Mercury pt.2

The “mercury house” (as I came to know it) kept producing unusual junk long after I found the jar of mercury there back in September. These folks were pretty crafty, and often the bags would be filled largely with old projects – homemade masks, dolls, ceramics, woodworking, glass, and more. These slides featured images of those projects, some of which you might see below. However, I didn’t have time to photograph many of the things I found here.

The house provided plenty of neat vintage junk as well. In this photo you can see some expired film (there’s a good market for that at yard sales), a Seagull pewter keychain, a container of pull-tabs, some copper doohickeys, a hat of some kind, and plenty more.

That orange medicine bottle is full of seeds. I find seeds semi-regularly, and always wonder if they’re worth trying to sell at yard sales. I know people like heirloom plants, and if the seeds are, say 30 years old the plants might be different from the ones grown today. I doubt the ones in paper envelopes keep very well over time, but ones stores in airtight containers like that pill bottle might still be good. So…

That guy with the violin was a fun woodworking project; when you pull the string, the head bobs up and down and the bow goes back and forth. It’s a little busted though – a cut penny, which I think is an essential piece, has come unglued.

This brass ashtray was a cool find. It’s not super valuable but should do well at a yard sale.

I took my first garage photos against the background of the floor. They’re ok, but the ones with the fabric background are better. There’s a few Red Rose tea figurines in this batch of junk, as well as a bunch of projects.

There’s some nice vintage ceramics here including the pot on the left, the Limoges dish near the centre, and the Beswick bird near the top right.

This little burner / needle sterilizer was a neat find. It might have been part of a WWII field kit, and should sell for around 30$.

I like that typewriter ashtray, as well as the vintage Cookie Monster doll.

Somebody at a yard sale will probably want these creepy masks. I forget what was written on the back, except that they were made in the 80s.

That box on the right is probably a homemade radio. That alarm clock radio didn’t work, unfortunately.

I enjoyed that handmade book near the top left. It seems to contain the lyrics to a bunch of scout songs (see below for a closer look). I’m curious about the rocks in the tin and the beaded necklace, if you know anything about them please comment!

I saved a bunch of scarves and miscellaneous fabrics, as well as a pair of wooden shoes.

One time I opened a bag was greeted by a vintage 1$ bill. It’s in excellent condition but still not worth much. I also found a Bérudollar, a “Bank of Quebec” note valued at 80c. It was made in the 80s by a trade union to protest something, what exactly I’m not sure.

Let’s finish off with another old political item. This record was made for the Rhinoceros Party, a satirical political party that promised to repeal the laws of gravity, among other things. The first Rhinoceros Party (it has since been resurrected) existed from 1963-1993, though 1979 (the year this record was made) was the first time they fielded a significant number of candidates. This recording looks to be pretty uncommon but I have no idea what it might be worth. If you do, let me know.

I think this spot has dried up for good now. I saw a moving truck there one day, and since then there’s been no trash on the curb. So it goes!

I happened upon a great pile of vintage stuff on Saturday. It’s going to take a while to process / photograph but I’m excited to share it here when that’s all done.

Otherwise, I finally sold this beautiful old art deco (c.1930s) Asprey catalogue I found a few years back. The book was in excellent condition and offered a great look at the luxury goods of the era. It will be featured in my next sales summary post, but for now I figured I’d let you guess how much it went for. Good luck!

Oh, and I started a couple more auctions last night, and four more are ending tonight. The beer label auction is doing quite well already with a bid and eight watchers in the first 12 hours or so. Not bad! A couple of my battery lots will sell as well, for how much it remains to be seen.


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Servire Populo Pt.4

I got my new photography light in the mail the other day and set it up not long after. I went yesterday to test it out and I’m pretty happy with the results! I look forward to sharing those shots here on the blog. I took them with the garage floor as the background. I might take future photos on a white sheet, but for now I’m happy just to process the accumulation of former trash that was building up.

Otherwise, I thought you might get a kick out of this box I sent to a customer in BC. I covered it in found stamps, thus saving myself about 15$ in postage. I’ve mailed a few other smaller packages this way and have probably saved about 30$ in total. That find is paying off nicely!

Today I’ll share the remainder of the finds from that place in St Michel. I haven’t seen anything there in quite some time, so the chances are good that this is the last you’ll see of it.

This vintage female reproductive organ chart was interesting. It was published by Tampax and probably dates back to the 40s. It was nicely preserved thanks to it being laminated, but suffered an unfortunate accident when I squished it in a drawer. A small piece from one corner broke off, thus damaging an otherwise nearly pristine piece. I had listed it on eBay, but with the damage it went into the yard sale pile. Still, it’s pretty cool and I’m sure someone will buy it. The page is double sided – see the other image below.

Here’s an interesting paper that seems to advertise some kind of reflexology course. It’ll go into my yard sale box of miscellaneous papers.

I appreciated finding this 1983 Sears catalogue. I could sell it fairly easily, but I think I’ll keep it as a reference guide. I like being able to date objects to a certain time. For example, the lawn chairs I love so much were featured in this catalogue. I’m sure there’s lots of other stuff in there that I’d recognize as well!

Vintage scissors are always a hit at yard sales. My grandma gave me a milk of magnesia tin exactly like the one at top right many years ago.

Here’s a little Canada Post flag, a porcelain feeding cup, and a never opened Minnie Mouse table cover.

I found a few Expo 67 trinkets here. None were particularly noteworthy, but they do sell at yard sales.

Those Ray-Bans are real, but the fact that they’re prescription hurts their value. The little bottle on the top was a made in the USSR trinket. Serge Joyal was a Liberal MP in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve for many years and still serves in the Senate.

That empty bottle of Extrait Chanel #5 went to a local buyer. The other stuff has either already sold, or is waiting in a box for yard sale season.

On the right is a cute micro-mosaic brooch. Some of those sell for pretty good money, but I decided that mine was best suited for the yard sale bin. The watches are nice, and should sell for a dollar or two at a yard sale.

This spot may be done producing but I’ve been having luck elsewhere in St Michel. Last night I picked up bags full of clothes, a cool plant stand, a chair and plenty of other miscellaneous junk. I’m sure I’ll share a bit of that on the blog sometime soon.


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Recent sales: December

After my recent auction success (which turned out not to be much of a success, but whatever) I decided to change a bunch of my older Buy it Now listings to auctions. I wondered if the auctions would get more exposure and clicks, and hoped that it would help clear out some old stock.

So far, it doesn’t seem like the listings are seeing much, if any more interest than they were beforehand. A couple have bids, so at least I’ll get rid of two things, but they’ll probably end up selling for less than I would have earned if I stuck with the Buy it Now.

Either way, it was a worthwhile experiment that goes to show the value of the Buy it Now listing, especially for niche stuff that’s unlikely to get a lot of views. My auctions end tonight at around 8pm EST so check them out if you’re interested! They’re almost certain to finish at a bargain price. If they don’t sell, most will end up in my yard sale pile.

December was a pretty good month for sales. I also calculated my total profit in 2017, which you can find at the bottom of this post.

1. Maruyama courting couple figurine: On eBay for 60$. One of the last pieces from that china collection I found a few years back. It was in great condition. Found in Ville St Laurent.

2. Vintage transit documents: On eBay for 15$. Found in Rosemont.

3. Vintage Paratrooper poster: On eBay for 25$. Four down, around 15 to go.

4. Christmas light lot (tested): On eBay for 45$. Testing all this stuff was a hassle, but the profit wasn’t bad. Mostly found in Westmount.

5. SAP textbook: On eBay for 40$. I’ve sold a few of my SAP textbooks now. Hopefully I sell a few more, but if not I’ve made a bit over 100$ for my efforts. Found in the Plateau.

6. Montreal Olympics slide lot: On eBay for 200$. The buyer seemed most interested in photos of the gymnastic events. Found in TMR.

7. Three brown bakelite light switches: On eBay for 60$. These were more valuable than I originally expected. Something else to keep an eye out for while picking!

8. Aurora Hastil pen with 14k nib, for repair: On eBay for 40$. It needed some fixing but still sold for a good price. Found in the Plateau.

9. Phillips LFH9600 digital memo recorder: On eBay for 120$. Found in TMR.

10. Krieger tidal watch: On eBay for 515$. It cost 35$ to get a new battery in there, which I subtracted from the profit. Krieger isn’t a particularly well known company, but they make quality watches and their tidal wares satisfy a niche market. Found in Outremont.

11. Superscope (Marantz) TDR-830 8-track player/recorder: On eBay for 90$. This machine needed some repairs, but Marantz stuff always does well on eBay. Found in Rosemont.

12. WWII Vickers ammo box: On eBay for 80$. This sold pretty quickly. Found in NDG.

13. Birks silver picture frame: On eBay for 40$. Found in Hampstead.

14. Birks silver picture frame #2: On eBay for 30$. This one was bigger but had no glass. Found elsewhere in Hampstead.

15. Ed Levin silver bracelet: On eBay for 80$. Found in the Mile End.

16. Boston Pops 1952 program: On eBay for 10$. I’m just glad this is gone! It had been on eBay for an eternity.

17. Zassenhaus 532 coffee grinder: On eBay for 250$. I would have loved to keep this for myself, but I can’t afford to own a 250$ coffee grinder. Found in Westmount.

18. Expo 67 construction photos: On eBay for 20$. Found in NDG.

19. Christmas light lot #2: On eBay for 40$. These sold on boxing day. Found in Westmount.

20. Christian Dior Poison soap bar: On eBay for 50$. Not bad for 30 year old soap! Found in Outremont.

21. Schuco Fex windup car: On eBay for 60$. I got neutral feedback for this because I forgot to mention in the listing that the winding mechanism probably didn’t work. My bad. If the buyer had contacted me directly I would have offered a partial refund, but I guess it didn’t bother them that much. Found in Westmount.

22. Round bakelite light switches: On eBay for 25$. More old bakelite switches. These were a little beat up, so I didn’t ask for much.

23. Yearbooks: To a reader for 100$. I gave them a deal on the yearbooks I had on eBay, as well as a beautiful art deco era “Old McGill” yearbook I haven’t posted here yet.

24. Drewrys bottle opener: On eBay for 15$.

25. Sherman bracelet: On eBay for 35$. I ended up giving a partial refund because I didn’t notice an issue with the clasp. A 15$ discount resolved the issue, however, and the buyer left good feedback. Found in Outremont.

26. Vintage Micronta alarm clock: On eBay for 30$. This had very big numbers!


1. Secret Dakini oracle tarot cards: -60$. These sold to someone in Germany but apparently they haven’t shown up. There’s no tracking number (tracking anything going overseas via Canada Post costs at least 40$) so there’s no way to say where it is. I can only hope that it shows up eventually, and that the buyer is honest enough to pay me again. Regardless, the occasionally refund is just a cost of doing business.

Total: 2015$, 27152$ in 2017. This bests my previous record by around 5000$. I credit an extremely successful yard sale season, as well as my consistently improving eBay skills for the great year. I hope to cross the 30k mark in 2018!

It’s worth noting here that my stated sales totals are the gross profit, and don’t take into account the eBay / PayPal / Etsy fees I pay for my online sales. So, my actual earnings are about 8-10% less on the things I sell on eBay and about 6% less on the things I sell on Etsy. I’d guess that I paid around 1800$ in fees in 2017 – I’ll figure out exactly how much when I do my taxes. No matter, I did pretty well for selling trash!


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2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.