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Weird and Unusual--Selling Roadside Trash Found on a 10-Mile Walk on eBay

Updated on April 8, 2013

My Rogue Gallery of Found Objects

A Dozen Items I Found on a 10-Mile Walk on April 2, 2013
A Dozen Items I Found on a 10-Mile Walk on April 2, 2013 | Source
Bic Lighter
Bic Lighter | Source
Two Kinds of Tire Tread
Two Kinds of Tire Tread | Source
Black Plastic Thingamajig
Black Plastic Thingamajig | Source
Mylar Party Favor
Mylar Party Favor | Source

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

I might have been a day late, but I was celebrating April Fool's in a big time way yesterday.

At 8:15 AM, my wife noticed something different about my walking attire.

"Why are you wearing a backpack?" she asked...but what she really meant to say was, "You look foolish wearing that!"

Which I might have just taken as a perfectly appropriate compliment, given the scenario playing out in my head at the time.

You see, when it comes to employing innovative ways to shake off the cobwebs in order to bring a freshness to my dual passions of selling on eBay and then writing about the human interest, behind the scenes stories on HubPages, I'm all for playing the fool.

I'm crazy like a fox that way.

This altered mental state approach to life has gotten me in all kinds of scrapes and messes in the past, but when I hit the target (and there's no one more surprised than yours truly when that happens!), the elation is unsurpassed.

So instead of conveniently making up something, I told my wife the truth.

"I'm writing an article," I began, "about finding things along the roadside that I will then attempt to sell on eBay."

She gave me that look again. The one that said, Oh, my life would have been so different had I made different choices as a young adult.

In thirty years of marriage, I've come to know that look so well. Ah, I love this woman!

I continued, albeit in vain. Husbands never cease to amaze their wives with their stupidity,.

"Honey, I'm in competition with another writer."

I could have continued for another fifteen minutes, but the compounded look of confusion, veiled disgust, and hands thrown up in the air stopped me dead in my tracks. Not a good prelude to a long distance walk.

So I kissed her on the cheek and did my best impression of Robin Hood proceeding along on his merry way.

I make no apologies about my Walter Mitty secret life. Imagining I'm off to new adventures works wonders for this 60+ man who refuses to grow old.

Items Were Found Between Points A and B on this Map

show route and directions
A markerCollege Place, WA -
College Place, WA, USA
get directions

B marker85458 Highway 11, Milton-Freewater, OR -
85458 Highway 11, Milton Freewater, OR 97862, USA
get directions

So How DID This Crazy Idea Come About?

I've always believed that things happen for a reason.

To that end, I recently happened to be reading an eBay-niche hub written by mommymay entitled, 10 STRANGE ITEMS Sold on Ebay!

Now, I've known for years that people have attempted to sell weird and unusual things on eBay. Many have actually been successful in their endeavors.

It was high time I got involved in a similar project.

So I mustered up my nerve and wrote to Heather (aka mommymay), inviting her to a joint venture in selling items we find on our respective walks.

To my delight, she responded favorably and enthusiastically.

Long story short, we decided to kick this project off in early April.

At first, I played around with the idea of making rules. But the more I thought and continue to think about it, the more I'm convinced that this should be as fun and frivolous as possible...therefore, there are no rules!

The friendly competition is simple. We want to see who can successfully sell something that was found on the roadside during a walk. If we both sell something, which one of us makes the biggest sale?

The ultimate goal, from a writer's perspective, is to then write about the experience on HubPages.

That's it! Whether elated win or epic fail, it won't matter. What matters is that we each give it our very best effort and follow through on this social and entrepreneurial experiment.

At the very least, it just might provide our HubPages peers and readers with an entertaining respite in the otherwise busy and complicated lives we lead.

Broken Orange Tail Light
Broken Orange Tail Light | Source
Broken Red Tail Liight
Broken Red Tail Liight | Source
Blue LEGO Wrench & Blue Marble
Blue LEGO Wrench & Blue Marble | Source

The Unusual Suspects

Before I share with you my list of roadside acquisitions, here is the sole caveat that I established:

No bottles or cans.

These are like the cliches of litter. In addition, a 10-mile walk wouldn't have been as enjoyable and recreational if I had to lug around a bunch of bottles and cans.

No, what I was after were things that were, well, different. The unusual suspects, you could say.

Without further ado, then, and in no significant order, here are the items I collected during my long walk to and from another state.

  • 1 torn women's right hand leather glove
  • 2 different types of tire tread
  • 1 plastic thingamajig
  • 1 empty Bic lighter
  • 1 mylar flash party favor
  • 1 smashed and empty container of Camel Snus smokeless tobacco
  • 1 broken tail light, orange
  • 1 Motorola cell phone panel
  • 1 broken tail light, red
  • 1 blue wrench-like item, perhaps something from a Legos set
  • 1 shiny blue marble

Motorola Cellphone Panel
Motorola Cellphone Panel | Source

Here's a Rough Draft of What I'd Write in My eBay Description

So here's the deal...

You've heard it said that one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Well, if that's true--and so often that notion is reinforced right here on eBay--then the roadsides of America must truly be mother lodes of extreme value.

I'd like to put that to the test, all the while making this a fun and win-win transaction for potential participants and spectators alike.

I write about eBay human interest stories on HubPages. In addition, I'm an avid walker. In a recent exchange with a fellow writer, we challenged each other to find items during our walks and post them on eBay.

Simultaneously, I will be writing an article about the status of our respective listings. I will also invite others to join us in this fun and social event.

Finally, 50% of any and all proceeds from my listing(s) will be donated to the Worthy Student Fund at the Name of the church goes here. It is my earnest prayer that you'll support this endeavor and have a really enjoyable experience as a result.

The Gauntlet is Thrown, mommymay!
The Gauntlet is Thrown, mommymay! | Source

Okay, mommymay, I've Thrown the Gauntlet Down!

The gauntlet has been ruthlessly thrown down, mommymay! GAME ON!

Well, okay, if you insist, I'll try that again...

mommymay, the torn women's leather glove has been tossed at your feet!

Are you UP for the challenge?

Camel's Snus Can, Reverse Side
Camel's Snus Can, Reverse Side | Source

A Poll For Our Fellow Hub Peers Who Go For Walks

Have you ever done anything silly, crazy, or bizarre on your walks?

See results

Roadside Find to Sell on eBay

Late Addition

Hub Cap I Found on the Side of the Road (Honest, Officer!)
Hub Cap I Found on the Side of the Road (Honest, Officer!) | Source

I Wish I Knew How to ID Hubcaps

Reverse Side of Hubcap
Reverse Side of Hubcap | Source

Stacking the Deck

Here's an update:

Got word via personal email that Heather (mommymay) picked up the gauntlet and is all the more jazzed and ready to counter with a left cross and a right uppercut. OUCH!

Bring it, Heather, is all I can say!

Just between you readers and me, I'm not taking any chances. Found this hubcap that's been lying in the same spot for weeks, so I believe it's abandoned and thus up for grabs in the public domain. I listed it today, April 6, 2013.

As with the other items, let's see what happens!

Comments

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    dotpattern,

    It was a bust! I took the listing off. It did help in driving traffic to my eBay site for a little while, but that was about it. That, and a few grins and stares. :)

  • dotpattern profile image

    Pat Moire 3 years ago from West Village, New York City

    So, What's the results?

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Brandi!

    I couldn't have done it without my friend and our writing peer, Heather. She's found her specialized niche(s) on eBay, and I'm so proud of her. Thanks for stopping by to share a smile or two with us! Aloha, and have a beautiful Saturday!

    ~Joe

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

    Joe, you crack me up! I've seen some pretty hysterical things for sale online but this is ultimately the best. A true honest approach to fun!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Kathryn! I'm glad you read both perspectives. It was lots of fun and definitely made my walks more interesting. To this day, I'm still looking for treasure. LOL! Have a great 4th of July as well, my friend!

    Aloha!

    Joe

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    Joe, this is an awesome article! Even if the items didn't sell, this was a unique and fun challenge, and I enjoyed reading about it. I read Mommymay's side of the story, too.

    Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday!

    ~ Kathryn

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @sallybea

    I'm embarrassed to report, now that I'm not drunk with the giddiness of cyber roadside rambling with our Hub peer, mommymay, that my items have still not sold. Yet I maintain their respective eBay listing in my online store, waiting for that one special individual to purchase them so I can write a nominal offering to a local church for a worthy student's education. Yes, I'm a regular Robin Hood, robbing from the discarded trash to give to the poor...a Norfolk dumpling in my own right. Ha-ha! Thank you for gracing my Hub with your presence, Sally! It's nice to make your acquaintance, young lady, and I hope to exchange Hubs with you in the months ahead. I'm so honored that you're following my work, and in a few minutes, I shall reciprocate. Aloha!

    Joe

  • sallybea profile image

    Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

    I think there is a saying about one man's trash being another one's treasure - which is another reason why I love car boots just as much as I enjoy selling some of the treasures I find on E-Bay. I will never take a walk along the roadside without thinking about this gem and the treasure I may find! Voted up.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    Thank you, Jim! I really appreciate how you acknowledge your fellow writers in this literary community. It's been cooler here, but I like it--70's in the daytime and 50's at night. Just right! A week or so ago, it was sweltering! Hope the weather and things in general are great for you and yours in Eugene!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Joe, your encompassing humanity shows through in your comments, always.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @David Trujillo

    Go for it, my friend! You can then make a hard copy of your Hub and bury it along with the other special treasures for your son to unearth someday! Wow! A very unique gift for a child!

  • David Trujillo profile image

    David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

    I haven´t yet. Reading your Hub gave me the idea.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @David Trujillo

    David, what a wonderful gift you are preparing for your son! That is so cool! Have you thought about writing a Hub about this? Maybe you already have, and I'm new to your site and just haven't seen it. If not, please consider writing this piece. Kinda like a futuristic "Pirates of the Caribbean--The Sacred Treasure of Medellin, Colombia!" Thanks for sharing this wonderful tidbit about your collection. I appreciate your stopping by to share in this Hub experience, David! Aloha!

  • David Trujillo profile image

    David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

    Great hub idea! I have a treasure chest with dear toys and strange items I have found on my walks. I plan to bury it so my baby boy can dig it up 10 years from now. It carries:

    A broken arm Heman that was my imaginary friend when I was little

    dozens of old colombian coins

    A white cowboy that I found on the beach of an island, the sea had brought it, who knows his story

    Thinking of continuing my collection

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    JayeWisdom

    Hello, Jaye! Nice to hear from you again. No luck yet on the hubcap, although the adage, Hope Springs Eternal, works for roadside finds as well. : ) The most important thing, as our peer extraordinaire, Radcliff, reminded me this morning, is that there was intrinsic value in the hub itself in terms of teaching and sharing with others, no matter how odd the presentation. I really appreciate YOUR human interest stories in both your hubs and your comments to other writers. I love the way you reach out and connect with others, Jaye. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity in sharing. Aloha!

    Joe

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Hi, Joe--Any luck selling the single hubcap? People usually search eBay and other online sales sites when they've lost or broken one item in a set and want to replace it inexpensively.

    I recently sold a retro (mid-century) "Melmac" pitcher and two cups in avocado green and white on etsy.com in the "Vintage" category. The woman who bought it wrote me that she was glad to find them to go with the THREE matching cups she already had. The ironic thing about this exchange is that I actually had THREE of the cups, but only listed two (thinking no one would want to buy an uneven number of cups). I think I made her day when I sent her that extra cup for free! Now she has the pitcher and a set of six matching cups. Ah...the surprises of online selling.

    Good luck selling your roadside finds!

    Voted Up, Funny and Interesting

    Jaye

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Mommymay

    Hi, Heather! I know what you mean. When you consider all the weird stuff that have sold, our items look pretty tame. I really like what you did with those cones, and I'm hopeful that they'll sell. I'm waiting for that 2 AM crowd leaving the bar to bid on mine...trouble is, they can't seem to focus on the BUY button. LOL!

  • Mommymay profile image

    Heather May 4 years ago from Ohio

    This is getting frustrating isn't it Joe! I have got to get the picture for mine fixed. Not sure what happened. Ebay is getting to be funny this week so I think we are getting close! If not...we may need to up the anty!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Relationshipc

    Good morning, my friend! So far, no takers, but I'm relisting it faithfully! It was a fun and silly project and yet a great way to bring a smile to our literary community, and Heather (mommymay) is such a great sport! Thank you so much for your kind comments! Aloha! Joe

  • Relationshipc profile image

    Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    Haha, I love it. I hope it sells...I have my fingers and toes crossed - it would make such an interesting business and personal story.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @ignugent17

    Hello, my friend! I'm not sure if FUN is the right word. It's a look, alright, but one that makes me want to tuck my tail! Ha-ha! The main thing is that I'm having a blast, and even if mommymay trounces me with her pine cones, this whole venture was worth its weight in exercise and entertainment value. Thank you for having fun with us! Aloha!

    Joe

  • profile image

    ignugent17 4 years ago

    Your wife must be having fun while looking at you. Thanks for sharing your exciting adventure.

    Voted up and interesting.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Lisawilliamsj

    I tell you, Lisa, I sure hope there ARE results, or I won't hear the end of it from Heather aka mommymay!

    Even if nothing comes of it, I certainly had a lot of fun. So far, I haven't gotten a termination notice from eBay, so it's all good! : )

    Thanks so much for taking time to participate in my hubs. I really appreciate you, Lisa! Have a wonderful evening and a productive week!

    Aloha!

    Joe

  • Lisawilliamsj profile image

    Lisa Williams 4 years ago

    This is fantastic! Everyone should do something fun ad adventures in their lives, once in a while! I can't wait to see the results!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Crystal Tatum

    Hmm...now that you mention it...

    On second thought, I don't want the folks at PETA parading around my house with protest signs and blaring at me with horns and angry megaphone speeches. : )

  • Crystal Tatum profile image

    Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

    I just hope one of you doesn't try to auction off a dead deer!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Crystal Tatum

    Hey, Crystal!

    The Hawaiian word for it is either LOLO (stupid) or PUPULE (crazy--with accent on second syllable). Even so, Heather and I are always up for a challenge, especially when that challenge comes in the form of a healthy competition. I can't wait to see what she counters with!

    Thanks for joining in the fun, Crystal!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Crystal Tatum

    Aw, thanks, Crystal! My only regret is that even more people will know I'm crazy! LOL!

  • Crystal Tatum profile image

    Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

    Oh, and I'm sharing this, by the way.

  • Crystal Tatum profile image

    Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

    This has the potential to be really fun! I can't wait to see the results. You guys are too brave!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @bdeguilio

    Hey, Bill! You're absolutely spot on, my friend! I love good challenges, but this one certainly takes the cake. I must've been high on endorphins when I conceived it, but now that Heather (aka mommymay) has picked up the gauntlet/glove, I'm compelled to see this to its hopefully more sweet than bitter end. Thanks for your loyal support, even when I'm at my silliest! : )

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @kashmir56

    Tongue in cheek, of course, but if this catches fire, I might make enough to treat you to the next Led Zeppelin shindig at Concert Hall in Boston! Thanks for your encouraging and supportive comments, my friend!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Radcliff

    Going up against mommymay, I'm convinced I'll make a fortune...cookie, that is. She's certainly a tough (oh, there I go again, being repetitive) cookie. If I've made you smile, the knowledge of it has made my day. Thank you for your loyal support, Liz!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Bill!

    I would absolutely love that! Have much to share with you that an ordinary human being would be loathe to understand...but not you, Bill...ACCEPTANCE is your middle name. I look forward to making that connection someday. One of the sweetest joys of recovery is the ability to genuinely laugh out loud, and I'm sincerely laughing a lot these days, my friend, as I know you are, too, in your own special and genuine way. Thank you for being an engineer of bridges!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    Ha-ha! Thanks, Jim! I have a strong hunch you've got quite a sense of humor as well. As you can see from Heather's comments, she has picked up the gauntlet/glove and is ready to engage in roadside conflict with yours truly. I love it! On another note, Jim, because of you and your wonderful reputation as a respected and contributing citizen of Hubsville, I had the distinct pleasure of connecting with billybuc yesterday. He's an amazing human being, and I daresay one more prime example of why BABY BOOMERS RULE! : )

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Mommymay

    Oh, Heather, you are certainly a worthy competitor! By the way, that chair you mentioned...if it's still there, you can haul it home in your car at some point. That'd be awesome to list! I had a backpack with a plastic grocery bag enclosed. But for big ticket items, I think it's perfectly fitting for you to use your car. If you encounter something on the side of the road while walking, its' fair game! (And I'm not talking about roadkill!)

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Very creative Joe. I am very curious as to how this turns out. I think you have your work cut out for you to sell these treasures :) I really have to admire your creative genius. And it sounds as though the walking is going great. Keep it up.

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend another great adventure you led my on while i was reading this awesome article . Wishing you both luck in the eBay trash sell contest . :-)

  • Radcliff profile image

    Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

    Your writing always makes me smile! I'm really looking forward to following this challenge. I hope you make a fortune! :)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Hilarious my friend! This is a classic challenge and I can hardly wait for the results. I love your attitude of refusing to grow old. I spent far too many year denying life. Now I'm grabbing it by the tail and whirling that sucker for all my might. :)

    I happen to love Walla Walla, so don't be surprised if I show up in your town one of these days. We'll go on a walk together.

    Aloha,

    bill

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    This will be another one to watch play out. What a strange and interesting thing to do, Joe. I will look up mommymay and she what she is up to on eBay. You sir, are a character who also happens to be a fine writer with a sterling sense of humor.

  • Mommymay profile image

    Heather May 4 years ago from Ohio

    Oh Joe...It is on like donkey kong! I have been searching the streets and fighting back the temptation to pick up items until the 1st! I should have my rebuttal piece prepared and my items selected shortly. Gauntlet and gloves are picked up and accepted!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Rajan!

    After reading your most recent hub about memory, I may very well have to lend a helping hand and send Ms. Heather a link to this hub of mine. : ) This, of course, is a fun and recreational project on one hand, but it's also a sociological exercise to gauge the extent to which people will go to buy and sell on eBay. There are times when I still shake my head at the incredible exchanges that occur. Still, I hope to someday present a humble donation to the Worthy Student Fund at this little church about four miles from my home that I used to attend. That will happen regardless of the fate of this particular auction, but it sure would be nice to present an object lesson that illustrates how the Divine values that which man turns his back on. Thanks for your loyal support, Rajan! Joe

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Joe, this is seriously interesting. And I'd like too keep myself informed of the progress of this, shall we say a healthy competition.

    Wish you all the luck for selling this exciting stuff!

    I wonder if Heather has a hub on the things she collected on her walk. I'll check this out.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, WND!

    We shall see...this is one of the most harebrained projects I've come up with yet. Ha-ha! I'm staying open for any possibility, though. Having good clean fun with roadside trash has an ironic ring. : )

    Thank you for your very positive input, my friend. I hope you and the furry friends are doing well and that you have a wonderful rest of the week and a fun weekend!

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Oh this is great! Best of luck to you and mommymay in this trashy venture! I believe I did read her hub on weird stuff on ebay. Isn't it amazing what people will buy. I really have to dig around in my house, packrat that I am. Not so much from the trashside, but just stuff I should have trashed.

    That was indeed an exciting walk. And a great way to make America beautiful by picking up discarded stuff.

    Hoping this is a great money maker for you.