Tag Archives: lifestyle

Recent sales: November


After around 15cm of snow yesterday I’d say that winter is officially here. I plan on taking more time off from trash picking as a result, particularly when the roads are bad and the snow makes it hard to stop anywhere. In previous years I might have powered through regardless, but I no longer think that picking in those conditions is a good use of my time and energy.

My instincts tell me that the two weeks before Christmas are some of the slowest for trash, and looking back on my old blog posts confirms that (though the sample size is still fairly small). I’m going to keep an eye on my favourite spots, but I think I’ll take it easy otherwise. People often have better things to do this time of year than sort through old junk.

One notable exception might be local university students, some of whom are finishing their degree right about now. I’m sure a good number will move either after exams (which began last week, and end around the 20th) or before January 1st, leaving many of their old things behind. I’ll keep an eye on the situation. I did some biking around the student areas last December with limited success, but I think it’s worth trying again this year.

Either way, the trash should pick up again after Christmas. I’ve never had luck finding the mythical rich people, post-Christmas throwaways (ie: they get an iPhone X and toss the 7). I’m now convinced that the ultra rich just put the “old” stuff in their massive basements or closets. But there’s still people, like the students I just mentioned who move for January 1st and have to downsize before then. I don’t think the quality or quantity of garbage truly returns to normal until the second week of January, however.

Less picking means more time for other things, like listing on eBay. Over the summer I list less often and dedicate more time to yard sales, with the idea that I’ll get more listing done in the winter when eBay sales are stronger. It seems to me a logical strategy.

I’ve been sorting through my drawers and boxes full of potential eBay items. Some of those items end up in the yard sale box but most eventually make it online. I try to focus on the most valuable, or largest items first. I listed two big things earlier this week that sold within a day, so I’m happy about that!

Anyways, below are my November sales. It was a slow month overall, but I did get rid of a lot of clutter, and two recent finds helped to bump my earnings to an acceptable level.

1. Vintage Silva compass manual: On eBay for 10$. I don’t usually bother listing items on eBay for under 20$, but this was something I could easily ship out in a regular envelope. It didn’t take particularly long to sell either.

2. Electrolier gooseneck desk lamp: On eBay for 60$. It’s always nice to sell the bigger stuff!

3. Carnation milk punchers: On eBay for 20$. These would have been worth more, but for whatever reason one spike on each had been removed. Found in Villeray.

4. Secret Dakini Oracle tarot deck: On eBay for 50$. They’d have been worth more, but one card was missing. Oh well, they still fetched a decent price! Found in the Mile End.


5. Silver keychain fob: On eBay for 15$. This (on the left) was another one of my prehistoric eBay listings, and I’m glad to not have to look at it anymore. I found it way back in February 2014.

6. Gillette razor blade holder & blades: On eBay for 20$. These also sat around for far too long. Found in Outremont.

7. Vintage 70s Liberal party campaign ads: On eBay for 25$. Found in Villeray.

8. Framed Parc Lafontaine dogsledding photo: On eBay for 60$. This was probably taken in the 20s or 30s. Found near Decarie boulevard.

9. Vintage Pencil lot: On eBay for 35$. I ended up going with a fixed price on these, and they sold rather quickly. Found in NDG.

10. B&L wire rim glasses: On eBay for 30$.

11. Aiwa boombox: On eBay for 150$. This didn’t take long to sell! It cleaned up fairly nicely as well. Found in NDG.

12. Elgato EyeTV 250: On eBay for 75$. I forget what this thing is supposed to do, but it sold for a nice price. Found on rue Jeanne Mance in the Mile End.

13. Lot of small metal things: On eBay for 15$. Part of the junk saved from “The Muck” in Ahuntsic.

14. Vintage pencil leads: On eBay for 25$. I’m also glad that these, and the pen box below are no longer with me.

15. Peter Pan deluxe fountain pen box: On eBay for 15$.

16. Givenchy Gentleman aftershave: On eBay for 50$. This is a vintage scent that’s fairly sought after. I found five bottles of roughly the same type a couple years back – I think only one remains. I listed them one at a time to increase the illusion of scarcity.

17. Barbie lot: On eBay for 20$. These came with some extra clothes (not pictured). I’m wondering if it might just be easier to sell similar dolls at garage sales in the future.

18. Technics by Panasonic catalogue: On eBay for 20$. Another little booklet that was easily shipped via regular envelope. I’m sure it sold to an audiophile.

19. Two vintage necklaces: On Etsy for 35$.

20. Bell & Howell filmosound projector and amplifier: On Kijiji for 80$. I wish I had a better pic, but the ones I put on Kijiji were more functional than beautiful. Instead, here’s how I found them sitting by the curb. The projector must have weighed around 50 pounds, and the speaker another 20. They looked to have been made in the 30s or 40s. I might have gotten more on eBay, but shipping these things out would have been a total pain. Found in Rosemont, somewhere around 17th av.

21. Vintage Universal Genève watch boxes: On eBay for 450$. These ended up going to the same buyer in Italy, so I gave him a bit of a discount. Either way, I made about 225$ per box which is pretty awesome! These were in excellent condition, but who’d have thought that two empty boxes would go for so much? Here’s hoping I find more soon!

Total: 1260$, 25136.50$ so far in 2017. Not great, but thankfully December is going a little better!

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Recent sales: September

1. 1930s aviation lesson books: On eBay for 75$. These were pretty cool – check out the eBay listing if you want a more detailed look. Found in Villeray.

2. Vintage wire rim glasses: On eBay for 35$.

3. Christian Dior folding eyeglasses: On eBay for 175$. Eyeglasses tend to be long-tail items, but these sold relatively quickly. They were part of the Very Rich People series.

4. Vintage US Army recruitment poster: On eBay for 25$. I’ve sold three of these now, and still have about 20 left. They’re moving pretty slowly, but I’m okay with that. Found in Outremont.

5. Rene Chalout ephemera: On eBay for 30$. Chalout was a Quebec nationalist during the Duplessis era, and helped to create the fleurdelisé flagStuck between the pages of this book were several newspaper clippings about Chalout, as well as a letter signed by him. I knew someone with an interest in the history of Quebec would have interest, and it sold pretty quickly. Found in Rosemont. For more pictures, see my eBay listing.

6. Pierre Cardin Organizer: On eBay for 30$. This looked to have been barely used. Found near Snowdon metro.

7. Mona Lisa Swatch: On eBay for 100$. I had to buy a couple different batteries for the thing, so I made closer to 90$. Still, I’m happy with that! Found in the Plateau.

8. Vintage Amor eyeglasses: On eBay for 60$. Found in TMR.

9. Serengeti sunglasses: On eBay for 30$. Found in Hampstead.

10. Vintage Bal à Versailles perfume: On eBay for 80$. Part of that perfume collection I found in TMR around a year ago.

11. Expo 67 slides: On eBay for 250$. The collection sold pretty quickly for about 1.60$ per slide. This was part of that photo haul I found in St Michel after a tip from a reader.

12. Vintage Richard Nixon poster: On eBay for 20$. I’m glad to see this one go. Found in Rosemont, along with all that fascist lit.

13. Mini Sony SRF-S84 Walkman: On eBay for 45$. This was a cool little clip-on radio. Another part of the Very Rich People series.

14. Marantz stereostatic headphones: On eBay for 75$. I had no way to test these, but they still sold for a good price. Marantz is a quality brand, and a lot of people have interest in their vintage products. Found in Westmount.

15. Yard sales: 520$. I did two sales in September but neither were particularly big. I made more money from yard sales in October, when I was actively trying to clear out as much as possible before winter.

16. Wade figurines: To a reader for 20$. Glad these found a new home! Found in Westmount.
17. Silver pendant: To a reader for 20$. It was the silver & pearl piece from a collection I found in Rosemont.

Total: 1580$, 19688.50$ so far in 2017. Not the best month, but not bad considering that September is usually one of the slowest for online sales (at least, for people selling random junk like I do).

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Night of the sterling garbage pt. 2

Part one

A neighbourhood security officer pulled up just as I was finished at this spot, telling me he had received a call about someone trash picking. He seemed like a nice enough guy and let me off with a verbal warning. I hadn’t seen him before, and I think he understands that the residents of this area tend to be, shall we say, “persnickety.” Regardless, I hope we don’t meet again anytime soon.

The first things I noticed were old boxes for jewelry and fineries. The hope of course is that some of them will have jewelry still inside, but the boxes I found (above is just a small sample) are also useful for packaging online sales. As well, a few of the watch boxes (like the Benrus above) are likely worth selling on their own.

Most were empty, but thankfully two of the last boxes I found had jewelry, mostly cufflinks, still inside.

Some were made of precious metals. The ones on top are Mexican silver with abalone, while the cufflinks on the right (I think I originally found both, but I seem to have misplaced one) are marked Birks 14k. The medical bracelet is marked 10k and should net me around 130$ for scrap. The Winnipeg Golden Boy cufflinks are just regular old metal, but I thought they were worth showcasing.

Near the bottom of one bag was a little Birks sleeve with a comb inside, the end of which is sterling silver. I have to glue the comb back inside the silver, but otherwise it’s in great shape.

I also saved a classic oval Birks sterling picture frame. I’ve found a few of these now, but this might be the first one with the original glass.

However, the best silver piece I found that night awaits you in part three…

I saved some other neat vintage stuff at this spot, like a collection of old pennants from Western Canada…

… some old walkie talkies, a scale, and a retro ashtray;

… two vintage razors, which look to have been barely used;

… a vintage plastic piggy bank;

… as well as two compacts and a pill box. I returned to the spot this week, but the bags didn’t seem all that interesting and I preferred to not see the security guy again just one week after getting warned. I’ll be there next week though if the trash looks good enough.

Elsewhere, I spotted this bin with two giraffes sticking out. One was broken, but the other was in good condition. The giraffe is about 6′ tall.

I opened the bin and found more large animal figures. This tiger is about two feet long, and looks to be covered in leather.

Same with this hippo.

This camel is pretty big too, standing about 2.5′ tall. I’ve never seen statuettes like these, have you?


Otherwise, I happened upon this little pile in NDG.

I saved this little end table. It’s missing the top (which I’m guessing was marble, since there were some broken marble pieces nearby) and a bit of veneer, but it’s still a nice project piece.

On top of the table was an old Telefunken radio. It needs a little TLC, but seems to mostly work and is in great cosmetic condition.

Behind all that was an old ammo box.

Apparently it was made in 1941, so it would have been used during WWII. I can’t figure out what “O.W.O” (or “O.H.O”?) stands for though, so if you have any ideas let me know!

My current plan for the painting from my last post is to try to get a quote from a reputable art restoration company. I expect the repairs would cost at least a grand and probably more, but the extra expense would probably be worth it. I emailed one place already, but if anyone has experience with specific companies please let me know!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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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