Tag Archives: free

Svijet

Last week wasn’t particularly productive but I have some things to show you nonetheless. That apartment building again supplied most of my finds.

It’s pretty clear now that whoever lives, or lived here worked in the fashion industry. A while back I found this folder full of designs, and now I find …

… a whole bunch of buttons, many of which are sets. Most look to have been made in the 70s and 80s, but some of them could be a bit older. I put them all in one medium-sized box and listed them as an eBay auction – I usually do “Buy it Now,” but I don’t really know much about the market and didn’t feel like listing them individually.

There’s some nice stuff in there, like these mother of pearl (?) buttons that were made in Japan …

… and some vintage needles and threads. The auctions ends today at 10:10PM EST, so if you’re interested put in a bid! Unfortunately, because of the weight of the package it would be kind of expensive to ship to the States. A local buyer who can come and pick them up would definitely get the best deal. Here's the link, and there’s more pictures on the listing if you want a better look.

Some of my favourite finds from this spot were tucked away in this 1960s Chatelaine magazine. I didn’t even know they were there until a few days ago.

They were four hand-drawn fashion designs. The art is classic and very much “of its time.” I think they’d look great framed, even the one with a piece cut out as that part would have been negative space anyways. Do you like them too? Zoom in for a better look!

There’s a little description glued to the back of each of the coloured drawings. They look to be written in Italian, but I’m not sure.

I also thought this book was cool. It contains a collection of Svijet (which according to Google means “world” in Bosnian) magazines dating from the mid 1950s. From what I can tell this magazine was about the fashion scene, but I have a hard time figuring it out exactly.

Regardless, the images inside are pretty cool. The graphic design is very 1950s, and distinctly Eastern European.

Buttons nearly always come with other small items that aren’t buttons. This time it was vintage Christmas lights. These actually have decent value on eBay, and sell for 1-3$ each depending on the condition. Some other, more unusual ones sell for a lot more. I’ll hold onto these until next fall, by that time the Christmas light market should pick up again. Otherwise, I found a vintage receipt, some scissors, an old toothbrush, and a stamp last used on August 10 1984.

I also found a cool vintage Shell Oil file holder (I listed it on eBay for 100$, my go-to totally made up price in hopes that a petroliana collector might want it, but so far no bites) …

… some miscellaneous paper stuff, including a 1960s guide to Montreal and a small folder with photos inside (most of the photos I’ve seen here have been ripped up, so it’s nice to find some that aren’t);

… and a small collection of 1970s Playboys. These always make good yard sale material.

This spot produced a lot more stuff this week, I look forward to showing it to you!

The week was pretty dismal otherwise. I will share the story though of a random trash can that in recent times has offered me a small collection of books nearly every week.

Sometimes the books are cool, sometimes not so much (ie: textbooks from the 70s and 80s). This was my selection from last week’s offerings. My favourite of the bunch is the 1920s Ritter Practice Building Suggestions book, which details how new dentists should design their facilities. It’s in very nice condition for its age. The others I’ll try to sell at a yard sale, though I expect some will end up in a free box or donation bin.

A good number of the books feature old Montreal City Library bookplates. I imagine these were discards though they’re not marked as such. This one was last taken out in 1985.

Here’s the section for Montreal from that old 50s lodging book if anyone’s interested.

Some of the books I find there have been ruined by moisture. However, I salvaged these encyclopedias despite their non-optimal condition. The covers are in pretty rough shape, but the pages are in good condition.

A lot of people like making art, or doing collage with these. The print and the drawings can be pretty fun to work with.

One was an atlas. Most of the maps unfortunately are printed over two pages which makes them less desirable for framing. However, if someone was careful they might be able to cut them out and reattach them mostly seamlessly. The encyclopedias are from 1909 if I remember right, and as you’d expect the maps are very outdated. For instance, in this map Newfoundland is still its own dominion, and what’s now the north of Quebec is a territory called Ungava. Can you spot any more differences?

This week has been better, even with the recent snowstorm that mostly cancelled my Wednesday and Thursday runs. I’ll share it all with you soon!

Tomorrow I’m finally getting that root canal that I’ve been putting off. It’s my first one, and I hear they’re not that bad but I would appreciate any words of encouragement!

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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Recent sales (December 5 – December 31)

The holiday season wasn’t nearly as profitable as I hoped it would be. I enjoyed a nice flurry of sales around the end of November but after that things dried up quite a bit. I’m guessing that it’s because my wares aren’t often the kind of thing people think of when they’re buying Christmas gifts. I expect my luck to improve in January though, and I’ve already made a few good sales early on.

My goal for much of the year was to make 24k in 2016, and I came up short of that. However, I decided late in the year that I didn’t actually care all that much about the goal, and decided to hold onto some stuff (scrap gold in particular) until the new year so as to lower my tax burden. That would have brought me pretty close to the goal. I don’t know if I’ll work as hard in 2017 as I did in 2016 (I may focus on different projects a bit more), and if my income is lower waiting to sell that stuff will have been a wise decision.

Either way, I know 24k was possible. I probably would have made it if not for the experience with the police late in the year, and I still think I could make 30k a year if the circumstances were right. But I’m also wondering now if being a full-time trash picker / flipper is really my best career choice, for a variety of reasons. Still, I’m sure to be a regular picker regardless, as it’s fun, good exercise (at least when biking), and often profitable.

Now, let me show you the final sales of 2016. My next post will features my best finds of the year!

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1. Vintage U.F.O.BI (UFO-shaped Frisbee): On eBay for 100$. This might be one of my favourite sales ever. I found it around six years ago – long before this blog saw the light of day – amongst some rubbish in an alley near my house. My friends and I played with the U.F.O.BI on a few occasions but it was more of a joke than anything – it was heavy, didn’t fly particularly well, and wasn’t very fun especially compared to a normal frisbee.

Even though it wasn’t much fun I kept U.F.O.BI for years because it made me laugh. I also found it oddly charming and slightly mysterious – I couldn’t find a single reference to any other U.F.O.BIs on Google. For all I knew it was one-of-a-kind, though I imagine there’s a few others floating around out there somewhere.

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It was made by Wedco, a long forgotten plastics company based in Boucherville Quebec. I imagine the toy was made in the 50s or 60s but didn’t “take off” like the company had hoped. The U.F.O.BI looks to have been Wedco’s only foray into the toy industry.

Around two years ago I started wondering if there might actually be a market for U.F.O.BI. It was a vintage toy, seemingly quite rare, made in Quebec, and related to UFOs so it wasn’t inconceivable that some collector might want it. Only recently though did I actually get around to listing it on eBay. I had fun writing the description, openly and honestly talking about how the U.F.O.BI was kind of dirty, slightly bent, and wasn’t all that fun to play with. When I chose a price I went with 100$, because why not? It wasn’t like there were any other U.F.O.BIs flying around on eBay, and I could always lower the price later.

To my partial surprise, U.F.O.BI gained some eBay watchers pretty quickly, and sold within two weeks of being listed. It was time to say goodbye to my unusual frisbee. I like to think that it went to a good home. The buyer left good feedback, in it noting that U.F.O.BI was a “unique vintage toy,” so chances are he’s a vintage toy collector.

I’m happy about this sale because it shows how far I’ve come as a seller. I was able to sniff out a market for the most random thing, and that’s a skill that should come in handy going forward. Also, it was fun telling my friends that I managed to get 100$ for something they saw as total junk.

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2. Vintage Tupperware Picnic set: On eBay for 30$. Found on St Urbain in the Mile End this summer.

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3. 1980 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky cards: On eBay for 30$. These were the only ones from the batch I found in Villeray that were worth listing on eBay. The rest I sold for a few bucks at a yard sale.

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4. Dunhill brush / manicure set holder: On eBay for 50$. Found mid December in CDN.

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5. 1970s Fort Bragg recruitment posters: On eBay for 80$. I’m glad that I was finally able to unload some of these posters! I still have all of the other ones, and I hope that they start moving soon. Found late August in Outremont.

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6. Vintage postcards: On eBay for 40$. I sold one lot of American postcards for 25$, and two St Joseph’s Oratory cards for 15$. Of the latter, the “luminous” glow in the dark card (above) was definitely the most notable.

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7. Vintage c.1920s bottle – JL Corriveau “Champagne”: On eBay for 80$. I’m not sure what this drink would have been, but it almost certainly wasn’t booze (and definitely not real champagne) given that it contained natural and artificial flavors. I’m guessing it was a soft drink related somehow to the Red Champagne which is specific to the Saguenay Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec. I wasn’t able to find anything quite like it online. Found with a few other old bottles in the Plateau in the fall of 2015.

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8. Gray Barker UFO ephemera: On eBay for 10$. I found a bit more UFO stuff after I sold that last big haul. I don’t normally list things for that little but I figured it’d be an easy sale and it took no effort to ship. Found in Rosemont.

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9. Yves St Laurent Opium EdT: On eBay for 35$. Another bottle from that great perfume collection I found a few months ago.

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10. Vintage transitional watch band: On eBay for 50$. This thing was made so that you could put a pocket watch on your wrist. Found this spring in Ahuntsic.

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11. Silver and marcasite earrings: On Etsy for 34$. These were very nice earrings but my photos were pretty uninspiring. Taking good jewelry photos is a lot easier now that I have the light box. Found last year in Westmount.

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12. Sheaffer Pen for Men I: On eBay for 175$. This unassuming pen ended up being a pretty nice get! It went for a great price despite not being in perfect condition. Found a few weeks ago in Cote-des-neiges.

Total: 744$, 22014$ in 2016.

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Far-right

cat

The end of summer is near. Maybe that’s a good thing, because I haven’t found much of value since it began!

I consider an average week to be one where I find around 500$ worth of stuff – that would give me an income of 26000$ for the year. I looked back at my recent blogs posts and found that I’ve had maybe two such weeks (out of a possible 16) since mid-May, and that’s assuming my Sonneman lamp and vintage US military posters make me as much as I think they can. I’d guess that over the summer I’ve averaged maybe 300$ of finds a week, or 1200$ a month.

That’s just not very good, and it’s hard not to overthink things after such an extended poor stretch. I start wondering if I’m doing something wrong, if people just aren’t throwing things away like they used to, if I’ve inspired a legion of pickers who are finding my stuff before I get there, if this cat I found eating garbage in St Michel is somehow to blame, and so on.

However, the most likely explanation here is that I’ve just run into a stretch of bad luck. Overall I can be expected to find a certain amount of garbage over a full year. Sometimes I’ll have a really good week or month (for example, this January was pretty good mostly thanks to one great pile, and it felt like I couldn’t stop finding great stuff last May) while other times will be more like this summer. I have to assume that at some point my finds will regress to the mean, or in other words my luck will switch to neutral or good instead of bad. Let’s hope my luck improves in time for the holiday season!

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The week before last was actually pretty horrible. The only noteworthy thing I found was a collection of cute vintage dishes and ashtrays. At top left is an ashtray made to promote the unfortunately named Squaw Valley ski resort.

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Last week was a bit better, though still mediocre from a value standpoint. I also found some disturbing old papers as I’ll explain a bit later.

I fished this little jewellery box out of some bags on McLynn in NDG. Inside was mostly junk or broken jewellery, but also a few bits of scrap gold and a nice pair of vintage screw back ballerina earrings that were tied together by a muck of twisted chains. The earrings are adorned with marcasite and small turquoise stones. I later noticed that the earrings were marked as sterling silver, but I haven’t tested them to be sure. The scrap gold (including a busted chain, a small pendant or charm, and a ring that might or might not be gold) will probably make me around 50$ when I bring it to be melted.

audioeq

Someone in TMR put their entire 90s JVC stereo setup (except for the speakers I suppose) on the curb. I tested everything (receiver, cassette deck, CD player, and record player) and it all works fine. They look very lightly used, and I expect that I can sell the entire collection for close to 200$.

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Rosemont was my most interesting (and also unsettling) run of the week. I came across a few different productive piles, one of which provided me a collection of vintage “Made in Japan” figurines and wall decorations. Most are repaired or slightly broken, but I think most are still cute enough to sell at a yard sale.

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I found a 10k gold pendant at the same pile. It’s probably worth about 30$ in gold content.

That’s it for the nice stuff though. Not far from that spot lay some papers that you might find downright disturbing. I won’t say much about them now except that they advance far-right, fascist, and Neo-Nazi political views. I feel that I should share them because they represent a very real part of our culture, but if you prefer not to see this kind of stuff I would suggest skipping my next post. It should be done tomorrow or the next day, and will be called “Hateful Things.”

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