I’m a big fan of garage sales, and heaven knows, I’ve both attended more than my share as well as had plenty of my own such sales. Throughout the years, during my attendance of these sales, I’ve come to realize that sometimes people know what they have and what they’ve paid for it, and they expect you to pay for it too. However, sometimes you can find a great deal on stuff that people consider junk or that they just don’t want anymore.
There are certain items in particular that I’ve realized some people tend to under-appreciate and therefore undervalue and that I look to pick up at garage sales even if I’m not particularly in need them.
For those who have ever had to go out and buy picture frames in a retail setting — especially larger or fancier versions — they likely know just how costly they can be. I recently purchased an ornate picture frame (it actually framed a nice print too) that was in great shape at a garage sale and that was originally priced (the sale ticket was still on the back) at $167.99. I got it for just $6.
Now I have the option of keeping the frame for our own home or taking it to the local consignment shop where I could probably sell it for around $75, of which I would get about half after the commission was taken out.
I know that we live in a world of eBooks and tablets these days, but I still love actual hardcopy books. And there is still a decent resale market for such books. I often look for antique or vintage books that hold a more historical value; however, sometimes I take another route. This route involves a bulk offer. I might offer a sale holder one price for all their books. This takes some of the risk out of the equation for me, as I can often get a better per price book. Then I can sort out the more valuable pieces and haul the rest over to Half Price Books store and resell them, often for as much or even a little more than I initially paid for them.
Some people might view old tools as cumbersome and outdated. I look them as an opportunity. There is often a strong market for antique or vintage tools and I’ve cashed in on this market in the past.
At a garage sale a while back, I stumbled across several antique carpentry planes. I bought the pair for $10. I ended up reselling them on eBay for $80.
Over the years since then, I’ve kept an eye out for similar items and made a nice little collection for myself, choosing to hold onto them — at least temporarily — until the urge to cash in on them gets too strong.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.