Wednesday, July 24

14 Garage Sale Items That Could Secretly Be Worth a Ton

Have you been to any good garage sales lately?

As many shows have proven, one man’s trash can definitely be another man’s treasure. It’s easy to mistake those old earrings from who knows where or the dusty painting sitting in your attic for nothing more than junk.

But then you hear about supposed costume jewelry that’s suddenly worth thousands of dollars or priceless artwork selling for tons of cash at a thrift store.

So now that we realized that a fortune could be hiding just around the corner, we did some digging to get you the best possible tips on garage sale finds.

If your neighbors are throwing a garage sale soon, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for the 14 items we’ve listed in this article. Masked as mundane everyday items, they might actually be worth big cash.

With a little bit of patience while digging through the piles of junk, you’ll be able to find the best garage sale items to flip and put some more money in your wallet. This way, you can earn cash while shopping!

Garage Sale
Photo by Maxim Apryatin at Shutterstock


Did you know that the global resale market for athletic shoes has been estimated at over $2 billion? And among the most sought after are Nike’s supreme line of Air Jordans. Their value varies depending on the model.

But one of the jazziest pairs you could grab is the Jordan 1 Retro Legends of Summer Red Glitter. Originally made for the Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z tour in 2013, they’ve resold for $7,000!

So you should be on the lookout for some Air Jordans the next time you hit up a garage sale.

Antique Christmas Ornaments

Did you know that the first Christmas ornaments that were ever sold commercially were made by a German manufacturer in the 19th century?

Well, nowadays, those heavy glass-blown ornaments, also known as “kugels,” can get you anywhere between $50 to over $1,000 apiece. You can identify them by looking for their rich colors and fruit shapes, like berries or apples.

Real Leather

In general, leather is already expensive to buy brand new. But finding some leather shoes or handbags at a garage sale can be a great way to earn some extra cash. Just make sure that what you’re buying is in tip-top condition and it doesn’t have any tears or rips.


Whether we’re talking about upholstered or wooden furniture, if you have a bit of talent in upcycling or refinishing furniture, you can find certain pieces at a very affordable cost at garage sales.

Then all you have to do is put a little sweat into it and resell it at a much bigger profit. We recommend keeping an eye out for solid wood furniture since it can be refinished and will last for many more years than other materials.

Disclaimer: Be very careful about choosing upholstered furniture so you don’t end up with bed bugs! But once you’ve checked and made sure it’s clean, you can refinish the piece and sell it for much more than you purchased it for.

Vintage Mugs

If you’re at a garage sale and you see a $1 table, start digging in and look for some coffee mugs. Devoted fans will pay more for licensed brands and characters like Starbucks or The Far Side if you resell them on an auction site like eBay.

The older you can find, the better, just be sure to check for cracks first.

Items From Yankee Candle

If you’re a fan of putting candles everywhere in your home, you’ve definitely heard of this brand. They’ve been around for quite some time.

So if you happen to be at a garage sale and you find unused candles of any size, tart warmers, or any other candle accessories, snatch them up immediately! You’ll have no problems finding buyers that want to add to their collection.

There are also many people that want to buy their favorite scents that have been discontinued, which means more money in YOUR pockets!

Garage Sale
Photo by EKKAPHAN CHIMPALEE at Shutterstock

Gaming Accessories

Gaming systems, video games, and controllers that at one point sold for a couple of bucks are now selling for much higher. A perfect example is Wii Sports which used to go for $10. It’s now selling for roughly $25 to $30. People want to stay occupied.

We recommend going through your old things, maybe left over from your kids, and selling them. But if this doesn’t apply to you, check out a garage sale and see if you can score some gaming accessories that people want to get rid of.

Old College Textbooks

If you’re able to get your hands on some college textbooks at a garage sale, research the titles on resalers like to see how much they would pay you for what you found. You’ll be amazed by how much a second-hand textbook can go for these days!

Vinyl Records

You might have thought that vinyl records were a thing of the past, but they’re actually a pretty hot commodity! And it’s not unusual to find them at garage sales.

What IS a bit unusual in our book is to buy one for about 50 cents at a yard sale and then turn around to sell it on a site like eBay for $25,000.

While you might find a super-rare Velvet Underground record like that one, there are still lots of more common vinyl records that could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

Exercise Equipment

Let’s be honest. We all buy exercise equipment with the best of intentions of trying to live healthier lives. But we use it a couple of times before it ultimately becomes a clothing rack.

And since these puppies tend to take up a lot of space, people at garage sales will likely be selling the equipment at rock-bottom prices just to get rid of it since it’s so bulky.

So if you manage to get a good deal on slightly used exercise equipment that’s in good condition, it’s a great item to buy and resell.


If you’ve never heard of the documentary: “Who the $&% Is Jackson Pollock?,” it’s about a truck driver who purchased a near-priceless painting by Jackson Pollock at a garage sale for a measly $5.

Now, we admit that finds like this are rare. But it’s not exactly unheard of. So it just might pay to look through the pieces of art the next time you go to a garage sale.


We get it… chances are you’re not going to score a $5.2 million First Folio by William Shakespeare at a garage sale since there are only 235 copies in existence. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to find a rare book that can bring in a huge sum when resold.

The secret is to find a first edition of any genre of a popular book, and it must be in great condition. For example, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone recently sold for a whopping $80,000.

Garage Sale
Photo by Arina P Habich at Shutterstock

Cast Iron

Many folks love these antiques! And skillets that were made anytime before the 1950s have a much smoother finish than the ones made today.

The reasoning behind it is that the extra polishing that was used before makes the surface of the skillets more non-stick than a brand-new version made today.

The bottom line is that cast iron lasts forever, and pros swear by this stuff. So if you see anything like this at a garage sale, you should snatch it up immediately!


This last one is an item you can get really cheap at many garage sales. The seller might have a child who has outgrown their bike, or it’s not getting used, and the family wants to get rid of it as soon as possible to make more room in their garage.

No matter the case, you can purchase bikes, clean them up a bit, and do some minor repairs on them if need be. The profit of reselling them will definitely be worth it.

So now that you have all this info at your fingertips go out there and make some extra cash! And if you found this article interesting, we’ve got many more like it. We highly recommend checking out: 8 Smart Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

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