Recent sales: November


After around 15cm of snow yesterday I’d say that winter is officially here. I plan on taking more time off from trash picking as a result, particularly when the roads are bad and the snow makes it hard to stop anywhere. In previous years I might have powered through regardless, but I no longer think that picking in those conditions is a good use of my time and energy.

My instincts tell me that the two weeks before Christmas are some of the slowest for trash, and looking back on my old blog posts confirms that (though the sample size is still fairly small). I’m going to keep an eye on my favourite spots, but I think I’ll take it easy otherwise. People often have better things to do this time of year than sort through old junk.

One notable exception might be local university students, some of whom are finishing their degree right about now. I’m sure a good number will move either after exams (which began last week, and end around the 20th) or before January 1st, leaving many of their old things behind. I’ll keep an eye on the situation. I did some biking around the student areas last December with limited success, but I think it’s worth trying again this year.

Either way, the trash should pick up again after Christmas. I’ve never had luck finding the mythical rich people, post-Christmas throwaways (ie: they get an iPhone X and toss the 7). I’m now convinced that the ultra rich just put the “old” stuff in their massive basements or closets. But there’s still people, like the students I just mentioned who move for January 1st and have to downsize before then. I don’t think the quality or quantity of garbage truly returns to normal until the second week of January, however.

Less picking means more time for other things, like listing on eBay. Over the summer I list less often and dedicate more time to yard sales, with the idea that I’ll get more listing done in the winter when eBay sales are stronger. It seems to me a logical strategy.

I’ve been sorting through my drawers and boxes full of potential eBay items. Some of those items end up in the yard sale box but most eventually make it online. I try to focus on the most valuable, or largest items first. I listed two big things earlier this week that sold within a day, so I’m happy about that!

Anyways, below are my November sales. It was a slow month overall, but I did get rid of a lot of clutter, and two recent finds helped to bump my earnings to an acceptable level.

1. Vintage Silva compass manual: On eBay for 10$. I don’t usually bother listing items on eBay for under 20$, but this was something I could easily ship out in a regular envelope. It didn’t take particularly long to sell either.

2. Electrolier gooseneck desk lamp: On eBay for 60$. It’s always nice to sell the bigger stuff!

3. Carnation milk punchers: On eBay for 20$. These would have been worth more, but for whatever reason one spike on each had been removed. Found in Villeray.

4. Secret Dakini Oracle tarot deck: On eBay for 50$. They’d have been worth more, but one card was missing. Oh well, they still fetched a decent price! Found in the Mile End.


5. Silver keychain fob: On eBay for 15$. This (on the left) was another one of my prehistoric eBay listings, and I’m glad to not have to look at it anymore. I found it way back in February 2014.

6. Gillette razor blade holder & blades: On eBay for 20$. These also sat around for far too long. Found in Outremont.

7. Vintage 70s Liberal party campaign ads: On eBay for 25$. Found in Villeray.

8. Framed Parc Lafontaine dogsledding photo: On eBay for 60$. This was probably taken in the 20s or 30s. Found near Decarie boulevard.

9. Vintage Pencil lot: On eBay for 35$. I ended up going with a fixed price on these, and they sold rather quickly. Found in NDG.

10. B&L wire rim glasses: On eBay for 30$.

11. Aiwa boombox: On eBay for 150$. This didn’t take long to sell! It cleaned up fairly nicely as well. Found in NDG.

12. Elgato EyeTV 250: On eBay for 75$. I forget what this thing is supposed to do, but it sold for a nice price. Found on rue Jeanne Mance in the Mile End.

13. Lot of small metal things: On eBay for 15$. Part of the junk saved from “The Muck” in Ahuntsic.

14. Vintage pencil leads: On eBay for 25$. I’m also glad that these, and the pen box below are no longer with me.

15. Peter Pan deluxe fountain pen box: On eBay for 15$.

16. Givenchy Gentleman aftershave: On eBay for 50$. This is a vintage scent that’s fairly sought after. I found five bottles of roughly the same type a couple years back – I think only one remains. I listed them one at a time to increase the illusion of scarcity.

17. Barbie lot: On eBay for 20$. These came with some extra clothes (not pictured). I’m wondering if it might just be easier to sell similar dolls at garage sales in the future.

18. Technics by Panasonic catalogue: On eBay for 20$. Another little booklet that was easily shipped via regular envelope. I’m sure it sold to an audiophile.

19. Two vintage necklaces: On Etsy for 35$.

20. Bell & Howell filmosound projector and amplifier: On Kijiji for 80$. I wish I had a better pic, but the ones I put on Kijiji were more functional than beautiful. Instead, here’s how I found them sitting by the curb. The projector must have weighed around 50 pounds, and the speaker another 20. They looked to have been made in the 30s or 40s. I might have gotten more on eBay, but shipping these things out would have been a total pain. Found in Rosemont, somewhere around 17th av.

21. Vintage Universal Genève watch boxes: On eBay for 450$. These ended up going to the same buyer in Italy, so I gave him a bit of a discount. Either way, I made about 225$ per box which is pretty awesome! These were in excellent condition, but who’d have thought that two empty boxes would go for so much? Here’s hoping I find more soon!

Total: 1260$, 25136.50$ so far in 2017. Not great, but thankfully December is going a little better!

22 thoughts on “Recent sales: November”

  1. I loved the dogsled Lafontaine park photo.You saved some history them.I hope the person who you sold it to keeps it for a long time

    1. I wonder what the most valuable one is. I’ll bet they just get more valuable as the quality improves, so a Patek Philippe box might be a great find…

  2. Congratulations for your sales.It is true that the two weeks before Christmas do not generate too many treasures in the trash.But some people want to start the New Year with less stuff so they preemptively junk some treasures just before the holiday season.Today I happened to come to downtown from NDG in the early afternoon.At around 2 pm in the afternoon,I saw three open boxes of books outside Atwater library next to a big blue plastic recycling bin.The truck had not passed and I was shocked to discover that one of those boxes held five or six hardcover cookbooks.I took them home and a couple of hardcover novels.One of the hardcover books was A TREASURY OF CHRISTMAS RECIPES.I love to decorate my kitchen with cookbooks and read them occasionally.
    You know,Atwater Library since one year or thereabouts has been junking one-third the amount of books than it used to 2 or 3 years ago.Before I used to go there twice a month.Now very rarely.Even then once every 2 or 3 months I find wonderful books outside Atwater Library.Do not forget good old Atwater Library,which a lot of people used to write about.
    They still throw out some good books,though less often.Your readers should go there outside Atwater Library on Wednesday morningsin January.I work in construction,flooring and roofing and cannot go there every Wednesday.(I doubt that in the last two weeks of December Atwater Library will throw out good books-because they are also closed for 8 to 10 days during the holidays)

    1. I’ve been hearing about the Atwater library for years. I’ve never gone, because I find books are iffy yard sale items (and they take up a lot of space), plus I usually go to TMR on Wednesday mornings if I go anywhere. But it’s good if more people know about it.

  3. More and more boroughs are now having garbage and recycling pick-ups on the same day.This should facilitate your scavenging in new areas.Bear this in mind.And please do not forget to scavenge in Verdun,and nearby Cote St.Paul/Ville Emard.If your sister lives in Verdun,you should scavenge those areas more often.

    1. Yes that is good. I also appreciate the increase in composting days, at the expense of garbage days (which is good for me!).

  4. Fantastic info about the watch boxes. I’ll keep an eye out for them from now on at the estate sales I hit up. Thanks for doing your blog, it is one of my favorites.

  5. I think you’re right, but I suspect for some people, they may be tossing things now in preparation for a xast sputa. Get rid of some of the clutter before guests come over or new things come in as presents.

    “xast sputa” is “Merry Christmas” in Salish, obviously a word added in more recent times.


  6. Really interesting sales this month. You never cease to surprise me. If you google mom the bayer, you can watch a woman in Chicago literally opens people’s garbage cans (in alleys mostly) and find tons of rich people stuff. I can’t believe it. but she has pulled out working Macs, gift cards, tons of clothes, (even new with $500 price tags still attached) . Like you she has amazing luck with move out days. I told my sister who lives in an old section of Pittsburgh I read your blog. One morning she had her kids go across the street when she saw what looked like an interesting garbage pile. They found a working iPhone and never opened box of Beats headphones, foreign money, great kitchen appliances and tons of better quality men’s clothing. I think they ended up taking almost the whole pile stealthily like they were on recon because it was their own neighborhood. I really like when you drop pics of unknowns, its fun to guess, research and learn from other people’s expertise. While you have slow time, look up Markel dollhouse furniture, I was shocked at how valuable it is and only knew to include the piece in my buy pile as my aunt had a very vintage dollhouse once upon a time. Happy holidays!

    1. I’ve heard of her but have never watched her videos. I have eBay completed listings in my bookmarks so it didn’t take me long to look up, some good prices realized for vintage dollhouse stuff! Hopefully I find some someday.

  7. All is good. 1260$ is 1260$ more than you had before. 🙂 I like your new cold-weather plan. You’re getting good at delegating tasks to seasons. Now you’ll have more time to sit back and think about that book you want to write.

  8. There are ads on Craigslist from time to time selling wicker baskets.Actually I see so many wicker baskets in the trash that I find it strange.I have rescued six or seven wicker units from the street in the last five years and use them to organize bathroom odds and ends as well as other miscellanea.Red wicker stools are very popular among Asian homes,if you notice.Do you rescue wicker baskets and wicker shelves?Do you think most wicker baskets thrown out get taken by passers-by?

  9. Have you ever thought about selling old paper on etsy? There is journal community and they like to you vintage paper like news paper, note books…etc They also sell digital copies of those old paper’s. I think it could be niche you can crack

    1. It’s a good market but I don’t have the time for it. I prefer to sell those items at yard sales, there’s just too much else to list.

  10. I am so envious of your finds.A few months ago,my mouth watered when I saw the beautiful pineapple lamp that you found.Why would anyone throw that gem out?Happy Xmas.

  11. I am a sociology student who reads your blog from time to time and find it very,veery interesting.Do you find that in multiethnic Montreal,depending on the neighborhood,you find different treasures?How do you find the trash in francophone Rosemont compared to that in Chinatown ?And how do you find the trash in heavily Italian Ville St.Leonard?How about the trash in very multiethnic Cote Des Neiges?How does the trash in anglo neighborhoods like NDG and Westmount compare with the trash in Francophone neighborhoods like Hochelaga and Ahuntsic?Do different ethnic communities have different throwing habits and different levels of tolerance for scavengers?Do people of certain ethnic groups throw out more garbage per capita than people of other ethnic groups?What is your impression and what does your experience tell you?Let your readers know.
    Please continue doing what you do.Happy Xmas and Happy new year.

    1. That’s a pretty complicated topic. Definitely the items change with different cultural groups and between the different economic classes. It’s an interesting topic for research but I don’t want to say anything definitive myself. The main issue is that I’m only looking for things that would make me money, so I don’t think too much about people’s habits in regards to throwing things out in an everyday way (ie: kitchen scraps and so on) which I think is an important part of waste. I will say that that I think social class might play the biggest role, as rich people seem much less likely be to thrifty or engage in waste-reduction habits, if only because they have no economic interest in doing so. The lower and middle classes generally have to try harder to get by, and throw things out less often out of necessity, or at least a heightened appreciation of the value of the object.

    2. Also, rich people are more likely to be intolerant of trash picking, while working class people are largely fine with it, or at least used to it. Part of this is the isolation of rich neighbourhoods from the scavenging communities, and thus a greater surprise when a scavenger is seen, as well as paranoia (sometimes justified) about theft and break-ins. People in working class neighbourhoods, at least in Montreal are used to seeing scavengers, and don’t often waste their time trying to keep them from saving cans or metal or whatever it is.

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