I'm a professional scavenger making a living selling curbside garbage. This blog details my finds and sales. It also acts as an archive for things beautiful and historic that would otherwise have been destroyed.
One of my best china hauls since that big collection of teacups several years ago came from this pile in an affluent neighbourhood near Olympic Stadium.
This box was stuffed full of it. I got the feeling that these had been packed away for years, other than the green glasses which I’d guess were added before the trip to the curb.
Here’s what was in the box, minus three glasses and a few bits that broke along the way. The biggest set, which features teacups, demitasses, and two handled consomme bowls were made in Limoges by someone with the initials RH (the stamp looks similar to the one on this set).
As for the other teacups, the three on the left seem to be fancy enough to be eBayable. The well-gilded one on the left was made by Royal Chelsea, and the pair in the middle were made by Hammersley. The other two are nice as well, I forget who made the one at far left, but I think the dainty cup next to it was also made in Limoges.
These green sculptural glasses were perhaps my best get. I did some research and found out they were Cambridge (Ohio) glass, and likely made in the 30s or 40s. It seems that they sell easily for 80$ a piece, and likely more if you’re patient. I have ten, all of which survived in excellent condition.
In the bags I found a few pieces of “aluminite,” which were also made in Limoges and quite vintage. I’d never seen this before, and it’s probably worth selling as a lot at the auction.
I also found a bag full of nice clothes, most of which looked to be from the 70s (look at those patterns!). They all looked barely used, some still had price tags on them. A couple were by a designer whose work seems reasonably desirable, but I can’t remember his name right now.
All this stuff smelled lightly of cigarette smoke. Thankfully, it wasn’t overpowering as it sometimes is, though I might have taken that pink armchair if it didn’t have that smell. I haven’t had luck here since, but I’m not giving up on this spot quite yet.
I’ve had a hard time getting those first words of a post down these days. Once I get those done, the rest seem to follow alright, but I’ve had a hard time focusing / have been too distracted. Pandemic brain perhaps? Regardless, I’ve had pretty good luck lately, and have lots of pictures to share. I’m probably going to write shorter posts for a bit to keep things flowing a bit more smoothly.
Also, I plan on doing a yard sale this Saturday starting around noon at 4096 Coloniale (near Duluth). Hand sanitizer is available, masks are recommended. The area around my garage has become a construction nightmare and I’ll be lucky if I have a sale there again this year.
March – 29 sales for 3433$; April – 15 sales for 1127$.
Total – 4560$ – 10% (estimated fees) = 4104$. This was a pretty good stretch for eBay!
Cross solid 18k fountain pen: 1500$. My totals were obviously buoyed by the sale of this solid gold pen, which you might remember as my best find of 2018.
Vintage Oliver People’s Aero sunglasses: 200$. The most valuable piece from my quality eyewear haul back in January.
Tom Ford sunglasses: 100$. These ones were fairly valuable as well!
Moscow 1980 Olympics bid book: 200$. This finally sold, only took around a year in a half. I started with a high price because I wasn’t able to find any comparables online, and lowered it until it finally flew the coop. I like it when things sell quickly, but it’s also satisfying to know that you got the most out of your item.
Wooden Soviet figurines: 100$. I found a bunch of Soviet dolls at one spot in Outremont, all of which ended selling for decent cash.
iPhone 6S: 100$. Most iPhones I find these days are iCloud locked, but this one wasn’t. In spite of my efforts I couldn’t figure out what provider it was on though, so I sold it “as is.”
Vintage bubbly glass doorknobs: 100$. Still haven’t seen any others like this!
Pioneer CD player: 300$. Most CD players aren’t worth much these days, but this one was high end in the late 80s and held its value pretty well. I figured it might be worth something because it was unusually heavy and looked older than most other CD players. Also, Pioneer is a pretty solid brand all around. Found in TMR.
Gameboy Micro: 150$. I didn’t know these existed before I found this one not far from Dawson College. Either way, they sell for a pretty good price!
Lot of clarinet reeds: 80$. Found at a quality spot on St Urbain. I think most were used, but still had some life left in them. The buyer was happy, so I guess it was a solid deal.
Deep Trance Medium cassettes: 60$. I played one of these briefly and it was interesting to say the least. Found out front of a house being renovated near Square St Louis.
Vintage Zenith sign: 60$. The last of those cool store display signs I found a while back.
1958.25$ (after fees) from 96 different lots.
Mokita espresso machine: 160$. The better of two espresso machines I found in Outremont this winter. This is something I probably should have sold on Kijiji, but oh well. There’s always more garbage!
Games lot: 38$. These are the ones I found with the iPods in Outremont a few months back.
Kindle + Kobo: 110$. This was one of my first lots that sold for above market value (I think). Based on my research I figured these were worth around 30-40$ a piece, with shipping cutting into those potential profits. I’m not sure why the bidding went so high, except that maybe they were going by the price of newer models and not the older ones. Regardless, it’s good to know that I will sometimes get better prices at the auction house than I could even on eBay, and it’s a reminder that bidding and buying isn’t always rational (which is something I’ve mostly assumed since the beginning).
Professional 9-speed Kitchenaid mixer: 44$. Looked barely used. Found with the eyewear in Cote St-Luc.
Pinup calendar lot: 42$. I found a huge haul of old calendars in Westmount a while back and these were among them.
Vintage airplane tin toy: 170$. At the time I thought this sold for way above market value, but in retrospect it was probably about right. Found in Westmount.
Unused tapes: 24$. Anytime I find unused cassettes these days I stash them in my garage until I have enough to make a decent sized auction lot. They actually do fairly well there, I used to sell them on eBay but this is a lot less work.
Mostly PS2 controller lot: 75$. I use the cassette strategy for other classes of items as well, like gaming controllers.
Kitschy painting: 150$. I wouldn’t want this anywhere near my wall but apparently at least two other people did! It came with a matching painting that sold for just 40$, and also a pair of clown paintings that also sold for 40$. These were all things that I probably would have sold at a yard sale for 5-10$ previously, so this is a great example of how the auction house is helping me earn more money than in previous years.
Danish teak table: 85$. This piece needed some work, but I’m sure whoever bought it is happy to do it.
1st Gen iPad, A1219 64GB: 180$. Here’s another thing that looks to have sold for above market value. You can buy these for 40$ on eBay, 100$ if you’re feeling really flush. I have no idea why the bidding went so high but I’m not going to complain. This was found with the Gameboy near Dawson College.
First ever scrap metal run: 111.45$.
Total: 6173.70$, 13070.20$ so far in 2019. I’m wondering if I’ve turned a corner in terms of income. This is my best ever stretch to start a year, and it feels pretty sustainable even though I won’t be regularly selling 1500$ pens. If this keeps up maybe I can actually starting paying off my student loans and other debts I accumulated as a dumb 20-something.
I’ve been making a bit of extra money selling larger finds via Instagram stories. Basically, I post a pic (which stays on my page for 24 hours) and offer same day delivery of the item(s) in question. It’s been a good approach thus far – a lot of my Instagram followers are very local so delivery is easy, and it’s helped keep my storage spaces clear of junk.
Set of four vintage chairs: 70$. I found these in Côte Saint-Luc. I try to price things to sell, while adding a bit extra for my delivery efforts.
Set of four vintage dining chairs: 80$. I picked these up in Cartierville / Nouveau Bordeaux.
I sold a few other things this way, but those were the highlights.
October – 7 sales for 295$.
November: 13 sales for 1329.75$.
Parker Ingenuity pen: 75$. Found in Westmount.
Sterling silver Parker 75 ballpoint pen: 75$. Found in Cote St-Luc.
Malcolm Campbell high school ring: 40$. The school was located in Cartierville and closed in the mid-80s. A private Armenian school is now in its place. Found in the Mile End.
Montreal Expos 1969 yearbook: 50$. From in the inaugural season. Found in NDG.
Amber necklace: 340$. The one on the left finally sold after spending about two years on eBay. I didn’t know how to price it, so I decided to start high and gradually lower the price. The strategy did eventually work, and the buyer seems to be happy. The one on the right is still available for around the same price, though it seems to be a bit less popular than the one that just sold. Found in the Plateau back in November of 2016.
Tandy 102 portable computer: 115$. A fun piece of computing history! Found in Outremont.
St Laurent oil quart: 355$. As mentioned in a recent post. Found in Nouveau Bordeaux.
Bakelite poker caddy: 120$. Found in CDN.
Expos 1970 pocket schedule: 95$. Also found in CDN.
Total: 2086$ after fees (156 total lots). I consigned a lot of stuff around this time! The prices stated below don’t take fees into account.
Illum Wikkelso lounge chair: 170$. I’m happy with this. The wood was in good condition, but the cushions were dirty and needed to be replaced. Found in TMR.
Vintage garbage can: 85$. As mentioned in a recent post! Some of you weren’t surprised by the price, but I sure was. It makes sense in retrospect, but I guess I never really thought about how much a trash can might be worth. Found in Cote St-Luc.
Pyrex lot: 65$. This was part of that massive Mile End lab Pyrex haul that I was too busy to take many photos of. Regardless, I’m very happy with how it all did at auction – the realized prices were pretty good and it required very little effort on my part. This is just one of many (perhaps 20?) Pyrex lots that sold.
“Gab” by MC Thomas: 55$. One thing that I love about the auction house is that I’m occasionally able to make decent money from random art. I found no information about this artist online, but at least two people appreciated its spacey look. Found in TMR.
Pyrex Vision lot: 26$. Not bad. Found in the Mile End.
Lot of four Normand Hudon signed lithographs: 70$. Hudon was a noted Quebec cartoonist and caricaturist. These came from an interesting summer spot in TMR, unfortunately I was too busy at the time to document what I found there.
Pioneer Laserdisc player, tested & working: 46$. I don’t remember where I found this, but I do remember it sitting around in my garage for months before I finally made time to test it.
Chrome floor lamp: 80$. I picked this up while driving around Rosemont with a roommate. It was a casual run (ie: I wasn’t expecting much) but I ended up making about 75$ from two auction-able finds (this lamp, and a vintage trunk).
Total: 3860.75$, 24126.50$ so far in 2018. I’ll share my December sales and recap the year pretty soon!