If you’re new around these parts, you might not be aware that I am a pretty hardcore yard sale plunderer. For the last few years, I have posted here on Cool & Collected, the items I have bought at yard sales, and since this week’s League topic is all about yard sale finds, I thought it would be fun to dig through those old posts and look back on what I found…
Most of this stuff came and went, with only a small fraction of the items remaining in my personal collection. I sell these items off in order to fund my never-satisfied collecting habit. Looking at these photos all lumped together like this, it really is amazing that I don’t live like a hoarder (though, on a typical Saturday afternoon, it certainly does come close!).
I’ve had some rally great finds at yard sales, with the most valuable one being a kid’s coin collection. This was a cheap “Starter Coin Collection” box, and I only really bought it because I wanted the cardboard coin flips that were in it. I knew there were some coins, but I didn’t bother to look, thinking they were just some foreign coins that would have come with the kit. When I got home, I found there were old silver coins, including some silver dollars — apparently, the kid who owned the kit had been given a pretty nice collection by his dad or grandpa. I actually felt guilty about this, but there was no way I would be able to track down the owner after visiting dozens of sales that morning.
On another occasion, I came across a guy who was selling his mother’s collection of U.S. Mint commemorative coins. These were by no means cheap, but a few of them were gold! He was very happy to sell them to me at his asking price, and I was very happy to get home and find that they would sell for at least five times that amount. It always amazes me what people are willing to sell, and even throw away, to avoid the hassle of eBay or some other route.
My Favorite Yard Sale Find
When I got to thinking about what my favorite yard sale find was, I decided it would have to be something that I added to my own collection, and will probably keep in my collection for a good long time. Here it is…
This is the official membership certificate, decoder, and pinback from the 1959 Supermen of America club. Part of the charm of this set is that I bought it from the original owner, who signed up for the membership when he was a kid. The fact that the membership certificate is signed by none other than Clark Kent is pure gold in my book.
While it’s not exactly a yard sale, my most epic pop culture score was made through a Craigslist posting. Remember this one?
What was your best yard sale or flea market find? The League is talking about this subject now, including articles over on Toyriffic, Nerd out with me!, Nerd Cantina, and the Rebel Page.
My most epic find at a garage sale must be a tie between a original 18 inch Pee-Wee Herman doll in mint condition and a place mat from Loretta Lynn’s restaurant that came from the estate of Loretta Lynn. The Pee-Wee Herman doll was especially cool as I was practically left breathless when I saw him sitting on a table like he was just some normal item. Good times. .
Excellent! I would imagine you’re located in the south somewhere if you found that Loretta Lynn placemat. Location really can play a big part in the kinds of items you find nearby. Being outside of DC, I come across all kinds of political and government items.
Indeed I am in Louisiana. And despite our voodoo traditions, I find very few monkey paws that grant wishes.
Keep looking! 😉
Dex (@Dex1138) says
This just further goes to prove I need to get my ass out to more yard sales!
Do it! To be honest, this year has been much slower for me due to the fact that I’m shuttling the kids to their soccer games every Saturday morning. But if I see a sale on the way, I might make a quick detour!
Any tips on picking the sales you go to? I stopped even trying around here because I haven’t had any luck finding anything cool.
I always check Craigslist the night before, to see if there are any must-visits. If you can, hit up neighborhood sales rather than individual sales. I am the king of the drive by — I look for sellers who are my age and maybe selling their own childhood items, older people who may be selling their kids’ items, and sellers who obviously have teenage boys — that’s the age when kids are ready to give up their childhoods (and sell off their Legos!).
Felix Vasquez Jr. says
Any chance you’re selling that Iron Giant toy?
Sorry but that Iron Giant bank was sold off a while ago. It was a really great item!
Wowie! Love the Batman Japanese figures! I used to have them!
John Gaither says
Some fantastic past finds Brian and am sure there will be many more to come.
Pop Rewind says
I’m still lusting over that E.T. bank, and now all those POGs (at the same time kicking myself for getting rid of mine) and the Bart Simpson Chia Pet.
Those pictures are awesome. I so wish we had yard sales stalked with toys like that here in the Great White North.
The best yard sale find I had was thanks to my grandmother. She saw an ad for a yard sale that listed star wars items, it had started the day before. Figuring I had missed out on anything good I drove by and found a mini treasure. Along with some odd items like vintage folders I found two vintage diecast ships in awesome condition, and although they were missing everything else I found a falcon with the hard to find training ball and a snow speeder with the hard to find harpoon gun. The nice lady said she had more but sold it the day before. Oh what could have been.
I’ve been haunted by the “what could have beens.” There’s nothing worse than arriving at a yard sale two minutes late and see someone else leaving with an amazing treasure.
Miss M says
Holw cow, you have come across some stuff! I was scrolling and about half way I’m like, “Wait a minute, I don’t think this is going to end!” lol I am just amazed at what you have purchased throughout time and space. This is all really cool stuff Brian. I wish I had luck with the yard sales and what not in my area, but I am going to take your tip on the Craigslist stuff and look and see if anything is posted in my area. I’m just in shock.
I do love the Superman of America club stuff. Really cool! Hope you are doing well!
In the 8th picture down (with the Garfield Mugs, and the Hangman board game), what is the name of those hard rubber sports figures? I had those as a kid and totally forgot about them until I just looked at the photo.
Those are HG Toys’ Sports Freaks figures. After buying them, I learned that they’re pretty worthless. 🙁
Wow! you have a nice yard sale collection and it seems that you have attended so many yard sales with successful shopping rate.