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).

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15 thoughts on “Recent sales: September

  1. I didn’t see all of these thing in your blog, but it’s nice to see them now. 🙂
    Do you think you’ll make the $25k by year’s end?

  2. ChristineK says:

    Looks like a very solid month. I love that Mona Lisa swatch! I’m not at all surprised that it sold for $100. It’s cool.

  3. Adam says:

    If you ever find another Swatch, just take it to a Swatch store and they’ll replace the battery for free.

  4. Jennifer says:

    A few months ago I looked at your eBay listings and thought your prices seemed a bit high but look at those things selling. Nice work! And thanks for the comment awhile back about the yearbooks selling consistently because I put some up and they sold pretty quickly. You also taught me to use Buy It Now instead of Auction style that I have always used.

    • martng says:

      I will say that sometimes my stuff is priced pretty high, because I’d rather list it for too much and then lower the price than list it for too little and not get the chance to raise it. And in general I’m searching for the 1 person who really really wants my item, at almost any price instead of the 10, or 100, or 1000 who want it but only at a cheaper price.

      That’s why I prefer the BIN (like the people at scavengerlife.com – check out their podcast if you haven’t already). For a BIN to succeed you only need 1 highly motivated buyer, but for an auction to succeed you need 2. I think more often than not, except in the case of highly collectible items, it’s hard to find that extra buyer that would lead the auction to net a profit as high as the BIN.

      This is only anecdotal evidence, but when I do my pricing and see a similar item on eBay that sold at auction, I’ll often list mine for 30-50% above that price, depending on the category (ie: iPhone and electronics bidding are generally close to the actual value of the item). One example I remember is the 10k gold WWI service medal I found a while back. I was able to find a similar one that sold at auction for around 200$, but mine ended up selling for around 280$, which is significantly more money for your average Joe.

      Yearbooks are good sellers. Some take a while, but it doesn’t really matter when listing fees are only 5c for books (and quite likely free, depending on the # of listings you have).

  5. Beverley says:

    Don’t old perfumes turn sour after so many years, or are people buying them solely for collections?

    • martng says:

      I think some might go sour, like if you stored them next to heat (like a radiator) or in the sunlight. But I find most smell great, even after however many years. Maybe the smell diminishes a bit over time, but because of the ingredients used (many have been banned, for some would argue poor reasons) vintage perfumes often smell like nothing else out there, and they can be highly valued by collectors.

  6. Damian says:

    Wonderful.In the cold weather fewer people will rummage the trash and you will have less competition.Two weeks ago on Tuesday night,someone put out ten to 12 boxes of books and magazines as well as a few plastic bags of trinkets and miscellany on St .Jacques street at the intersection of George Vanier street in Little Burgundy for the garbage/recycling pickup on Wednesday morning..I found a nice collection of paperback classic novels by Dostoveysky,Douglas Adams,Walter Scott,etc at night and took one shopping bag full of books to my home.I thought overnight the rest of the books would be taken.Next morning I went there out of sheer curiosity at around 9:20 am.The truck had not yet passed on that side of the street.Most of the remaining books still were there,though I saw a neighboring resident lady poke through and take away five or six children’s books.Another man and his wife walked past and took away 5 or 6 books.I hurriedly went though the boxes and filled up three bags of books,including books from the RIPLEY’s BELIEVE IT OR Not ,puzzle books,picture books of Boston ,Russia,South Carolina and many other novels.I took DR.Seuss children’s books.Just as I had gone through most of the boxes,the truck came and the two employees said it was very sad that these good books were being junked.Just at the very last minute I grabbed a collection of beautiful postcards ,a soap bar in the shape of an apple and a beautiful samovar out of one of the last boxes.The city employees said I did not have more time to look before they took away the last box.I was not able to save one bottle of perfume and another bar of soap that I saw in the last box
    Overall 60% of the books seemed to have been taken.I ended up saving most of the interesting books.However,many great hardcover English children’s books and many books in Russian or Poish also went in the trucks.
    Somebody before me seemed to have rescued the other trinkets but despite the fact that this stuff was put out on the curb 10 to 12 hours before the arrival of the garbage/recycling trucks,many good things still went untaken.I feel very bad about this.
    This must happen so many times every month in different borroughs.People like you are badly needed and are to be encouraged.

    • martng says:

      As much as I find I’m only scratching the surface of one city. There are many neighbourhoods I don’t cover, and many cities I don’t live in which are all producing excellent trash while I’m out hunting elsewhere. It would benefit society and the environment to have more scavengers keeping their eyes on the curb. As for that spot you mentioned, I’d suggest going back there tonight as it’s possible they might throw out even more.

  7. Diane Boyer says:

    North Americans with our love of cars and meat and our throwaway culture—-we are very bad for the planet.We need more people like you in Montreal

  8. Dorian Kellogg says:

    A lot of people would love to do what you do,but many people do not have a Paypal account or an ebay Account and may not know how to set up one.Also many people may not have a car to transport stuff.Many scavengers end up collecting cans or bottles because they help make small money fast and require no selling.Many scavengers do not know have the financial sophistication to set up ebay accounts and sell stuff online.Also those who live in apartments find it much harder to hold garage sales than those who live in houses.
    I do see people take out furniture,milk crates,dolls,books,cosmetics,etc from the trash for their own use.But selling ephemera and artifacts is just not easy for many low-income scavengers who do not have access to technology or do not possess the technical knowhow.

    • martng says:

      It’s true, the technological aspect is one of the hardest to master and it’s perhaps the biggest barrier to entry. It took me years to learn and get comfortable with eBay, though in retrospect it would have been easier if I had done more research instead of just learning on the fly. Regardless, it’s can be challenging to figure that out, and perhaps for some people it might not be an option. It makes a big difference, because if I couldn’t use eBay that 280$ WWI medal I mentioned might have become 50$ at a pawn shop, and those eyeglasses might have netted me 5-10$ at a yard sale, if I was lucky.

      It is harder for people in apartments to do the yard sale thing, and store lots of stuff. I manage to cram a lot of stuff into my room though, so it is possible.

      Perhaps the other hard part is realizing what kind of stuff has value. Without knowledge of the collectors market, which I’ve come to understand pretty well with time and by researching so many of the things I find, you might not see the value in the things you find.

      This is why can picking is a such a thing, because while it’s not super profitable it is a consistent income source that requires no technical or learned knowledge, and no storage space.

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