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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

What was your best garage/yard sale find?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (22110 points ) April 6th, 2014

Did you ever buy something at a garage or yard sale you thought looked nice but was otherwise cheap or had no value only to discover later it had some to great value? For instance, you purchased a piece of jewelry you thought was a nice piece of costume jewelry only to discover it was an heirloom piece with real gems that was worth way more than you paid? Or you purchased a small desk or something only to discover tucked in a hidden place or stuck in the back, collectible baseball cards, or something of great value. Ever have a situation similar to that in price you paid vs. value that was actually there, if so how favorable was it for you?

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24 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

A collection of Forgotten Realms and Dragon Lance novels.

johnpowell's avatar

I bought a trumpet at a garage sale since I had been wanting to learn how to play one for years. I paid 25 for it. I lived next to a music store and I went in a few days later asking about how to clean and oil it. I talked to the guy for a while explaining that I had never played and that I just wanted to fuck around. He said that when I give up I should sell it to him for 600.

He owned it a few months later.

Cruiser's avatar

I was cruising down a neighborhood street and spied a garage sale and hit the brakes….there on the driveway was a way old alligator skinned guitar case. Parked the ‘68 Camaro and strolled up to the guitar. I opened the clasps….lifted open the case to reveal a totally mint 1967 Gibson ES 125 that had a price tag of $20.00. I told the mom to throw in a golf bag and I would take it…she did and I had one of the coolest guitars I ever owned!

The free baby grand piano I got of of freecycle.org is a whole other story….

ibstubro's avatar

I bought a plate at a yard sale for $10 and sold it one week later for $6,000. I was unaware of the value, and since I didn’t know if it was old and it had a small chip on the bottom rim, I didn’t buy it the first time around. It was a community-wide sale and that was the 2nd place I visited, so I bought it on return trip.

We had a $5 or $10 gold piece fall out from under a hankie drawer when we were setting up an auction. We sold the coin and added it to the seller’s total.

Coloma's avatar

An amazing, carved, old chinese screen with tigers on one side and black and gold inlayed designs on the other. $20 bucks!

Seek's avatar

I bargain-shop as a regular course of action, but I don’t do it with an aim to make money (generally). I’m not interested in baseball cards or shiny jewelry. I just like books and practical things for my home.

When I was expecting my son, I cruised a few yard sales. I got the following from one guy, for $10:

A high chair
A glider chair with matching ottoman
A tall chest of drawers.
A vibrating bouncing-chair.
An infant swing.
An umbrella stroller.

All in brand-spanking-new condition. A little bit older models for all of them, but you could hardly tell they had been used. The man simply said “You look like you need them more than we do”, and proceeded to give me the best deal ever.

ibstubro's avatar

Awesome, @Seek. I might have done the same.

I make a keen exception between want and need.

filmfann's avatar

My sister bought a small box full of collectible things at an estate sale for $400. After the sale, someone offered her $1000 for one item from the box (not the one she was interested in), and my sister turned him down. The item my sister wanted could sell for $1500 today.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

A really cool Jackson Pollack – like painting.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Garage/yard sale? What is that? Garage and yard for sale?

No thanks. I’ve already have a big yard and I don’t have a car, therefore no garage needed!

Coloma's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Garage and yard sales are big things in America, people selling their unwanted stuff from their yards and garages. All you have to do is look in the paper or on C’sList and you can find dozens of yard sales every weekend.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Coloma Thanks for the facts :)

Actually I know a little about garage/yard sale. I know it’s some kind of second-hand stuff selling. But I just use my cultural ignorance to crack joke :D

kritiper's avatar

A super sucking Compact vacuum cleaner!

Symbeline's avatar

My town makes a big deal out of that stuff, every Summer there are designated dates where if you have stuff to sell, then you make a yard sale. There’s stuff out EVERYWHERE on lawns. I never really find anything I need, or want. It’s usually clothing and toys for kids. But just once…I found a pendulum clock. A small one, that gongs the hours and everything. (took off the gong, don’t want to wake up everyone in the building) It’s really pretty though, and has been hanging in my kitchen for years. You wind it up with a key and all. My greatest find, and the elderly dude who sold it to me gave it up for 35 dollars. Worth it.

Someone I know tried to convince me that in a flea market, they once found a pear of anguish.
An instrument of torture apparently used by inquisitors. Of course I wanted to see it, but apparently they sold it for 300 dollars to some museum guy. Maybe it’s true, but I so totally doubt this to no end. Like as if some ancient medieval artifact would just be loose out in some dude’s yard.
Part of the reason I doubt this is that the person knows I have an interest in medieval ages, torture and bleak nonsense such as…seemed kind of suspicious. Would be cool if it was true though.

Seek's avatar

Gasp!

I want a Pear! It’s my personal favorite torture device.

Symbeline's avatar

Me too, actually. (plus the donkey, that thing is evil) Apparently it’s the only torture device that had artwork on it. On all three spoon parts, drawings were carved of all three punishments this thing was meant to deal. That WOULD be some crazy thing to have sit on top of your TV or something haha.

Stinley's avatar

I get most of my stuff from car boot sales, ebay, freecycle, auctions and charity shops. We have furnished most of our house with such bargains. People also know we take stuff so offer us things they don’t want but can’t be othered selling/ taking to the dump/putting on freecycle (people don’t like strangers coming round their houses, I have found).

We have:
double beds, single beds, sofas, wardrobes, chests of drawers, kitchen table, chairs slow cooker, washing machine, dishwasher, garden furniture, swimming pool with pump and chemicals, china, cutlery, mugs, bed linen (only 100% cotton) pots and pans, racks, wood burning stove, fireside tools, plumbing parts and equipment, tools, pipes, conduit, electrical parts and tools, caravan, awning.

I could go on…

filmfann's avatar

My wife and I did find a Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner at a Goodwill store for $10.
We had it tuned up at a local shop for $60, and now we have a vacuum that sells for upwards of $2000.

Cruiser's avatar

My now 17 yr old kid for the last 3 years has made a small fortune finding mowers, snow blowers, chainsaws and weed whackers curbside and cheap at garage sales and cleaning and fixing them and selling them on Craigs list. He also has bought fixed and sold 3 vehicles and now owns a really nice Merc Marquis he drives and another he is modding out to race at the race track starting in 2 weeks.

kritiper's avatar

@filmfann You said it! The only vacuum better than a Compact is a Rainbow. But keep that water filter clean!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Actually I know a little about garage/yard sale. I know it’s some kind of second-hand stuff selling. But I just use my cultural ignorance to crack joke :D
I got it, if no one else did ;-)

@Symbeline That is not an instrument that would fly in this lagoon seeing who it was used on most.

Symbeline's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central It was used on homosexuals, women who committed adultery and people who spoke against the church. (apparently. some historians debate the uses of that device, some go to say it wasn’t even a torture thing) Either way historians and museums don’t have a whole lot of those, not too many were found…so that person telling me they just found one at a flea market…yeah right lol. A replica, maybe…but then they wouldn’t have got 300 bucks for it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I would chalk that up to urban legend or the “one that got away” type of thing.

Coloma's avatar

Oh…I forgot about the awesome redwood futon I got for my deck for $10.00!
I had it for years…here it is my avatar…Marwyn my goose loved it. haha
We’d hang out together and he liked being “up.” lol

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