How to Find a Gem vs. Junk at Yard Sales

Looking for necessities at yard sales can be a great way to cut down on costs and get good items at great values. There are some other benefits to finding great items at yard sales that other shoppers may not consider. One of those is the lucky “yard sale treasure.” Most yard sale goers are looking for items they need, or products being sold at a good price. There is, however, the occasional gem that may be worth much, much more than what the seller is advertising.

a table with miscellaneous yard sale treasures

At Yard Sale Radar, you can check out items online through our hassle-free yard sale search portal. It’s great for checking out what items are available in your neighborhood, but it’s also great if you’re searching for that perfect yard sale treasure. Keep in mind, what you think is a treasure might not have value, so it’s important to know if it’s actually a gem or a piece of junk. For this reason, we’ve organized a three-step process so that you can make the decision as to whether the item would be worth anything more than the joy it brings you.

3 Steps to Tell if Your Item Is a Gem or a Piece of Junk

Finding yard sale treasures and gems that can turn you big profits is easier than it seems. There are some great ways you can increase your chances of finding these types of items. It is important that you do your own due diligence to double check if a yard sale item is worth your money. If you’re new to searching for items at yard sales, there are some additional resources online to help you get started,

We’ve put together the following guide so that you can confidently choose a yard sale treasure!

  1. Use Your Smartphone as a Secret Weapon – If you’ve come across an unusual item and you think this yard sale find is worth your money, then do a little a little investigative research. Look to see how much it might be worth by running a quick search on eBay. In general, the value of an item at a yard sale should be 25 to 50 percent less than what it’s listed for online. Using this technique, you can find out right off the bat if your yard sale treasure is worth your time and effort. You can also check out Yard Sale Radar to see if the item you’re looking for is listed on our website.
  2. Test it Out – Once you know that your item is worth some value and it passes the 25 percent to 50 percent rule, it’s time to test it out. You want to check if there’s a reason why the seller’s price is lower than what it should be. If your item runs on electricity, ask the seller if you can use an outlet to plug it in and make sure it works. For furniture and similar items, make sure that the drawers and doors open and close the way they should. Also, check to see if there are any stains, missing buttons, or specific elements that would discount the value or make it so that the item doesn’t function as it should.
  3. Inspect it Carefully – Lastly, to learn if your yard sale find is worth the money, do a final inspection. Double check to make sure your item includes all the pieces and parts it should come with that could affect its value. For example, make sure all cords and components are provided and look to see if DVDs or video games are actually inside the cases. Run your fingers around the edges items to check for any nicks or damage. All of this will give you a better picture on whether or not you’ve discovered a yard sale treasure.

Finding a gem at a yard sale can be invigorating and even addicting. If you’re new, it can be a rewarding experience!

Some Tips for Increasing the Chances that You Find Yard Sale Treasures

If you’re looking for a specific item or if you’re browsing to see if a yard sale find is worth money, there are ways that will give you a better chance to go home a winner.boxes of books can hold yard sale treasures

  • Time Your Visit – You’ll find the best selections within the first half hour of a sale, when you may find yourself competing with professional secondhand dealers scouting for great products they can resell. This can be particularly true for high-end furniture and works of art, for example.
  • Broken Doesn’t Mean Worthless – Even if the item can’t be repaired it may still be a yard sale treasure. Items like damaged jewelry made with real gold could still have a great value because of the price of the metal which could be resold to a jeweler.
  • Negotiate The Smart Way – If you think you’ve found a yard sale treasure, but can’t agree on a price, don’t lose hope. You could come back later in the day to see if it’s still available and the seller may be more open to negotiating. You could also exchange contact information so that you both have more time to think about the deal and how to move forward.

Checking Quality on Yard Sale Radar

Our website, Yard Sale Radar, allows you to check out item listings across the country and in your neighborhood. To save you time and effort, you can easily search items online to see if your next yard sale treasure is out there waiting for you.

Save time, save money, advertise and search nationwide with Yard Sale Radar! For more information, check us out online!