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What was your greatest garage sale find?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 19, 2012

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Photo of Jenny O’Brien

“A box of four really good pasta rollers.”

Photo of Mike Ray

“An unused fish tank.”

Photo of Brett Davis

“Golf clubs.”


My_Life 6 years, 2 months ago

Indyan found a box of rocks that turned out to be long lost relatives.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 2 months ago

A house! I thought I was just getting the garage, but little did I know there was a house connected to it.

Garage Sale...

Stephanie Hull 6 years, 2 months ago

Almost 20 years ago my parents went to a garage sale and ended up buying the house! It turned out a retired couple was having a garage sale to downsize before they put their house on the market because they were moving to Brandon Woods. My mom mentioned that it looked like a moving sale, and when they said it was she asked if she could see the house. They closed the deal and moved in about a month later.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

I once had an amazing garage sale find, and I bought it right away. It didn't look like anything special, it was an electronic bug repeller that one of the professors in the Entomology Department here at KU later told me wouldn't do anything, it was nothing but a marketing gimmick. So, I sold it at my next garage sale.

Maybe a bit over a year later, I saw one just like it at another garage sale! I looked at it a bit closer, and I realized it was the same one!

I knew that because a friend had priced it for me, and put her initials on it. They hadn't even changed the price! And, apparently it had been through at least another garage sale in the meantime.

Since I got the thing at a garage sale myself in the first place, I sure do wonder how many garage sales that electronic bug repeller went through.

Never know, maybe you'll find it at a garage sale near you sometime. The price is $3.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

deec hunny lubby dear, You should know all about it, because you were there!

deec 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, I'm missing a lot of data from 1976-2004 in the old memory cells!

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

8 boxes of great books, $5.00 a box, really good books. English graduate student leaving on a jet plane. Some fine science fiction. Poetry, full collection of many authors. A great collection of short story collections.

Pitt_Mackeson 6 years, 2 months ago

I found this super cool 7up glass. 7up: The UnCola :)

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

A left hand compound bow with one dozen arrows. Priced at $30, I offered $12 and left my phone #. I got a call before I was a block away accepting my offer.

Mary Darst 6 years, 2 months ago

I bought a chandelier for $5. refurbished it in gyspy style. red and blue light bulbs and draped white lights is a sight to behold.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 2 months ago

Bought a dresser when I was pregnant with my oldest for $20. Took it home scraped 6 layers of paint off and refinished it. 37 years later, the oldest grandchild is still using it.Talk about getting my money's worth.

woodscolt 6 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if Jenny O knew she was on Massachusetts street?

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

A friend bought a hutch and a recliner at an estate sale. Inside the hutch he found a pint bottle of Jim Beam duct taped to the back behind a drawer. A year or so later he heard a clunk when he sat in the recliner. A loaded Colt .45 revolver had fallen out of it. I told him he shoulda bought more furniture at that sale . . .

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

My grandmother would make offers on entire trays of costume jewelry then sort it and resell at her own sales. She once found a dinner ring (whatever that is) that appraised over $8,000 in a tray she gave less than $20 for.

ms_canada 6 years, 2 months ago

Got an antique dresser at one sale and an oval basin at another, cut an oval hole in the top of the dresser, stripped the ugly paint off, varnished it, connected pipes and drain and got a super terrific vanity for my cottage. I was sooo proud of that. Plus, by running the pipes to the side, I was able to use the drawers. Oh, I was so smug!!! What a genius. Vanity $105

Chelsea Kapfer 6 years, 2 months ago

I bought a Karastan 10x12 rug for 10 bucks. when I had it cleaned I learned it retailed for $5,000 - $$7,000. It has been in my living room for 3 years now, and is just beautiful.

labmonkey 6 years, 2 months ago

When I lived in Lawrence, I found a nearly new trombone for $30. I ended up selling it for a nice profit.

deec 6 years, 2 months ago

I got a book at an auction once that had $1364 in cash tucked inside. It was one of those "How to be a Successful Salesman" books. Apparently it worked.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

That sounds more like a "How to be a Successful Purchaser" story to me.

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

That rain blowin' in the garage door of the bunker sure do make the hot lead in the casting pot splatter! Door down now, all systems down, red welts on face and arms . . .

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

Well . . . anymore I DO wear a mask . . . but there was that time I melted down 4 tons of wheel weights and 1500lbs. of linotype into ingots . . . if memory . . serves . . me . . . I think . . .maybe

riverdrifter 6 years, 2 months ago

I bought a butterfly VanBriggle vase for $4 at a garage sale in Ottawa a few years ago. Flipped it on Ebay for $220. Some friends bought a painting for $14 at a garage sale (or a junk store, can't remember) in Arkansas. They really liked it and hung it in a bathroom in their house. Somebody noticed it and told them to get it appraised, which they did. It's by Forrest Bess, a Texas artist. They were advised to insure it for $140,000. That's the way to add zeroes!

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

An 1867 Godey's Ladies Book with all of the issues for that year bound into a hard cover. Inside the front cover was a woman's name, the year 1868 and "Wyandotte, KS" (the name of Kansas City, KS prior to it's incorporation). I bought it for two dollars at a garage sale. A few years after I bought it I donated it to the archives of the Wyandotte County Historical Society. A men's dresser set from sometime around 1915. It was a large wooden box covered in celluloid to look like green marble. Inside was a lift out tray covered in green satin with two small cups for collar studs and places for manicure tools. Included with it were eight collar studs. Four of them were bone ivory and four were themselves celluloid. Also included with it were several manicure tools, all with ivory handles. I paid a whopping five bucks for it.

rumor_man 6 years, 2 months ago

Moon rocks for $100.00 each. I think I got a pretty good deal considering I bought the last ones he said he had.

Joe Hyde 6 years, 2 months ago

It didn't happen to me, but a bandmate once told me how he'd narrowly missed buying a choice musical instrument at a garage sale he stopped at.

The instrument? A 1952 Gibson mandolin, still in its original hard case. The lady minutes earlier had let someone have it for twenty five bucks.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

They might have been twenty five magnificent bucks!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

They might have been twenty five magnificent bucks!

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

Last year we drove by a yard sale and I spotted a 70s Sansui QR 4500 (Quadrophonic) receiver. After skidding to a stop I paid $20 for it. You can buy one today on ebay for $225. I'm listening to it now and will continue to until I find that elusive G9000.

Moon rocks for $100 each would be cool too. For all you loony Lawrence liberals, I have 3/4" moon rocks I'll sell for $50 each. I'll even let you choose the one you want from my driveway.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

Brand new small expresso machine for $5. The lady selling it said, "It makes good coffee, but it's too strong for my taste." I was glad to take it off her hands.

asixbury 6 years, 2 months ago

My dad bought a 1960's Barbie with clothes, the cardboard dream house, and pamphlet for $75. I thought he was mad, until he turned around and sold it for $500. Maybe he's not as crazy as I think he is.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Maybe you should wonder how much the man who paid $500 for it sold it for later.

Bill Lee 6 years, 2 months ago

A friend and I went to a sale years ago. I found a Nazi SS helmet for $5. My friend found a coupld of comic books. The girl running the sale gave them to him at no charge. They were the first issues of Spiderman and the Fantastic Four. They're worth thousands now!

Jay Keffer 6 years, 2 months ago

Twice bought cars when looking for good deals on odds and ends. First was a Fiat 850, which the seller was trying to fit as the last item on a Ryder truck while he was holding the last day of a moving sale. Paid $200 cash money and it was mine. Sweet little convertible that was busted more than it ran, but it was a hoot to cruise around in when it did fire up. My buddies once lifted it and sat it sideways in the parking stall - it fit perfectly. Getting it back out was a day lost and a sore arm and leg from shift/reverse/1st gear/shift/repeat. Funny how nobody was around to help lift it back out....

Second was a mint 1988 BMW convertible with sky-high miles, but ran like a top. Perfect condition, rebuilt everything, beautiful gun metal blue finish. Tried to get one of the kids I used to have interested in it, but it was a stick and he declined. Super fun car for $1K and quick as a bunny.

Both were 'lurking' items that the sellers were wanting to get rid of, but never officially put in the garage sale. Sold both at a profit, but of course, kicking myself for selling at the time. Sure would be fun to have them around now that I actually know something about tinkering with cars.

So, as the other commenter posted about buying the house - poke around the edges - there are deals out there.

And BTW, Storage Wars is fun to watch but it has to be totally staged!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

The Fiat 850 is extremely collectible today! Not very many survived the years because of the very low grade steel used in its construction, they simply rusted away.

The original 1967 Pininfarina designed Fiat 850 with the transparent covered headlights is certainly one of the most artistic cars ever built, in my opinion. But, as far as getting you somewhere, I think it was somewhat lacking. I've never seen one, the only ones I have ever seen were the later models that didn't have the covers over the headlights, and they were less sleek looking.

But from the photos I've seen of the 1967 Fiat 850, oh boy!

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

"Sweet little convertible that was busted more than it ran..." Good point. The new Fiats are better. The joke used to be that FIAT stood for Fix It Again Tony!

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