Reflection

I’ve fallen a bit behind on my picture taking recently. There’s been so much to keep track of, and it’s hard to keep everything organized. As a result, some neat stuff has fallen through the cracks and won’t make the blog (though they may end up on a “recent sales” post).

My storage space looks like a disaster zone again, and I’ve been recently thinking about finding an additional storage option, preferably a garage. However, there doesn’t seem to be anything suitable on the market, at least in my price range, and I think now that I might just need to better organize my current storage space. I bought a whole bunch of plastic storage containers (paid for in large part by that gift card I found last month!) which should help keep things a little more manageable.

In general, I think I need to pull everything out of my storage and put it back in differently. Of course, one of the best ways to do that is to have a yard sale! I hope to do one this Sunday, as long as the weather is good.

Today I’ll show you some miscellaneous finds from the past month or so. I found these Deep Trance Medium cassettes in the lower Plateau. I haven’t listened to any of them, but this lady seems to be into some next stuff. Titles include: “Lemuria and the Gods of Legend”, “Druids Pt. 25″, Prosperging [sp?] through love in the 90s”, “An E.T. on Christmas”, and “Future of P.Q. 1991”. I’m not sure if P.Q. is the original owners initials, or if she’s trying to predict the future of Quebec.

I’d never heard of Lemuria before, but according to Wikipedia it is a “a hypothetical ‘lost land’ variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.” Apparently this was a legitimate scientific hypothesis back in the 1800s but has since been debunked.

I also found these cassettes made by Interdimensional Communications International, a company run by the same people that made the Reflection tapes. They could have some value, being quite niche and hard to find, but it’s hard to tell.

I came across some rich people stuff in TMR, including: a Kindle, an iPhone 5 with a busted screen, an empty Tiffany box, a Gameboy Advance, a working iPod, and three digital cameras. Two of the digital cameras are in rough shape, but one of them is probably worth selling for parts.

At the bottom is a bracelet that I’m proud to have recognized as a Links of London design (it’s a good skill in this business to be able to recognize brands!). It’s a fake, but it looks nice and should sell at a yard sale.

I also found some doctors tools, including a Welch Allyn diagnostic set. I saved a similar one a while back that sold for 65$. My roommate likes tuning forks, so I gave him the ones on the right in exchange for future food.

I almost threw this digital picture frame in with my yard sale stuff, but I thought it would be funny instead to load it with pictures of my roommates cat. We got a good laugh out of it!

I took home a big old wagon wheel. I don’t really know how much they go for, but I’m sure someone out there will want it for their garden.

I’ve been finding a fair bit of Christmas stuff lately, like these vintage lanterns and a Santa light. The lanterns are a little busted up but someone might still want them – at the very least the boxes are pretty cool.

I also found a snowman blow mold. It’s not that old (probably 90s) but it should make me 10$ at a yard sale.

These were my best finds from a nice spot in Outremont. Yves St Laurent “Opium” is relatively hard to find because it only existed for a few years – the Champagne producers in France sued to force them to stop using the name. It had never been opened and sold very quickly for 100$. The Dior “Poison” soap is a nice get too, it has also never been opened and smells pretty good for its age (generally, I don’t think soap doesn’t age as well as perfume). I expect it to sell for around 50-70$.

I found a couple of neat jewelry pieces at that spot as well, including a dragonfly keychain signed by Lalique and a brooch designed by David Gerstein. These people threw out plenty of other good stuff, but unfortunately I never got around to documenting it.

I saved this owl figurine elsewhere in Outremont. It’s a little unusual in that it seems to be made of resin, or at least smells a lot like pine sap. It’s around 3″ tall. Has anyone seen anything like it before?

I spotted this old motor / grinder on the curb in Villeray. It worked fine, though the wiring was pretty sketchy. It sold at my yard sale for 20$.

I found these pens (in bags, of course) while biking around my neighbourhood last Thursday. The top is a Cross with a 14k gold nib, and the bottom is a Sheaffer Targa (c. 1980s) also with a 14k gold nib. I expect to get around 35$ for the Cross and 75$ for the Sheaffer. Not bad! I’m always pumped to see vintage pens – they’re often worth good money, and one of my readers is very good at helping me identify the exact model (this information is very useful when selling them).

I’d never seen one these these Old McGill yearbooks before I found three in the same week (two at the same spot just down the road) not long ago. Old yearbooks are always a nice find, and one (the 1965) has already sold for 60$ with free shipping.

I found a cute chalkware (basically plaster) wedding cake topper in Rosemont a couple weeks back. According to the writing on the back the couple was married on July 20, 1957. This topper would have been pretty inexpensive, but it likely made a great memento regardless.

Rosemont also produced this great collection of Expo 67 glasses. They were in bags – thankfully none of them broke. If I lived alone I’d think about keeping them, but I think they’d be better off with someone else at this point. Plus, they’re worth decent money, around 10$ each according to eBay’s sold prices. I do think I’ll keep one of the smaller ones, I’m leaning towards the Western Pavilion.

Otherwise, I have plenty of other things to show you. I’ve been finding some neat stuff in Villeray, and also happened upon more rich people garbage in Westmount and the Plateau. I owe you another recent sales post as well.

It’s been a while since I told you I was going to start an Indiegogo campaign for the car. I apologize for the wait, mostly I’ve been procrastinating on the video. I do want to get that done soon however, and I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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Move-out day 2017

I spent a lot of time at the end of April cruising the streets of a nearby university neighbourhood, hoping to find great move-out related trash.

Move-out day is a phenomenon in every university town, but especially those with high international student populations. Basically, when kids finish the spring semester many of them move (often home / far away) around the same time. As you can imagine this results in a lot of great trash. The kids aren’t often all that organized, and a lot of them are quite privileged as well – us trash pickers are thus doubly blessed, triply when you consider just how many people are moving at once.

Last year I did very well, finding a working MacBook Pro, and iPad, a couple of valuable perfumes, change (including loonies and toonies), and even some bills. However, I realize now that I got pretty lucky. I used to think that May 1st was the biggest day for garbage, but this year I figured out that April 30th is best. Last year I was actually late to the party, and was lucky to come away with some great finds regardless. I’m surprised I made that mistake, as now it seems obvious that most of the moving would happen before the end of the month.

The mistake didn’t effect this years results anyways. My plan was always to go to the area early and often in hopes that I’d get the first pick of as much garbage as possible. I knew that even if the 1st was the best day, it wasn’t the only day – some people were bound to move out before that. There’s actually a lot of competition for move-out day garbage, so it pays off to put in that extra effort.

I ended up having a pretty productive few days! My finds don’t quite match up with last years, but they’re still very good.

I think I was most excited about finding another MacBook Pro. The things are like money in the bank – even when broken they typically sell for three figures. I know I’m going to have at least a decent day when I see that silvery plastic shell.

Thankfully, I found one in the trash pile above. I could see it through a little hole in the bag.

The MBP, a 13″ Mid 2010 with a good screen (but no HD and perhaps other issues) sold quickly for 180$. But I found lots of other good stuff that day, including a Samsung notebook that seems to work fine (it runs Ubuntu though so it’s a little harder to do a factory reset), a nice pair of Sony headphones that are worth around 60$, and some tea, spices, and paints.

I had good luck with laptops. I found another one, a Lenovo Yoga 2 not far from my storage. This one is actually in very nice condition except for an issue with the screen, which flickers and stays off about 95% of the time. I was persistent and managed to get it working (mostly through determination / sitting in front of it for a while) long enough to do a factory reset and test the internet. It’s a nice little laptop that should sell for around 175$ even with the screen problems.

People were throwing away Plantronics earphones left right and center. I found three different pairs, all of which worked fine. I guess they were cheap enough (24.95, according to the packaging) to not worry about. I also found two pairs of Qatar Airways headphones with noise cancellation. I sold the lot (minus the fancier Sony headphones) to one person at my yard sale for 15$, which I think was fair for both sides.

There’s always some dumb frosh / frat stuff that gets thrown out en masse on moving day. This year it was sunglasses. The design is actually pretty cool, but they’re almost always emblazoned with some slogan that makes them a hard sell.

I also found a 1tb external hard drive. I haven’t been able to get it working yet, but it might just be my computer being weird.

Here’s some semi-useful stuff. There’s so much to choose from that you really have to limit what you take. The jewelry was almost exclusively junk that ended up in a free box. I sold the two canvases for a dollar, and the Cuban pesos for another dollar.

I found a shopping bag full of books that reminded me of my Sociology degree (I actually still have a copy of The Protestant Work Ethic & The Spirit of Capitalism). I sold most of them to some guy at my yard sale for 10$.

I also found a longboard that my skateboarding expert friend says should sell for around 60$.

I opened up a bag on St Urbain and was greeted with a mushroom container full of jewelry. Most of it was junk, but I did find a locket that was marked as being made by Tiffany in 2004. The locket looks legit in a lot of ways, but Tiffany is commonly faked and it’s best I determine the authenticity one way or the other before selling it. I can’t find a similar piece online, which might be a good thing as most fakes are based on well-known and popular designs. I took a few extra pictures which you can see below, and if you have any potential insights let me know in the comments!

Otherwise, the kids always throw out lots of change.

I had better luck on that front last year, but I still found around 24$ overall, not including Euros and other foreign coins. Better than nothing!

My best cash find though was this gift card. I was optimistic that there would be a little money left on there, but I wasn’t expecting it to be 63$! This is actually the first time I found a gift card with money on it, and obviously I hope to find more going forward. I feel like it’s something I should see more often than I do, and I wonder if I’m just overlooking them as I scan and evaluate the trash.

I look forward to doing this again next year! However, July 1st (aka Moving Day in Montreal) is coming up as well. This will be the first time in a few years that I won’t be moving myself, and I’m excited to see what I can find on the curb.

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Yard sale / new expressions

Saturday is supposed to be 16 degrees, sunny and not at all windy. That means it’s time for another yard sale! The weather hasn’t been cooperative in the month since my last one and I’m really looking forward to unloading some stuff. I have way too much right now, both from the winter and from a productive spring cleaning season, and at a certain point the excessive volume reduces my enjoyment of trash picking. Junk starts to clutter up my life, I have nowhere to put things, and I feel more like a hoarder than a seller. But yard sales always remind me that people actually want the stuff I collect, and that it oftentimes brings a little joy into their life as well.

A friend of mine convinced me to do the sale at his place, so the location will be at 5031 St Urbain (near St Joseph) in Montreal. It’s not far from my two usual yard sale spots, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. We’ll probably start around noon, and end around 6PM. Please email me if you have any questions!

One of my recent finds will come in pretty handy. I now have a legit folding table, so I’ll be able to get a bit more of my junk off the ground!

I also found this neat c.1980s Expos fanny pack that’ll be useful for holding money.

Otherwise, as you may know I’ve recently started going out in the mornings instead of at night. That means I end up meeting a lot more of the people who’s trash I’m picking. Sometimes it works out okay, but other times people ask me (in varying degrees of politeness) to leave their trash alone.

For instance, I started looking through the trash at this pile. Found a few neat things. Then a kid, probably somewhere between 17-20, comes out and asks me what I’m doing, and tells me not to look through his trash. “It’s only papers.” At least he was reasonably nice about it, offering me the little stereo system in the box on the right.

Still, there were some nice things in his trash that definitely weren’t papers (unfortunately, I was only able to look inside two bags). I found some nice silver cufflinks, a legit-looking pair of Persol sunglasses, some electronic doodad and an old cell phone to add to my collection. If I were feeling more energetic I’d have chastised him about throwing out a cell phone; he was kind of nice but still power tripping a bit.

However, he was Mr Rogers compared to the lady I met later on, who almost looked like she wanted to fight. She rushed towards me from her house, complaining about trash pickers (not me I guess, as it was my first time stopping!) going through her stuff all the time and I guess causing a mess. She wasn’t polite to say the least.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to look through any of the bags, which almost certainly held good stuff, but I did take this “street surfboard” that was sitting on top of the pile. I told her she should have donated it to charity, and she whined that she was too busy moving and dealing with all the stuff. Boohoo, I say. What’s so hard? Throw it in a box and bring it to the store literally 1km away. Some places will even come pick up donations. Anyways, there’s not much to do except move on and not take it too personally.

I think we need to come up with a term to describe people who ask scavengers not to go through their trash, especially the people who are actually throwing out great stuff. My first thought was to play off “Nimby” (Not in my back yard), but thinking of new expressions is not really my forte. If you have any ideas us know in the comments!

Despite the [insert new expression here] I have a lot of good finds to share with you, but most will have to wait for another post. I’ve been lucky finding postage stamps recently – that find saved me 6$! I also appreciated the savings bank, even if it contained only pennies.

The place that brought us those photos from my last post threw out some more photographic stuff this week, most notably this box full of old postcards. Many date back to the early 1900s. I’d say they’re older on average than the postcards from the collection I found around this time last year. However, I enjoyed finding that collection a bit more because it was much more Canadian. These look to have been collected while traveling across Europe. The way this collection is organized is cool, I’ve never seen a box quite like this one for one!

I don’t have time to photograph them all, but here’s a selection of postcards from the London section. The King George V and Queen Mary RPPCs are pretty cool. Those would date from somewhere between 1910 and 1936, I’d guess on the earlier side of that. Note the “Sept 19 / 04” written on the postcard at top right.

These ones are all from the Rome section. My favourite so far is the Benito Mussolini at top left.

I think I’ll put these in storage for now, and then list them on eBay in the fall or winter. I think that I should be able to make a couple hundred dollars from this collection, maybe more.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Hope some of you can make it to the sale!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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