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13 Garage Sale Items That Make You Think Twice

I get questions about what not to sell at garage sales. Here are my thoughts. Garage sales, yard sales, and estate sales are some of the easiest ways to convert old stuff into extra cash, but experience tells me they may not be the best place to offload some items. Unique or old, outdated things may not appeal to the types of shoppers these events attract.

Many everyday items will not bring prices you would be happy with at a garage sale, yard sale, or estate sale. Things to consider….

1. Baseball Cards

Baseball Cards
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>With baseball cards, the difference between a throwaway card and a priceless card can be nearly imperceptible to the casual hobbyist. You should think twice before selling any sports cards (or sports memorabilia in general) because it’s more than just the quality of the piece in question – it’s about the rarity. Unless you’re an expert in this field, you could give away a fortune in memorabilia at your garage sale.

2. Baby Things

baby in carseat
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Many items for little ones should only be purchased new or from people you know. Car seats for babies, especially older seats, may not meet the newest guidelines for car seats. And, who would want to purchase used pacifiers at garage or yard sales?

3. Tupperware

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Tupperware and other plastics manufactured before 2010 have harmful chemicals that can leach out into your foods. Plastics are porous so be careful when buying used.

4. Upholstered Furniture

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That sofa or chair may look pretty but you never know what may be hiding inside. The stuffing may contain bed bugs or other creatures and there may be odors or stains that are impossible to get rid of.

5. Pianos

Hand playing Pianos
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Everybody loves the sound of a piano, but as it turns out, only a few people want to pay for the privilege of having a piano in their home. “For what it’s worth, I recently found out that pianos never sell,” confesses one person. “Almost always, they have to be donated or just trashed. There is very little call for a used piano.”

6. Clothing Priced More Than $5

Man buying clothes.
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Countless people experienced in the garage sale space report the same thing: $5 is the price point of no return. It doesn’t matter the quality, the fashion, or the condition of a piece of clothing – if it’s over $5, it won’t sell. That said, feel free to price items at your garage sale at $4 and see the profits roll in.

7. Underwear

undergarments neatly folded.
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I must question your sanity if you’re considering selling underwear (used or otherwise) at your upcoming garage sale. There is a minuscule market for non-retail underwear, and the type of person buying undergarments from a garage sale is most likely not the type of person you want anywhere near your home!

8. VHS Cassettes

Close-up hand chooses and put or insert video cassette tape VHS old retro style on video record playback concept of vintage electric and electronic appliances multimedia player device old fashioned.
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We live in a world of DVDs, Blu-Rays, and streaming services. Unfortunately, unless you have a rare VHS cassette, you’re most likely wasting your time trying to sell movies at a garage sale. “You have to pay people to take them away, and it always seems such a shame to take them to the dumpster,” confesses one woman. I have hundreds of vintage Walt Disney classics that no one wants.”

9. CRT TVs

An old TV with a monochrome kinescope on wooden table. 3d
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I stumbled across a few garage sales recently, and they all had the same thing in common: CRT TVs. Unsurprisingly, they were all priced at $20 or more. I stayed away for obvious reasons. CRT TVs are obsolete in every way, and I can’t figure out why anyone would buy one from a garage sale in 2023.

10. Landline Phones

Woman speaking on Landline Phone.
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With the world moving towards cell phones and wireless technology, selling landline phones at a garage sale is a waste of time for everyone involved. “Unfortunately, there is little or no market for these,” says one garage sale connoisseur. “The cords and cables that go with them are just as unwanted.”

11. Encyclopedia Sets

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Unfortunately, the internet rendered physical encyclopedia sets obsolete at the onset of the 21st century, much like CRT televisions. So your best chance of selling these at a garage sale is marketing them as old-school paperweights.&

12. Dining Room Table

Family eating in dining room
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Although I proudly have a dining room (complete with a table!), according to many people, dining room tables are hard sells. “It seems like traditional dining room tables are not in fashion anymore, as meals have moved to a kitchen table, island, or bar-type setups,” says one man who recently had a garage sale. “Many of the newer homes don’t even have dining rooms.

13. Stereo Speakers

bookshelf speaker with remote controller and smartphone on a TV stand
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Outfitting a room with high-end stereo equipment to listen to music has gone out of style. Modern earbuds, headphones, and Bluetooth portable speakers are now the primary source of audio goodness in 2023. If you think you’ll get top dollar for your old stereo speakers, you’re in for a disappointment.

Coolest Things People Found At The Thrift Store

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Join the league of thrift store lovers who have found the coolest things in the most unforgettable of thrift marketplaces. Rare paintings, vintage clothing, and Renaissance-era furniture have been found in thrift racks, and here are a few thrift store finds by real people that will make your jaw drop.

 10 Coolest Things People Found in Thrift Stores

10 Horrifying Finds From Thrift Stores

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A Pennslyvania resident describes how he found a photo album at an auction house belonging to a U.S. soldier who served in the South Pacific during World War Two. “The first few pages were mostly snaps of various friends and acquaintances,” says our contributor. However, as he went deeper, images of mutilated Japanese casualties began to appear…

10 Horrifying Finds From Thrift Stores

10 Things You Should Never Buy at a Thrift Store

Child playing with stuffed Toy
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I tend to avoid stuffed animals,” confesses one woman. “They are hard to wash and, assuming they belonged to children, have God knows what on them (or worse, soaked into them).”

10 Things You Should Never Buy at a Thrift Store

12 Throw Away Things To Upcycle Today

Denim Upcycling Ideas, Using Old Jeans, Repurposing Jeans, Reusing Old Jeans, Upcycle Stuff. Woman seamstress cut and repair old blue jeans in sewing studio.
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Keep a lookout for old pairs of jeans that might be in danger of being donated or tossed out – they are invaluable in the upcycling world.
12 Throw Away Things To Upcycle Today

10 Things Not To Pass Up At Thrift Stores

Woman having flower vase.
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There’s a 99% chance vases found at the thrift store were used solely for holding flowers, and they’re usually priced at only a few dollars. So it’s always well worth picking up a vase or two whenever you come across them!

10 Things Not To Pass Up At Thrift Stores

One Comment

  1. Interesting, Kathy, but somehow kind of sad, too. I’m pushing 80 and all this new electronic stuff pretty much baffles me! Thinking that so much of what I grew up with and ways I’ve been used to doing things for many years are just plain obsolete gives me pause and makes me wonder if I’m obsolete, too! It’s like learning how to navigate life all over again in warp speed. Whew! Thanks for the post, anyway.

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