Recent sales (January & February)


January: 2658 – 300 (estimation of fees) = 2358$ on 33 sales.

February: 1390 – 165 = 1225$ on 19 sales.

Total: 3483$.

Old car flags: 150$. These sold pretty soon after (finally) being listed. I’m guessing they were from the 20s or 30s, and made to hitch onto the front of a car. Found in Westmount.

Red Walkman II, for parts or repair: 100$. This didn’t work at all, but was in excellent cosmetic condition and red, which is a relatively uncommon colour for this fairly early model. Found in Cote St-Luc.

Waterman Phileas fountain pen: 100$. Found near Vendome metro on one of my best runs of last year.

Vintage B&L Ray-Ban Aviators: 321$. People sure love their vintage Ray-Bans! These came in their original leather case and were in excellent condition. I went with an auction because I had a hard time pinning down a price, I can’t complain with the results! Found in the Mile End around moving day of last year.

Giorgio Beverly Hills VIP Reserve: 175$. I think this is the most valuable single bottle of perfume I’ve sold thus far. Part of a nice collection I saved last year in Westmount.

18k gold Victorian brooch: 300$. This thing sat around for years. I was afraid to list it for too little, but was also reluctant to pay someone to appraise it. I’ve learned a lot over the years, and one day relatively recently I realized that I could trust my own judgment (and eBay’s completed listings, of course). So, I finally got it listed, and made a decent chunk of change as well. Found in Hampstead.

IBM Model F keyboard: 300$. This was part of a post estate sale purge. Vintage mechanical keyboards have good value, especially when they’re like new and come in their original box.

Vintage French & Arabic canister set: 90$. Found in Nouveau Bordeaux.

Gora M’Bengue (Senegalese artist) reverse glass painting: 200$. This was the piece I accidentally listed at 16$ and got negative feedback for when I cancelled the sale. It was a good choice I think, as the bad feedback didn’t seem to affect my sales and I didn’t want to miss out on that much money. Found in TMR.

3 Frank Schirman Hawaiian black coral figurines: 120$. I found a paper bag full of these figurines alongside the Russian dolls I posted recently. I’d guess that the previous owner operated a store at some point – I can’t think of another reason one might own 20+ identical figurines. Regardless, there seems to be a market for them (perhaps relating to the resurgence of the Tiki bar) and this particular buyer bought three. This should end up being a nice haul assuming the other twenty of so eventually sell. Found in Outremont.

Local auction

2113.50$ after fees.

Two vintage tin guns: 85$. This came from the place where the tosser got really mad at me (like top three all-time mad) for looking through his trash. That encounter was nearly two years ago, but they’re still throwing interesting things out, albeit inconsistently. Fortunately I haven’t seen that guy since. These toy guns were missing a couple of pieces, but were still in very good condition for their age.

Lot of vintage earphones: 85$. Here’s a good example of my combining several items in the 20-30$ range to make a quality lot. I make less money than I would selling them individually, but doing it this way saves me so much time. There’s a near infinite number of things I can list on eBay at any given time, so I have to pick my spots wisely lest I become a workaholic.

Map from the 1700s: 85$. This one was the most valuable from the collection I saved in December. I wish I could have gotten more photos of this understated haul, but unfortunately I just didn’t have the time.

Richard W Schofield Memorial Trophy (for the St. Lambert community sports association): 44$. Apparently random trophies are worth decent money. Found in Ahuntsic.

Lot of picture / book stands: 55$. I found these in a bin (I can’t help but check them) while casually walking around my neighbourhood. The final price is especially satisfying because I feel like I got paid to live my life. I wasn’t expecting them to sell for this much, but I guess the solid brass ones were actually pretty nice. Found in the Mile End.

Untested Nintendo 64 w/ Smash Bros: 95$. Video game stuff always fetches a good price here. I didn’t have any controllers so I wasn’t able to test it. After a while I got sick of looking at the thing and brought it in as is. I’m pretty happy with the result – apparently the “clear black” N64 is a relatively uncommon model, so that might have driven up the bidding.

Faux stained glass shutters: 40$. I saved these literally seconds before they were crushed by the garbage truck. In fact, one of the sections was already in the mouth of the beast when I walked up to the pile, but the garbage man was nice and saved it from oblivion. They were just plastic and wood, but they’re still pretty cool. Found in Outremont.

Small stained glass windows: 65$. I pulled these ones of of a trash bin in Ville St Laurent.

Scrap gold / silver: 1300$. I had a pretty nice collection, including a bunch of 18k, so this run was more profitable than most.

Total: 6896.50$ so far in 2019. That’s a great way to start the year!

This week has been a great one for garbage. It’ll take a little while to process it all, and maybe I’ll have to enlist someone to help me out…


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Week of the iPods pt.2

Later that week I happened upon a small pile in Outremont which contained a bit of older tech stuff. I saved several PS2 controllers, an old Apple Airport Extreme, an Apple keyboard and four iPods.

The four iPods brought my total for the week to eight, which is definitely my all-time record. While I think the first ones were thrown out because of a move, I’m not really sure why these were tossed. Maybe Marie Kondo had something to do with it! As for value, these 4th & 5th generation iPod Classics still have some value despite being over a decade old. They all have 60gb of storage, a relatively high capacity, and should sell for between 40-60$ each.

That spot also provided a bunch of sports games for PS3 & XBox 360, a few of which were never even opened. Sports games depreciate a lot quicker than other games, but this collection still netted about 30$ after fees at the auction house. Easy money!

That week was also good for jewellery boxes. The first came from this pile in Nouveau Bordeaux.

It was a nice box in its own right, a Japanese import probably from the 60s. Inside was a music box and a magnetic ballerina that would rotate on the glass. It sold for 20-some dollars at auction.

The contents were clearly pillaged, but there were still a few bits left for me.

Most of my profit came from the three broken bits of 14k gold in the middle, which if I remember right earned me about 80$ (I recently did a scrap gold run). Otherwise, I saved a religious medallion, a miniature Cretan dagger that’s probably a hairpin, a pair of Japanese earrings, and a key fob from Thursday’s restaurant on Crescent.

Better yet was this busted box I found the next day in a richer part of town. The contents were much less picked through, and I salvaged a few great items.

There’s two gold pieces here, including a 10k gold and pearl ring by Birks and a 14k cameo brooch. To the left of that is a nice turquoise brooch – it looks like this one purportedly made by the Zuni of the southwestern United States. It’s probably unmarked silver, and I’d bet that the donkey pendant is unmarked silver as well. I think the pocket watch is 800 or 925 (sterling) silver, though I haven’t yet figured out its hallmarks.

Here’s some closeups of the finer pieces. Overall, they should earn me several hundred dollars. This was definitely one of my best jewelry hauls in some time, but hopefully there’s more coming in the near future!

Otherwise, I brought my first big collection of e-waste to the recycling box recently. I lost track of how much e-waste I salvaged last year, but this year I should be less busy and more able to keep a running tally. In this picture is 4.68kg of electronics, most of which were broken, missing pieces, or not worth selling. I also recycled about 1.1kg of batteries, with most of that weight coming a MacBook Pro battery.

I’m curious to see how much I can recycle over a full year! I can only do so much, so I prefer to focus on cell phones and other small electronics. Laptops too, when they turn up.

That one week was pretty good, but I haven’t had nearly as much luck recently. I did make a good sale though, which I’ll tell you about in an upcoming post.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much done with winter at this point. Here’s hoping the warmer weather is coming soon! Garbage picking is a lot more fun in the spring and summer.


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Last of 2018 pt.3 / Week of the iPods pt.1

Let’s start with a couple more blog-worthy finds that I forgot to add to my “last of 2018” posts. Sometime in mid-summer I was keeping an eye on a spot in Outremont that was providing interesting vintage stuff, including an old Tandy portable computer that sold for 115$.

One day I saved a few small pieces of art. This one, which is roughly the size of a postcard, looks to be signed by Felipe Ehrenberg, a Mexican conceptual artist and neologist who died in 2017. He sounds like a pretty interesting guy to say the least. The signature looks like a match to me, and a few other things I found here indicated that the previous owner likely spent some time in Mexico. It’s hard to find prices for Ehrenberg’s art online, but I’m sure it’s worth something to someone.

You can see a couple other pieces I found below. The one on the left is the biggest of the bunch, around the size of a typical page of printer paper. Like the Ehrenberg piece, it’s also framed cheaply (using tape and cardboard) and shows pinhole marks around the edges. On the right is a sketch, but unfortunately I can’t make out the signature. Zoom in for a closer look!

I only vaguely remember finding this doohickey. It came from a damp environment, and it was pretty green with corrosion before I cleaned it up a bit. I’m not sure what the material is but it looks to have a high copper content. The medallion commemorates the coronation of Napoleon as the King of Italy in 1805. I found a few similar ones online, but none with a bulky chain like this has. Makes me wonder if it was given out as an award at some point. If you know anything about it, please let me know!

In late December some folks in Cote St-Luc tossed some quality Pyrex housewares, vintage 90s clothing in excellent condition, a nice brass menorah (now in my eBay shop), and a small collection of jewellery. There’s lots of silver here, including a pair of Shabbat candle holders stamped with a 925. Similar pieces on eBay attribute their filigree-style design to the Yemenite Jews. I expect the pair to sell for around 150$. Otherwise there’s a couple of pieces featuring turquoise, a bulky ring made in Israel, and a pair of 14k gold earrings. I love finding jewelry, it’s always fun to look at and takes up very little storage space.

In Outremont, this box full of maps and old prints ended up being a nice windfall. The maps mostly dated to the 1600s and 1700s (the dates were often written on the back) and were largely if not entirely cut from old books. They were nicely matted and more or less ready to frame. I ended up dropping off the lot at the auction house, where most sold for between 60-85$. I haven’t done the math, but I definitely made several hundred dollars from the collection.

That’s probably it for 2018, but if I overlooked something cool I’ll make a point to share it here!

January wasn’t a great month, though I found enough to tread water financially. February was much better. This spot in Cote St-Luc provided a slow trickle of quality finds before dumping this avalanche of bags on me a couple weeks back. It might not look like much, but this pile was quite deep and it took me nearly two hours to sort through it all.

I collected a bunch of yard saleable stuff, which I stashed inside a Tupperware bin I found.

This was my box of semi-valuable finds. That PS3 didn’t work but it’ll sell at the auction house, likely to someone who intends to repair it. That Kobo reader works fine – it’s worth about 20-30$. There’s also a Contigo travel mug that looks barely if ever used (these retails for 20+ dollars), an electric nine-speed mixer, an Apple Airport Extreme (which I recently brought to the auction house along with some other older but still useful Apple stuff), a fair of nice Stuart Weitzman boots, an interesting menorah, a signed edition of a Kristin Hannah book, and a cute vintage tin suitcase coin bank.

Their main mistake was throwing out these quality eyeglasses & sunglasses. There’s lots of designer names here including Chanel, Tom Ford, Gucci, Porsche and Oliver Peoples. Most are in great condition as well. So far, I’ve sold the Chanel at middle left for 90$, and the Porsche sunglasses at middle right for 85$. The Oliver Peoples Aero sunglasses (with the yellow lenses) might be the most valuable of the bunch. They seem to sell at around 150-175$, though I’ll try for more to start as the yellow lenses appear to be relatively uncommon.

I also found a bit of jewelry here. They didn’t throw away anything too mind blowing, but I did find a bit of scrap gold and a few nice silver pieces. These folks seem to have moved, so I’m not expecting to find any more treasures there going forward.

Last week I was lucky to happen upon this pile. Here’s how it looked before I started picking…

… and here’s how it looked after. I think it’s important not to make a mess, nothing makes people hate pickers more than ripped trash bags and garbage everywhere!

All the stuff looked to have belonged to kids maybe a little younger than me. A few bags were stuffed with random small items, and I threw those in the car for later sorting.

This place was legendary in terms of electronics. I found two Nintendo DS Lites (both working), four iPods (three not working, which is unusual but they’re still good for parts), a Sony PSP (not working), a couple of digital cameras and a few old phones for my e-waste pile. The Gameboy Micro (top left) might be the most thing here, they seem to sell for over 100$ on eBay. Funny, I’d never seen one before this!

These people were very thoughtful, also tossing the chargers and games to go along with consoles. Most often I’ll find the console but none of the accessories. Video game stuff is easy money, especially now that I discovered the auction house. The market is hot right now, and the prices realized at auction have been quite seller-friendly from my experience.

Here’s a few stragglers that missed the first electronics shot. The Gameboy Advance still works too, as far as I can tell those things never die.

I found a few things digging around those bags, including a 5 British Pound note and a bit of junk silver, which was worth about 10$ for scrap.

I also found a Pandora bracelet with two silver charms. The leather band is pretty worn out, but the charms are usually good for around 20$ a piece.

Lastly, I found some Canadians stuff, including four signed cards …

… and a mini stick that looks to be signed by Carey Price. These are currently listed in an auction ending on Sunday, here’s the link if you’re interested in this kind of thing!

There’s plenty more to share from last week, including two jewelry boxes with partial contents, but I’ll save those for a future post.


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