It’s a good time for a yard sale

The finds have been plentiful lately, which is great though it lays bare the fact that no one human can possibly deal with this much stuff. My garage looks like a hoarder’s den right now, which means that it’s a good time to have a yard sale! I plan to be out from roughly 12-6pm (and probably a bit later) at 920 St Gregoire on Saturday. There will be a lot more books than usual, but also plenty of other quality junk. I hope to see you there!

I also hope to have a sale on Sunday too, but details on that are still tbd. My current theory is that May is the best month for yard sales, because a) people are happy to be outside after a long winter and b) people rarely schedule trips or vacations this early in the year, so locals are more likely to be in town. I’ve had plenty of randomly bad yard sales on otherwise beautiful days in the summer months, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad sale in May. Anyways, the next few weeks will probably be pretty busy for me between picking and selling.

These days I find it hard to choose which items to showcase for the blog, especially when there’s a lot to choose from (“can’t see the forest for the trees” is an expression that comes to mind). I also don’t have the time to take the big elaborate group shots like I used to. So, today I’m just going to share a few of my favourite or more interesting recent scores.

The tossers at this spot are the kind of people who don’t know how to recycle, or just don’t care. For them, the “recycling” bin is basically just a 2nd trash receptacle. Anyways, last week I opened up the recycling bin and saw this nice antique clock. I doubt it works, but maybe someone would want it as a project given that the wood and glass are in nice condition. I think it dates to the 1880s based on the patent info on the loose piece below.

It’s very pretty. The wood is a bit dinged where that green tape is but it would be an easy fix.

The week before that they tried to recycle a shoebox filled with Warhammer figurines. These definitely aren’t my expertise, but some individual vintage metal pieces seem to sell for 5-20$ each on eBay. I just listed my collection for 400$ with best offer, and we’ll see if anyone bites.

Elsewhere, someone is throwing out the wares of a once prodigious arrangement enthusiast. There have been bags filled with pinecones, twigs, grasses, dry flowers, and of course different types of vessels to put the arrangements in or on. Many were filled with that green or white foam stuff that you can stick flowers into. The foam was often glued into place, which unfortunately made some pieces not worth the effort of saving, but others were foam-free or had foam that was easily removed.

Here’s three nice examples that are still kicking around in my garage, which will probably end up on the Instagram selling page. Below are a couple of Naaman (Israel) pieces I gave to a friend to try to sell on Marketplace.

More lucratively, they’ve also tossed some old jewelry.

It’s been mostly bits and pieces, but a few of those bits and pieces have been gold. The single earrings and broken chains on the right earned me close to 300$ for scrap. The nicest intact pieces have been that silver prayer bracelet, the Omega watch buckle, and the pendant, which isn’t gold but looks antique. I hope they toss more of this stuff in the future, because it’s always fun to look through.

Here’s a painting I picked up not far from Vendome metro. It’s got a tear, but is in decent condition otherwise and is pretty well executed (at least according to my untrained eye). I’m also a sucker for the street scenes, so there’s that. It’s signed “H. Kimmelman 1940” (I think) but unfortunately I don’t see much under that name on Google. If anyone has any info about this painting, including where the subject of the painting might be, let us know in the comments!

One of my favourite recent spots was in Park Ex. Unfortunately, I think I discovered it kind of late and probably missed out on a lot of great finds. So it goes. Here are a couple things I did save. This chalkware rabbi is pretty cool, and thankfully survived his trip to the curb in good condition. It’s a bit over a foot tall according to the eyeball test.

This “mammy” cookie jar was made by McCoy in the late 30s or early 40s. It’s apparently pretty rare, appearing on this list at #14 with a value of 600-1000$. Based on my research, “cauliflower mammy” (or cabbage mammy, depending who you ask) probably isn’t worth quite that much, but it does appear to be relatively rare and should sell for a few hundred bucks.

I haven’t found anything new at the book spot for close to two months now, though you wouldn’t know it by looking in my garage (which is filled with books). Sorting through that will be a monumental task, and I’m not sure how exactly it will get done. For now I’m content to avoid them and deal with other things.

There are probably more notable books in that collection, but for this shot I just took some pictures of ones with pretty covers.

Finally, the “bedbug Jadeite” I mentioned in my last post got a thorough cleaning after about a month and a half in quarantine. As you can see it was quite the haul. The pieces are lightly used, and the colour is very bright. Unfortunately a few were broken in the act of curbing, but there’s still a good set here.

A friend helped me clean them and is now trying to sell them on Marketplace and Kijiji, though there haven’t been any takers yet. They’ll sell eventually, but it might take a little while given that we’re limited to the local market. I’d rather take less money than try to ship this anywhere.

Anyways, I’m going to go out and see if I can find any more trash. As if I need any more stuff for the yard sale pile, ha ha.


1. My eBay listings. Sign up for eBay (Canada, US). Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US). — These are Ebay Partner Network links. If you create an account or buy something after getting to eBay from here, I get a small cut of the profit!  —
2. “Things I find in the garbage” on Facebook
3. Follow @garbagefinds and @garbagefindssells. Note that someone else runs the latter.
4. Email: Note that I really suck at keeping up with my email.
5. Donate to the blog. It costs close to 500$ a year to maintain (no ads, domain name, storage space, etc) which ain’t cheap. Otherwise, it’s nice to get a few bucks for coffee, food, or gas!

21 thoughts on “It’s a good time for a yard sale”

  1. Wow! Some interesting stuff here. I’m glad business is hopping along better now. May all your May yard sales be hugely profitable. I especially love the painting. I can’t see the tear, so it must be quite small. I wish I was there with some time on my hands to help you with all those books (and more).

  2. Looks like some very nice finds. Congrats! I like the street scene painting too. Any idea which corner that is?

    Woo hoo! Yard sale! 😃 I will do all in my power to help make your yard sales profitable!

  3. Great finds Martin! Love the, there’s a lot. Good luck with your yard sale. Maybe Mothers’ day isn’t the best day?

  4. I had a similar old clock in my antique booth. Someone took the time to dismantle and take the guts leaving the caring. So yeah they have value.

  5. Hi Martin! Been a follower of your blog for many many years. Re the Mammy cookie jar, there is a group of Black collectors trying to collect Jim Crow era memorabilia to keep them out of the hands of other more unscrupulous groups. Check this out: Might you consider donating that jar to the museum, rather than selling it?

    1. I can’t afford to not make that money unfortunately. Re: ethics of selling such things, In my view, there’s not many unscrupulous things you can do with an expensive cookie jar. Even if neo-nazis or whomever did buy it, which I doubt (there are plenty of black collectors of this kind of thing, like there are Jewish collectors of holocaust items and so on, and a white person might have their own reasons to collect those things that don’t involve racism), that would mean I take 300$ (if it is worth that much) of their money in exchange for a nearly worthless (in a practical sense) item. If I don’t take that money, they might donate extra to some idiots political campaign, so it seems like a net benefit to society if I can instead spend that money on something better, like paying off my student loans.

      If I were well-off and stable I would strongly consider donating it, but at this point I’m just getting by, both in terms of finances and mental health, and the ethical case isn’t strong enough to overcome my personal need for that money.

  6. This is great timing; we’re in Montreal this week. We’ll come and see you, bringing along some family who will hopefully relieve you of some treasures. Thought I’d give you a heads-up so you can prepare yourself to witness the ravages of age/remember who the hell we are. Looking forward to seeing you again.

  7. Wow, you really got some scores! Why not part out the jadeite on ebay (I can’t believe that huge set)? People are nuts about it on ebay. I see it go all the time under Restaurant ware aka pottery and glass. The chalk ware is fantastic! Something about chalk ware fascinates me. And the painting is very cool, I like the style. Thanks for a fun update. Those books are gorgeous too. Best of luck with the yard sale.

    1. We’ll try the local avenue first, but maybe eBay would be good if it doesn’t move. The main issue is the risk of breakage, expensive shipping for heavier items cutting into the profit margins, eBay fees, and also the extra work it would be to package the stuff. I’d rather give a local a bit of a discount and save all the extra work and stress.

  8. Glad to hear that the finds are getting better and more numerous. Best of luck with the yard sale. Wish I could stop by but I’m unable to do so tomorrow. Still hoping to connect if you have Euros for sale.

  9. A lot of people have garages like this.It is not a negative thing.People are often not hoarders even if they have garages like this or even more crowded.

  10. Martin, you’re doing a fantastic job. I wish you lots of succe$$.

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