18 Valuable Yard Sale Items to Buy Right Away

Written By Jill Taylor

Yard sales can be treasure troves of valuable or useful items, and you might find unique, rare, or vintage items at a fraction of their original cost or current value. But there’s also often a lot of trash to sift through. Here, we reveal 18 yard-sale finds that represent a bargain opportunity and deserve to be grabbed immediately!

Vintage Tools

Photo Credit: donatas1205/Shutterstock

Well-maintained vintage tools, especially those made by renowned brands like Craftsman, Stanley, or Snap-on, are built to last a lifetime and are often extraordinarily well-made and ‘built to last’ compared to modern equivalents. If you have the time and the know-how, you can quickly restore them to pristine condition, and they have the potential to increase in value over time.

Sterling Silver Flatware

Photo Credit: Studio Peace/Shutterstock

Old-fashioned sterling silver flatware typically has a high silver content and is decorated with ornate designs. Sarasota Antique Buyers says that specific designs, such as “Grand Baroque by Wallace,” are valuable and extremely sought after by collectors. Even if you find a silver cutlery set that isn’t a prized antique, you can still use it daily or keep it for entertaining guests.

Cast Iron Cookware

Photo Credit: Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens, and griddles are fantastically long-lived kitchen tools that heat evenly, retain heat well, and rarely break. With proper care, vintage cast iron only gets better with age and comes pre-seasoned, meaning it’s ready to use immediately. It also has a classic, timeless design that fits into almost any kitchen. Don’t let one pass you by!

Antique Furniture

Photo Credit: MarkoV87/Shutterstock

Not every piece of old furniture is a goldmine, but certain styles and periods consistently hold their value or even appreciate. Do a little research beforehand; familiarize yourself with pieces from the Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, or Shaker eras. Be on the lookout for classic, solid wood designs, and don’t be put off by a few scratches or worn upholstery.

Vintage Jewelry

Photo Credit: Falcon Eyes/Shutterstock

You’re unlikely to find fine jewelry and precious jewels at a yard sale, yet costume jewelry from the 1940s-1980s is often highly prized. Such pieces can feature unique designs, high-quality materials, and beautifully intricate craftsmanship. Look for pieces made from Bakelite, Lucite, or marcasite, which were popular during these eras and can be pretty valuable.

Vinyl Records

Photo Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

Audiophiles assert that vinyl records offer a superior listening experience compared to digital music, with a uniquely warm and rich sound. The most sought-after genres include classic rock, jazz, blues, and soul albums from the 1960s to the 1980s. Although the most iconic artists fetch the highest prices, even lesser-known titles can be valuable to dedicated fans.

Retro Pyrex

Photo Credit: Jennie Barclay/Shutterstock

Tempered glass cookware is virtually indestructible and often passed down from generation to generation. Not all glassware is valuable or worth buying, though—look for the brand ‘Pyrex,’ especially colored or vintage pieces that could be collector’s items. Classic colors like turquoise, orange, or avocado green, or sets with unique patterns, are especially valuable.

Vintage Cameras

Photo Credit: gephoto/Shutterstock

Old film cameras can be money-making collectibles, particularly those made by famous brands like Leica, Nikon, or Canon–bonus points if they’re still in working condition or only require a cheap fix! Many people overlook such devices when bargain-hunting, but they’re popular and valuable nowadays as decorative items, for spare parts, or amongst purist photographers.

Power Tools

Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

High-quality power tools from reputable brands like DeWalt, Makita, or Bosch can be a steal at yard sales, especially if they’ve been well-maintained or barely used. Don’t be put off by a bit of rust or dirt, and pay particular attention to corded or cordless drills, saws, or sanders. These can be used for home repairs and DIY projects or sold to tradespeople for a profit!

Board Games

Photo Credit: AnnaStills/Shutterstock

Classic board games from the 1950s to the 1980s are often high-quality, with beautiful artwork and robust construction. Well-preserved vintage versions of Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, or Risk are the best buys, or you might be lucky and find something worth millions! Lovetoknow reports that a complete example of Sidney Mobell Monopoly recently sold for 2 million dollars!

Vintage Clothing

Photo Credit: Laura Rivas/Shutterstock

When hunting for bargain vintage fashion, concentrate on iconic styles like 1920s flapper dresses, 1950s poodle skirts, or glitzy 1970s disco attire. These items are often popular with vintage clothing enthusiasts and cosplayers. Look for pieces in good condition with unique details and luxurious fabrics. You can sell them for a profit or use them for costume parties.

Antique Books

Photo Credit: stevemart/Shutterstock

You might need to take your time to find rare books, but pay attention if you see first editions of classic novels, out-of-print books, or leather-bound volumes from the 18th or 19th centuries. These can be worth a lot of money to book collectors and often have special inscriptions, unique illustrations, or fascinating historical significance.

Pre-1980s Toys

Photo Credit: watcher fox/Shutterstock

Public reports that, in 2010, a Barbie doll sold for 302,500 dollars at Christie’s auction house, and many types have reached five-figure sums. Keep an eye out for G.I. Joes, Star Wars figures, and old-style teddy bears, too. You might also find unexpectedly valuable 1920s-80s die-cast cars, model trains, or dolls from popular brands like Mattel, Hasbro, or Tonka.

Vintage Glassware

Photo Credit: Bagus upc/Shutterstock

Hand-blown glass, crystal stemware, or Depression-era glassware is often beautiful and valuable, so don’t let such pieces pass you by. Look for unusual designs, sought-after patterns, or glass marked with famous manufacturers’ hallmarks. Vintage glassware makes an elegant centerpiece for your home and will likely increase in value over the years.

Record Players

Photo Credit: Mi Pan/Shutterstock

It’s not just vinyl records that can be hidden goldmines; turntables from the 60s and 70s are also highly prized, particularly those made by Technics, Thorens, or Pioneer. Even if you’re not a devoted music lover yourself, you can often sell such electronic devices for a profit, either as working examples or as non-functional record players for restoration or spare parts.

Vintage Linens

Photo Credit: WIJI/Shutterstock

Believe it or not, high-quality cotton, linen, or lace fabrics can be surprisingly useful and even valuable. Tablecloths, napkins, or tea towels with intricate embroidery, hand-stitching, or unique patterns are often sought after, especially if manufactured by famous artists or long-dead companies. You can use them for their intended purpose or keep them as antiques.

1930s-70s Kitchen Appliances

Photo Credit: Radek Sturgolewski/Shutterstock

Old House says that old-fashioned kitchen appliances are often fantastic quality and have many beneficial features that cheap, modern alternatives lack. Stand mixers, toasters, coffee makers, or blenders from at least 50 years ago can be worth a fortune if well-maintained and still functional. Look for reputable brands like KitchenAid, Sunbeam, or Braun.

Sports Memorabilia

Photo Credit: David Shao/Shutterstock

Antique or vintage sports equipment and clothing can be precious, so pay attention if you spot signed jerseys, used equipment, or old-style sports cards from popular teams or athletes. Items should be in good condition and verifiably authentic, so it’s a good idea to take the time to learn how to check for forgeries or imitations.

Up Next: Do You Know Your Rights? 17 Things You Don’t Have to Answer When Stopped by Police

Photo Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

The thought of getting stopped by the police is a nerve-wracking prospect for most people. It can be even worse if you’re not sure what you should and shouldn’t say, creating a sense of paranoia, anxiety, and confusion. If you’re worried about the potential for a confrontation with the cops, we’re here to help. This list covers 17 things you don’t have to answer when stopped by police officers.

Do You Know Your Rights? 17 Things You Don’t Have to Answer When Stopped by Police

18 Things That Say You Are Middle-Class and Not Rich

Photo Credit: BearFotos/Shutterstock

The difference between the rich and middle class can be confusing, but the two couldn’t be further from each other in reality. In this article, we look at 18 signs that someone is middle class but not at all rich or wealthy.

18 Things That Say You Are Middle-Class and Not Rich

18 Reasons You Feel Like You Don’t Belong Anywhere

Photo Credit: Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock

Feeling like you don’t belong anywhere can feel incredibly isolating. We need companionship to keep us connected to the world, so if you’re struggling to form relationships and don’t feel that you don’t fit in, here are 18 reasons why that might be.