Surviving on scraps

I haven’t been super lucky lately, but my runs have been reasonably productive anyways thanks to the occasional quality find. For example, a few weeks ago I spotted this ring in a bag alongside some other less exciting junk. It must have been a wedding band, given the date and pithy statement of love engraved on the inside.

I noticed a moving sale announced at the same house not long after. It’s a bit unusual to throw out items of value right before you do a sale, but perhaps the tosser didn’t want anyone else to own it. I imagine it was thrown out because of a divorce, as you tend to hold onto these things otherwise.

The ring is 14k gold and fairly hefty at 9.17g. That makes it worth around 337 CAD$ at current scrap prices, minus the jeweler’s cut of course (~15%). Needless to say this ring helped to make an otherwise slow week of garbage reasonably profitable. There’s no real resale value here, so it’ll soon be melted down and transformed into something else.

A spot in Cartierville provided two larger pieces of sterling, including a (candy?) dish made by Birks and a small silver cup. Neither piece is worth much more than scrap, though the dish may have been if it wasn’t monogrammed. Together they weigh 270 grams, which should earn me about 135$ as sterling is currently worth about 50 cents a gram. 135$ doesn’t make my week, but it definitely makes the trip worthwhile.

Last week I tried some different routes in hopes of improving my luck. That doesn’t always work, but on one run I was rewarded with a fair bit of quality junk, including this cute silver picture frame I found with a larger collection of junkier examples.

The hallmarks indicate that it was made by a William Henry Sparrow of London in 1916. This piece definitely punches above its weight in scrap, and I expect it to sell for between 60-80$ (eventually).

I did that route again this week and found some gold, so hopefully this marks the beginning of a new trend.

I was planning on writing a longer post, but I’ve got writers block again so I decided to keep this one short. My last yard sale of the season might take place this coming Saturday, assuming the weather holds up. For the most up to date yard sale info & announcements sign up for my¬†new mailing list or keep an eye on my Instagram stories!

Links

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3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
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5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com

Garbage meat gamble

This spot in upper Outremont was good to me for about six weeks. I met one of the tossers the first day. She seemed okay with my presence, and even gave me some rollerskates. But on the last day she asked me to leave her trash alone, and threatened to bring it back inside her property if I didn’t. Fortunately the best had already made it to the curb, but the change of heart was discouraging nonetheless.

One day I found a suitcase filled with video games mostly for the Wii. Easy money!

Another day I found a freezer bag full of meat. I don’t usually take frozen food, but this time I took the chance. The meat was still ice cold and rock solid when I found it, and it was pretty clear that these were high quality (often organic) cuts. There was some fish in there as well which was apparently sport-caught in Haida Gwaii BC.

I’m a bit squeamish when it comes to meat, especially garbage meat, but I figured that my friends might be able to view it more rationally. It did spend a few months in the freezer (again), but eventually we tried it and no one got sick – in fact it was pretty delicious. So, that ended up being a nice treat, and it’s good that the animals didn’t die for nothing. But I’m curious as to what you would have done in the same situation, see the poll below!

 

On another occasion I filled a Halloween bucket full of miscellaneous crap.

There’s lots of items on the junk / quality junk spectrum here. Some of it sold at my yard sales, while some ended up in free boxes on the curb.

The Gucci watch box was nice, but my best find here was the Le Chateau gift card which held about 37.46$. I’m not sure what I’d buy there, however.

Again, my best finds here are probably the two Renaud Bray gift cards. One was worth 25$, the other about 58$. Not bad! Renaud Bray is a largely French book store, but they do sell some useful stuff like candy and printer paper. That beaded Birks clutch is vintage and cool, and those unopened cassettes ended up in an auction lot with other unopened cassettes. The soap is now part of my collection of soaps – my hope is that I never have to buy any again, even after gifting some to my mom.

Here’s the jewels and perfumes. Also, more fancy soap for my collection. To be honest I was hoping for more gold, but I guess I shouldn’t be greedy. That straight razor pendant is 10k gold, and a few other pieces are silver. More valuable is that CB “I hate perfume,” which smells like Russian tea and sells for 110 USD. Given that the bottle is pretty full, it should sell for a good price (if I don’t keep it myself, that is).

These folks also threw out a lot of eyeglasses, most of which were made by designers. A few are by Alain Mikli, and others were made by Prada, Paul Smith, and Ray-Ban. Frames generally take a while to sell, but they can go for pretty good prices.

Last but not least is a soapstone carving that survived the tossing in reasonably good condition. If I remember correctly it sold for 44$ at auction. It seems like I’ve found more soapstone than usual this year.

Otherwise, I finally bit the bullet and hired an old friend to help me with my emails. I was about a year behind, and it was time to accept that I just suck at that aspect of my job. She’s only helped me for a couple hours so far, but I definitely think it will help me stay on top of things going forward. (I still hope to respond to those past emails as well).

I also got her to make me a mailing list for yard sales and such. At some point I might add a script to the bottom of this page (it doesn’t seem to be working at the moment), but for now you can sign up by clicking this link. Unfortunately yard sale season is nearly over, but at least it’ll be set up for next year. Either way, my next and probably second last sale is probably going to be this Saturday, when the weather is supposed to be (relatively) warm and sunny. Again, it will be at 4096 Coloniale starting round 11:30.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram
5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com

Please note that I am hopelessly bad at responding to emails & Facebook messages.