When it comes to great finds that don’t break the bank, you’ll find that thrift stores and garage sales top the list. A dollar can go a long way at either of these places and one will seldom be disappointed at what they can buy. Sometimes, unknowingly, garage sales have even exceeded the expectations of their shoppers in the most awesome & unexpected ways.
Whether it was luck or just a keen eye for great finds, these people got way much more than they bargained for.
A Sweater Worn by Vince Lombardi
A couple in Asheville, N.C. thought that a cozy and warm sweater at $0.58 was such a great deal that they didn’t have a second thought buying it. Turns out, they were more than right. The sweater they bought at a Goodwill store in 2014 was owned by no other than famous coach Vince Lombardi himself. What’s cooler than owning a Lombardi sweater? It’s earning $43,020 from auctioning the said sweater after authenticating the origin of the clothing item. Not too shabby.
A Piece of China from China
Oftentimes, garage sales feature old or unused chinaware, some for use in the dining room and a few for ornamental purposes. The more normal looking pieces can be the most easily sold or the least, depending on how well-preserved they are or how dainty looking.
But at rare times, when a piece of china looks rather unusual, we tend to be more drawn to buy these items as they make a nice statement piece in the house. In 2013, an unnamed Australian, found a strange-looking cup. Probably thinking it would look good in his home, he bought it for $4. Out of curiosity, he conducted some research on the item and confirmed that it was a libation cup from 17th century China, carved from Rhinoceros horn. It was sold at an auction for a whopping $75,640. Bet the garage seller that sold it cried their eyeballs out after hearing this.
From Neck to Cheque
A jewelry enthusiast from Philadelphia found a seemingly nice addition to her collection while shopping at a flea market. She purchased the bold piece of jewelry right away. Fast forward three years, and she saw a similar looking jewelry displayed at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Imagine her shock when she found out and confirmed later on that it was the work of Alexander Calder. She decided to sell her find, earning her $267,750. And they say Garage Sale-ing isn’t a “real” job.
An Egg-ceptional Find
How often can one find a priceless egg when rummaging your good ol’ thrift shop? Not too often. Maybe even one in a million? Or in this instance, one in fifty. That’s why a scrap metal dealer had the time of his life when he purchased a real Faberge Egg. Yep, that’s right. A real “Faberge” egg. The scrap dealer bought the egg for $14,000. It might seem like a hefty price, but believing that he could get his investment back by melting the golden egg, he took the gamble. Turns out, it was the best gamble of his life as the egg was soon discovered (before he eventuated his plan of melting it, of course) to be one of only 50 Faberge Imperial Eggs in existence. Over $30 million was the estimated value of the egg. The scrap collector eventually sold the egg, but the actual price paid to him was never made publicly available. Well, even if we guess, we can probably only imagine the kind of life that scrap metal dealer is now leading. Sweet!
Rare stories like this give a total boost to the “picking” market. But even just the little bargains are a good reason to shake those limbs off and indulge the garage sale hopper in you.
Tell us your favourite garage sale story. They’re not always the million dollar win, but they’re always fun!!