12 Best Things to Buy at Yard Sales to Make a Profit

No more wondering what to look for at yard sales! Just keep your eye out for these finds.

Published July 3, 2024

We love the thrill of the hunt that only comes with a great day of garage sale shopping. After all, the deals can be pretty great. Some of the best things to buy at yard sales are actually worth way more than you pay for them. It's all about knowing what to look for. These are some of our tried-and-true picks for what to look for at yard sales right now.

Sterling Silver Flatware and Jewelry


Don't pass up a pile of old flatware or a jewelry box with tarnished necklaces and earrings. Here's why: if the jewelry or flatware is sterling silver, it's worth a lot. Even if you don't collect antique silver or wear this type of piece, you can sell anything sterling for more than you paid for it if you shop smart.

Quick Tip

You can tell if flatware and jewelry are sterling by looking for silver hallmarks. Sterling pieces are almost always marked "sterling," "925," "sterling silver," or "925/1000." You can find the marks on the back or underside of most items.

Vintage Clothes


You might think that a dress that went out of style 20 years ago is worthless, but chances are, it's just about to be back in style. Vintage clothing is one of the best things to buy at yard sales because people don't always realize what they have. Look for anything in good shape (no stains, tears, or other damage) that looks wearable today. It's even better if the item is a classic of the era in which it was made (think super short hippie dresses or 90s flannel shirts).

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Collecting Vintage T-Shirts

Vinyl Records


Even if you don't have a record player, vinyl records in good condition can be a pretty great investment. An album you get for a few bucks at a yard sale can be worth way more. For example, some of the most valuable 45s are worth thousands of dollars.

Look for albums from well-known bands that everyone loves. If they're in good, playable condition, collectors may be super into them.

Related: Valuable 80s Vinyl Records You Might Still Have

Old Typewriters


Sure, the home computer mostly replaced the typewriter decades ago, but that doesn't mean vintage typewriters aren't valuable. In fact, they're super popular as decorative items, and some people still use them to type (there's nothing more satisfying that classic sound of typewriter keys).

Quick Tip

Look for typewriters that are still in working condition. They're one of the best things to buy at yard sales because you can resell them as functional tools or decorative items.

Precious Moments and Other Collectible Figurines


You know those old collectible figurines everyone had to have in the 80s and 90s? Well, they may not be worth what people paid for them back then, but they can still be worth something. If you find them for cheap prices at garage sales, snap them up to sell to people who still collect them.

Related: Most Valuable Porcelain Figurines & How to Spot Them

Vintage Tupperware


Those old Tupperware containers from decades past are actually one of the best things to buy at garage sales — especially if they're in great shape. That's because there's a big market for vintage Tupperware and kitchen items now as people lean into the nostalgia of their parents' or grandparents' kitchens.

Related: Vintage Tupperware Guide - Collecting Catalog Classics

Old Film Cameras


That dusty old camera sitting on a yard sale table could actually be a gold mine. That's because lots of people shoot film cameras for fun, but there aren't that many film cameras still being made. The vintage ones can be worth a lot, especially if they're in working condition.

Quick Tip

Look for 35mm cameras, especially single-lens reflex ones (SLRs). Even if the camera isn't working, the lens could be worth something on its own.

Kitschy Holiday Decorations


Those funky Santa decorations and light-up trees your grandma used to have out every Christmas? Now, they're worth way more than most people charge at yard sales. There's lots of demand for vintage Christmas decor, especially if you resell it around the holidays. Look for anything in good working condition that has a fun and funky look.

Vintage Pyrex


Like Tupperware, Pyrex has a ton of classic appeal, and that makes it one of the best things to buy at yard sales. Look for anything in great shape, especially Pyrex from the 1950s and 1960s. Skip on stuff with chips, scratches, discoloration, and other damage.

Related: Handy Guide to Vintage Pyrex Identification Marks, Patterns, & Value

Antique Furniture


If you see a piece of antique furniture that's useful in today's homes, snap that up. People sometimes sell antiques for way less than their value at yard sales, which means they can be the perfect thing to buy and flip. A simple cleaning can make a dusty old dresser look amazing.

Antique furniture values depend on tons of factors, but condition is a big one. Don't buy anything with major damage. Look for solid wood furniture that earns its keep by being useful.

Musical Instruments


When you're browsing and thinking about what to look for at yard sales, don't overlook musical instruments. In most cases, they need to be in good, playable condition to be worth much, but those old band instruments and cast-off guitars can be amazing deals.

Vintage Toys


Remember all those great toys from you childhood? If you spot vintage dolls, old action figures, or long-retired board games, you might be looking at a great deal. Check the condition, though. You don't want any missing parts or major damage if you're hoping to resell the toy for a profit.

Have Fun Looking for the Best Things to Buy at Yard Sales


Remember, this is about more than just finding an awesome deal. If you're enjoying yourself as you look for the best things to buy at garage sales, you're already winning. It takes a little digging, but there's definitely a thrill when you find one of these high-value items you can sell for way more than you pay for it.

12 Best Things to Buy at Yard Sales to Make a Profit