Tag Archives: thrift

But you were doing so well!

I had a great run last Monday in large part because of stuff I found at this pile of trash. The odd thing is that in previous weeks these guys (who were moving, the house was recently sold) had been pretty good about leaving free junk on the curb for people to take. One week there was a bottle of ant killer with “free” written on it, and another time there was a larger pile of free stuff including clothes and kitchenware. Nothing too exciting really, but the gesture was nice.

Given that information I didn’t expect to see much here, maybe some pantry remains or garage junk. But I ended up saving some decent stuff from those black garbage bags, some of which was better than anything at the free pile. Maybe they just ran out of time, or maybe one person in the household was more generous than the others.

None of the watches are very exciting but they’ll make me a few bucks at future yard sales. That watch in the middle, below the camera is interesting mainly because there’s a couple silver charms on the band, including an old silver dime. The iPod works great and is actually loaded with some pretty good tracks. The Walkman is a nice vintage one, perhaps one of the earlier models – I expect it to go for around 40-50$.

Otherwise, there’s some pretty solid costume jewelry here. Those earrings at top right look really 90s and are made of metal; I think they would do well on Etsy. Otherwise, the gold-toned costume jewelry is pretty nice. A couple pieces are signed but I can’t remember who by. The earrings on the left are signed Fernella’s Jools.

I saved a whole bunch of makeup. I thought a lot of this was new, but it seems whoever owned it just had the habit of putting the bottle back in its original box after they used it. Still, the brands are good and there’s a lot of life left in some of the bottles. I’ll sell them at a yard sale, but I’ll wait until I have a helper to put them out – I don’t really know anything about makeup, and feel awkward selling it to people. The Chanel rechargeable perfume bottle is a nice get, it’s around 35% full and worth around 30$.

The iPhone 4S seems to work just fine. That 20$ card came in that Chanel sleeve and I’m guessing it was part of some customer appreciation event. The card is still in plastic, so maybe it’s still got the 20$ on it. Otherwise, I saved a bunch of coins, a portable phone without the base, and a nice costume jewelry necklace (though I have no idea how it’s supposed to work).

What really made by day though was the finer bits of jewelry. I saved three pieces of 10k gold jewelry weighing 6.45g as well as some silver. The gold altogether weighs 6.45g and is worth about 135$ for scrap alone. However, they’re nice pieces in good condition and if anyone is interested send me an email – I’d ask a bit over the spot price for each.

Otherwise, I saved the usual miscellaneous random junk including a couple power bars, an old (ancient, perhaps) iBook laptop, some incense, a few figural candles, a sock full of baseballs…

Oddly, each ball seems to have been signed by Dusty Baker in 2011, when he was managing the Cincinnati Reds. I have no way of knowing if the balls are legit, though the signatures do look like his. Regardless, it’s not like Babe Ruth signed them, and the value is pretty limited regardless – maybe 10$ a ball without a certificate of authentication, which wouldn’t be worth getting for low-value items like these. Regardless, they’re kind of neat.

My night was further buoyed by a couple other finds not far away. Another sold house produced a bit more jewelry, including a few more gold pieces. It’s uncommon that I find gold once in a night, let alone twice. The items I know to be gold here (the pinkish earrings on the left could be rose gold, but I can’t see any hallmarks so I won’t count them) weigh 4.4g and thus are worth around 90$ for scrap. But again, if anyone has a particular interest in one of these pieces let me know (unfortunately, the earrings at top right are missing stones and thus best suited for scrap). I also saved some silver, including a pair of earrings signed Ti Sento which seems to be a well known brand.

Last but not least, I found a collection of vintage colognes in front of yet another house. I think the owners were preparing to do some renovations as I saw a little pile of wood out front last week. Anyways, most aren’t too exciting. However, the Ralph Lauren colognes are fairly old – the spray is original formula (dated 1978), while the other is either original or not far from it. I bet I could get around 60-70$ for the splash and 40-50$ for the spray. However, I could elect to keep one of them – it actually smells very good, kind of like pine. Very distinct.

Otherwise, the finds have been pretty good lately. Some guy got really mad at me for trash picking today, in fact he might have been one of my top three angry gooms (get out of my stuff!) of all time. But oh well, that’s just something that happens from time to time. It’s too bad though because he’s been throwing out interesting vintage stuff for weeks, and now it might be hard to go back if he tosses anything else. We’ll see what happens I guess.

I’m thinking of doing a sale tomorrow on Bernard / Waverly near that school if anyone wants to come. I’d probably be out from around noon til five, perhaps a bit earlier or later depending. Edit: I’m actually going to take the day off instead. Maybe next week!

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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Mousely Crew / Garage

I forgot to mention in my last post this box of dolls, figurines, and other miniatures I found in Westmount. I was pretty busy at the time and I only got around to looking at the things inside this week. I knew the box held some very cute figurines, but as it turned out it contained some minor treasures as well.

As you can see, many of the figurines were wrapped in toilet paper. The box looked like it had been tossed without much of a thought.

There were lots of mice, but also plenty of other animals.

A lot of the fabric figures are kind of dirty but maybe someone could clean them. I think a bunch of them are supposed to be Christmas tree decorations, they have green string coming out of their backs. It’s a shame that both those rabbits in the back right are missing a part of their ear – fortunately, they still look nice viewed from their profile. I found a similar rabbit a while ago, I forget who designed them but I remember that they are collectible in good condition.

Otherwise, there’s a Wade cat figurine, a few other vintage cat figurines, and a stone mouse marked as being made in Italy.

My favourites are the extra small pieces. I wish the photo turned out better, but you can still get a better look by clicking on the picture and zooming in. The dragon-like creatures on the left might be made by the same company that did the rabbits above, the glaze is quite similar. Otherwise, there’s lots of other animals here, and many of them are vintage as well.

I did some research on the little metal mouse at bottom, second from the right, which had Austria stamped on the bottom. As it turns out it was designed by Walter Bosse, a noted mid-century craftsman. 1stDibs has one for sale at 250$. The prices at 1stDibs are super marked up (it’s a website for interior designers and the super rich) but I still think I can get at least 50$ for it.

If you know anything about any of the other figurines let me know! I’m not really an expert on the topic.

There was also a tiny Windsor Star newspaper, made around the time of Pope John Paul I’s death in 1978. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

Inside the box were several bracelets. None are wildly spectacular, but the two on top are made from sterling silver.

My favourite find might be this thimble, which is made from 10k gold. This is the first time I’ve found one! It’s worth close to 100$ in scrap, but I should be able to sell it for a bit more than that.

Otherwise, I mentioned in my last post that I was looking for a garage. Well, I finally found one. It’s not too far away either, in the Plateau near Laurier Park. I’m still going to use my other storage place, but this one has a few features the other doesn’t, like electricity, running water, and lights. It’ll be a lot easier to take photos of my finds which should lead to more garbage making the blog! I also like that I can easily test my electric finds and clean some of the dirty ones, making for better and more organized yard sales.

The rent is 200$ a month, but I’ll be sharing it with my friend who wants to repair and bring new life to largely dumpster dived furniture, some of which I’ve found or we’ve found together. Once she repairs a few pieces I’ll post some before and afters so that you can see the transformation!

It’s going to be a bit of work cleaning it up and getting it set up, but I’m excited to have a space like this at my disposal.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com

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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Colgate’s Kit Bag

I came across some good trash while biking on Sunday night. Inside these boxes and bags was a large collection of reel-to-reels, cassettes, and videotapes, big enough that I had to go get the car to pick them up. The hope with old recordings is that they contain something that doesn’t exist anywhere else, for example the audio from a live show in the 70s. It’s not clear that these tapes contain anything interesting, but fortunately I’m in contact with someone specifically interested in preserving that kind of stuff. I gave them to him, and I’ll let him figure out if there’s anything on there worth digitizing. It’s quite possible that these tapes aren’t too interesting, just recordings from the radio and so on, but I figured it was the worth the effort just in case.

Regardless, the collection was pretty impressive and very well organized. It must have taken thousands of hours to compile.

Those recordings are unlikely to benefit me financially. Fortunately, one of the bags I brought home was filled with old electronic bric-a-brac.

This c.1960s Sony cassette recorder with speakers needs servicing, but should still sell for around 45$ on eBay.

Here’s some electronic doohickeys. The Ortofon STM-72 transformers are actually worth pretty good money. I have one that looks to be new in box, and one that was loose in the bag. The latter, which I listed as “untested” already sold for 75$ + shipping. Believe it or not, I should be able to make money from the old batteries as well – some collectors like having the original battery pack and will pay to have them rebuilt. Here’s one that sold for 20$ with shipping.

I found two high frequency drive units made by a Radford Acoustics Ltd. I didn’t find much about them online, and don’t really know what they’re worth. If you know anything about this, please share your thoughts in the comments!

Inside this box was an Ortofon SL-15 Mk II moving coil cartridge for a record player. Ortofon makes pretty high-end cartridges, some of which sell for over a thousand dollars on eBay. I found another one of these for sale for about 400$, but I don’t know if that’s a realistic price or even if mine works. Mine does has a needle, which I’m pretty sure is a good thing. Again, I don’t know much about cartridges so let me know if you have any useful info!

My favourite find from this spot might be this pocket-sized 1950s Sony TR-610 transistor radio. Old transistor radios are very collectible, and this little guy should sell for somewhere between 100-150$.

I’ll be keeping an eye on that spot in the curb. If I’m lucky they’ll toss some more vintage electronics!

Otherwise, I happened upon a heap of bags in Westmount. Most of the stuff was trash, but I did spot a small shopping bag that held a few intriguing items. All the pieces at bottom middle are marked as being 10k gold, and together they’re worth around 150$ for their weight. I couldn’t figure out what the “For Sisterhood Service” pin was for, maybe you can help me with that?

The most interesting might be the piece marked 1936, which is an old Radio Orphan Annie decoder. The radio show was apparently sponsored by Ovaltine, who gave out these badges in exchange for proofs of purchase, and at the end of each show there would be a code that only the owner of a badge could crack. I just noticed too that there’s a secret compartment in the back (unfortunately, it was empty). These seem to go for around 25$ on eBay.

The watch, a “Tradition” with 17 jewels is also nice. It runs well and is probably worth about 25$.

I also saved a couple of Estee Lauder perfumes. They already sold for 12$ to a local buyer.

I’ve been going back to the spot where that kid asked me to leave his trash alone. I haven’t seen him again, so maybe he has better things to do with his time. Anyways, I haven’t found anything mind blowing but I did save four large toy cars there last week. I sold three for 2$ each at my most recent yard sales (I did a very casual one with a friend on Saturday that lasted about an hour, and one on Sunday that I didn’t announce because there wasn’t much new stuff – it was really windy and a bit of a failure for a variety of reasons). The only car left is the red one, which I’d guess is a Corvette.

Elsewhere, I found a comb with a silver top; …

… a large collection of new tennis balls, some of which have now been chewed apart my my friend’s dog;

… and an old Sanyo B&W portable TV. I don’t know if anyone will want this, but I figured I’d put it on Kijiji and see what happens.

My mom was in town this weekend. We had a nice visit, and she also helped me organize some bags of sewing stuff that I saved a few weeks back. I don’t really know much about sewing but I took them thinking that the stuff might appeal to someone more crafty than I. All in all we filled three tubs with fabrics, ribbon, lace, sewing patterns, and lots of other sewing-related bric-a-brac. Hopefully someone takes interest in this at one of my future yard sales!

I like finding sewing stuff because there’s often neat little surprises mixed in. This WWII-era “Colgate’s Kit Bag” would have been used to hold a soldier’s personal items. After wartime, it was used to store a small collection of buttons. It’s worth around 30$ on eBay.

Let’s finish with this cool vintage patchwork quilt. I actually found this at a great spot I’ve been picking at in Villeray – I’ll share more finds from there soon. My mom told me it was both hand and machine stitched and guessed that it was from the 1940s. It smells a bit like basement and needs a little TLC but should be reparable. I gave it to my friend in exchange for helping with the sale.

Montreal’s big moving day is at the end of the month, so I expect to be pretty busy for the next little while! I may do another sale this weekend as my neighbours said they were interested in collaborating. If so, I’ll let you know.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com

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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