Monday, May 7, 2018

The 10 Items You Find At Every Garage Sale (and how much you should spend on them)

Nothing gets my blood pumping like walking away with an item that I know is more than I spent. I tend to hold out for prices that are way below what I know an item is worth. Sure, it may be worth $100, and the average person might pay $50, but I want to pay $10. Here are the most common items I've seen at garage sale, what they tend to be worth, the top price to spend on them, and what I've paid in the past!
Typewriters

1. Typewriters are pretty common at garage sales. I come across about one or two a month and they are usually overpriced. Many people think they are worth a fortune, but, in truth, only the large, old ones are worth anything.
Worth: $75-$100
Price to spend: No more than $40
I spent: $5
Sewing machines

2. Sewing Machines are a fairly common find. Price for these depends a lot on condition and age. If it has any electrical parts attached, expect to pay in the $30 range. They truthfully aren't worth much at such a new age. The best way to determine the age of these is to locate the serial number and research it on the spot. Anything before 1925? Pass unless it's dirt cheap. Brand is also important. Singer is the most recognizable and desirable. For a good condition, 1910's treadle table...

Worth: $200-$250
Spend: No more than $150
I spent: $20

For just the cast iron treadle (Singer brand):
Worth: $75-$100
Spend: No more than $40
I spent: $20

Crates

3. Crates can also be worth a lot depending upon condition, age, and purpose. Milk and soda crates tend to be favorites!
Worth: $40-$50
Spend: No more than $10
I spent: $5
Paintings
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/50454458296930645/
4. Paintings can be tricky. The value varies dramatically depending upon size, quality and age. But don't forget about the frames! The frames can be worth far more than the paintings themselves. The thick, heavy frames are worth their weight. For an average sized, mid-century oil painting..

Worth: $40-$50 (with a nice frame- $75-$100)
Spend: No more than $15
I spent: Between $1-$5
Pyrex and Glassware
http://duck-walk.com/collecting-pyrex/collecting-pyrex-65-best-pyrex-collection-and-display-ideas-images-on-pinterest?
5. I don't claim to know much about glassware (though it can be super valuable), but I buy up every piece of Pyrex I find. If I can't resell it, I pass it on to some of my friends who are collectors. There are patterns and pieces that are more valuable than others, and condition is extremely important. So in your searching, research the piece when you find it. If it says Pyrex on the bottom, you probably have something that someone will want.

Worth: $20-$60 depending on the piece
Spend: No more than $15-$25 depending on the piece
I spent: Between $1-$10 depending on the piece

Vintage Suitcases
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/fitzroy-north/other-antiques-art-collectables/vintage-suitcases/1182402475
6. Vintage suitcases are at every garage sale. They aren't worth a whole lot on their own, but are super desirable for projects and decoration. The color, condition, and size should be considered. For an average sized suitcase in good condition, people will usually pay...

Worth: $40-$50
Spend:  No more than $10
I spent: $5
Books
https://www.authorlibbeleah.com/projects/
7. Books can be a hit or miss. Age, condition, title, and edition all matter. The average book isn't worth much, but ALWAYS take time to check them out! I'm quick to snatch up anything from the Victorian Era, no matter what the topic.

Worth: $20-$50 depending
Spend: No more than $20 depending
I spent: $1-$5 depending

Cast Iron
8. Anything made out of cast iron has some value. Whether you find old skillets or cast iron banks (even the replicas are worth money), buy it up for the right price. Spending some time researching before you buy it is the best way to make sure you have something of value!

Pots and pans:
Worth: $50-$100
Spend: No more than $20
I spent: $5

Banks
Worth: For an original? $$$$$$$
Spend: No more than $30 in case it's a replica
I spent: Nothing...I've never had the privilege to buy one!

Tools and Tool Bags
https://www.machines4u.com.au/mag/100-years-ago-today-antique-woodworking-tools/
9. Vintage tools have various values that can range all over the board. Most rusty, metal things from a garage carry some value to them. I've personally never bought any tools (other than a set of ice tongs, if that counts). But tool bags and tool related memorabilia can bring in the dough!

Worth: $15-$75
Spend: No more than $10
I spent: $1-$5
Video Games and Consoles
http://www.geekvintage.com/atari-2600-vader.php
10. You should never walk past vintage video games and consoles. People buy them up like crazy out of nostalgia, and even resale shops will buy them. As with all electronics, you should never pay much because you don't know if it works. Look for dates, original boxes, and game names you recognize. Ask the person where they got it to help you determine if it's an original or a replica.

Worth: $100-$300
Spend: No more than $50
I spent: Tops of $20

So what are you waiting for? Now that you know what to look for, buy up all of the garage sale gems and give them a new life! Post in the comments below if you know any items I missed!



17 comments:

  1. This is a really good list for novice garage sale shoppers. I especially like the info on the vintage suitcases! Nicely done.

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    Replies
    1. I love vintage suitcases, too! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I love this article, this is a great resource for those of us who love to treasure hunt!

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    Replies
    1. Treasure hunting is my favorite pastime! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Great post! As a garage sale shopper myself, I think it is so interesting to see what other people look for at sales. Most of these items are not ones I would buy, but it's awesome to see what else you can buy and resell.

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    1. What kind of things do you usually buy at garage sales?

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  4. Great post. I wish that tradition of garage sales will start up in Dubai, we dont have any actually. I would love it.

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    1. I never thought that other countries might not have garage sales! My house would be empty!

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  5. This is good to know! I see a lot of these things at garage sales, but never know if they're worth what is being asked. But usually they are asking more than what I'm willing to pay! Now I know what to expect!

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    1. I know what you mean! I'm never willing to pay very much!

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  6. Great list! I think garage sales have even ruined me on thirfting sometimes! One day I was at a thrift store and realized I was turning up my nose at the prices (LOL) because I'd been garage saling so much recently HAHAHAHA

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    1. They have certainly ruined me for retail stores! I can't bear paying full price for something, even at a thrift store!

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  7. I didn't start garage sale shopping until recently but I'm surprised by what I can find. This list is amazing because it is so comprehensive. I know I've been to a sale and found something I liked but wondered if it would be cheaper to just buy it at a retail store or thrift store. This is so helpful!

    -Precious

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  8. I so do not get to garage sales but after reading this and realizing what I just might find and the deals out there, I am ready to make time for this next weekend!

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  9. These are good points.
    But in my country, there is no garage sale.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't know that there are some countries without garage sales! Where do you live?

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  10. These are all great points for where you live on the east side of the US...but in CA, you wont find any of those items for the prices you paid! Trust me, I have been doing garage sales for YEARS, and also put on Estate sales, we would never make enough money for our clients if we sold any Pyrex for a $1.00!! This post makes me want to go garage saleing in your part of the county! :)

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