Recent sales: April

eBay sales were relatively slow in April. Fortunately, the arrival of yard sale season helped make it profitable anyways.

1. Yard sale: 650$. My first sale of the season was a success! I basically brought all the (quality) junk I had stored in the basement to the street, and it wasn’t as big as some of my other sales. Still, it was a nice warm-up of sorts and a fun day overall.

2. Vintage market: 180$. This result was a bit of a disappointment, but I did learn a bit about pop-up shop selling. In the future I’ll try to sell with similar vendors (most other people had clothes, I was the only one with junk) and I’ll make sure there’s either no music or quiet music. The tunes were a bit loud, which made it harder for people to connect to my sometimes unusual wares… that’s my theory anyways.

3. Sharmark bead & sequin wrap: On eBay for 40$. Found in Cote St-Luc.

4. Silhouette eyeglasses: On eBay for 75$. I semi-regularly find lightly used Silhouette eyeglasses, which is good because they always sell for a nice price.

5. Vintage Startac cell phone: On eBay for 10$. I thought this would sell for more but I guess not. Fortunately the Microtac (featured later) was a bit more valuable. Found in Rosemont.

6. Ray Ban New Wayfarer sunglasses, prescription lenses: On eBay for 55$.

7. iPhones for parts: On eBay for 25$. These were all locked to iCloud, basically making them bricks usable only for a limited number of parts. The payoff was barely worth it considering how much time and energy I put into testing / wiping these, but it was a good learning experience I suppose.

8. Vintage Rio de Janeiro butterfly serving tray: On eBay for 70$. This sold quickly for a nice price! Found on St Urbain in the Mile End.

9. Vintage palladium ring: On eBay for 200$. This was the nicest of the three rings I recently found stored inside an old pill bottle.

10. Silver compact: On eBay for 60$. I’m surprised this compact took so long to sell, it was a very nice piece. I found it on Van Horne in Cote-des-Neiges a few years back.

11. Lise Watier Capteur des reves: On eBay for 50$. This scent seems to be pretty uncommon – I didn’t find any others on eBay. Not all rare things are desirable, but based on what I read on Fragrantica the people who tried it liked it and wanted more. It sold relatively quickly for a good price. Found in Hampstead.

12. Silhouette Titan rimless sunglasses: On eBay for 75$.

13. Verifone credit card terminal: On eBay for 50$. I’m glad this is finally gone! It sat around taking up space for way too long.

14. Chinese export silver bracelet: On eBay for 500$. This was the most valuable antique Chinese piece from that collection I found last fall.

15. Sony Walkman: On eBay for 40$. This Walkman was unusual in that it had two different headphone jacks.

16. Little Mouse Factory figurines: On eBay for 30$.

17. Girard Perregaux watch box: On eBay for 40$.

18. Christian Dior Pure Poison: On eBay for 80$.

19. Vintage cat-eye sunglasses: On eBay for 30$.

20. Mexican silver pins: On eBay for 25$.

21. Motorola Microtac cell phone: On eBay for 60$. Pretty old school! It also came with a charging dock.

22. Miniature vintage Diorissimo: On eBay for 22$. I’m surprised I haven’t sold more of these. The customer was very happy with their purchase though.

23. Basf cassette recorder: On eBay for 60$. This came with its original box.

24. Rolf handcrafted spectacles: On eBay for 100$.

Total: 2527$, 8834.50$ so far in 2018.



This & that

The weather has not been cooperative of late, making it hard to pick and impossible to do yard sales. It’s supposed to be nice this weekend, however *knock on wood* so maybe it’s finally time for my first sale of the year! I think I’ll take it easy and just deal with the stuff I have in my basement and plastic bins out front. If you’d like to see some of my junk, come to 147 St Joseph Ouest near St Urbain on Sunday between 12-4pm.

Otherwise, don’t fret if you can’t come to that one – I’ll also be selling at a vintage market all next weekend. I’ll bring some of my fancier stuff there, as well as the usual collection of interesting if often useless junk. Hope to see you at one or the other, or both!

The past two weeks haven’t been amazing for picking but I still managed to find some decent stuff. My Monday evening run was a total write-off before I happened upon a pile of old renovation and fireplace stuff. These vintage andirons should make me a bit of money, even if there aren’t as many fireplaces as there used to be.

I also saved some nice old door knobs and door plates. My favourites are the bubbly glass ones on top.


I’ve never found one like this previously. A single similar looking knob sold for 45 USD on eBay, so I should do well for the pair!

Around a week ago I happened upon a neat pile of trash not far from home. At the bottom right is a set of five Alcoholics Anonymous tokens – I’ve seen individual ones before, but never this many at once. There’s a token saying “think before you drink” as well as one each for the three, six, nine, and twelve month milestones. At the top is a vintage lockpick, an old metal comb, an interesting clay brooch (top left), a Catholic medallion, and a small collection of small photos. I’m not sure what that ruler thing with all the metal sticks is (top right), do you?

I also found jewelry, perfume, and watches. Most of the watches are yard sale quality, but I think that Bulova will sell for around 40-50$. The Caravelle would be nice as well; alas, it doesn’t run. That curvy brooch looks to be sterling silver. It’s a cool piece but it’s unfortunately unsigned. That bracelet is signed “Clara” but I can’t find any relevant information about that person or company online. The (busted) earrings in the bag are by Nina Ricci. The miniature YSL Opium and Egoiste are the best of the perfume finds.

I didn’t see anything here last garbage day, but I’ll keep an eye on the situation in case more treasures emerge.

I was dumbfounded to find three different generations of iPhones – a 5s, 6, and 6+ – all in the same bag in NDG. They’re all in really good cosmetic condition as well. Unfortunately, when people toss their iPhones they rarely turn off the “find my iPhone” feature, and as a result the two smaller phones are currently bricks good only for parts. I have hopes that the 6+ might not have had the “find my iPhone” activated, but I’ll need to figure out what provider it was on before I can know for sure. If it does end up working, the 16gb 6+ seems to sell for around 225$. My previous best iPhone find was a 5s with a cracked screen, so this haul blows that straight out of the water.

Another spot in NDG provided a bit of old toolsy stuff, including this old cigarette tin.

Inside was a neat collection of locks and keys, some of which are of the skeleton variety. Unfortunately none of the keys seem to fit the padlocks, but so it goes. This stuff should do well at a yard sale. I’m sure it could sell on eBay as well, but there’s just not enough time in the world to list everything I find!

I found these things outside of a recently sold house in Ahunstic a couple months back. The necklace on the right might be the most valuable piece here – it’s signed by Anne Marie Chagnon, a local jeweler whose work seems to do well on eBay. Based on recent completed listings (looking through these is the main way I research my finds) I think it could sell for three figures, though I’ll lower the price if it takes a while to sell. I really like that chalkware lion in the middle – I might keep that for myself. The Sheaffer and Armani cases are empty, but still useful for shipping out similar items.

The folks who tossed this stuff were pretty nice. They came out and offered me and my friend some other stuff they were parting with, including some cute embroideries, an old clock, and a large framed class photo that includes a picture of the multitalented Gratien Gelinas. If only people were this nice all the time!

I found a bag of jewelry elsewhere in Ahunstic. The first piece I noticed was the silver bracelet on the bottom which got me excited as to else was in there. Unfortunately, the rest was pretty junky though some was good enough for the yard sale pile. That other bracelet could be silver as well; there’s some marks on there but I can’t make them out.

In Rosemont I saved a large collection of old paper bags. My favourites were these oddly tall and narrow Maple Leaf potato chip bags. The company labels itself “Pioneers in Canada” – pioneers of what, I have no idea. The weight is written in ounces, so this bag dates to at latest the early 70s. Does anyone remember this company? I also saved a bunch of Steinberg bags. I hope they sell at a yard sale, but at worst I can bag people’s purchases in them!

I found this cute little shoeshine box in Rosemont. I also met the previous owner, an older lady who told me that her dad made it when she was just one year old. I’d guess that she was about 80, making this box quite vintage! Many of the things I find are stripped of their history, so it’s always nice when I get to learn even a little bit of their backstory.


Here’s a video of me opening the box via an interior latch (her son showed me how). It appears that the wood was repurposed from old butter crates. I might have to hold onto this, at the very least it’s a fun cubby hole.

Otherwise, people keep throwing out stamps. Some rich folks tossed these two packs (minus one stamp), good for close to 20$ of shipping goodness. I’m also almost finished using that huge haul of stamps which for me was like incrementally finding 100$. Here’s hoping I don’t have to pay to ship things via lettermail anytime soon! (I ship most of my parcels with Paypal labels, so stamps don’t come into play for those).

I’ve been finding more stuff at the gold ring spot. No more gold as of yet, but a decent amount of interesting junk (and also a whole bunch of useless crap). I’ll save those finds for a future post.

I was planning on taking today off from picking as I’ve been feeling a bit under this weather. I decided to go on a quick run at the last moment, however and ended up finding some great spring cleaning “junk.” I’ll share that in a future post, but for now let’s just say that it involves round, sometimes shiny objects.

I’ve been re-tooling the site a little bit. Some of you might have noticed that the old “resources” tab is now called “how to…”, which I think is a better way to phrase it. I also re-wrote a lot of the sections inside that tab, though I still have some work to do on the “how to garbage pick” section. Now that I’m looking at it, the “about” tab is totally useless and has been for some time… I’ll have to work on that as well. I guess you could say I need to do some spring cleaning on the blog!


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Night of the sterling garbage pt. 1

I’ve had good luck finding silver lately. There was that plate from last post, and also a great collection of silver jewelry from about a month ago that I have yet to share.

The good luck continued last week, and on one of my runs I found notable quantities of silver in three different spots. I’ll share the finds in three different posts, with the quality of the silver increasing each time.

This spot has been interesting the past few weeks. I’ve had to sort through a lot of junk to find very little, but the trash is interesting enough to keep me coming back. There’s been lots of worthless tech junk, stuff that’s old enough to be obsolete but not old enough to be collectible. I saved some fashion watches that might sell for .50 or 1$ at a yard sale, and a few shirts that actually fit me pretty well.


Fortunately, this little footed dish should make me a bit of money.

I researched the stamps on the bottom, and found that the bowl was made in Cairo in 1980. The silver purity is 90%, so it’s not technically sterling (which is 92.5% silver) but it’s close enough right? It’s worth about 50$ in silver scrap, but might be nice enough to sell on its own. I’ll keep an eye on this spot going forward, but these people seem to be generally good at not throwing away anything of value.

Elsewhere, I came across a bag in NDG with a bunch of old vacuum tubes inside.


I cleaned them up and threw away the ones that were obviously busted. Now I have to figure out whether to sell them as an untested lot on eBay or go through the hassle of testing them all. Some vacuum tubes go for a lot of money, hundreds or even thousands depending on the type, but I don’t think these ones are particularly valuable (perhaps in the 5-15$ range, if working). Still, that’s not bad considering how many I have. If you have any tips on testing or selling old tubes, let me know in the comments!

I found this pin a couple weeks ago in Cote St-Luc. It stayed in the car for a week before I got around to bringing it inside and looking it up online. I discovered that it was made for the Montreal Beavers of the long defunct Continental Football League, a short-lived team that operated only for the 1966 and 1967 seasons. I’d never heard of the Beavers or the (other) CFL previously, so finding this pin was a bit of an education. I couldn’t find any other pins like it online, so it might be relatively uncommon as well. Continental Football League stuff is fairly collectible, and I’m guessing that this pin will net me between 30-50$.

I keep going back to that place where I found the old tabloids from the last post and the finds are as junky and dusty as ever. I usually find a few things, like this little depression glass dish, but overall it’s been a real slog. Who knows, maybe it’ll pay off at some point. I met the guy tossing the stuff and he seemed nice enough, he just asked me not to make a mess.


I like saving vintage garbage-related ephemera, so I took these old garbage bag bags that I’d guess were made in the 80s. Maybe one day I can give them to a museum of garbage. I found no reference to “Big John Plastics” on Google.

I found this neat Kodaslide viewer somewhere, I forget where exactly. It sells for around 25$, but it might be my new go-to slide viewer because of its cool design and built in light.

I found a good collection of old Commodore computer stuff in Cote St-Luc, which I expect will net me around 60$ …

… as well as a single bronzed shoe. I see these once in a while, and they’re always a fun find. Apparently the bronzed shoe business started in the 30s, and peaked in the 50s and 60s.

Here’s an optometry gizmo I found last week. I doubt it has much value, but it might make for a fun yard sale item.

Sometimes I find electronics that I never knew existed. For example, apparently Sandisk (who I know better as a USB key maker) produces a media player called the Sansa. It’s actually a pretty cool and compact device that also contains an FM receiver. Honestly, I almost overlooked this in the bag, but I guess my brain decided it was worth taking (sometimes, this process is only semi-conscious, especially when sorting through a lot of stuff). This model seems to go for around 50$, so it’s a nice get.

Otherwise, now that yard sale season is over I’m digging through my “to list on eBay” pile and finding some stuff I forgot about. I remember saving this collection of vintage pencils in NDG in the spring and thinking they were cool enough to merit further research. Most are labelled Canadian Pacific or A.W. Faber “Radium” copying ink. I doubt they’re worth a bunch, but I thought I’d auction them off regardless. If anyone has a Worthpoint account they could help me out by looking up what these Radium pencils sold for.

I found some vintage Barbies a little while back, and found them again while going through some stuff I have in the basement. There’s stuff I enjoy researching, like that Montreal Beavers pin, but the value of specific Barbies is not one of them. I don’t generally use auctions, but I probably will in this case as the Barbie market is fairly strong, and it would save me the time of figuring out a price. However, I don’t have them listed yet, so if you have any advice let me know.


I also brought another haul of e-waste to the recycling box. This batch, mostly old cell and portable phones, weighed just over 3kg, and overall I’ve recycled about 7.3kg of e-waste since I started keeping track earlier this year (not including the stuff I’ve sold for actual money). I like to think that I’m making a bit of a difference, and maybe by sharing this I can encourage more people to think about electronics recycling!

That’s all for now, but I do have a sales post ready to go, and lots of silver to talk about.

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