A good number of antique hounds don't believe you can find anything worthwhile at garage sales, and maybe you'll admit falling into that rut a time or two yourself. It can be frustrating to pick through sale after sale in a driveway or garage and never go home with something special.
However, just when antiquers think they'll never find another collectible at a bargain yardsale price, something pops up to change their minds. Whether you're looking for a trash to treasure makeover project or something to sell so you can keep on shopping, persistence definitely pays off.
Examples of Success
Shopping a series of neighborhood sales just miles from home one Saturday morning, a shopper reported finding a brand-new designer snakeskin purse from the 1970s for $1 and a shiny 1950s aluminum two-piece cake carrier with a black plastic handle in excellent condition for $3. Those both went home with her.
Another garage sale just blocks away yielded a set of six small Fostoria American oyster cocktail goblets and another set of eight tulip-shaped fountain glasses with the Jeanette Glass Company mark on the base for just $2 per set. These normally sell for about $5 to $15 per piece, so they were excellent finds.
Last but not least, this thrifty buyer found a 1960s ceramic Santa Claus planter for $1.50. After spending a couple of fun hours browsing secondhand wares and spending less than $10, she came home feeling really good about the way she spent her morning, and she had some nice goods to show for it.
Your mileage may vary, as they say, but there are still some great finds out there. You may strike out a time or two before you hit the mother load. The next time you're up early on a Saturday morning and the weather is nice, venture out to see what you can find—chances are you'll be pleasantly surprised.
- The early bird gets the best selection, but don't discount swinging back by just before a sale closes to see if you can get a better discount on an item that was priced too high earlier in the day.
- When you see a bargain that you might want, pick it up and hold it. If you wait to go back for it after you make your way around the sale, it will likely be gone.
- Carry books on your favorite collectibles in your car. If you need to look something up, ask the sale's proprietor to hold the item while you run to your car. If it's not what you thought it was, you can always tell the seller you've changed your mind when you go back inside. Smartphones can make verifying items online easy breezy as well.
- Don't see what you collect or sell laid out among the wares? If you're bold enough, ask the seller if they have any other items, such as old glass or pottery, and see what they say. Many a savvy shopper has scored big because they were brave enough to ask a simple question.