Don't Waste Your Money: How to find hidden yard sale gems - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: How to find hidden yard sale gems

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Some of Ansel Adams' photos found at a garage sale were determined to be worth $200 million. Some of Ansel Adams' photos found at a garage sale were determined to be worth $200 million.
(Toledo News Now) -

It's summer, and it seems that every weekend you can find yard sales in your neighborhood, or one nearby. Unfortunately, a lot of items people put out for sale is junk and a waste of your time and money. However, some of it can be hidden treasure. So how do you find a yard sale gem?

We've all heard of yard sale surprises, like a $5 guitar that turned out to be Jimmy Hendrix's old instrument. While this is a very rare occurrence, there are ways to figure out which yard sale items are worth your money.

 

Northern Kentucky University Professor, Brian Hackett, says true antique furniture will have original knobs - not replacements - and old-fashioned dovetails in the drawers. True collectibles will be correctly marked. Reproductions are usually worthless. 


"You want to be sure they have the proper mark on the bottom," Hackett said.

 

Antiques seller, Amber Ashley, says worthless knockoffs are everywhere these days. 


"Do your research, because there's a lot of good reproductions out there," she said.

 

Hackett and Ashley say clues you may have stumbled upon a hidden treasure include:

 

-A signature 
-1930s art deco anything 
-1950s or 1960s housewares 
-Tin toys 
-Any old painting 

Another good tip is to look around to see where it was made. If it reads "America" or especially "Europe," you might have something. If you see the words "Made in China," then probably not.

 

To check an item's real value, use your smart phone to search for similar items on eBay. Or visit a local antiques appraiser.

 

For $8, Value My Stuff will let you know if you may have found the real thing - just send them a photo.            

 

Experts say more than half of all people holding garage sales have no idea what their items are worth. So if you take a little time and do some research, you may be able to walk away with a steal. That way you don't waste your money.


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