What’s your best Garage Sale finds?


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Special Hen Supporter
Jun 25, 2009
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Hi all,

For something different to talk about - Let’s hear of all the awesome garage-sale finds. Like the guns-o-rama garage sale not long ago, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be gun related. Just whatever you got at a garage sale, and later found out it was really cool.

I’ll start: A few months ago, our town had a city-wide garage sale day. There’s usually a lot of people selling their junk, just trying to get rid of old items. ….as garage sales typically go. I occasionally like to see what junk there is to look at, usually looking for tools and stuff.

At one particular garage sales, I saw a boring cardboard box half shoved under a table, with the box lid hanging open. When I looked inside the box, I saw a German style candle-carousel sitting inside. (Pic 1) - also called Christmas Pyramid’s. It was in pieces, with a few broken bits loose inside. When I asked about it, the college kids said it was their grandma’s and they just wanted it gone, and wasn’t sure if all the parts were there. They didn’t know anything else about it. I didn’t need it, but we agreed on a price and I took it home.

A few weeks later I finally found time to look at it. After taking it out and checking it over, it looked like it was in fairly decent condition. Some of the detail woodwork had broken off – but luckily all the pieces were present. So, a little wood glue, time and patience, and it’s back to 100%!
SWEET! I’m thinking it was a pretty decent score! (Pic 2)

…and then I started looking at the subtle details.
First was the cardboard box. It was flimsy and thin, but after looking closer – there was a sticker. It was obvious the sticker was written in German. (Pic 3) Not surprisingly, it was probably grandma’s souvenir from visiting Germany at some time in the past. Hmmm, ok - so it’s probably the original box.
Upon researching the web, ‘VEB VERO’ was a chain of stores in Germany, and Bornichen was the town it was purchased. (Bornichen Germany, 50°44′58″N 13°8′29″E)
Bornichen Map | Germany Google Satellite Maps
Of course, the sticker also showed what appeared to be the item number and a price of 245.

Next, looking on the bottom of the candle-carousel was another sticker.
‘Erzgebirge’ which I found is the manufacturer – which is still in business! [Link]
Holy smokes!!! Look at these crazy prices for Christmas Pyramids!!! Prices here: [Christmas Pyramids]
(…If you want one, they’re much cheaper on eBay, and I got it stupid cheap at the garage sale.)

The thing about the sticker that was odd to me was the phrase “Made in German Democratic Republic”. Hmmm, and then it clicked!
The “German Democratic Republic” was the communist occupied East-Germany – back when the German wall was still up. Link: [Wikipedia East Germany]
Looking back at the sticker on the box – it showed a price tag of 245 M. ‘M’ being for the East German Mark. Link: [East_German_mark]

At some random garage sale in middle of Oklahoma, I picked up a German candle carousel that was purchased in East Germany during communist occupation. This thing was at least from 1990 (30+ years old). Looking at the other packaging, and the included wax candles (which have never been light), I think everything is original and was never used. Bornichen Germany is deep in east-Germany and I have no idea what the little grandma was doing there, or how it got to Oklahoma, ….but rest-assured - I’ll make up a good story and embellish a few details. : )

Regardless, I’ve got a neat little garage sale find.
And after a little research – I found it’s part of history, coming here from 1/2 way around the world, from a much more uncertain time.
It’s certainly way more unique to me now.

So how about you?
Have you ever bought something at a garage sale, only to find out it was way more of a ‘find’ then you had thought it was?
What’s your garage sale find?


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Special Hen
Jul 1, 2021
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Warr Acres
Mine was just before the lego movie came out, and you could still turn a profit with sales.

Found some widowed lady that was selling the entire theme of a long retired line called exo force. Bunch of lego built mechs and such.

She wanted 100 bucks for the whole theme. Naturally I was all over that as a collector when you can get the whole theme it is a big bonus.

Got to speaking with her and she said she had more lego, but had no idea of its value, or how to even look it up.

I offered her that I will show her their values on my phone while we look them over. This woman.....she brings out all the books, lego exclusive stuff to members of its direct mailing club and other such things....

I start to separate what I know and what I don't pretty quickly. What I know totals around 8000 in used sales recent, some had never been up for sale or isnt listed on the site I was using.

The other stuff I total around 2500 or so. She is amazed...asks me what I have on me...I said 200 in cash, but I can get another 300....I wish I could get some of these, but you know their worth.

She asks what I would do with them, many I planned to display at the local library near me I said, others I would trade for other sets I know people have, and rest I would keep for our lego club.

She said go get that 300...so I do and come back...she had them all waiting in the driveway.

Still got most of it too. One set I traded for a one x on opening day to a collector. He was a GM at gamestop....others I traded for various sets the kids at the library asked for.

All in all was the best deal at a garage sale I ever got.


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Apr 7, 2009
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Nothing as exciting as the stories above, but I like to collect and fix up vintage electric desktop fans, especially pre-WW2 Emersons. My gf and I were at a local antique store one weekend, and while browsing, I saw a wooden box with the Emerson logo. I remarked casually about the logo to my gf, then I had a growing realization what I was looking at - possibly a pre-1930s shipping crate for an electric fan? Most of those crates, after delivery, were broken up back in the day and used for firewood, or just thrown away, so I looked inside for the wooden stays that would have been nailed to the bottom. Bingo! It was indeed a shipping crate for an Emerson fan, and the model number stenciled on the side was still visible. These crates typically go for $150-200 nowadays. My price? $40. Don’t have any pics handy, though.


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Apr 22, 2016
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About 12 years ago, I walked up to one and this nice lady had these forks with the tines all curled up. Wrapped in a ribbon with a tag that said "Diet Fork". Asking 50 cents a pop and had a whole box of them. I asked to buy the whole box and she said 50 bucks. There were a metric **** ton of them. Bought them all.

About a week later, went to the pawn shop and sold about 45 pounds of silver in the shape of diet forks!
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old John

Special Hen
Jan 24, 2020
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Tulsa, OK.
I went to a garage sale a few years ago, and didn't see anything I wanted . I was about to leave when a guy that was also at the sale said, I have some stuff in my car for sale. We went to his car, he looked all around, and then opened the trunk, and then a jewelry box. Inside was several very expensive looking pieces of jewelry. The one that jumped out at me was a ladies watch, it had diamonds completely are round the dial, and was just beautiful. He priced it cheap, but I made an offer of $250.00, and he looked around again, and took it! I took this beautiful watch home to my wife, for our 25th anniversary, and she was thoroughly impressed by my generosity! A week later she lost a diamond out of the face. We looked everywhere but couldn't find it. I took the watch to the local jeweler and ask if he could replace the diamond, and would it match well enough so it wouldn't damage the value of the watch. I ask how much it would cost, fearing I could not afford the repair, He said, it would be $10.00 !!!!!!! I said WHAT? He then laughed and said, the whole watch is not worth $25.00! This really happened under different circemstances to a friend of mine, and ! thought it would make a better story told in the first person. He just had the watch fixed and cautioned his wife to be careful, not to lose any more expensive diamonds!

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