How to become a good garage sale deal finder...
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jms007bnd007

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After reading about Tuberoller's great finds at garage sales in his area, I am excited about doing some of the same in my area to make a little extra money, and to find some equipment for myself at the same time. I just don't really know where to find information about what kind of records, equipment, etc...are worth buying. Does anybody know where I can begin to build my knowledge on something like this?
 
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Ari

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Hey jms007bnd007

That's a very good idea !! I want to learn too !

Ari
 
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Tuberoller

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I'll tell you this.When I started going to garage sales in a big way I was clueless.I bought every record and every piece of audio gear that looked old and well built.During that time I bought thousands of records and hundreds of peices of gear.Sometimes it was only that stuff that kept food on my table.What I'm saying is,I was not very selective then and the things I bought were based purely on emotion.I bought what I liked and those things turned out to be most valuable.Sometimes I ignorantly passed on something very valuable and later kicked myself(like an old walnut desk with a built-in IBM Selectmatic typewriter,worth over $12,000.00 today)but I didn't have the resources to buy or sell some of those items anyway.

I'll offer tips based on my own experiences.I don't know what you are looking for,but these have proven useful for me.

1.If you are buying records,buy them all.Always ask what the seller wants for the entire lot and deal from there.If you ask what they want for each individual record then you are dealing with them on a per-record price.You can always sell or trade them later.Buy a Goldmine Record Value Guide.Even a used,out-of-date guide will give you some idea what the vinyl is worth.Join all the records collectors clubs that have free memberships.Lots of free info is available from them and this is were you really find the record values.

2.Stay away from furniture if you don't plan on using it yourself.the grading systems for collectors is very liberal and you will get burned or frustrated trying to sell a really nice piece to some eccentric *******.I know from experience.I have made some money here but it was not easy.Besides,there are lots of people looking for furniture at garage sales,you have to compete with them.

3.If buying audio or electronic gear assume that it does not work.My rule is that I will not pay over $50.00 for any audio gear at a garage sale.I buy all old tube gear and any electronics manuals or books.Names to look for,Fisher,Marantz,Dynaco,HHScott,Harmon Kardon,Grundig,Lovitz,Singer,AR,Dual,Warfedale,Bos e,Carver and any others that you think are valuable.The reason I say this is because if you think it is worth something,then more than likely others do too.Don't buy stuff that is too beat up.missing cabinets and power cords is not a big deal.Missing knobs are.Use your head.

4.have cash in hand.I mean literally in your hand.the site of money opens lots of doors.I have been to garage sales and asked about other stuff that was not for sale or in the house and been invited inside to look it over and have purchased a lot of stuff like this.I bought a set of valve covers for a 1962 fuel-injected Corvette for $20.00 that I later sold for $700.00 by just asking.Ignore prices.I will ask"what do you want for this"even if there is a price tag in plain view.usually the price they say will be lower than the printed one,if not correct them and deal from there.Always deal from the lowest qouted price.If you buy one item at a huge dicount,give them a break on anything else you buy,just pay what they are asking.don't ever mention you are a collector,the doors just slam in your face.

5.When buying books and magazines(which are real money makers) buy only those that have covers intact.Buy any old Ebony,Jet,Life,Popular Science,Sears and Ward's catalogs,Women's World,Scout magazines and Military Recruitment materials.The Ebony and Jet magazines are usually in great shape and sell for big money on ebay.Buy the whole stack.Only buy old Playboy and other adult magazines if you can stomach dealing with the jerks that buy them.They sell well but not for big bucks.

6.Stay away from tools,clothes,appliances,camping gear,shoes and other stuff like that unless you know the value of it.Donate to charity what you can't sell or use.The tax write-offs are significant.If you choose to start a business hunting garage sales,call yourself a recycler and make cards to that effect.recylers get much more respect and get big tax breaks as well.Artwork is a big money loser.eveyone has heard the stories of the big dollar finds and sellers price to the sky.

7.If you are gonna use ebay to sell this stuff set-up a seperate account to do so.Use ebay to check what your new finds are selling for.

6.shop your own neighborhood first.You will bump into people who resent you coming to their hood to buy stuff.Other buyers,sellers and sometimes even the cops(at least in Chicago) don't like it when you come from a rich suburb to come buy all the poor people's stuff for cheap.When you do go to other places, do so to buy,not look around.There are also usually large community garage sales in some cities.these are great if you go early on the first day.Check newspapers and grocery store ad areas for the sale announcements.


Last one,shop early.

If you are buying something specific and don't mind dealing with lots of junk,consider placing ads.I have ads in a few newspapers and posted at every grocery store in the area for records.I have found large numbers of records this way.

good luck,

edit: you did ask where to find info on the gear.It's difficult to say what you'll find.I say buy it first and research it later.When I try too hard to find something specific at a garage sale I usually pass on other great stuff.That takes the fun out of it.
 
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john_jcb

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To expand on something Fred said near the end of his post about going early. Look for items of interest very quickly and move on if you do not see anything. You cannot be everywhere at once so the more sales you make it to early on the better your chances.

Don't be shy about asking if they are selling what you are buying. Often times garage sales are poorly organized anfd it is difficult to spot item especially if they are big.
 
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jms007bnd007

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Wow, thanks for all the great advice. It will definitely help me out as I get started. Thanks again Tuberoller and John.
 
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