Last of 2018 pt.1

Before I sum up my 2018 campaign I figured I’d share the rest of my now year-old photos and start 2019 with a fresh slate. These finds came from another interesting spot in Nouveau Bordeaux, a part of town that is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I met the folks doing the tossing and they didn’t mind my looking through their trash at all, in fact they encouraged me to do so. I haven’t seen anything there since, but I have the feeling more will appear on the curb at some point in the future.

I really like these old aluminum canisters. They feature both French and Arabic writing and I wasn’t able to find any similar ones online (though perhaps I was searching in the wrong language). Either way, I expect them to sell for a bit more than the usual vintage canister. I currently have them priced at 90$, which I think is a high but reasonable valuation. They were pretty grimy when I found them, but they cleaned up pretty nice!

This place provided a couple of cool ashtrays, including this one from Florida …

… and the 1964 New York World’s Fair Unisphere one at top left. Those Expo 67 trays were in great shape, and while common they still sell pretty easily.

I found some decent kitchen stuff here, including the pie plates above and the sturdy old pizza pan below. I also saved some miscellaneous pieces of Pyrex that are now part of a lot at the local auction house (edit: the lot sold for around 40$, I wasn’t able to get the post up before the auction ended).

I think these are bowls for a hookah pipe, though the flat tops are a bit unusual. The auction house didn’t want them, but I think they might do well as a lot on eBay.

I also found a bunch of jewelry and mending materials. Much of it wasn’t worth keeping, but I did set aside several Bakelite and glass buttons, some yard sale worthy jewelry, and a few more interesting bits.

The enameled scarab brooch is hallmarked with something that looks like “300” or “500” but neither seems to be a known gold purity (500 would be 12k, but that’s not a commonly used purity or hallmark). I’ll have to have it tested, or maybe it’s time to figure out how to test gold myself. To the right of that are some WWII-era “wings” that were turned into a screw-back earring. The copper bracelet also has a military look to it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, so please let us know if you have!

Lastly, with the encouragement of the tosser I took home a suitcase full of old clothes, most of which dated from the 60s and 70s. Judging from the patterns and tags I’d guess that these made their way to Canada from somewhere around the Middle East, perhaps Turkey, Egypt, or Lebanon. I figured an eclectic consignment shop would have the most interest, so I brought them to Eva B and got a 150$ store credit. Not bad! I hate shopping for clothes and rarely do it, but fortunately this place also lets you buy tasty and reasonably healthy food with your store credit (I’d recommend a visit if you’ve never been!). Below is a selection of the most notable pieces according to me, plus a picture of a tag I found inside one of the jackets.

Now let’s travel way back to the summer when I was too busy to focus much on the blog. This jewelry haul was my best find from one particular spot in a rich part of town. There was a bit of gold and a lot of silver, the most valuable piece being that bangle near the middle of the picture.

It was made by the Georg Jensen company sometime after 1945 (I’d guess the 50s or 60s). His name carries a lot of prestige, and I expect this piece to eventually sell for around 3-400$.

I also fished this old 80% Italian silver pill box from the bottom of the recycling bin. It should sell for around 100-150$. I like to think I saved everything good from that bin, but it’s pretty hard to look through a 360 liter container when it’s stuffed full of junk.

Elsewhere, I found this Tiffany collar in its original packaging the same night I found a Montblanc pen also in its original box. That was a good run!

It’s not that often I find luxury products in their original boxes, so this was definitely an outlier. However, as a trash picker I’m bound to beat the odds (in one way or another) a few times a year. The sterling silver 1837 collar was in great condition and should sell for 300$.

 

I’ll try to get part two up soon, and then it’ll be time to close the book on 2018 with a “best of” post.

Otherwise, I want to apologize to all the people who have sent me emails in the last six months because I’ve been very bad at responding to them. I don’t think my brain is made for multi-tasking, and my emails often fall to the wayside behind picking, eBay, blogging, and so on. I will try to catch up soon however, and start fresh in the New Year.

On a related note, from now on I can no longer fulfill most item requests. I may make an exception for uncommon items that provoke a specific nostalgia, but for things that can be easily found elsewhere I would suggest buying from someone else. For one, my brain explodes when I try to juggle too many things at once, and organizing a private sale requires more energy than if I sold the item as I normally would. Also, these days a lot of my junk is already listed, packed away, or long gone by the time it makes the blog. If you consistently like my finds your best bet is to keep an eye on my eBay listings, come to my yard sales, and sign up for an account at Encans Quebec, the local auction house I frequent. I’ll try to link to their still active listings of my items when possible (unfortunately, there’s no way to link you to a specific account page like I can with eBay). They do offer shipping, so even if you’re nowhere near Montreal you can still buy their stuff.

There was quite the snowstorm on Sunday, and it’s been very cold to boot. I’ve skipped a couple garbage runs as a result – the potential (but not guarantee) of quality garbage did not outweigh my desire to not go outside and not lose my parking spot. However, the streets should be cleaned up soon, and the temperature is expected to rise so I’ll be back out there soon enough.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram

Recent sales: July

July saw me bring a tonne of stuff to auction as I emptied my various storage areas. The purge made for a long sales list, which (in addition to recent comments) led me to reconsider the way I share my sales. I think in future posts I’ll do a general overview of the numbers, and highlight only the most exciting sales – something in line with what they do at Scavenger Life, but with a few more featured items. The detailed summary made more sense when I sold less items, but now they’re getting to be a lot more work, the tedious kind at that. Better to save that energy for other posts, or more picking!

If you want to keep track of my eBay sales on your own, visit my eBay listings page and sort by “sold” (or just bookmark that link for future reference).

eBay sales

  • Carl Poul Petersen sterling silver cigar humidor: 1000$. This is currently the most valuable single item I’ve ever sold! I hope to break the record later this year, however…
  • Faber Castell Minfix pencil sharpener: 27$.

  • Enicar Ultrasonic Supertest watch: 72$.
  • Leru expandable bracelet: 13.50$.
  • Phonak MyPilot hearing aid remote: 31.50$. All items that sold with cents (and most with prices not ending in a 0 or 5) were part of a sale I did to clear out some older items. It worked pretty well!

  • Egermann bohemian glass vase: 31.50$. This took a while to sell. Perhaps I overestimate its value. Found in Montreal West.

  • Benito Mussolini postcard: 18$. Part of that huge postcard haul I found last year.
  • Royal Navy shoulder boards: 9$.
  • Detonator II programmer box: 18$.
  • Beswick cat figurines: 36$.
  • Burberry eyeglasses: 36$.

  • Rolex passport / documents holder: 54$.
  • Coach eyeglasses: 22.50$.
  • Armani sunglasses: 27$.

  • 1TB external drive: 54$.
  • Habanita by Molinard, 100ml: 58.50$.
  • Miniature bottle of Diorissimo: 22$.

eBay total:  1499$.

Auction results

Unfortunately there’s no good way to link you to my auction listings, either past or present, so a lot of this info will be inaccessible when I pare down these posts. However, I’ll still share my favourite or more notable sales.

Unfortunately I was too busy to take pictures of most of these things before bringing them in. You’ll have to use your imagination!

  • Lot of vintage paper bags (mostly from Steinberg’s): 14$.

  • Lot of slides (mostly of flora & fauna): 20$. A big part of the huge photo haul I found last year in St Michel. The most valuable were the Expo 67 slides, which went for about 250$. Otherwise, some African missionary slides ended up selling for around 50$. These weren’t as collectible, but I’m sure someone will appreciate them (or turn them into a cool lampshade).
  • Old fishing rod: 6$.
  • Vintage metal & glass lampshade: 14$.
  • Vintage 8lb anchor: 10$.
  • Sears 26122 guitar pre-amp: 24$.
  • Wood lathe: 30$
  • Framed metal fisherman: 9$.
  • Picture frame with chain-like motif: 6$.
  • Pressback chair with missing leather seat: 16$.
  • Vintage industrial towel holders: 14$.
  • Train set parts: 22$.
  • Lot of three portable radios with cassette players: 7$.

  • Bucket of pennies: 70$. Given to me by a nice guy in Cartierville. I’d guess there was 35-40$ in actual coins, but pennies sell for around 2c each at auction these days.
  • Vintage Panasonic radio: 8$.

  • Electric soldering machine: 26$. It looks pretty grimy here but it actually cleaned up fairly well.

  • Dromedary sculpture: 16$.

  • Raymond sewing machine table, in pieces: 30$.
  • Wine decanter thing: 26$.
  • Kodak Etkasound projector, untested: 8$.
  • Sharp projector, working but old: 26$.
  • Standing birdcage, missing bottom piece: 12$.

  • Rivet machine: 20$.
  • Aiwa stereo setup, untested: 8$.
  • Entry carpet: 26$.
  • Fireplace log rack: 12$.
  • 17 old Alka Seltzer jars with hardware bric-a-brac inside: 10$.
  • Glass candleholder: 5$.
  • Lot of lamp pieces: 9$.
  • Two balloon inflators, working: 7$.
  • Vintage andirons: 6$.
  • 4×4 jack: 44$.

  • Huge Betamax player, untested: 10$. I realized that I was probably never going to get around to testing this thing, and since it weighed like 50 pounds it would have been a hassle to ship. I’m happy to get it out of my basement.

  • Vintage UFO Pendant lamp: 75$. I’m happy with this sale. The lamp was great but needed some TLC. It would have been difficult to ship and annoying to sell on Kijiji. Found in Ville St Laurent.
  • Chair base with wheels: 18$.
  • Vintage Coleman cooler: 26$. I discovered that vintage coolers are a pretty easy sell.
  • Victoriaville goalie stick: 6$. I should have held onto this until hockey season.
  • Five stainless steel restaurant trays: 50$. A surprising result. I guess these things cost a fair bit new.
  • Untested turntable: 7$.
  • Vintage trophy lot: 5$.
  • Cup & stein lot: 18$.
  • Brass umbrella stand: 44$. I didn’t expect it to sell for nearly this much – I think I had it priced at 10$ at one of my yard sales.
  • Box of Le Jour magazines: 6$.
  • Lot of glass & metal lamp pieces: 16$.
  • Lot of chair wheels & legs: 12$
  • Alain Choquette (Quebec magician) signed photo: 5$.
  • Jean-Pierre Girerd lithograph (cartoon of Rene Levesque): 24$.
  • College de Montreal group photo (“trombinoscope”) with Gratien Gelinas: 34$.

Total: 917 – 229.25 (25%) – 48 = 639.75$.

Yard sales: 300$ (one small sale, one mediocre turnout).

Total: 2438.75$, 14505.25$ so far in 2018. So far I’m on pace to make about as much as I did last year. However, I expect that my profits through the last quarter will propel me to new heights of (relative) wealth!

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram

I’ve been everywhere

The weather’s been great for picking this summer and as a result I’ve spent more time touring around different neighbourhoods. Today I’ll share some finds from parts of the city I haven’t explored much, if at all previously.

To find new garbage days I’ll often consult the various municipal websites, many of which feature helpful maps like the one for Hochelaga below. I misread them occasionally though and a couple of times ended up in the far east with little garbage in sight. One of those runs was salvaged by a pile containing a big haul of jewelry. Most of it was actually junk, but the three pieces above (a silver cat ring, a vintage brooch, and an 18k gold shoe pendant) made the trip worthwhile.

The jewelry came from somewhere around the top right of the light blue zone. I went there hoping to find trash in the yellow zone north of Sherbrooke, which seems to be a bit richer and a better bet for quality trash, but the trash day for that part is actually on Thursday! So it goes.

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I did some picking in Cartierville, a borough bordering the river on the north side of the island. The neighbourhood is pretty diverse, serving a wide range of ethnicities and social classes. It might be my favourite of the new garbage days and I expect I’ll go there semi-regularly in the future. Here’s a haul of decent electronic junk I found in front of one house. Sony PSPs and Gameboy Advances still sell for good money, though I haven’t tested either yet (maybe I’ll do that in the fall). I added the cell phones to my e-waste pile.

One day I met a cool guy who was clearing out a nice old house by the waterfront. It had belonged to his father, who worked in construction, and looked to be filled with all kinds of handy stuff. The son had a favourable view of trash picking and put out this pile with metal scrappers in mind. I stopped by a couple times and came away with some decent stuff, like the anchor (which sold at auction for under 20$) and an old 4×4 jack that sold for 44$. I picked a few other things, but my most profitable score was a large collection of pennies that was offered to me.

He wanted to keep the bucket so we dumped them in a suitcase I had found earlier in the day. Overall I think there was about 40$ of pennies in there! Later that day I put them in a cool vintage cement tin and brought them to auction where they eventually sold for 70$. I think I mentioned this in a recent post but pennies are a pretty popular in interior design these days and sell for above value (and no rolling required) at auction.

I wish I had found this spot earlier – I bet I missed out on some pretty cool stuff.

I found a bit of junk out front of a decrepit old house complete with an unkempt yard and a rusty old car. Most was legit trash, but I did save a few neat things like an old frog & tadpole in tiny jars with formaldehyde. I think these will join my permanent collection of unusual trash. I was hoping to find more there, but I didn’t see anything in the subsequent weeks.

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The garbage day in the Laval-des-Rapides and Pont-Viau sectors of Laval are the same as in Cartierville so I went on a few long runs where I covered both. The area, especially Pont-Viau has potential though the vibes seem a little weird up there. Maybe the unpleasant interaction I had with some macho dude (who felt that trying to physically intimidate me was a good way to get me to leave his trash alone) left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll return at some point though as I’m sure not everyone in Laval sucks. This 1980s hockey championship pin was a good momento for the time I spent there.

I also found some cool photos, like this shot of a Mets game from the early 70s. I’m a baseball fan so I love finding this kind of stuff.

Saint Michel isn’t a new neighbourhood for me, though I did discover a previously unexplored part north of Highway 40 and east of Boulevard Saint Michel. There’s not much money there, in fact I think it’s one of the poorest areas in the city but I still managed to find some decent stuff. Here I saved an old dresser, a chair that I sold for 20$ at my most recent yard sale, and a solid vintage mirror that I recently brought to the auction house.

It’s worth noting that it’s very important to be wary of bedbugs when picking trash especially in lower income neighbourhoods. However, I know how to inspect my furniture finds and all this stuff looked clean (though dusty, I expect it had been in storage for a while).

The dresser had some veneer wear but was still very solid and featured some really nice vintage drawer pulls.

I’ve been using Instagram more lately and it’s helped me sell furniture quickly, sometimes the same day I find it. Basically I’ll post a picture in the “stories” section and state a price with same day delivery (I don’t like playing message tag, and my main goal is to move it as soon as possible). I delivered this dresser within a couple hours of posting it for a profit of 30$, which isn’t much but is definitely better than nothing!

This dresser I found in Ville St Laurent is another successful use of that model – I picked it up in the morning and delivered it later that day for 60$. Not bad! I’m hoping that this new sales technique will help keep my storages clear and reduce my reliance on yard sales and Kijiji people, who can be annoying to deal with.

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Ville St Laurent isn’t a new neighbourhood but I have been visiting it more often of late. One day I found boxes full of figurines, many of which were elephants. None were super special, but I did sell a bunch at my yard sales.

My best find there last month was this vintage mid-century pendant lamp.

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I brought it to the auction house that same day. It ended up selling for 75$, a price I’m happy with considering that it needed some TLC (the wiring was totally shot for one, and some of the colour on the metal bits was worn). I’ll be returning to this spot next week in hopes of finding more quality junk!

I didn’t do much picking this week due to the rain. I’ve also been focused on clearing out my garage and bringing things to auction. Now that I have this outlet for my wares I’m much more motivated to better organize my finds – it’d be much easier to create lots of like items if I spend a bit of time categorizing them from the beginning (like the ashtrays from my last post, but I had to dig through all my boxes to find those!).

I decided that it’d be much easier to start anew if I get rid of the clutter, so I’m going to do a blowout sale of my low-value wares this weekend. My plan is to do the sale in front of the school on Bernard / Waverly in the Mile End (a popular yard sale spot) on Saturday starting at 10am [edit: the weather is now looking worse for Saturday so I think I’ll aim for Sunday instead]. Just because the items aren’t worth a lot doesn’t mean they aren’t cool (and maybe flippable) so come on down if you’re in the area! If things go well I might do a sale Sunday as well, though I might just leave the stuff on the curb for others to pick through. I’d lose a bit of potential profit, but at this point I consider that part of the opportunity cost of revamping my space.

After all that I plan on taking some time off from organizing. Over the last month or so I’ve put so many hours into moving my junk around and I need a break!

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram