 5$ at my last yard sale, and recently found another smaller one.

I also found this god’s eye, which I still have in my yard sale stuff.


This stuff is really kitschy, but it’s definitely not the kind of kitsch that’s “in” right now. Maybe in 10 or 20 years things will be different, but I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.


That cap gun was cool, and a couple of those large pencils were from Expo 67. Most of this stuff ended up in a free box, however.


Sorry these pictures didn’t turn out too well, I took them at my garage with my phone and the lighting wasn’t the best.


Of this lot I sold the collection of wall plaques, including the one from Percé rock.


I should have resisted that doll baby head thing. I guess there was a 10% chance that someone might have bought at a yard sale, but those kind of odds don’t warrant the benefit of the doubt considering I don’t have much storage space to begin with. I can say that about a lot of the stuff in this post though. I think I was feeling charitable at the time, and sometimes when I like a particular spot I’m more likely to take their junk.

Probably my favourite item from this bunch is this Frontier Town cuff bracelet. Frontier Town was a popular western-themed amusement park in rural New York from the early 50s to around the 80s. After that, the crowds dwindled and it closed in the late 90s. A lot of people have memories of the place and as a result Frontier Town ephemera does well enough on eBay. This bracelet looks to be solid aluminum and is probably worth around 20$. Surprisingly, I can’t find any other like it online.

This blog post perhaps helps you see the see one of my main struggles in garbage picking: the selection process. It’s easy to allow myself to take too much, either out of nostalgia or some kind of sympathy for inanimate objects. After all, if I don’t take something it’s probably going to end up crushed and in the dump, and that’s a sad mental picture. Still, it’s important to try to be objective, since no one can’t be a saviour of all trashed items, and this kind of stuff can quickly become a burden. I spent many hours this year purging after yard sales, and most of those items were things I shouldn’t have brought home in the first place.

The next post will feature more exciting stuff, I promise!

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.

Scrooge pt.1

Back in the early to mid summer I was stopping at this house regularly on garbage day to see what was on the curb. It seemed that every week I’d find either old Christmas decorations or weird vintage junk, often stored in old boxes that dated back at least a few decades (like that Dumaurier one above).

Unfortunately, one day I met one of the people doing the tossing and he was a real d-bag. As things stand today he’d make the top three in my “least pleasant people I’ve met trash picking” list. He had a big truck, an angry dog, and was yelling. Not really wanting to interact with that guy ever again, I abandoned the spot despite the fact that it was producing some unusual vintage trash (my favourite).

This box of old toys was one of the last things I rescued here. Some were ruined, but others were worth salvaging. I stuck it in the basement until recently, when I dug it up to see what was worth selling on eBay. I ended up taking pictures of everything, save for the stuff I had already thrown out or free boxed.

This old tin helicopter was made in Japan by Marusan toys, probably in the 1950s. It’s missing the top rotors and the winding key, but is in pretty good cosmetic condition otherwise. I think it’d be worth around 200$ if it were in mint condition with a box. As is, it’s probably worth closer to 50$.

This old Schuco Fex tin car was also pretty neat. Again, it’s in solid cosmetic condition but has no key and the top detaches from the base. It’s also worth around 200$ in great condition with a box. I hope to get 50$ for it.

The rest of the stuff was cool but not worth the hassle of selling on eBay. Here’s a collection of toy guns…

… a rubber lizard (or some other reptile) marked “Made in Japan”;

… a celluloid Santa on a tin sleigh (the reindeer is a bit busted, otherwise it might be worth listing);

… a wind-up baby goat with a missing tail;

… a vintage xylophone;

… an old lantern;

… a walkie talkie;

… an operator / battery pack for a missing toy;

… a wooden flute from Niagara Falls;

… some miscellaneous bric-a-brac, including a couple of lead soldiers;

… some toy cars;

… a weird rabbit that looks to be made out of paper mache;


… and a “Tuck-ins” blanket holder, made by a Henry Davis Co. Pretty cute eh? I’ll share some of the stranger stuff from this spot soon enough!

In the meantime, I figured I’d share these old tobacco tins I found last week.

They were stuffed with old matchbooks.

Most were from the same two places (the “Red Lion” Motor Inn and the “Blue Seas,” both in Miami Beach) but there were some others I thought were worth sharing. I always enjoy finding old matchbooks, especially when they’re cool from a graphic design perspective. My favourite of the bunch is probably the Expo 67 Cuban Pavilion matchbook near the top right. I’ve never seen one before, and couldn’t find anything similar online.

This week was relatively slow, but there’s still lots of great stuff, including potential “find of the year” type items that I have yet to share. You’ll have to keep coming back if you want to see what they are!

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: September

1. 1930s aviation lesson books: On eBay for 75$. These were pretty cool – check out the eBay listing if you want a more detailed look. Found in Villeray.

2. Vintage wire rim glasses: On eBay for 35$.

3. Christian Dior folding eyeglasses: On eBay for 175$. Eyeglasses tend to be long-tail items, but these sold relatively quickly. They were part of the Very Rich People series.

4. Vintage US Army recruitment poster: On eBay for 25$. I’ve sold three of these now, and still have about 20 left. They’re moving pretty slowly, but I’m okay with that. Found in Outremont.

5. Rene Chalout ephemera: On eBay for 30$. Chalout was a Quebec nationalist during the Duplessis era, and helped to create the fleurdelisé flagStuck between the pages of this book were several newspaper clippings about Chalout, as well as a letter signed by him. I knew someone with an interest in the history of Quebec would have interest, and it sold pretty quickly. Found in Rosemont. For more pictures, see my eBay listing.

6. Pierre Cardin Organizer: On eBay for 30$. This looked to have been barely used. Found near Snowdon metro.

7. Mona Lisa Swatch: On eBay for 100$. I had to buy a couple different batteries for the thing, so I made closer to 90$. Still, I’m happy with that! Found in the Plateau.

8. Vintage Amor eyeglasses: On eBay for 60$. Found in TMR.

9. Serengeti sunglasses: On eBay for 30$. Found in Hampstead.

10. Vintage Bal à Versailles perfume: On eBay for 80$. Part of that perfume collection I found in TMR around a year ago.

11. Expo 67 slides: On eBay for 250$. The collection sold pretty quickly for about 1.60$ per slide. This was part of that photo haul I found in St Michel after a tip from a reader.

12. Vintage Richard Nixon poster: On eBay for 20$. I’m glad to see this one go. Found in Rosemont, along with all that fascist lit.

13. Mini Sony SRF-S84 Walkman: On eBay for 45$. This was a cool little clip-on radio. Another part of the Very Rich People series.

14. Marantz stereostatic headphones: On eBay for 75$. I had no way to test these, but they still sold for a good price. Marantz is a quality brand, and a lot of people have interest in their vintage products. Found in Westmount.

15. Yard sales: 520$. I did two sales in September but neither were particularly big. I made more money from yard sales in October, when I was actively trying to clear out as much as possible before winter.

16. Wade figurines: To a reader for 20$. Glad these found a new home! Found in Westmount.
17. Silver pendant: To a reader for 20$. It was the silver & pearl piece from a collection I found in Rosemont.

Total: 1580$, 19688.50$ so far in 2017. Not the best month, but not bad considering that September is usually one of the slowest for online sales (at least, for people selling random junk like I do).