Recent sales (January 4 – January 17)

2016 is off to a great start thanks in large part to the sale of a luxurious find from my previous post. If I were to average the amount I made these past two weeks over the whole year I’d crack 30k in profit! Obviously, things are likely to slow down a bit but it’s nice to hit the ground running to start the new year.


1. Double pro fighter (Nintendo game duplicator): On eBay for 75$. This sold for a tidy profit despite the fact that it was untested and probably didn’t work. Thanks goodness for collectors! Found early December in Cote St-Luc.


2. Cebe mountaineering sunglasses: On eBay for 55$. These went to some guy in the Czech Republic. I don’t normally sell overseas because of the exorbitant price one has to pay to get any kind of tracking number (40$ minimum it seems) but I don’t mind gambling with low value or niche items. These sunglasses would have sold for more if not for the fact that the lenses were prescription. Found early December in TMR.


3. Christian Dior oversized sunglasses: On eBay for 120$. These went to a buyer in France. I had to revise the price a few times but they still sold for a very pleasant amount. Found March 2015 in Hampstead.


4. Sony PSPs and Gameboy: On eBay for 64$. I didn’t find the power cables for the PSPs so I sold them as is. The Gameboy worked but had a very dark screen. It’s quite possible the buyer got a very good deal here, but I’m happy just to get them out of the house. Found early December in TMR but not mentioned on the blog.


5. Hai Karate Oriental Lime aftershave: On eBay for 47$. This was the second of the two Hai Karate scents I found two summers ago in the Plateau.

6. Ray Bans for repair: On eBay for 30$. I think I found these in TMR.


7. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure DVD box set: On eBay for 175$. I found a huge collection of anime DVDs while out on a walk with my sister back in October. I mostly forgot about them until recently, when I brought them inside from the shed and started researching prices. Some of the DVDs, particularly the box sets ended up being worth a fair bit of money. I think they are relatively hard to find printings or something like that – I don’t really know anything about anime. Regardless, I’m very happy with the return, and look forward to getting the rest of the discs listed. Found in the Plateau.

8. Kamichu DVD box set: On eBay for 70$. Another title from that giant anime collection.


9. Parker pen and mechanical pencil: On eBay for 50$. Found in Hampstead back in July.


10. Vintage Mexican silver and abalone letter opener: On eBay for 46$. Someone messaged me a “best offer” and I went for it. Found December 2015 in TMR.


11. Vintage 1940s Omega automatic timepiece, 18k gold case: On eBay for 490$. What an adventure this sale was. It sold within five minutes the first time it was listed. The “buyer” then messaged me to say that he couldn’t proceed with the transaction. It’s pretty clear that he bought it hoping he was the first to see a crazy deal, and then backed out when he actually read my condition notes.

It was annoying that he took two days to officially cancel the transaction, but whatever. I list it again, this time setting it so that whoever buys it has to pay immediately. I figured this would encourage people not to “buy” before reading the condition notes. However, the watch again sold within five minutes to someone who emailed me not long later to cancel.

When I list “as is” type items on eBay I usually start the description with a short statement encouraging people to actually read the listing. In this case it the title was “See condition notes: 1940s 18k Solid Gold Omega Automatic watch, ~3.2mm diameter”. After two failed buyers I figured I needed to make this more obvious, so I changed the lowercase “see condition notes” to an all caps “SEE CONDITION NOTES”. This seemed to work, as the next buyer (who came around 30 minutes after I relisted it) was legitimate. I emailed them to make sure they knew of the issues and they replied that they did indeed understand its flaws. I sent out the watch this Monday and received positive feedback yesterday.

I wonder if I could have gotten more for the watch given how quickly it sold, but I think I had it priced more or less correctly. It was a beautiful watch but realistically it was going to be a project for any serious collector, particularly due to the missing “9” but also the non genuine crown and the engraving on the back of the case. Regardless, it nearly single-handedly paid my rent for the month and is an early candidate for my best of 2016 list. Found a few weeks ago in TMR.

[For the record, I listed the watch for 500$ but underestimated the shipping costs, lowering the total gross profit (before eBay fees) to about 490$.]

Total: 1222$, 1370$ since the new year.

I should note too that I recently honored my first return in quite some time. It was the “as is” Raymond Weil watch from my last sales post. Buddy thought the facial imperfections of the watch were caused by corrosion from some kind of lubricant and wasn’t too happy. I guess I could have described it differently, indicating that I had no real idea what caused the wear to the watch face. Anyways, I refunded him his money and let him keep the item because it wasn’t really worth the time or effort to try to sell again. The watch sold for 25$, and I lost an extra 9$ on the shipping. I think of it as a inexpensive lesson learned. I should subtract the money from my 2015 totals, but it’s such an insignificant amount that I don’t think I’ll bother.

Recent sales (December 21 – January 3)

The past two weeks were pretty slow for sales, probably because of the post holiday lull. However, I made enough to just inch past my goal of 20k for the year. I’m pretty happy with that achievement!

One of my hopes is that this blog inspires people to try picking themselves, either on a casual basis or perhaps even as a job. While 20k isn’t really a ton of money, it’s comfortably above the Canadian poverty line which is approximately 18k. I expect I could make a lot more too if I focused all my energies on picking and listing.  Regardless, I think I’ve shown that it’s possible to earn a living from my specific type of  scavenging.

One doesn’t need to go full out to enjoy the benefits trash picking, however. My first trash runs were just me walking around my neighbourhood on trash night. It was a nice way get some exercise and clear my thoughts while finding things to decorate my apartment with. I’m sure many people can benefit from “garbage therapy.” At the very least it’s a great reason to get out for a walk, bike ride, or drive, and anyone eyeing the curbs is bound to find something cool at some point. One piece of advice: for best results, don’t be afraid to open those black trash bags!

My goal for 2016 will be to make 24 thousand dollars. It’s an ambitious but achievable target. I learned a lot about time management and organization in 2015, and I thinking improvements in those skills will help make 2016 my best year yet.

And now, without further ado my most recent sales!


1. Rideau Plate bowl: On eBay for 53$. This was one of my oldest listings and I’m glad to see it go. Found nearly two years ago in NDG. For the record, this picture shows how it looked when I found it – I cleaned off the tarnish before listing it online.


2. Sterling silver tongs: On eBay for 45$. Found May 2015 in Cote-des-Neiges.


3. Vintage Conway Stewart fountain pen, 14k gold nib: On eBay for 50$. Found around a month ago in Mount Royal.


4. 1960s Hai Karate cologne: On eBay for 75$. It seems there’s a decent market for these scents. Apparently the marketing was memorable back in the day – here’s a link to one of their old ads, which I personally find a bit bizarre! Found a couple summers ago in the Plateau, but not listed until recently.


5. Raymond Weil watch for repair: On eBay for 25$. Found in Hampstead sometime this summer.

Total: 248$, 148$ since the new year.

2015 total: 20111$.



The garbage collection schedule has a pretty huge impact on what I end up finding (or not finding). For instance, while the trucks generally start their rounds at 7am some streets aren’t covered until 3pm or later. This effects when people put out their trash. People are way more likely to put out their bin the night before if their collection is at 7 or 8 in the morning, while those with late pickups are much more likely to put theirs out the next day.

For example, the garbage at the spot that provided the old leather coat, silver cigarette holder, and vintage bullets from a couple posts ago is only picked up around 2pm, and the people at that particular place only put out their trash around noon.

I’m not usually out picking at that time, but I just happened to be in the area that day and got lucky. Of course, as they say you have to be good to be lucky, and my knowing that the trash on this street was not collected until late certainly contributed to my good fortune – I went out of my way to check it out, after all.

I’m very loyal to places that provide interesting trash, so I started doing a late morning run (starting around 11am) to see if any other treasures were being tossed. One time I got to the house too early, so I ended up covering a few other streets that were also later on the collection schedule. As a result I found a couple of sweet things that I never would have come across on my usual picking itinerary.

Two nice finds came from this spot in Westmount. These people seem to be slowly clearing their basement or something, as I remember finding some neat books here many months ago.


I found this cool board game amongst a bunch of otherwise uninteresting business-related books and papers. It’s called “L’attaque!“, which was apparently a precursor to the more well known Stratego.


The game was made in France sometime in the 1910s or 1920s, which was a bit unusual as most others I saw on eBay were made in England. I listed it on eBay and it sold fairly quickly. Check out my next sales summary to find out how much it went for!



I also found a 1980s Casio data bank computer. It was made to be portable, and is roughly the size (a little taller, and a bit less wide) than your average scientific calculator. This is a great example of why it’s good to research the going rates for vintage items. I’m not sure who’s buying them, but one recently sold for 43$ and another for 65$. The latter should be an attainable price for my PB-110, especially considering the fact that it looks unused and comes with a leather pouch. I just have to get a battery in there.


I came across another spot in Westmount the next trash day. I took a slide projector (in a box near the back) and sorted through the bags, taking a small trinket box and some art supplies. Before I finished a woman came out of the house and asked me what I was looking for. I showed her the box and the supplies as an example, hoping to alleviate whatever concerns she may have had. Unfortunately she was not comfortable with my looking any further and asked me to leave.

I didn’t think I saved anything particularly exciting at first, but it turns out I underestimated one of my finds!


I figured this little box was silver plate when I saw it. I gave it a quick look over and saw no markings, so I tossed (well, gently placed) it in the car, thinking it was a good yard sale item if nothing else.


However, I looked it over again later and noticed some British silver marks on the side. When I saw them I said “this thing is sterling!?” out loud to no one in particular. Indeed, the trinket box is sterling silver (92.5% silver) and was made in Birmingham in the 50s.


eBay prices vary a bit. Boxes that are put up on auction usually sell for a bit under 100$ (always a bad idea to do auctions for this kind of stuff in my opinion) while others have gone for 200$ or more (around 600$ for one!). Mine’s a bit different than most – it’s by a different maker (I’m not sure who exactly) and doesn’t have wood on the top section which I think makes it less attractive to cigarette connoisseurs. It think 200$ is likely a fair price considering it’s otherwise free of dents and other damage. However, if anyone has any advice regarding pricing let me know in the comments!


Otherwise, I took a few days off from picking to focus on listing. I also switched up my routes, checking out Verdun on a Wednesday night and trading my usual (but currently dry) Monday night NDG / Hampstead run for Villeray. Villeray is not quite as good of a garbage day, but it’s sometimes better to try and find the “hot hand” rather than stick with a poor producer.

As for miscellaneous finds, I saved some vintage soda bottle holders (Verdun);


… some change from a box in NDG (from the garbage day before the switch!);


… an unopened Stella McCartney “Nude” perfume gift set that sold as I was writing this for a nice 55$ (Villeray);


… a framed moth (Villeray);


… and a couple cast iron doohickeys (TMR).


If anyone knows what these might have been for let us know in the comments! Just to clarify these aren’t connected (as it sort of looks like in the photo) but they do match. I figure they’re legs for something, but for what I have no idea.