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Monday, March 31, 2014


Yep it's that time of year again. Myself, I do not go to many yard sales, not a morning person. If I happen to wake up earlier than normal and have enough time before opening the store I will consider checking out a few. I have found a few good things to buy that I can resell but usually not enough to account for the gas used.
Many people do love to go and find lots of goodies at a bargain as far as everyday type items that are wanted or needed. The good worthwhile stuff (Antiques/Collectibles) are usually priced a little high for resell, and I have found many items even priced higher than true retail. Having said that, there are a few, and I mean very few, that find that once in a lifetime deal.
Here are some photos and stories to showcase those few lucky individuals that have found the once in a lifetime treasure.

A British businessman bought five pieces of art for $5 at a garage sale in Las Vegas. It turns out that the yard sale was thrown by a man whose aunt had been a care taker for Andy Warhol, and this signed drawing was probably completed by Andy Warhol when he was only 10 years old. The sketch is worth upwards of $2 Million. 

This huge folk art jug in the Pennsylvania / Ohio style was acquired at a Shriner's yard sale for less than $50. It's marked with roman numerals to indicate it's capacity -- 20 gallons! It's from the 19th-century and has a current appraised value of $100K-$150K.

This 18th century mahogany card table was snagged at a garage sale for $25 and sold at a Sotheby's auction 30 years later for $541,500. It was one of only six intricate tables made by legendary Boston furniture makers John Seymour and Son.

A man bought two boxes at a garage sale for $45 after bickering the seller down from $70. He kept them under his pool table for several years before opening them up to find he had acquired 65 glass plate negatives from Ansel Adams' early days of nature photography. The collection of mostly Yosemite photos is worth $200 Million.

This record was snagged from the bottom of a heap of vinyls for only 75 cents at a Manhattan flea market in 2002. It turned out to be an in-studio acetate made during Velvet Underground's first recording session. The lucky finder put it on eBay and ended up fetching $155,401 for this rare 12-inch LP. Now that's what we call super groovy.

This beautiful antique mirror was purchased at a yard sale in New Mexico for only $2. It's an intricate piece made by Tiffany Studios in 1905 with an original Tiffany's glass inset and an appraised value of $25,000. What a find!

A retired truck driver bought this abstract painting for $5 (down from a listing price of $7) from a thrift shop in San Bernardino, California in the early 1990s. It turns out it could be a real Jackson Pollock piece with a value of nearly $50 Million. The owner more recently inspired and starred in a documentary about the painting called "Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock".

When an Ohio woman bought this sparkly piece at a yard sale for $5, she thought it was costume jewelry. She later had the pendant appraised and found out it's worth nearly $10,000. 

This might be the best return on a $3 garage sale investment... ever. This 5-inch bowl that a family bought back in 2007 was appraised by Sotheby's at $200K-$300K, but a London dealer ended up buying the 1000 year old bowl for $2.225 Million. It's one of only two known pieces of it's same design and size made by the Northern Song Dynasty. The other bowl is displayed in the British Museum's collection.
WELL maybe I should reconsider the wee hours of mornings and hit the trail a running.


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