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I love eBay and have been very lucky at finding valuable items to sell on ebay at garage sales. My latest "coup", a Getzen trumpet that I paid $25 for, and sold on eBay for $750. I invested $120 in having the trumpet professionally cleaned and checked out. I offered free next-day delivery with buy-it-now, and sold the trumpet in four days. Including the high cost of the shipping, and the ebay/paypal fees, I still netted almost $500!
That isn't the best part, though. My wife and I happen to live in an area that most yard and garage sales feature a lot of decorative brass items - candlesticks, animals, planters, and such - and most people are anxious to get rid of their brass items. Maybe it is because of the time spent keeping the brass polished, but for whatever reason, we are able to pick up a lot of brass each weekend for pennies on the dollar. We then cash in our brass at a recycling center. Lately, brass has paid as little as $1.75/lb. up to $2.10/lb. Our best weekend ever was just over $120 for brass that we had invested less than $30 in. We use the brass money to cover our gasoline expense on our garage sale days and usually have enough surplus to treat ourselves to a nice dinner out or to simply add to our "stash".
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I found a Hull pottery gray gingerbread boy platter for .75 and sold on ebay for $65. I also found an old Maxwell House coffee can for $3 and sold for $75 and a Lambrecht butter crock for $3 that sold for $50.
Love those garage sales!
I got a beautiful set of brand new expensive toiletries in an elegant case for $7, (gave it to my daughter-in-law when she presented me with a grandson) Priced similar in the big stores later, and they were in the $60 range. But I haven't beaten my friend's 'find" She is an avid and cluey 'hunter' She was sorting through a box of beads, junk jewelry etc, and the guy said it was just 'grandma's old stuff" My friend found a heavy silver locket on a thick silver chain and had a 'feeling' about it, she paid him $15, and later took it to a jeweler for valuation.
I have wanted a Vera Bradley purse for years. I just can not justify paying $60-$75 for one. I found a brand new one for $10. I had to walk around (it was a neighborhood sale) and think about it for about 15 minutes. I went back and now am the proud owner. I saw it listed on Ebay for $65 - it is a retired pattern! :)
I found a beautiful hand blown Italian glass vase, $6.00. It's worth hundreds more!
Wow! Isn't it amazing the valuable stuff that can be found at garage sales? My favorite things that I bought are a beautiful shabby chic style desk and lingerie chest priced at $7.50 each.
I found made in occupied Japan figures for a dime a piece. They sell online for anywhere around 10 dollars each. I got 10 figurines you do the math! But my fav. Find of all time is the 1st addition of the sinking of the titanic. I got a box of books with this in it for 5 bucks. I don't have an online buy but I am very sure since this is a first edition mint condition book published after the report its got be worth more than the 5 bucks I paid for the whole box of books.
I've not done as well as some of these folks, but I did purchase several pieces of Pyrex & Corningware baking dishes at a storage unit sale for $2.00 per each armload. We all know the prices on those items in stores!
At a yard sale, years ago, I'd found a bunch of figurines marked a nickel each. I'd filled up one box & was in the process of filling another box, when I looked around to see another shopper going thru my first filled box. He got smart with me when I tried to claim back what I'd had in my box that he now had in his box. He said, "well, if you can pick out what you had in your box, you can have them back!" Needless to say, I picked out the exact ones I had previously picked. He was not a happy camper. He's a store owner/business man, in my town. I don't know the items are worth, but they must be pricy for him to wanted them that bad. I still have them! And all for a nickel each!!
I always check the "free" boxes at garage sales and I found a cast iron griddle for free because it was rusty. I couldn't believe it was free and asked just to be sure!