Pass-pour pt.3

My brain hasn’t been in writing mode recently, perhaps in part because I’ve been focused on the search for a new car. I finally bought one yesterday, another Hyundai Accent, a little newer (2011 instead of 2007). It has a sunroof, a working CD player, and an auxiliary cable so I could use an iPod if I wanted. We’ll see how it goes, but I feel like I got a good deal. I’m mostly glad the car buying process is over, it’s a real pain in the arse.

After driving a bigger car (a rental, 2021 Hyundai Kona) I’m thankful to be getting into the spacious subcompact class again. When driving around this city, it’s nice to be small and maneuverable, especially when you’re looking for trash. I plan on getting a roof rack, so that I can maybe stash a bit of extra junk up there if necessary. But more often than not, I focus on smaller things and rarely wish I had more space.

This spot provided gold cufflinks and that 1000$ Lusitania nutcracker late last year. I didn’t see much after that, however. One day I picked up a nice 1950s CCM bike which was an easy sell, and then there was this little haul.

It was someone’s old collection of flag, pennants and patches, some of which seem to date back to WWII. Those CFB Trenton pennants are pretty cool and generally do well on eBay. The little flags are the bottom left look Scottish; this guy seems to have been a proud Scot. According to this obituary from 1969 (there’s not a heck of a lot of information out there otherwise), Camp Laclouwhi operated near Joliette, QC until 1952 after which it was bought by Scouts Canada and became Camp Jackson Dodds.

I suspect some of these patches date back to the war. If anyone knows a bit of their history, please share your wisdom in the comments! Some cool designs regardless.

And finally, my most striking find was this small Nazi pennant, which I’d guess was made to go on a car. I’d guess that this fella, who seemed to have had an interest in history, got it from someone who served overseas. I can understand why someone might want to throw this out, but I’m a “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” kinda guy.

Regardless, a week or two after this haul I saw an ad for an estate sale at this location. I wish I could have gone, as there was probably a lot of interesting stuff, but I think it was my last chance for garage sales that same weekend (this was in October I believe). All in all, a lot of stuff got tossed that could have easily made some extra money at the sale, but sometimes families do some sorting themselves before calling on the experts. After all, there’s always some “old junk” kicking around that surely no one will buy! Or, they try to deal with the things themselves, then get overwhelmed and call a liquidator.

The card collector pt.2

The spot that provided those nice late 50s/early 60s collectible cards didn’t offer me a Mickey Mantle rookie card as I’d hoped, or many other sports cards for that matter. Still, I collected some quality vintage junk, some of which was eBay worthy.

Most of this is fun yard sale stuff, the only thing that isn’t is the old earthenware pot in the back which I grouped with another old jug I found and brought to auction (the lot ends on Tuesday).

Here we have some old rulers, tins, and stencils. Those Normand Hudon playing cards would have been worth some money, but the cards inside didn’t match the ones on the cover.

More vintage junk for the sale. The letter is from former MP Charles Drury, who also held several cabinet positions over the years and served in WWII. The Holt Renfrew credit card dates to the 80s and is now part of my collection of old cards.

I like maps, and on the back of that letter was a nice one of the riding of Westmount (which includes some bits of NDG / CDN).

Here’s a fun sign that I’m sure someone at a yard sale will appreciate.

I did find a bit more old hockey stuff. This Jean Beliveau souvenir magazine went to the auction with some other Canadiens stuff.

I also picked up many pages of hockey calendars from the early 70s. I sold one batch for 60$, and I have another listed at 75$ (just discounted).

Most of this stuff has been processed now. I sold sets of cards for 85, 60, and just yesterday 135$ (the Civil War cards including the relatively rare checklist). Another lot sold at auction for around 40$, and I have a couple more eBay lots yet to sell priced at 40 and 65$. Overall, including a couple pieces of furniture & the yard sale stuff, I’ll end up netting around 400$ from this spot. Not omg, but a quality weekly destination regardless.

I did my first “real” yard sale of the year yesterday. I sent an email out to my mailing list subscribers (which I haven’t promoted as much as I should, sign up here) and posted on Instagram but I’m sorry if anyone wanted to come but wasn’t notified. Anyways, it was a reasonably good day, not my most profitable sale but still well worth my time (I made around 580$, 180$ of which I paid for a friend to help). Perhaps more importantly I was able to declutter my garage a bit, which should make it easier to reorganize it a bit (as I’ve been wanting to do). I’ll be doing more sales soon, as I’d like to get rid of as much as possible before winter.

Oh ye of little trash

I think it’s been almost a month since my last post. Sorry for the wait! I’m struggling to get my brain into writing gear sometimes, but I’ve also been pretty busy with picking & organizing & rearranging my garage.

It was also moving day / week recently, so I was picking a bit more than I would usually. I think it was the quietest moving day I’ve ever witnessed, so I guess people decided to stay in their leases amidst the uncertainty (in Quebec, you usually have to give three months notice if you intend on not renewing your lease, which is April 1, so people may have reconsidered their moves considering that the pandemic really took hold in North America starting in early March).

I still found a bit of good stuff. On moving day itself I picked up a nice old suitcase, some really old carts of some kind (sometimes people just use the occasion to clean out their basement), a lucite coffee table, and some barely used sparring equipment. On the days before, I found a bit of silver (some of which you can see above, on top of an old iPhone that was also tossed), a collection of Canadian Tire money (about 15$ worth), an old temporary bus stop sign, and other bits & bobs.

I haven’t found many particularly “omg” finds of late. Plenty of “nice” or “good” finds, some “very good,” but little worthy of an all-star selection, though one of this week’s runs may have produced some top quality items… I still have some inspection and research to do. Regardless, you never know what’s next when garbage is concerned.

Anyways, I’m pretty well caught up on my picture taking (as opposed to my writing) so I have plenty to share. Today I’ll post some finds from spots that were intriguing for a short time, but didn’t produce for long. One nice, recently sold suburban home started clearing out with a bang, tossing this nice tin Pan Am 747 (in two different pieces) that sold for around 120$ at auction.

I kept my eye on that spot for months afterwards, but things got junkier as time went on. I found a bunch of dolls one day, many of which ended up in a free box. The most valuable is probably the 6 Million Dollar Man, who’s in pretty good condition despite being nearly 50 years old. That bear wind-up toy (which doesn’t seem to wind up no more) is also cool, and the shell figurine at top right is likely a souvenir from Margate in England.

(This is not my finest picture. The weird hue and the shadows is what happens when I forget to turn off my overhead lights while taking photos. Also, I could have lined up the dolls with the fold in my fabric background a little better).

I also picked up this contraption, which is an old oil lamp that someone tried to convert into a electric lamp. I’m not sure what the giant spring or long steel rod was supposed to accomplish… Anyways, it may have looked like junk to whoever tossed it, but after removing the random bits it was quite nice.

The base is (I think) hand-painted porcelain, and the rest of the decorative elements are made from brass. It’s in very good condition other than the bottom (which was part of the steel oil font) being cut out. I’d guess that it was made around the turn of the century, give or take 10 years. I haven’t figured out what it’s worth yet, but I’m sure it has a bit of value.

I may have spoken too soon by including this spot in the “ye of little trash” category, as it recently started producing a bit again after I more or less wrote it off (I’ve been working on this post for like three weeks). We’ll see what happens.

A house in Hampstead provided some quality junk over the period of about a month. The mid-century German vase, the seltzer bottle, and the pencil sharpener all sold for modest prices at auction.

The cute coloured engravings, made for Eaton’s, sold for a little under 10$. Better than nothing though. The rest is yard sale stuff, other than the piece of fossil which I’m saving for a future lot of cool rocks (I know I’ll find more at some point, so sometimes I set things like that, which aren’t worthy of a lot on their own, aside until more turn up).

The Parker fountain pen (a 51 if I recall correctly) is probably the most valuable item I found there. The cap is a little busted, but it’s probably still worth 60-80$. That carnival glass bowl is pretty nice as well, though I can’t tell if it’s an original or a more recent reproduction.

The turtle guy from my last post threw out a box full of turtles a couple weeks later. He must have really liked turtles (maybe it was this kid) at some point but not so much anymore. Anyways, this collection included a couple turtles made from stone, a cast iron turtle, ceramic turtles, miniature crystal turtles, crappy souvenir turtles, and a turtle made by Dansk. It was a nice enough collection (minus the junkier ones, which I put in a free box) to bring to auction, and the lot has achieved a fair number of bids & a reasonable price with a few hours left to go.

I wish I discovered this spot a little sooner, as it seemed like whoever was doing the tossing didn’t give much of a damn.

The folks at this spot were kind enough to put out some “free” boxes filled with junk, but my best finds came from a black garbage bag regardless.

My favourite find was a box of keys and other bric-a-brac, including several different religious medallions.

Whoever lived here worked for the airlines, given the Canadair keychain above and the gold Bombardier service pin below. Also, this cool photo of someone working on a CF-5 #116745, which started its service in 1970 and was scrapped in 1988. I’d guess that this photo was taken in 1972 or 79 (probably the latter) which is when this particular plane was in Quebec.

It’s crazy how much information there is about certain things online, and how little there is for others.

Lastly, this spot in Westmount was intriguing for a little while. My best finds here came on the same day, just sitting out in the open. In the box is a nice vintage Sony stereo receiver, which I haven’t tested yet but probably works / is worth around 150$.

The lamp was the prettiest banker’s lamp I’ve ever picked. It was made in the 1920s, and is in excellent condition for being about 100 years old. The green glass is much darker than you usually see on the more modern ones.

It’s not Tiffany, but this lamp is still top quality junk and is worth around 2-300$. Most of my best finds are hidden away, but once in a while I find them just sitting out in the open.

Otherwise, it seems that we’re allowed (starting July 10) to have yard sales again here in Montreal. That’s exciting news, though the required protocols will be a bit of a (necessary) hassle.

I did a couple of small “social distancing friendly” sales in my front yard over the last month. I invited only my Instagram followers (I would have invited blog-only followers, but I completely forgot I now have a newsletter thing I can use to spread the word) to keep the crowds to a minimum, and told people to “pay what you can” / what they think is fair by leaving money in my mailbox. That made it so I didn’t even have to supervise the sales, thus reducing the effort required to work them. I told people to come out anytime between 9am-9pm on the weekend so that folks were rarely “shopping” at the same time (helping with the social distancing), and chose days when there wouldn’t be rain so I wouldn’t have to rush to pack things in.

The honour system worked pretty well, and I made around 100$ at the first and 250$ at the second (honestly, I may have made more than I would have setting prices, lol…). The fact that the only invitees were my “followers” made it less likely that people would abuse the system – I doubt I’d try a similar tactic with a bunch of randoms. I was also happy to be able to clear some stuff from my various storages, which were (and still are) packed with yard sale type stuff.

While this type of sale is relatively small, it’s also kind of fun and less stressful than a usual sale. I may do more of those going forward, even as garage sales otherwise return to normal. The only real problem with them is that my blog followers have such good taste that they only buy my finest quality junk… I need those random people to come if I want to sell the crap!

Anyways, I hope to do another sale in one form or another soon, and I’ll try to do a better job letting you know about it.