What's your best yard sale score?

Yard sales. I love 'em. Sometimes they’re just piles of junk, clothing nobody wants to wear anymore, baby-teethed plastic toys and unfinished craft products. Sometimes, they’re a treasure trove of cool stuff that some amazing individual needed to ditch.

So, what have you gotten at a yard sale that you’re particularly proud of? My best conquests:

25-gallon, hexagonal fishtank, with gravel, filter, heater, plants, light and stand… $10

Washing machine. No frills, but the price was right… $20

Dining room set. Southwestern design, huge table, reclining chairs on sturdy casters, nearly new condition… $60

And just this weekend, another fishtank, with light and wrought iron stand… $15 (This one is going to make a great vivarium)

Am I the only one who appreciates the direct, noncommercial sense of triumph you get when you return from the hunt with this sort of plunder? Surely not. What good stuff have you found at garage sales?

A friend of mine walked up to a yardsale one day, and sitting right in the middle of one of the tables was a beautiful glass 24" Tokemaster. Judging by some of the other items up for sale, my friend concluded that this was a family that had just sent a kid off to college, and they had no idea what the TM was. So he bought it, along with the cheesy plastic flowers that were sitting in it, for $5.

A complete homebrewing equipment kit, $25. Normally, about $125.

I love yard sales, too. I would make a day out of yard sale hopping with my youngest son, who learned early that he could get a bagful of toys for 50 cents if he came along.

By far my best score is a gorgeous china set, white with a very delicate Ivy pattern in an Asian style. Service for twelve, including bowls, plates, serving platters, gravy bowl, sugar, creamer, saucers and cups, etc., the works. $35.00 I love this set, it is currently in my mother’s china cabinet in New Jersey, she uses it for every major holiday.

A brand new pair of white ice skates, including pom-poms on the laces and blade covers, exactly my size- $1.00

A set of two unfinished wood bookcases, each about 4’x3’-$10 for the set. I stained one(lost that one in a break-up) and painted one royal blue(this one is currently in my youngest son’s room, filled to the brim with books :slight_smile:

Lots of books, records, stuff like that.

It’s almost yard sale time, $20 and an early wake up on a Saturday morning, and I’m good to go!

When we were getting ready to move into our new house we started hitting garage sales. We got:

  1. Step Ladder: $5
  2. Large rolling trashcan: free
  3. Hi Opal!
  4. Weed eater: $5
  5. Edger: $10
    Now this here is the steal.
  6. We got a 3hp, bagging lawnmower for $15. And it runs like new. I don’t know if the folks were moving or what, but we got there around 7:30 and pounced on it. It would have gotten gone fast.

We moved out of state 8 months later and now live in an apartment. All this stuff is in storage and we hope to break it back out when we get another house this summer or fall.

A new in the box, unassembled Spiro Agnew needlepoint kit. I don’t do needlepoint, but the cheesieness of it was perfect! No, it was not meant to be a joke. It was a very dignified potrait of the the man, clearly pre-disgrace, in glorious red white and blue. I found it at a yard sale probably ten years ago, and I think I paid about $1.50 for it. Sadly, I no longer own it. I gave it away to a friend who did a favor for me.

A gaggle of beautifully preserved sixties-era Playboy magazines stuffed in “Operation” and “Sorry” games boxes for a quarter apiece. I suspect the old lady throwing the yard sale diddn’t know what was in the boxes.

The best score was an old (Mole-Richardson?) movie light with a working 750-watt lamp and a fresnel lens that I picked up for $2.

The next-best was a Coleman lantern made c.1967 that I bought for $8. (They wanted $10, but $8 was all I had on me at the moment.)

The best “bang for the buck” would have to be a brand-new never-been-opened Black & Decker Shell Baker. You put dough in the little cups, close the lid for a couple minutes and it makes four little edible cups to put ice cream or fruit or whatever in. The kids love it and I use it quite a lot. It was $2. The box top was still glued shut and I know it had never even been opened.
I bet it was probably about $30-40 originally.

Other stuff would be books (novels, biographies and cookbooks) for a quarter.
Gotta love ignorant people, selling first editions for a mere twenty-five cents!

I got the Calvin & Hobbes “Something Under the Bed is Drooling” for a quarter.
Also a new LA-Z Boy recliner for 5 bucks.

Three-quarter length beaver fur coat - $140. When I took it to get cleaned, I looked at new ones: $3000 and up! I could sell it for the skins and make more than it cost :smiley:

Hands down:

$1,250.[sup]00[/sup] American Optical Stereo-microscope for $30.[sup]00[/sup] (it needed $25.[sup]00[/sup] worth of repair).

They tossed in the $100.[sup]00[/sup] Bausch and Lomb illuminator for free.

Needless to say, the microscope repairman wanted to go out garage sale hopping with me.

I don’t usually do yard sales, but I was passing one and noticed a lot of archery equipment. I got the whole lot, bows, arrows, cases, rests, sights and quivers for $5.00. I told the lady she should charge more, she didn’t care, it was her soon to be ex-husbands and she was getting revenge.

I picked up a genuine black velvet painting of Elvis, wearing a sombrero and smoking a cigar for $00.25. My wife hates it, I think it is funny, it hangs in the garage.

I picked up a used human glass eye for $1.00, the wife hates it, it creeps her out, I think it is funny, it is glued to the sombrero Elvis is wearing.

Katana and morning star: $10 for both. That was the best garage sale ever, the only disadvantage being that the morning star must weigh 8-10 pounds and I had to haul it all around the rest of the neighborhood (it was a big sale). It’s too heavy for me to use one-handed (did I mention that I’m a gigantic wuss?), but it was too great of a deal to pass up.

Well, it may sound geeky but for sheer profit$$$$ I win:

I went to a sale at about 8 in the morning on my way to Starbucks to get coffee for my (then)wife. I was a little peeved to be paying $5.00 for a cup o’joe so I stopped at a few yard sales on the way.

The second sale- I saw a old Hot Wheels carrying case under the table. Picked it up and felt a heart stopping jingle of diecast. It had a $25 price tag on and it was a 48 car case.
I opened it up and there were rows of gleaming, mint Redlines.
I asked the lady if she really wanted to sell it and I got the same thing Fletch did: “It was my Ex’s I dont care what I get for it”.

I handed her $150 dollars…every penny I had on me. She was shocked and tried to give it back but I refused to take it.

Anne was so pissed when I told her I spent the insurance money on toy cars. I just calmed her down and had her sit quietly.
I called 5 of my HW friends and they immediately dropped what they were doing and drove over. With them and two others on the speaker phone I auctioned them off then and there.

I made $3,225.00

(note: there were a couple Incredibly rare and desirable cars) one car went for 700- Army staff car in C9.5
And I would have made probably 40% more if I had put them on Ebay! But my friends were ecstatic and I scored MAJOR trading points.
That was a good summer, I found two more such boxes but with far inferior cars and only made about $500 from the two.

This is probably the year I stop going to yard sales and flea markets. I have decided that this is the year of letting go. That said, my two best scores were:

a revere ware stovetop percolator pot (I think I paid $2), and a Hohner Melodica for $5.

The person who picked up the melodica before me didn’t know it was a wind (reed) instrument, assumed it didn’t work, and left it for me to grab. I later gave it to my nephew after I scored an even bigger, better Hohner Melodica at a flea market for $10.

I went to a garage sale in high school and the woman had just divorced her husband, and hated her son. Her son was National Guard (I didn’t know it at the time) and she was selling all his crap. I got a flak jacket and helmet for $20.

Then she looked at me like she wanted to eat me alive. I ran like the wind. . .
Tasty with Worcestershire and Lemon.

My best find was a complete set of McCoy brown drip dishes that someone had hauled out of their grandmother’s attic. Bought the whole box for $3. It contained:

4 dinner plates
4 salad plates
4 salad bowls
4 mugs
Relish Jar
Split serving dish

My mother broke one of my dinner plates once…out of guilt, she bought me a replacement on ebay…she paid about $25 for a group of 6 plates. :slight_smile:

Best I heard was my girlfriend who bought a photograph & later sold it to one of the Weston’s for $50,000. Who then sold it right away to a collector for $75,000.

I’m not one for yard sales, so the best I’ve ever found were various records I’d been looking for. Then my parents tossed our record player.