Rich people moving – Exhibit A

Garbage picking can run hot or cold, but I feel like I’ve been on a non-stop hot streak since early July. There’s so many great finds to show you, including at least two “find of the year” candidates.

For now let’s go back to mid-summer, when this recently sold house was a spot of interest. They threw out lots of great stuff that I didn’t get pictures of, like nice kitchenwares and a whole bunch of camping gear because I was so busy with junk from elsewhere On this day I picked up a couple of rugs, which I think sold for around 60-80$ each at the auction house if I remember right.

When you’re rich I guess you can afford to buy 40+ dollar wi-fi light bulbs and then throw them out when you move. These three were sealed in their original plastic, and sold for 20-some bucks at the auction. So the buyer got a pretty good deal, but I got them for free so I can’t complain (plus, there’s fancier models out these days – I think these were made “way back” in 2015). Those lightweight Silhouette rimless frames are always a good find, they’re generally easy to sell on eBay in the 60-100$ range. The Hugo Boss titanium frames should also be easy to sell. There were lots of other eyeglasses, but these were the ones that were most worth sharing.

Not super exciting, but I picked up a whole bunch of nice cleaning supplies as well. I basically don’t have to buy any cleaning products anymore, other than dish soap and laundry detergent. I find those sometimes too, but not often enough to never have to buy them again.

This bag held tourist tchotchkes (ranging in quality from nice to busted), brass doodads, miscellaneous electronics, and the art below, which was made in Greece. They didn’t sell for much at auction, but I thought they were kinda cool.

But as is somewhat common with my summer hauls, the highlight for me was a bunch of jewelry. This collection came in a white shopping bag, which was then placed in a black garbage bag.

As you can see it was tangled up pretty good when I found it. As usual, a good portion wasn’t too exciting, but I was able to pick some pretty nice pieces out of the mess.

In the silver department we have three hefty bangles with black stones (onyx?). Together they weigh around 115 grams, making them worth about an easy 75$ at current scrap prices, though in my opinion they’re too nice to scrap. I’m guessing they were made in Central America, along with that pretty necklace with the green stones which is hallmarked “0925.”Β  The necklace made from many little rings is also silver. For gold, we have a hefty 14k ring missing its stones (but still worth 3-400$ for scrap given its bulk), one section of a gold clasp, a single 14k earrings with diamonds and a green stone (jade?), and a nice 14k ring with some kind of green stones and a larger one with green and pink speckles.

As for costume stuff, we have a cool rhinestone cat brooch, a brooch that looks to a be a section broken off a larger piece of antique jewelry, a Ben Amun signed necklace, and a Sheffield pendant watch. The latter is a little more fun than the usual pendant watch because it actually has a working pendulum on the bottom. Zoom in for a closer look!

(Not the best pics but still a little better look at a couple of pieces that were less visible in the group shot)

Anyways, this was just one of a few to several rich people moving piles that produced quality finds and jewelry in the past six months or so. I’ll try to share more soon.

Otherwise, I find myself overwhelmed with the amount of stuff to deal with, and it no longer seems feasible to sell it all myself. Even with the help of the auction house, there’s a lot of stuff that will only sell well if the effort is put in. For example, I’m not even sure they’d accept a single pair of Silhouette eyeglasses as a lot, and even if they did I doubt they’d go for more than, say 20$, and then the fees are higher as well. Like I said earlier, they’re pretty easy to sell on eBay, but when you have hundreds if not thousands of items packed away that would be easy to sell on eBay, the prospect of doing getting started is less enticing and the end goal feels a little murky. I want my life to be about more than work, and as things are I probably work harder than I should already.

Thankfully the business has continued to evolve. My picking skills continue to improve, and my eye for quality junk has become more refined in the “auction-house era.” My finances are now pretty stable, in large part thanks to the auction house, and it seems like I might actually be able to pay off my student loans one day. Also, my recent forays into the stock market have been reasonably successful thus far. My lack of emotional attachment to money serves me well there, and not being greedy helps too. (It seems to be that those are the pitfalls of a lot of “retail” investors).

(On a side note, for an intriguing Canadian garbage-related company you can check out Cielo Waste Solutions [CMC.V], a business based in Alberta that has developed a way to turn garbage & junk (anything not metal, apparently) into renewable diesel. It seems like a few other companies are working on similar technology, but there should be room for all of them in the end as the supply for garbage is basically limitless and the need for fuel isn’t going away anytime soon. Anyways, dyodd as they say (do your own due diligence), and don’t blame me if you lose money. However, feel free to praise me if you do).

Anyways, all that to say I’m not so reliant on maximizing the value of every single item anymore. So I’ve recently started outsourcing some of my selling duties to a few different people in exchange for a good cut of the profit. It’s working out pretty well so far – my finds get sold at good prices with little effort or thought on my part, and that is very refreshing. It almost feels too easy. Regardless, it’s a good way to keep things moving out the door, and reduce the mental burden associated with thinking about & looking at the masses of items I’d otherwise have to deal with.

On a related note, in the New Year I want to focus on decluttering my space a bit, better separate my work life from my home life, etc. As things stand, I find I’m pretty easily distracted and have a hard time relaxing, which I think is partly due to always having cool stuff around to look at, but also stress about what to do with. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on going full-on Marie Kondo or anything, but some rearranging couldn’t hurt.

Look at that, the day turned to Christmas while I was writing that screed, so I’ll end on that note. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and etc! Also. let’s hope 2021 is better than this one.

17 thoughts on “Rich people moving – Exhibit A”

  1. Merry Christmas! Nice Christmas present, to wake up to a new blog posting. Thank you!

    Congrats on the way the business is progressing and best of luck in sorting out work and personal time. Best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year!

  2. Merry Christmas, Martin! Your welcome Christmas post is much appreciated. πŸ™‚
    The little video is a nice bonus.
    I hope you allow yourself at least one well-earned day of rest and relaxation.

  3. Feliz Navidad Dude ! πŸ˜‰ January usually produces less,& a day, or evening off (especially if an awesome concert by some hungry just-startin’-off band) usually keeps me in cat-who-got-the-cream sly smiles for weeks afterwards, even just a semi-regular spaghetti & beer “what’s up with you?” kitchen evening with friends helps keep an even keel, to the extent they’re almost worth as much as good therapy. Sometimes it’s also good to ‘moke a jay & watch the rain fall,…time flies like usain bolt, good to slow it down whenever we can, it’s the one thing others throw away we’ll never be able to “pick” πŸ˜‰ The post for xmas is beautifully timed & appreciated πŸ˜‰

  4. What you have achieved is inspiring and I’m glad you’ve gotten to a point where you have other, more intriguing choices to make now. I’m glad you’re remembering to find a balance between work and home. As always, very interesting pieces in today’s post. Wishing you a happy holiday season πŸ™‚

  5. Happy Holidays! Thanks so much for your creative words. I love the title of the post, and that you sent it on Christmas. I have the same challenge, I have tons of stuff I need to deal with and sell. I can bring something home to sell then fall in love with it myself and have trouble posting it. And it’s always my best stuff and I need the money. But it’s wonderful to have an eye for quality, design, art and beauty and rescue it from never being seen or appreciated again. Thanks again, K

  6. Merry Christmas. Great stories, your blog is one of my favorites. Just wanted to say that the ring in the closeup picture looks like the stone may be opal.

    Thanks Again for everything that you do.

  7. Are going sell the onyx bracelets on eBay? I’m interested!! Amazing stuff!!
    Also a very Merry Christmas to you!!

  8. Martin, here’s wishing you all the best for 2021, with high hopes for continued success, along with more relaxation and peace. Triaging some of the sales through others seems like a great idea as it will allow you to focus on the important things. Like lots of new blog posts please!!

  9. HI Martin – Another fun post. I think your ebay inventory would flip more quickly if you let the market decide the sale price, by putting things up for auction. You may not maximize every piece, but it you would move volume and make much more money. Years ago, I bought a large lot of Lenox Christmas ornaments that were marked with a previous year. I gave half to my aunt and sold them with the same listings and photos under both sellers . There was large variation in the sold prices. Sometimes she got more money, sometimes i got more money for the same item. No rhyme or reason. It is just who happens to be in the market at the time. Also Dansk Mesa Blue dishes that sold for very good prices two years ago, have much lower prices now, the market shifts. If you have too much stuff, let it go, the money is better than the stress PS I would divide up the two miniatures you have, different genres and time period and it will bring the price down so they will sell individually.

    1. Ah I don’t mind the eBay inventory so much. It’s dealt with, packed away, and I only think about it once it sells. It would definitely move a lot quicker via auction but for niche items often the realized prices are often terrible. I mainly use auctions when it’s a “hot market” and I can expect lots of equally interested buyers to see my listing. For instance, I just sold a collectible but busted Walkman via auction (the market for certain models is pretty strong believe it or not) and have some red bakelite beads up right now. It’s also a nice option when it’s hard to pin down a price, it saves you the work of doing that yourself.

      That being said there’s probably a few things in my eBay stock that could be auctioned off. And you’re probably right about those portrait miniatures, not sure why I did them together.

      But overall most of the stress comes from items that have yet to be dealt with.

  10. Be careful when doing auctions now on eBay, they are not as good as they were a few years ago. Quite a few things sale at the starting bid or get no bids at all. If doing an auction, always start it at a price that you wouldn’t mind the item selling at because that is probably the price it will sell at. If you have something that is very desirable, then an eBay auction may work. I know a few people that use sniping software (auto bid just before an item ends) to buy stuff and then relist it as buy it now and make a tidy profit. Just my thoughts and trying to be helpful.

    And as always, Thank You for what you do.

    1. Agreed, I only use auctions when the object is very collectible or in a “hot market.” Like the Walkman I mentioned above, or that oil can I sold for 300 or so dollars last year (because petroliana is very popular at the moment). For niche things, or things that have different sizes (like eyeglass frames), auctions generally produce bad results.

  11. Martin, I concur with your comments about ebay auctions. Bottom line is that they sure ain’t what they used to be, both for buying and selling. Back in the day, about 15-20 years ago, it was possible to get good deals as a buyer because things were poorly listed by people who didn’t know what they had, how to describe it and how to present it). And, getting a good price as a seller by posting great pics and taking a well-informed leap of faith via low-priced auction. Now, ebay is all about professional buyers and sellers, and I’m sure you do your due diligence of sold auctions to ensure that you get a fair price. Anyway I think you have the right approach for this day and age.

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