Crystal Valley Blog

How to Find Treasure at Yard and Garage Sales!

POSTED June 16, 2020

As the weather warms, garage sales are picking up speed in Castle Rock with lots of great deals on vintage items to bring home or resell online for bigger bucks! Here are a few tips on how to turn a tidy profit.

While attending garage sales won’t look the same as last year – with social distancing and mask mandates – if you find yourself at a yard sale or garage sale or browsing a Facebook marketplace, look out for the top 10 vintage items that could turn a tidy profit! 

Vintage Music and Instruments

Vinyl records of yesteryear sometimes show up on the tables of yard sales. In fact one lucky shopper found a rare Velvet Underground record at a sidewalk sale for 75 cents that sold on eBay for $25,000. While not every disk of vinyl will be worth that kind of lucre, it’s not unheard of to reap hundreds if not thousands for a rare vinyl treasure.

Guitars are another item that can bring in cold hard cash – and they don’t have to have been owned or signed by anyone famous! Used guitars from brands like Martin, Taylor, Gibson and Collings are advertised for thousands of dollars on sites like Reverb. Pawn shops are notoriously fertile ground for used guitars, but before you go – know how to get a good deal by reading this article from Guitar Alliance about pawn shop guitar shopping. And if you aren’t a guitar player – take one with you!

Glass and Silver Treasure

Mason jars (named for John Landis Mason, who molded the first glass jar for canning) have never gone out of style; they’re a staple of cooks who can veggies, crafters who upcycle, and organized types looking for simple storage ideas for paint samples to dried beans. But some of the Ball brand of jars are worth more than a pretty penny. The rarest jars are worth the most money and include Ball jars with the logo molded upside down. A few of these were mistakenly manufactured, and others were intentional, so the jar could double as a dispenser (when turned upside down). Genuine jars can command as much as $1,000 apiece.

Sterling silverware is worth lots of money, too, in an online marketplace. And while most sellers likely know its value (it is silver, after all!) if you happen upon some silver flatware that’s decently priced, snap it up. Some of the prices for silverware on eBay will raise your eyebrows — from $50,000 for a 290 piece French cutlery set, to $11,000 for a silverware set for 12.

Antique wood-working tools like molding, beveling and Norris Jointer planes command $8-$12,000 and more dollars at auctions, and even wrenches made specifically for an antique John Deere tractor can appraise for thousands at auctions the world over. 

Toys, Dolls and Comics 

From Lite-Brites, a Hasbro light box toy marketed in 1967 and now worth up to $300—to a first-edition Barbie created in 1959 and valued at $8,000, vintage toys can be worth a lot of money to collectors. If you go hunting for Barbie, look for the doll in a strapless zebra-striped bathing suit, with holes in the bottom of her feet. For more childhood dolls and toys worth lotsa loot, check out this collection of 40 playthings from Esquire like Furbys, Nintendos and lunchboxes.

Model trains have their own aficionados and collectors willing to pay thousands for the right train. For example, a pre-war Lionel Standard Gauge No. 378W train set sold for $12,810 in an auction five years ago. 

Keep your eyes peeled for vintage comic books, too. These don’t hold up well to use, time and the elements, so the better shape they’re in, the more they might garner from collectors. If you run across a stack of comic books at a garage sale, look for The Man of Steel. The first Superman comic eventually resold for $3.2 million and others like it can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Not exactly a toy but certainly an item that was purchased, collected, traded and sold by baseball-loving kids (who often hang onto their childhood passions in adulthood) are baseball cards – worth a wad of dough. These nostalgic bits of memorabilia attract baseball fans and collectors willing to bid, like four years ago when a T206 Honus Wagner card from 1909-1911 set the world record for the most-ever paid for a baseball card: $3.12 million.

For a look at computers, stamps, furniture and photographs that sell for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, scroll through the gallery at Country Living. If you’re lucky enough to stumble over a valuable typewriter, video game or hood ornament – know how much it’s worth before you start negotiating!

Browsing the Sales in Crystal Valley

The quick move in homes in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley are a valuable investment and ready for the single, couple or family that wants to make a move this summer! There’s never been a better time to buy one of our brand new homes in Castle Rock. Floor plans and elevations vary from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton, and you can drop in for a tour or visit them virtually. Choose from ranch or two-story models — priced from the $300s in this nature-lovers refuge – away from it all, but close to everything!


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