Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Bits & bobs

My mom came to town this weekend and helped roll my found coins (we also did other things of course, like go to the Leonard Cohen exhibition at the MAC). The total came to about 70$, most of which was found in the last six months.

I gave her some garbage in exchange for helping me out, like this vintage tin I found in Rosemont a while back (she loves ships). She also went home with an old laptop and some portable phones. We went on a couple garbage runs too, though we didn’t find anything super amazing. Here’s hoping it’s a little warmer next time she’s to visit!

Last week I happened across a big trash pile in one of the rich neighbourhoods. I was running a bit late so I threw the most intriguing bags in the car for later sorting. They ended up being filled with an almost incomprehensible amount of cosmetics, many of which were used or expired. Unfortunately, used cosmetics are a tough sell because of legitimate health concerns. I expect the risk is actually fairly low, but it’s high enough that I don’t want to bother selling them at yard sales. eBay won’t let you sell them either, so even if they were made by Chanel they’re probably best left on the curb.

Regardless, I was able to fill a plastic tub with stuff I can sell or use myself.

My most notable save was a collection of quality perfumes, my best in some time. The Annick Goutal and Prada have already been reserved for a total of 35$. Four others are on eBay, while the rest made their way into the yard sale bin. They should earn me a couple hundreds bucks after all is said and done.

This place also tossed a collection of broken or obsolete cellphones. The total of eight from one household might be some kind of record! They’ll go to the e-waste bin.

I found this 160gb iPod Classic later that night. It has a busted screen, but fortunately the market for iPods is still pretty strong. It sold quickly on eBay for 61$.

These boots were the crown jewel of a big collection of rich people clothes I found a while back. They’re 20-eye boots by Doc Martens, and this model (1B60) sometimes sells for over 200$ on eBay. The boots look barely worn, so I’m hoping they sell for around that amount. There was lots of other quality stuff inside those bags, which for whatever reason were often placed in the recycling bin. I donated a lot of it to charity, and will try to sell the rest (including other nice boots) at a yard sale.

I found these Wedgwood platters late last fall and just got around to taking pictures of them. They look pretty old, and the signature on the bottom is pressed which is something I haven’t seen before. They all have “3DL” stamps as well, which appears to be a date mark from 1883. If true, they’re in pretty good condition for their age! I’m definitely not an expert in pre-1900s china, so if you happen to know their value please let me know in the comments.

While cleaning out this jewelry-containing pouch from the Very Rich People series I saw some small golden beads (mostly around the top in this pic) that I hadn’t noticed previously. They seemed heavy for their size, so I set them aside to show to my gold guy when the time came to melt some scrap. As it turns out they were 18k gold, and a little handful of these beads earned me around 170$. Not bad eh? I love gold!

Speaking of gold, a couple weeks ago I saved this coin on a chain. I didn’t think much of it at the time, in fact I don’t even remember where I found it. But I later noticed a 14k gold mark on the chain, and thought the coin and frame (though unmarked) could be gold as well. Well, the coin was gold – nearly pure gold in fact – while the frame that held it in place was 18k. The coin is an Austrian 4 Ducat, dated 1915 but almost certainly a restrike from much later. They’re pretty common and don’t have much value beyond their gold content, so I sold the coin and chain to my gold guy for nearly a grand. That’s a great payday!

This is probably the most valuable thing I’ve found that I can’t remember the origins of. I can narrow it down to a couple of spots, but I don’t think I’ll ever remember with confidence which one it came from. I can say though that the people who tossed it were pretty well-to-do. Maybe someone got it as a gift, and didn’t appreciate it or understand its full value. Regardless, I’ll bet I spend the profit better that they would have.

It’s been a bit chilly recently, but should warm up again in the coming days. Hopefully it’ll feel like spring for real in time for my birthday on March 30th. I have an idea for a little garbage-related video I’d like to make, but I don’t want to do it until the weather is solidly above zero.


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