One-hit wonders

Sometimes a house will provide great trash over a period of weeks or months, but occasionally I’ll find noteworthy junk on the curb on just one trash day. Today’s spots fit into that latter category. Whether I was just late to the party, or whether only a limited quantity of things were purged we’ll never know.

By the time I was done here those bags were largely empty. I also found some nice stuff in the bins.

I saved a nice old set of plates by Simpsons Potters of England that made their way to the curb. A few were broken, but thankfully around 6-7 were still intact and in pretty good condition for their age. They might have a bit of value on eBay.

Otherwise I found several toolboxes filled with various hardware related bric-a-brac. I don’t think any of it is super valuable, but it’s definitely yard sale worthy! I don’t know what some of these tools are for, so feel free to share any insights you might have.

My best find though was a bag of jewelry in one of the bins.

Here’s the cream of the crop. The two irregular brooches / pendants (red stones, colorful pattern) are both Israeli silver. The Star of David is also stamped but I can’t make out what they say. It’s likely silver, however. On the bottom right are a set of mostly silver charms including an Italian horn, another Star of David, a Chai, a hand holding some keys, and and a wooden fist. I don’t know the symbology of the last two, so feel free to fill me in. The most valuable pieces are likely the ones at bottom centre, all of which are stamped 14k gold. For scrap they’re worth close to 300$, but I’ll try to sell them as is.

I thought that piece at top right was nice but I didn’t see any marks on it. Until yesterday that is, when I finally spotted a 14k stamp near the base of the pin. It weighs a hefty 9.75 grams, making it worth around 300$ in scrap. That’s a nice bonus!

I’m lucky to have chanced upon this spot that first night. Since then, I’ve seen nothing of interest.

Another house produced great stuff on a heavy garbage day but very little otherwise. I saved the pieces to an old Raymond sewing machine table, which should be an easy sell at a future yard sale or auction.

These former trees are pretty unusual. I’m not sure what they were made for, but they’d make a nice jewelry display at a yard sale.

I saved a bit of ephemera including postcards, tourist items, and university related papers. It seems someone graduated from UBC as a mechanical engineer in the 1950s.

I found a cookbook that was published in 1877! Unfortunately, someone glued a paper dust jacket to the cover and I don’t think it’s going to come off cleanly.

I found plenty of neat miscellaenous junk, including an old brass ashtray (one of two) made for a Thomas Robertson Company, a glass ashtray from the Monteleone hotel in New Orleans, an antique baby bath thermometer…

… the decorative part of an old orange box, a vintage fly swatter;

… and some old car stuff. I found a bunch of trophies related to rallies and driving (maybe a dozen in total), two Triumph car badges, and one for a 1970s Oldsmobile Cutlass.

I also saved four old car plates from the early 60s. I couldn’t find any reference online to the “Canadian Capers” or the Tulip or Quebec rallies, so let me know if you have any information as to what those would have been. I listed the four together for 100$, we’ll see if anyone bites. It’s hard to price things accurately when there’s nothing out there like them. In my mind it’s better to ask for too much than too little.

We’ll finish with more car badges, which fortunately were relatively easy to price. Both the RAC (Royal Auto Club) and Triumph Sports Owners Association badges sold fairly quickly for 50$ a piece.

I would love to have found more here but so it goes. Vintage car stuff is a great seller.

I’ve recently commissioned my first items at Encans Quebec (Quebec Auctions) after meeting someone who works there and talking with some folks who’ve had positive experiences. I’m hoping that it’ll be a good way to unload things (especially large things) quickly and at low effort while reducing the stress caused by owning way too much stuff. We’ll see how it goes, but I expect I’ll be doing this regularly going forward. I’ll definitely keep using eBay for most items though, I think it’s the best way to maximize value (especially in niche markets).

Otherwise, the warm weather has made me more adventurous in terms of my garbage routes. I had good luck on a Ville St Laurent heavy garbage day last Thursday, and ended up in Anjou on Friday (though there was no garbage). This week I’m thinking of checking out Montreal Nord and Laval, but if I feel lazy I’ll go somewhere closer.


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Dribs & drabs

I reached a minor milestone on eBay recently by getting to 500 feedback. That means I get that cool purple star next to my username instead of the old turquoise one! The next colour is red but I won’t be seeing that for a while.

I had my second major yard sale of the season yesterday. It was pretty busy and I got rid of a lot of stuff, which is great because my storage space was a disaster and I needed the money. I was planning on announcing it here, but I wasn’t able to complete the blog post in time. Sorry!

I finally got around to looking through that collection of photos I found recently. There were a lot of good ones, but I think the most interesting was a series taken in the Yukon during WWII. It seems that someone was stationed there with the RCAF during the war. He also had a bit of time to do some exploring, including visiting some natives communities in the area. Fortunately the photos are well described on the back, thereby preserving a lot of the history that would have been lost otherwise. Zoom in on the pictures for a closer look! I wish I had more time to show you a more in-depth look, I just have too many other things to do.

Last month I went to Ville St-Laurent for heavy garbage day and found some old tools. I know this isn’t the best picture, but if anyone can identify these please let us know in the comments! I think the Eastman Machine tools were part of a fabric cutting machine, so maybe that’s a hint…

I found some neat old magazines in NDG. The coolest (to me) were the official guides for the 1969 & 1970 Montreal Expos, the first two seasons of the ill-fated franchise. Based on eBay’s completed listings I expect the 1969 to sell for about 50$ and the 1970 to go for around 40$.

Unfortunately, this spot didn’t provide much otherwise.

I’ve been having fun in St Michel lately. I picked up that cute end table a couple weeks back and sold it to a friend for 10$. I really like the old chair on the right.

It bears a sticker from St. Mary’s Hospital in Cote-des-Neiges and was probably made in the 1950s. It’s still really sturdy after all these years and should sell for maybe 10$ at a yard sale.

I went back to the chair spot the week after and met the folks doing the tossing. They were clearing out an old house, and offered me some furniture and junk they were looking to get rid of. My favourite piece though was one I saved from the curb, a sort of primitive looking cabinet maybe four and a half feet tall. I’d guess that it was handmade sometime in the 50s or 60s. Does anyone else like this style?

I did take a bit of free stuff, including this huge old mirror. It was in pretty nice condition, and I sold it to a friend for 50$.

I also took a few large pieces of art – I’m a sucker for the amateur stuff. These all sold for 10$ at my yard sale. This hunting scene seems to be signed “H. Jelos.”

I was told that “Peter” sold art door to door many moons ago. Based on the frame, I’d guess this was made in the 70s. It’s an attractive landscape.

This one, another “H. Jelos” features some obvious Christian symbolism.

There was some other nice stuff I would like to have taken, but there was only so much room in the car!

I noticed these bottles on the curb elsewhere in St Michel. The tosser noticed me looking at them and offered me two extra cases, which was nice! He told me that these old Italian Brio bottles were delivered door-to-door around forty years ago. That sounds about right based on the graphic design.

Otherwise, my best find from this Thursday’s run came in Ahuntsic. I spotted a pile of boxes on the curb and went to take a look. Most held nothing of interest, like long expired school textbooks, but one contained a neat old Heathkit AA-32 tube amplifier. From what I read this dates from 1964-1965 and was sold as a kit to be assembled by the user. It’s a pretty cool looking machine and is a fair bit older than most of the other amps I find. From what I can tell, this amp (which is in solid cosmetic condition) sells at around 100$ for parts and 250$ in recently serviced condition. I’ll test mine out and will likely eventually sell it for somewhere between those two amounts.

My haul last week was surprisingly small, outside of some stuff I’ll mention in an upcoming post. Here’s hoping this week is better. Some gold would be nice!


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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).


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