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.

img_71741.jpg

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.

img_7170.jpg

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.

img_70201.jpg

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.

IMG_0054

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

 

Moving day 2018

I didn’t plan on trying particularly hard this moving day and the sweltering heat did nothing to increase my motivation. I think it was 35 before the humidity which is way too hot in my books! Thankfully my car has air conditioning so I toured around town with the cold on full blast. I tried to think of relatively wealthy parts of town with: 1) a high number of renters and 2) less competition as compared to somewhere like the Plateau. My brain came up with the apartment buildings in TMR and Old Montreal.

Neither of those bets really paid off, though I did find a few things worth selling in TMR. I sold the brackets, towel racks, and journal at a yard sale, and a bag of change is a bag of change. I gave the canvas to a friend, and left the dishes in Park Ex where they were more likely to be picked through.

One spot in Old Montreal produced some decent stuff, including a whole bunch of jars, some of which were filled with dry goods. A friend who came for the ride got some free stuff, but I left most of the rest (including the food) on the curb for others to pick through. I’m sure it was still good to eat but I didn’t feel like dealing with it myself. Hopefully it found a good home!

I also tried looking around Griffintown but only found huge piles of actual trash. This one in particular was a bit depressing, evidence (at least to me) that many products these days are disposable junk from the day they were made.

Ironically, after travelling around so much and finding little I happened upon my best finds no more than 30 seconds from home. One of my many neighbours tossed out an array of quality stuff, including a cool lamp (which I sold for 5$ at a recent yard sale), some laundry detergent, a wooden rolling pin, a few books, several miscellaneous cables, and some unopened tea.

The crown jewels were a Focusrite guitar doohickey and a Parker fountain pen that looked to have barely (if ever) been used. Without doing much research I’d guess that these two items will make me around 100$, a nice little haul that keeps the chains of profitability moving.

Another neighbour was bringing down some junk around the same time. He wasn’t moving, but was cleaning out a storage room that was full of random stuff from previous tenants. I had to have this industrial thing despite having no idea what it was made to do (neither did he, for that matter). I did know that the auction house would take it, however, and it sold last week for 20$. Not a huge sum, but definitely better than nothing. (Oh, and apparently it’s a riveting machine of some kind).

I also picked up a bike frame with parts and a pair of lightly used mining boots that I’m sure were very expensive new.

Later that evening I went for a little walk with my roommate. We happened upon a pile not far from home that contained a bit of cool vintage stuff, the best of which were these two mid-century watches and a nearly full bottle of Ralph Lauren aftershave. I doubt the watches are worth much but the vintage aftershave should sell for a good price – I’ve had good luck with vintage RL scents recently.

I’ve found more stuff at this spot in recent weeks so the purge wasn’t actually moving day related. Regardless, my overall moving day haul was decent in spite of the heat! Let’s hope the weather next year is a little more tolerable, I would have spent more time biking around otherwise.

In recent weeks I’ve happened upon some interesting and valuable hauls in many different parts of the city. I’ll be sure to share some of those stories & finds sometime soon!

Oh, and I figured I should clarify some things about the eBay links below. I mentioned that I get a bit of money when you sign up for an account or buy things after clicking to eBay through those links, but I’m not sure that I told you that I get credit for sales no matter who you buy from. So, if you’re looking to get a newer iPhone, a gift for a friend (that I don’t have), or whatever please consider going through my site before doing so! Currently I’m making around 15$ a month through this program, which isn’t a lot of money but I do appreciate it as an extra passive source of income.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search 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

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!

Links

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