Questionable judgment pt.4

I was organizing my garage with a friend the other day (well, more like the other week) when she noticed these candelabras. I hadn’t thought much about them since I found them in the fall, and I was prepared to give her one as part of her payment for helping me out. However, since I found so many other precious metal items at this spot I decided I should give them one more look over before giving one away.

Sure enough, this time around my eyes spotted some impressions I hadn’t seen previously. The candelabras are actually made from 80% German silver and likely date to the early 20th century – check out the stamps below and zoom in for a better look!

As you might expect this increases their value greatly. I might sell a silver plated candelabra for between 5-10$, but I should be able to sell these 80% silver pieces for a few hundred dollars each, maybe more if I clean them up nicely. One of them has a bit of a break on the arm, but that could probably be easily fixed.

I figured this was a great way to finish up this series. This spot provided my best ever haul of precious metal items, and I hope to be similarly lucky sometime in the near future!

I’ll offset the months-old finds by posting about some stuff I found this past week. I love seeing moving trucks in rich neighbourhoods (in this case, Westmount) on garbage day as often there’ll be some bags of “trash” waiting off to the side.

 

 

 

I found this mug inside a shipping box. I guess someone didn’t appreciate it?

(By the way, if you know of a program I can use to trim off parts of a video please let me know! I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the useless sections, for example the bottom part where nothing happens).

I saved a bunch of yoga books (there were several others not pictured) and CD / DVD sets. The discs might actually be worth good money. For instance, that Master Immersion with John Friend set contains 19 discs and the cheapest one on Amazon costs over 100$. It’s probably a long-tail item, however.

I saved a bunch of nice soaps (the brown ones cost 10$ each) …

… some Chameleon Color Top markers (apparently these are fairly pricey);

… a working Kindle;

… some unopened food, all of which is barely or not at all expired;

… and a bit of jewelry. Most of these are silver. That white thing could be ivory, and I hope that nose piece is gold. Below is a silver snake, it’s quite large so I think it’s made to be worn on a leg.

One of the bags contained a smaller bag that held miniature objects which smelled like cat pee. Most of the items were charm-like, so maybe someone decorated their cat’s litter area? Regardless, this toonie and the metal (pewter?) shell were among those things. Fortunately, it was easy to remove the smell.

I also saved a nice feather pen with a pewter “quill” and stand …

… and a Parker Ingenuity 5th pen, which seems to be worth about 50$.

My best find though was this collection of fancy perfumes. The Byredo Super Cedar seems to be popular, I had many people asking about on Instagram but I ultimately sold it to a friend for 45$. The Salvatore Ferragamo “Tuscan Scent: Incense Suede” looks to be pretty expensive – there’s none on eBay, and a similar bottle sells for 260$ new at Saks. The Kilian “Smoke for the Soul” refill bottle and Terre D’Hermes are also very good finds. I should do well here!

The end of the month is near… here’s hoping I find more rich people move-out stuff!

Most of my success on Friday came while biking around the Plateau. This pile in particular contained some interesting quality junk.

I saved a bunch of vintage photography bric-a-brac, including glass slide-binders, filters, and a couple small lenses. I doubt any one piece is worth a lot, but a good number are likely in the 5-20$ range.

There’s a lot of neat stuff here (zoom in for a closer look!). I’m intrigued by that miniature light (on top, above the orange filter) as I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Near the bottom above the other orange filters is a pin from the 55th Esperanto convention in 1970, or sometime around then. Esperanto is an interesting concept, a constructed language made up of a combination of many different languages in an attempt to bring world peace. It never really took off as hoped, though more people are learning it these days thanks to its inclusion in various language learning apps. You’ll see a few more Esperanto-related baubles in one of the next pictures.

I’m also curious about these glass pieces, one of which has a copper backing. I’d guess that they were part of some photography mirror, but if anyone knows for sure please inform us in the comments!

Here’s some more camera doohickies. The labels on those filters appear to be written in Esperanto.

The contraption near the top right of that picture is an old Kodak self timer. It’s not worth a lot, maybe 5$ but it’s cool nonetheless. Perhaps I’ll return to this spot on Friday to see if any other goodies make it to the curb.

You might notice that I added a couple new links to eBay below. I make a bit of money when people sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay via these links so keep that in mind if you’ve been considering doing either of those things! eBay is also a great tool for researching the value of an item so use that third link if you want to look up something you have lying around the house (I don’t make money from searches, it’s just a good idea). Keep in mind that completed / sold listings are a much more reliable indicator than active listings, so check those boxes if you want a more accurate assessment (I use completed listings for the unusual items and sold prices for the more common).

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listingsSign up for eBaySearch for something you want / research something you have
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).

Recent sales: November

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After around 15cm of snow yesterday I’d say that winter is officially here. I plan on taking more time off from trash picking as a result, particularly when the roads are bad and the snow makes it hard to stop anywhere. In previous years I might have powered through regardless, but I no longer think that picking in those conditions is a good use of my time and energy.

My instincts tell me that the two weeks before Christmas are some of the slowest for trash, and looking back on my old blog posts confirms that (though the sample size is still fairly small). I’m going to keep an eye on my favourite spots, but I think I’ll take it easy otherwise. People often have better things to do this time of year than sort through old junk.

One notable exception might be local university students, some of whom are finishing their degree right about now. I’m sure a good number will move either after exams (which began last week, and end around the 20th) or before January 1st, leaving many of their old things behind. I’ll keep an eye on the situation. I did some biking around the student areas last December with limited success, but I think it’s worth trying again this year.

Either way, the trash should pick up again after Christmas. I’ve never had luck finding the mythical rich people, post-Christmas throwaways (ie: they get an iPhone X and toss the 7). I’m now convinced that the ultra rich just put the “old” stuff in their massive basements or closets. But there’s still people, like the students I just mentioned who move for January 1st and have to downsize before then. I don’t think the quality or quantity of garbage truly returns to normal until the second week of January, however.

Less picking means more time for other things, like listing on eBay. Over the summer I list less often and dedicate more time to yard sales, with the idea that I’ll get more listing done in the winter when eBay sales are stronger. It seems to me a logical strategy.

I’ve been sorting through my drawers and boxes full of potential eBay items. Some of those items end up in the yard sale box but most eventually make it online. I try to focus on the most valuable, or largest items first. I listed two big things earlier this week that sold within a day, so I’m happy about that!

Anyways, below are my November sales. It was a slow month overall, but I did get rid of a lot of clutter, and two recent finds helped to bump my earnings to an acceptable level.

1. Vintage Silva compass manual: On eBay for 10$. I don’t usually bother listing items on eBay for under 20$, but this was something I could easily ship out in a regular envelope. It didn’t take particularly long to sell either.

2. Electrolier gooseneck desk lamp: On eBay for 60$. It’s always nice to sell the bigger stuff!

3. Carnation milk punchers: On eBay for 20$. These would have been worth more, but for whatever reason one spike on each had been removed. Found in Villeray.

4. Secret Dakini Oracle tarot deck: On eBay for 50$. They’d have been worth more, but one card was missing. Oh well, they still fetched a decent price! Found in the Mile End.

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5. Silver keychain fob: On eBay for 15$. This (on the left) was another one of my prehistoric eBay listings, and I’m glad to not have to look at it anymore. I found it way back in February 2014.

6. Gillette razor blade holder & blades: On eBay for 20$. These also sat around for far too long. Found in Outremont.

7. Vintage 70s Liberal party campaign ads: On eBay for 25$. Found in Villeray.

8. Framed Parc Lafontaine dogsledding photo: On eBay for 60$. This was probably taken in the 20s or 30s. Found near Decarie boulevard.

9. Vintage Pencil lot: On eBay for 35$. I ended up going with a fixed price on these, and they sold rather quickly. Found in NDG.

10. B&L wire rim glasses: On eBay for 30$.

11. Aiwa boombox: On eBay for 150$. This didn’t take long to sell! It cleaned up fairly nicely as well. Found in NDG.

12. Elgato EyeTV 250: On eBay for 75$. I forget what this thing is supposed to do, but it sold for a nice price. Found on rue Jeanne Mance in the Mile End.

13. Lot of small metal things: On eBay for 15$. Part of the junk saved from “The Muck” in Ahuntsic.

14. Vintage pencil leads: On eBay for 25$. I’m also glad that these, and the pen box below are no longer with me.

15. Peter Pan deluxe fountain pen box: On eBay for 15$.

16. Givenchy Gentleman aftershave: On eBay for 50$. This is a vintage scent that’s fairly sought after. I found five bottles of roughly the same type a couple years back – I think only one remains. I listed them one at a time to increase the illusion of scarcity.

17. Barbie lot: On eBay for 20$. These came with some extra clothes (not pictured). I’m wondering if it might just be easier to sell similar dolls at garage sales in the future.

18. Technics by Panasonic catalogue: On eBay for 20$. Another little booklet that was easily shipped via regular envelope. I’m sure it sold to an audiophile.

19. Two vintage necklaces: On Etsy for 35$.

20. Bell & Howell filmosound projector and amplifier: On Kijiji for 80$. I wish I had a better pic, but the ones I put on Kijiji were more functional than beautiful. Instead, here’s how I found them sitting by the curb. The projector must have weighed around 50 pounds, and the speaker another 20. They looked to have been made in the 30s or 40s. I might have gotten more on eBay, but shipping these things out would have been a total pain. Found in Rosemont, somewhere around 17th av.

21. Vintage Universal Genève watch boxes: On eBay for 450$. These ended up going to the same buyer in Italy, so I gave him a bit of a discount. Either way, I made about 225$ per box which is pretty awesome! These were in excellent condition, but who’d have thought that two empty boxes would go for so much? Here’s hoping I find more soon!

Total: 1260$, 25136.50$ so far in 2017. Not great, but thankfully December is going a little better!

Recent sales – May

1. Harper’s Bazaars: Three different issues for 145$ (40, 45, 60 – eBay). All were from the 50s and 60s. I was wondering if any of the vintage magazines I listed would sell, and then three of them did in a month. Each netted me good feedback as well.

2. Jovan musk oil: On eBay for 65$. The second of two bottles I found.

3. 2010 MacBook Pro for repair: On eBay for 180$. This was the one I found in the McGill Ghetto on moving day.

4. Sheaffer desk pen, 14k nib: On eBay for 50$.

5. Vintage Sharp calculator: On eBay for 15$.

6. Vintage 1970s US Military recruitment poster: On eBay for 25$. I finally sold one of the posters I found in the fall. Only around 20 more left! They’re not moving as fast as I had hoped, but I’m sure they’ll sell eventually.

7. Microsoft Surface RT, for parts / repair: On eBay for 75$. I couldn’t get the Wifi to work, but otherwise it was in fine condition. Found in Outremont.

8. Arts & Crafts era brass bookend: On eBay for 50$. I love this era of design, which took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

9. Legend of the Legendary Heroes (anime DVD): On eBay for 45$. Only four DVDs remain from that collection I found about a year and a half ago.

10. Parker 51 fountain pen with silver cap: On eBay for 30$. This pen was in pretty rough shape overall, but still had some good parts that were of interest to a collector.

11. Vintage ink eraser: On eBay for 25$.

12. Expo 67 Restaurants: On eBay for 30$. This had been listed for so long that I can’t even find pictures of it on my computer. I’m a “list it and forget it” kind of guy, though I do revise the price when I think I’m asking too much, or if I’m just sick of having the item lie around the house.

13. Wilkinson razor blades: On eBay for 20$.

14. Mount Eisenhower RPPC: On eBay for 10$. Part of the postcard collection I found last year.

15. Pfaff sewing machine needles: On eBay for 20$.

16. WWII bail-out bag: On eBay for 115$. I’ve had this for a while, and most of the time I thought it wasn’t worth much. Recently though I decided to do more research and found that it was relatively valuable, and definitely worth listing on eBay. Apparently this would have been used on the Canadian Universal Carrier during WWII. This was part of that Montreal West haul where some guy chastised me for looking through his trash. I ended up leaving behind a few bags unopened, but here’s hoping I got all the best stuff anyways.

17. Glass chandelier crystals: On eBay for 30$.

18. Arne Johansen Danish modernist jewelry set: On eBay for 500$. This set took a long time to sell, but it’s finally gone. I just kept lowering the price bit by bit until someone… bit. Part of a great jewelry haul I came across in NDG.

19. New Wayfarer Ray-Bans: On eBay for 90$.

20. Serengeti sunglasses: On eBay for 75$.

21. National Liberation Front (WWII Greece) White Book: On eBay for 45$. Another item that took forever to sell. I think I had it listed for around three years.

22. Old McGill yearbook: On eBay for 47$. One of three McGill yearbooks I found a few weeks back.

23. Commodore calculator, for parts / repair: On eBay for 20$.

24. Brutalist peacock brooch: On Etsy for 90$. Another piece from that previously mentioned jewelry haul. It was hallmarked as sterling silver, and also stamped with a makers mark I couldn’t identify. This was a really cool (and large, about 3″ long) brooch and I wasn’t going to let it go for cheap.

25. Other jewelry: On Etsy for 40$ (30, 10).

26. JBL L-86 speakers: On Kijiji for 150$. These sold the day after being listed. They needed some work, but JBL is a good brand and someone was more than willing to take on the project of fixing them.

27. Vintage Japanese steel Shogun bike: On Kijiji for 40$. Another project. I could have gotten a lot more for this if I had any bike skills, but I really don’t have any. I don’t have any particular interest in knowing anything outside of how to change a flat tire. Gotta pick your battles.

28. YSL Champagne: To a local buyer for 100$. It had never been opened.

29. Yard sale: 720$. This was my best yard sale ever! It was a really nice day and my friend’s house is in a pretty good spot. Since then I’ve had two much less successful sales, which I think were partly due to mediocre weather and the shutting down of St Laurent to traffic.

Total: 2757$, 10602$ so far in 2017. If every month was this profitable I’d be doing pretty well!