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Garage sale finds

Garage sale finds
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It’s hard to know exactly what is worth buying secondhand, but these garage sale finds should be snapped up if you see them!

Large furniture

Large furniture
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Large furniture can be a great garage sale find. The key to buying big items at a garage sale is to wait until the end of the day. By then, the sellers are wondering how they are going to get that huge vintage sofa off of the grass and back into the living room. Be careful with upholstered items (bed bug alert!), but once you’re confident it’s clean, try to look past garishly coloured fabric and eye-popping patterns: you can always reupholster a piece of furniture to better suit your sense of style.

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Home office supplies

Home office supplies
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Stationary is a great garage sale find. Normally, your eye instantly jumps to the larger items like couches, kitchen countertop appliances, and, yes, questionable taxidermy. But force yourself to examine smaller items too, especially ones you use regularly. Pens, push pins, and paperclips are office staples you can never have enough of.

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Artwork

Artwork
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Garage sale artwork is a great way to add some colour to your home. It’s fun to pick up art for two reasons: You might learn about interesting local artists, or, even if you don’t like the image, you can always repurpose the frame. This is key for larger paintings and drawings, because big frames can be so expensive. Haggle if you want, since art is subjective and the sellers might not have too many interested buyers. Also, odds are that they’re tired of looking at it and just want it gone.

Vintage brooches

Vintage brooches
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Not to sound old-fashioned, but they don’t make brooches like they used to. Since their popularity has declined over the years, you can usually get a deal on these accessories, and if you like, the possibilities for upgrading them are endless. They’re a great garage sale find! Tip: Consult a vintage jewellery guide to learn how to spot key details that will help you recognise what an old brooch might actually be worth.

Jewellery

Jewellery
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Garage sale finds like jewellery are always worth a close inspection. Even if they’re missing a few gemstones or look a little dirty, it’s easy and fairly cheap to upgrade jewellery made with precious metals. Give tarnished silver a good polish with a paste of baking soda and warm water. For gold, paying a few bucks for solid pieces should pay off – you can always sell them for scrap or have them melted down to create something new.

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Kitchenware

Kitchenware
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When you see pots and pans at a garage sale, look out for rust, non-stick surfaces that are scratched or flaking, and chemical coatings that might leach out into your food. Cast-iron ware, on the other hand, can be salvaged and restored no matter what the condition – and it’ll last forever.

Also, if you find the following items in good working condition, snap them up: stainless steel baking items, kitchen timers, serving utensils, Pyrex or ovenproof glass baking dishes, wooden or bamboo serving bowls, wicker baskets, ceramic or porcelain dinnerware, stainless steel flatware and quality knives (you can always take them in to be sharpened). Just make sure to wash these great garage sale finds well before use!

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Ice cream makers and other seasonal or single-use appliances

Ice cream makers and other seasonal or single-use appliances
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If you’re in the market for an ice cream maker or single-use small appliance, definitely scour garage sales first. People hold sales to sell off unused items that take up space in their cabinets, and bulky, seasonal items are often priced to move. You’ll usually be able to scoop them up for a fraction of their retail price – even if they’ve only been used once or twice.

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Jackets

Jackets
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Jackets are a great garage sale find. Since sellers spring-clean before their sales, bulky or unworn winter coats and vests are some of the first things to hit the to-go pile. Check for holes and wear before purchasing, and dry clean or give a good washing before putting in the wardrobe for next year. For children, buy the next size(s) up and store in a wardrobe for future seasons.

Tools

Tools
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Tools like drills, saws, nail guns and compressors can be great garage sale finds. As long as the seller can prove that they’re in good working condition, snap them up. Ask how old the product is and how much it has been used over the years. Always keep an eye out for rust, which usually means the integrity of the metal is compromised, making the tool more dangerous to work with.

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