From gold rings to 'this thingy,' Moncton senior earns $65K in online auction


Meet Barbara Elias.

She likes to make quilts out of old T-shirts, volunteer and garden. 

She also collects and auctions just about anything to pay heating bills and buy clothes for people in need.

"It's quite a good thing," said the 87-year-old. "We've raised a lot of money for charity and we help people too." 

Three years ago, Elias took over Moncton Auctions for Charity. It's an online auction site where people donate items they no longer want.

She was asked to take it over from someone she knew. 

"Like an idiot, I said 'Yes.'"  

The site has grown ever since. And she's already capped $65,000 in donations for the Humanity Project, a non-profit group that provides meals for people struggling to get by.

"It's just a fun thing that I do," Elias said from her home in Moncton.

She has sold everything, including purses, coins, jewelry, and 40-year-old Avon bottles. Last year, she sold a six-foot-long toy car.

"Everything is very valuable to us," she said. 

Donations from old boyfriends 

One woman donated a gold ring that was sold for several hundred dollars.

"She said, 'I want to get rid of it because it's from an old boyfriend.'"

Another woman donated $500 worth of laser treatments for people to bid on.

Sometimes Elias has no idea what she's selling. That's when she refers to the item as "this thingy."  

"And then people will say, 'Oh, Barbara, that's a blah, blah, blah.'"

In the summer, she keeps her merchandise in a baby barn. But come winter, it's scattered all over her house — mostly in the kitchen and on the stairs, in the hallway, and some in the basement, too.