Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Odds & Ends

It’s been a brutally cold week or so here in Montreal, which in combination with the holidays has given me a good excuse to take a break from trash picking. Nonetheless, I did get lucky with a few finds. On my way back from cat sitting I happened upon a few intriguing trash bags next to a pile of old furniture. Inside was a collection of semi-old papers, few of which were particularly interesting. However, I soon noticed some postage stamp books, and after digging around for a bit I accumulated a nice collection.

Above is maybe 1/3 of what I saved, and the total value of the stamps is just over 100$. As a regular shipper this is basically like finding cash!

I covered a few streets in the Plateau on the Wednesday night before Christmas and noticed a few boxes out on the curb. Most of the stuff was junk, but one box contained some vintage costume jewelry. These two rhinestone brooches stood out from the rest. The one on the left was made by Sherman, whose work does quite well on eBay. I listed mine for 75$, and I expect it’ll sell for around that. The one on the right is marked “Made in Austria” and should also do well, especially since it’s reminiscent of the mid-century starburst design that’s really popular right now.

(Edit: I just looked at the history of the Sherman jewelry company and apparently they were based in Montreal! I had no idea. Click on the link above if you’re interested in the company’s history).

I found this old Betamax player in NDG the week before Christmas. I love vintage electronics, so this was a fun find. It seems to be worth around 100$ in working condition but shipping this beast would be a hassle – it weighs over 20kg and is very large. Maybe I’ll try to sell it locally first, though the local market for vintage Betamax players is probably about as hot as the current weather.

On one particularly cold garbage run I saved just some plastic fish. Maybe they’ll pay for the gas I used at a future yard sale.

I missed out on another two garbage runs, once because the car wouldn’t start and another because I couldn’t drag myself out of bed.

One of the spots I missed provided this change purse (with contents) the week prior. Here’s hoping they saved all the good stuff for later this week.

I’m thinking that the garbage will pick up again this week or next, once people are done with all the holiday stuff.

In the meantime, here’s a couple of orphaned finds that didn’t make it to a previous post. I thought these Avon receipt books were neat – I’d guess they’re from the 80s.

While sorting through some bags of clothes I found my friends and I came across this vintage sign, presumably from a washroom or changing room. It’s pretty cool, and probably dates from sometime between the 40s and 60s (I’d guess from the earlier part of that spectrum).

I found this odd thing with those old metal bits not long ago. I don’t know if many people saw it in the picture, so here’s a close-up. It seems to be made of bone and measures about 8cm long. On the back is a round sticker with a B written on it. Any ideas as to what it is?

Otherwise, I’ve been busy working on eBay. I listed a lot of new items recently, but I also purged a bunch of old listings that weren’t likely to at any price sell anytime soon. Some of the listings I cancelled were years old, and I’m happy to not have to look at them anymore. Though I lost money on that stuff in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a good learning experience to figure out what’s worth listing and what’s not (and I’ve come a long way since I started seriously selling a few years back).

Over the summer I filled a few drawers and boxes with potentially eBayable items. Upon further research, not all of those things are actually worth listing, and good number of them are now in my yard sale boxes. Regardless, I still have a lot to list, and I do feel like I’ve made a dent in my “death piles.”

In a few cases I decided to go the auction route. Sometimes I just want to get stuff out of the house, and it’s nice not having to research prices. I figured this collection of miniature figurines was a good candidate for an auction – individually they’re not worth a bunch, but together they’re probably worth eBaying. Here’s a link if you’re interested in bidding, or just want a closer look.

Here’s that picture of Winston Churchill I found in the summer. Hopefully it finds a good home – here’s a link to the listing.

Last but not least is this collection of bakelite beads and other jewelry bits that I haven’t done anything with since October 2013. For a while I thought about making my own necklaces from them, but at some point I decided it wasn’t worth the effort (plus, I think arranging necklaces nicely is harder than it looks). After that, I developed a bit of a mental block when it came to dealing with them at all, until recently when I decided to auction the lot off and move on. So far, the auction is doing quite well with two bids within the first day, so I don’t think I’ll regret the decision. Here’s the link if you want a better look!

That’s it for now, but hopefully I’ll find more soon. If not, there are lots of pictures of garbage on my computer that I have yet to share.


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