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Erin Huffstetler

What's Your Best Ever Yard Sale Find?

By May 29, 2009

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Those too-good-to-be-true finds are what make yard saling so fun. So, tell us ... what's your best yard sale find to date? For me, it's a vintage farm table that I scored for only $15. Insane!

Photo © Flickr user thefiveten77

May 29, 2009 at 11:16 am
(1) Emily says:

We found a beautiful 8-person china set for $20, my hubby dickered them down to $10. They’re selling on eBay for $30 PER SETTING. Woo-hoo!

May 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm
(2) Brandy says:

I am a photogragher and love to find antique photo equipment. One day I found a very old 35mm camera for only $2! It had ‘patent applied for’ etched on the bottom. The photo historian that took a look at it estimated it at “priceless”. The coolest thing—it is over 100 years old and STILL WORKS!! I really do use it!

May 29, 2009 at 11:40 pm
(3) DC says:

Mine wasn’t at a garage sale, but at an auction instead. We were expecting our first child and I purchased a car seat for 75 cents, a wind up swing for $1, a changing table for $1.50, a baby carrier for a quarter and a wooden height chair for $2. This was 30 years ago and car seats were not required. Most people didn’t have them because they were so expensive at the time. These items sold at the end of an auction. I also got an older ironing board for 75 cents. My husband thought it was great that I got almost everything we needed for under $10.

May 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm
(4) Bambie says:

I bought a Prada purse for $1! The lady thought it was a knock off. I didn’t know it was real till a friend told me.

May 31, 2009 at 10:01 am
(5) Larry says:

My wife and I paid $20.00 for 5 pieces of Royal Copenhagan fluted dinnerware at a yard sale. Research on the internet showed the pieces had a value of over $800.00 I also purchased a signed/numbered print for $75.00 that had a secondary market value of $1,000.00.

June 1, 2009 at 12:15 am
(6) Relishing Life says:

Actually, I just scored my best yard sale find on Friday. I found a twisty tube slide in really good condition for our kids’ playset for $50!!! We were hoping to go in with their grandparents for both of the boys’ birthdays this summer and buy them one (new – who would have ever thought that we would EVER see one at a yard sale???) for $500 + tax!! The kids are so excited about their early birthday present!

June 1, 2009 at 3:09 pm
(7) Chef H says:

I bought a clay pot for 1$ and sold it for 15,000.00 . That was my best find, ever.

June 2, 2009 at 11:23 pm
(8) bajacalla says:

I found an old comic book in a thrift store for $10. it turned out to be a first edition Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and my husband sold it on eBay for $7000. the kicker is – I *hate* yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores! I only went then because I was stuck in another town and had to amuse myself while my husband was in meetings there all day!

June 3, 2009 at 2:12 am
(9) Amiee L. says:

I found a huge Fostoria punch bowl w/ the glass ladle. I paid 10.00 for it, when I did a search on ebay to see what they were selling for, they were going for well over 300.00. Best thing of all, is it matches the dinnerware that my Grandmother collected for years, so I was able to add to the collection!

June 3, 2009 at 2:14 am
(10) Cortney says:

I found a set of SailorMoon DVDs first season for $2.00. It was in like new condition. I turned around and sold it for over $300 on Amazon!

June 3, 2009 at 7:48 am
(11) Carol McKellar says:

Our best yard sale find was when we found an almost new sink and toilet for an extra bathroom for only $10. It was so perfect that I think they just didn’t like the blue color at the time.

June 3, 2009 at 8:23 am
(12) Sam Gray says:

It wasn’t a yard sale- it was through Freecycle.org- a website all over that people offer things they don’t want anymore for free.
It advertised a Mantle clock. When I arrived, it was a beautiful old Grandfather clock. I had it appraised by my CLock Guy at $5000.00! THe only problem was it didn’t run well. I got new “insides” for $600.00 and now it runs like a charm! What a STEAL!!!!

June 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm
(13) Margaret says:

My best find was actually at an estate auction. I bought an old mahogany empire-style sideboard for $220 – when I got it home, I found $2,000 of collectible coins in a compartment behind a drawer. Oh, and I love the sideboard, too!

June 3, 2009 at 3:39 pm
(14) Rosemary says:

I was looking at a pile of children’s books to give my grandchildren. Under the table was a box of old Nancy Drew hardbacks. I remembered buying those for my daughter when she was young and enjoyed collecting them. Upon closer inspection I found my daughter’s name printed inside the book in the own hand.
I told the seller what a find I made and she told me that she had several others with my daughter’s name in them, but they were sold at a previous yard sale. She gave me this old book without any charge and a big hug. My daughter was delighted to get this book for her twin girls after thirty-five years.

June 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm
(15) Kris says:

I bought an electric scooter for $100, then found out it was on a recall at Target. I took it to Target, told them I had purchased it at a garage sale, and still walked out with the $200 original purchase price in my pocket!

June 3, 2009 at 5:24 pm
(16) kate says:

im from long island where there is a series of small towns all right next to one another. my friend irene went yard saleing and found a childrens catholic missle. she was chuckling showing her 8 year old this was just like the missle she used as a child. looking through it she saw my brothers name. she bought it for .25 as a joke. it had been his he remembered it because of the cartoons he drew in it. small wonderful world!!

June 3, 2009 at 7:22 pm
(17) flo says:

I’ve wanted a Hoosier Cabinet since I was a teenager, but they were always too far out of our price range. At an estate sale a few months ago, I found one with its original white paint and hardware for $30.00. The cheapest we had seen one was 300, and it was in pieces. These usually run in the thousands. It proudly sits in my kitchen, doing what it should, holding my pans and appliances.

June 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm
(18) Marty says:

My best find was at a Thrift Store. I bought a used word game for $1.00 and it contained seven Chinese textiles, including a hand embroidered wedding collar that was part of a dowery. I had that appraised by an Asian art specialist who said it was worth $500.00.

June 3, 2009 at 11:39 pm
(19) Teresa says:

I bought several fishing poles and 2 huge FULL boxes of tackle and other accessories at a garage sale for $10. The owner of the fishing equipment had to work and let his sister-in-law take over. When I brought it all home my soon to be hubby almost fell over when he told me there was at least $500.00 worth of stuff there. I LOVE garage sales!

June 4, 2009 at 2:24 am
(20) Harriett says:

I had a friend who liked to take me along when she went yard-sale hunting. Why? because I had really good luck; I’d say I was looking for some particular thing and more often than not, I’d find it. At one sale we stopped and I saw and bought some really nice drumsticks for a snare drum. She laughed and said what are you going to do with those? At the next yard sale, 20 minutes later and across town, I found a snare drum, peeling paint on the barrel, but otherwise in good playing condition. Of course I bought it. I had a son who had always wanted a drum, he had told me. Then there was the time, after buying an electric organ I went to a yard sale the next weekend, and found and bought a 3-foot long box of sheet music at the first yard sale we came to. It took two of us to carry that box to the car, but what a wonderful blessing! Some of it was from the early years of the 20th century,and it was all playable, a little battered around the edges, but otherwise in good condition, and some of the songs were hilarious. As recreation goes, yard-sale hunting beats movies, spas, bars and dining-out for price, and for healthy outdoor activity!

June 4, 2009 at 5:08 am
(21) Jim says:

I personally don’t go to yard (garage) sales as I’m always working when they’re held. But my mother found a near perfect piece of furniture right down the street from us on our moving day. She paid for it, or rather them (paid of coffee tables), so I don’t know what she paid. But the wood matched the decor of our new manufactured home. So it was much appreciated.

June 4, 2009 at 8:39 am
(22) Kathy says:

I found a new sheathed Wusthoff chef knife for $1.00 and sold it on Ebay for $90.

June 4, 2009 at 1:39 pm
(23) lady_yeakley says:

We bought a box full of DVDs that had never been opened (still shrink wrapped!), all current titles, for $1.00 each. There were none that were released earlier than 2001, and ALL were still sealed in original plastic!

June 5, 2009 at 2:05 am
(24) Randy says:

I found a Ethan Allen $700.00 Cherry Coffee table for $75.00. Brand New….had Testor’s lime green model paint spilled on it. Took mineral spirits to the paint, & it was clean. The seller was a client of my printing business, & agreed to take payment in the form of an order that was needed. My actual cost was $35.00…..not bad Huh? Seller thought it was ruined….I feel sorry for the son whom spilled the paint.

June 24, 2009 at 7:20 pm
(25) Georgetta Ruth says:

My best find was at a thrift shop. I found a alligator(green)purse for 75 cents. Turns out the purse retail value was $350.00. I hit the jackpot.

October 16, 2009 at 9:14 am
(26) Justin Z says:

Found a 2nd Gen 8gb iPod Touch, lightly used, for $10.00 (that’s not a typo). Only thing wrong: missing a charging cord, which I got on eBay for <$2.00

January 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm
(27) Jen Jen says:

I was at a church sale and these little kids were selling stuff, there wasn’t much left and I picked up this black ring. I bought it for 50 cents. When I got home I saw a faint letter on the inside of the ring. I took some silvo polish and lo and behold, the black ring was a beautiful band made of sterling silver and 10kt gold. I was also at a Salvation Army last week and bought a brand new dress (original tag still on $169.99 Jones New York). The Sally Ann was selling it for $14.99.

February 5, 2010 at 9:15 am
(28) Robert says:

I found a DOD 31 band per channel equalizer that works perfectly for $5. This thing costs around $300 new. It goes well with my model 25 Marantz receiver that someone GAVE me and which also works perfectly. It is amazing what you can find if you keep your eyes and ears open.

April 15, 2010 at 1:37 am
(29) Heather says:

It wasnt at a garage sale persay, but it was through craigslist. It was a vintage go-kart frame. The guy had no idea what he had, nor did my husband when he bought it. It wasnt until my husband posted pics. of the kart frame on some karting forums that we started getting lots of messages from people saying it was worth about $2000!! We bought it for $40.. and still have it! Sometimes, having the item is better than having the cash and story.

I guess the best true garage sale find was when a girl was selling all of her NAME BRAND (expensive name brand) clothes for only 10 cents each! She said it was to pay for a surgery her mom had to have, but I was leery to believe her. Who in their right mind would sell such expensive clothes for THAT cheap when she apparently needed money for something so important?! I got 2 trash bags full of clothes, which only came to $4!

April 28, 2010 at 2:30 am
(30) Beth says:

My best find was on Craigs List…or finds I should say. Always in the free section too I might add -you just have to jump on it. The two best things I’ve found for free (minus gas to pick them up) was an antique mahogany dresser (needed to be refinished on the outside but otherwise everything else was fine) and a Delta table saw (yes for free!). I wasn’t sure if the saw was worth it at first, but I had a friend look at it who said the previous owner had the wrong size belt on the motor – I replaced it with the correct size and it works like a charm….I also learned a lot about table saws in the process and now I know that my free “I don’t know if it works very well but you can have it” saw is worth about $1200.

May 14, 2010 at 5:49 pm
(31) Kara says:

I bought a tarnished daisy silver necklace for 50. I brought it home, polished it and the little tag near the clasp said Tiffany & Co Paloma Picasso. I haven’t taken it in to get an estimate on its value yet, but I intend to do so. As of now I found one online that is not as good of condition as mine for $250. So I can imagine that mine will be worth that if not more. The webpage I’ve attached is the one I referenced above.

May 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm
(32) Roseann says:

Mine was actually from an estate sale this past November. For $900.00 everything I purchased was in perfect condition. A Drexel Heritage sofa and wing chair, an antique wooden chair, a wind up seth thomas wall clock, service for 12 of royal doulton dinnerware with the completer set and cake trays, and an antique arch top cherry wood canopy bed for my guest bedroom. After I looked everything up on the internet, the worth was $8,000.00. My home is beautiful and I am extremely happy!

June 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm
(33) lawrence says:

I bought all of my furniture at garage sales and thrift shops. My 2 favorite pieces are a cherry red china cupboard I got for $50.00 that is in my kitchen for extra storage of dishes and linen(also found at thrift shops and garage sales). I also hava a 50′s blonde bedroom set I got for $100.00. It fits the space perfectly and came with head and footboards,2 nightstands and a 6 drawer dresser. The large mirror is a dumpster find and a pair of lamps I got at a Village Thrift for $6.00 for both. I just LOVE junking for treasures !!!!

June 23, 2010 at 9:16 am
(34) Marguerite says:

I found the neatest sugar container at a yard sale. I paid maybe $1 for it. It is like the glass ones in restaurants, except it has a spout at the bottom. You tilt it and it measures out a certain amount that’s just right for my coffee. No one has ever seen one before. I tried to use it at our office meetings, but newcomers can’t figure it out, and unscrew the top to spoon the sugar out. But, I love it!

July 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm
(35) Lena says:

A $2,000 TV for $175 and the entire Twilight series (Mint Condition—all hard back except one) for $5

July 9, 2010 at 2:54 am
(36) pytawny says:

I bought a pair of Manolo Blahnik brown suede boots for $5. I thought that maybe they were knockoffs but I thought $5 was a pretty cheap mistake to make. I looked them up on the internet and they are currently selling at Bergdorf Goodman for $1,295!

July 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(37) John M. says:

Going through my great grandfathers property that my grandparents have hung on to and came across a 1965 Shelby Cobra 427. It needs some work but it looks like most original parts can be restored. Should be a nice summer driver.

July 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm
(38) donna bridges says:

I found a shoe horn in a box at yard sale with Senator John F. Kennedy’s name engraved on it is sterling silver. I payed 10 cents for it. I sold it for $250.00 tro a collector and I probably could have got more for it if held on to it for a little while but I figured that was still a fantastic return for the money!

July 31, 2010 at 11:54 am
(39) Kim says:

We found a Kirby vacuum with all the attachments and shampooer for $25. It was in new condition. They sell for over $2000 brand new.

August 4, 2010 at 8:51 am
(40) debbie says:

I use to frequent auctions and bought a pile of old books. I kept a few books to display on a table someday although they were packed away. I was sorting boxes of stuff as I was packing for an antique show and ran across this little book. I had my daughter research it so I could price it. End of story. The book went to Christie’s Auction House in New York and sold for $75,000!

August 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm
(41) Jake says:

I’m a big collector of Pokemon cards (I know, I know, but let’s move on). I was at a yard sale yesterday and found some sweet cards, but none better than the fire-type Red Gyarados, as depicted here:


I got it for 20 cents; its current collectible value is $38. Yay!

September 25, 2010 at 1:45 am
(42) Monica says:

In 2005 I purchased a large costume jewelry ring with 11 CZ and 5 fake rubies for 25 cents. In 2006 When I got engaged, the jeweler who was helping me pick out my engagement ring asked to see it. Come to find out, it has 11 DIAMONDS and 5 REAL RUBIES in it! I need to get it appraised, but until then I enjoy wearing it.

September 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm
(43) Michele says:

I found a nice-looking wood-composite coffee table with a glass top for my sister. It was free!

October 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm
(44) Brian says:

I went to a garage sale given by my son’s former girlfriend. She had several very nice rings for sale that were all stamped 14 K gold. When I asked her why she would sell 14 k gold rings for $1 and $2 each she hugged her new boyfriend and said , “Those are from my past 3 boyfriends and I hate those rings because I love my new(est) boyfriend the most, so I just want to get rid of them!” I bought all 14 rings paying $20 for all of them. When I got home, my son recognized the diamond and ruby ring he gave her that he had paid over $700 for!!! He told me the boyfriend before him bought her rings that were over $1000 and some were in that collection !!!! Several had 1/3 carrat diamons!!!! I sure am hoping she breaks up with this new boyfriend soon and has another garage sale!!! Ha!

November 16, 2010 at 1:25 am
(45) robin krogman says:

I found this chair at a yard sale for 20.00. I am going to try and fix it up. Wish I knew more about it?

November 27, 2010 at 6:22 am
(46) D. Grant says:

Found an Italian road bike at a yard sale in pieces for $5.00, went for $580 on eBay.

March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm
(47) Alexandra says:

My best ever garage sale find was a glass vase with etching on the outside that I bought for $10.00. I looked it up on line because there was some etching at the bottom of the vase. Turns out it was by a designer, valued at $3,500.

March 26, 2011 at 12:32 am
(48) George M says:

I went to an auction and picked a lot of 6 dvd players for 17 bucks, a large box of antique cameras for 12.50, a technics sl1200mk2 turntable, a Pioneer SA-9100 amp, two infinity primus 250 speakers, a sony receiver, and a jvc dual casette deck for 60 bucks, a 1990′s Mr. Atomic robot for 25, a large box of misc toys for 15, a Venus Robot for 20, and a set of six “new” cane chairs for 60. I got 250 for the cane chairs, 350 for the Mr. Atomic robot, 150 for the Venus robot, 100 for the camera box, 100 for the large misc. toy box, 120 for the speakers, 50 for the dvd players, 30 for the cassette deck, 30 for the receiver, and 200 for the amp. After all was said and done I made over 1300 bucks, not bad for a three hours work. God I love ebay.

April 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm
(49) Peg says:

I found a Waterford Crystal Lismore biscuit jar with its lid and in mint condition for $4 at a yard sale!

May 7, 2011 at 12:25 am
(50) dave says:

Older lady at a garage sale had a Kaye standing bass for sale, it did not have the bridge or the strings..she said her husband received it as a gift from a musician friend of his and he had it displayed in his library just for decoration. She said she finally convinced him to get rid of it as it was just taking up space. I could see thru the cutout that it was a Kaye, and had a serial number in the low thousands…she wanted $75 for it. I purchased it, checked out ebay, found that it would sell in the 1000-2000 price range. Put it up for sale, sold it for $1600. Purchaser was from pennsylvania, I’m in Michigan, so instead of shipping it I just met her midway around Cleveland. She was very happy with it, she is in a bluegrass band and it’s just what she wanted. A pleasant day all around!

May 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm
(51) tiffany says:

I was going to throw the trash away at my apartment complex and right before I did I saw a purse in the dumpster sitting on top in a box of other stuff and when I pulled it out it was a name brand purse selling on ebay for $600

June 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm
(52) Speedo says:

I purchase to ivory figrues in a thrift store for 5 dollars each. I put them on ebay and was turned down. You not suppose to sell animal parts. LOL I then put the on a different site and sold them for 100 dollars each. They were from the 1930s.

July 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm
(53) jojojojojoj says:

i found 14k and 1 18k gold wrist watches at the same yard sale for a doller each wow and it was at the end of my run …around 10am one was a longines and the other was an elgin and a week latefr i found a poop bag and it stunk bad lolo

August 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm
(54) Marshall says:

I bought a signed and numbered print by Bob Timberlake for $10 and the retail sale value for the print only is $2700. What a find!

August 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm
(55) Jonathon Robinson says:

I bought an old file cabinet once for $5, found a box of old coins and bills inside a jammed drawer, consigned them to an auction house and they sold for a bit over $15,000.

September 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm
(56) Lynna says:

I bought a Room-ba vacuum cleaner for three dollars, worth well over 200 but to me it is priceless, in the box with all the accessories and instruction books. She is now called Rosie and is my best friend, she even does tricks and plays with the dogs.
My kids think i am demented, but i love this vacuum.

September 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm
(57) Michael says:

I go yard saleing all the time.I found a photo of ron evans from apollo 17 auto graphed by him and i paid a quarter for it, i plan on getting it appraised soon.I found a hat about a year ago autographed by mickey mantle , soon to be apprised.Found a round object that says ”made from the shingles of George Washington’s headquarters have never seen one like it.And guess what,I’m only 13 years old!

September 26, 2011 at 10:20 am
(58) sue says:

I found a matching group of kitchen items, called Miss Priss by Lefton (I think it was Lefton anyway). There was a cookie jar, creamer, sugar, divided candy dish, salt, pepper and a couple of other items that escape me at the moment, all for $15. I only bought them because I thought they’d have some resale value. I sold the cookie jar alone for $700. I believe I ended up getting over $1200 total. I took half the money I made and went over to the woman I bought them from and I offered it to her. She said she didn’t want it and slammed the door in my face. :D
The most valuable thing I’ve purchased at a garage sale was a set of china, all marked RS Prussia. It’s gorgeous. I’ll never sell it though.

April 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm
(59) Derric says:

just this weekend i scored a penn international reel on a calstar rod for $100, retail value over $1100, used value $600, gonna hang this on the wall as a yardsale trophy and hope to use it one day if i ever can afford a fishing boat.

June 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm
(60) Armand says:

I got a Vintage Walthimer Pocket Watch for $10, and it is worth over $400 because it is 14k gold!!!

June 4, 2012 at 9:59 am
(61) Adji says:

My best find ever was two rings that were with a bunch of costume jewelry! one of the rings was platinum with a real diamond and the other ring was 14kt gold gemstone ring! I was so happy!! i will probably find something that great again! i will wear those rings with garage sale pride!

June 23, 2012 at 12:05 am
(62) Lisa says:

I once got a bass amplifier for $20 and it sold for over $400 on eBay. I was thrilled! Still haven’t beat that.

August 30, 2012 at 3:55 am
(63) Justin says:

I found an IMSAI 8080 (vintage PC) at a Salvation Army for $10. It was beat up and abused, had cobwebs and debris inside, didn’t start up and weighed about 40 lbs, the lady at the checkout thought I was crazy to pay $10 for it. re-sold it to a collector for over $800.

November 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm
(64) speedo101 says:

Purchase a Scotish Highlands cap with a badge on it for two dollars and then sold it for 555.00 dollars within two days. The badge was a rare North Nova Scotcha item.

March 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm
(65) nicole says:

I’m a thrift store/flea market/ yard sale junkie, but my best score came from the bed of my neighbors pickup truck! I was outside very early one morning, smoking a ciggarette, barefoot! When I saw my neighbor load a Herman miller by Charles eames fiberglass egg chair into his truck, along with a sink.. I ran across the street, and asked him where he was going, he told me the dump. I offered him $5 for the chair, he told me I could just have it. Took it into my house (much to my husband’s chagrin)cleaned it up, and sold it on craigslist for $200 the same day!

April 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm
(66) dawn says:

I went to a garage estate sale from a barbie collector I bought 8 boxes of barbies, jem dolls and clothes for 400.00 all brand new never opened I resold them on ebay for 4000.00 that was fun

July 22, 2013 at 2:30 am
(67) Emily says:

I went to a garage sale one time and found a painting that my mom had painted when she was a little girl! Not only was the painting from about 40 years ago but she painted it in California and it somehow made it all the way to my hometown in Georgia. They lady could not believe it when I told her. And she ended up giving me the painting…..priceless!

August 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm
(68) Grant says:

best find was a set of pots for $8, that we sold on the internet for $299.

March 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm
(69) Josh "The Thrifty Cheesehead" says:

My best pick to date is a 1979 Sony Walkman with the box and all items with box. The Walkman did not work at all because I belive the band was broken which is natural with these old devices and easily fixable. I chose not to fix it and list it on eBay starting out at $800. Eventually someone told me if I fixed it I could list it at $2000. He said he had one in the exact same condition and sold it for that amount but it took him a year to sell it. I selected not to fix it and raised my price to $1200. It only took 24 hours for it to sell. Not a bad turnaround for an item I paid $95 at auction for. As for garage sales I have had a lot of $100 items, but nothing close to what I have made for some of my auction items. Keep your eyes open. This wasn’t quite a $1000 payday, but at about $950 it was close.

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