10/26/2014 Yard Sale Finds

Another early start this Saturday morning. I got up at 6am, fun fun. The first sale was a moving sale but it turned out to be a bit of a dud. Craigslist ad had loads of potential but it did not live up to its claims. I got some vintage Christmas things, but nothing worth sharing on here. Next sale was a very good sale. Was just a yard sale, but I was the first one to arrive as they were setting up. Very nice elderly couple, still active. This man wanted to sell everything. You could tell he was plain done storing things. You have to love when people are finally ready to let things go. You go to some yard sales and certain things are way overpriced with zero room for negotiation. I have come to the realization those people do not really want to sell these items.

Anyways, I got about 30 antique glass and porcelain insulators for $20 there. All different shapes, sizes and colors. Went around the back of the house and instantly saw a large crate full of old motorcycle trophies. He wanted $5 each, we negotiated down to $50 for about 20 trophies. By negotiated, I mean.. he said how about $75, I said how about $50 and he said “Yes!”, lol. Like I said, he wanted them gone, probably could have gone even lower. These were his trophies he won in the early 1960’s. Very cool to meet an old motorcycle racer from back in the day. I also purchased his fathers Horsehide leather jacket. In need of repairs to the lining but the leather itself is in outstanding condition. I paid $25 for this jacket. And those were the highlights from that weekend, All from that one yard sale. And normally it will be just the one sale that makes your day.


Old front quarter horsehide leather jacket.

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1960’s motorcycle trophies


10/11/2014 Yard Sale Finds

I was so excited about posting my super awesome yard sale finds last weekend that I skipped a week ahead on my blog and missed October 11’s finds. So the weekend of the 11th was the week that I got into the moving sale early. I had another picker try and chase me off the property yelling at me that the owner was asleep as they drove away. But I had emailed ahead of time instead of just showing up early in the morning. So where that picker was chased away I was welcomed in 2 hours early. It wasn’t as an amazing sale as I was hoping for though. Let me explain, The craigslist ad said it was a family who was selling all their possessions due to a major lifestyle change. Of course you read that and your blood gets pumping if you are a picker like myself. There was one picture in the ad and it was kind of dark and blurry but showed old wood furniture, vintage worn out leather couch and chair, duck decoys and other antique looking items hanging on the walls. When I arrived, I knocked and he said “come on it, everything is for sale.” Problem is there wasn’t much there. Turns out, he makes movies in Philadelphia and was moving on to a yacht. So it looked like he had gotten rid of  a lot already and was in the process of moving. I was able to find some cool things though from his office. A lot of the things I wanted he told me weren’t for sale. Which when you tell me everything is for sale, I make a pile and then you tell me well not this and that and that. That is frustrating for me, but it is what it is. So these are the items I snagged from this moving sale on 10/11.

This is an old aluminum movie reel where he wrapped carnival tickets around it. I kind of want to keep this, I think it would look cool hanging on the wall in my movie room.

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This is an old shipping box for a movie for the Philadelphia Civic Center.

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Below is a vintage child’s toy Punch puppet in its original box.

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This is my find of the day. An antique carpenter’s wooden box with copper trim. Very cool looking. It does not have the handle though, perhaps I could find something on ebay that would look nice with it.

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10/18/2014 YARD SALE FINDS

So I bet you are wondering what came of my yard sale day this Saturday. Such a long list I shared with you all. I did not make it to all of them, had to stop a little bit past half way through.

First sale showed a lot of promise in the craigslist ad but it turned out to be a dealer. You never know but you have to assume its not, just in case. My dad got a bunch of old plastic beer signs for cheap. I got a cool industrial thermometer, some antique photos, a 1950’s Relax-a-cizor which I just sold one of last week for $100 to the Gotham (tv show) Prop department for $100. I paid $5 for this new one.


Next on the list was an estate sale. Had to wait in line for a little but I managed to get a large bin FULL of vintage Nintendo video game items. It was sitting off to the side just inside the front door, no one else saw it obviously. There was a NES system, N64 system, Gameboy color, an original Gameboy, about 15 Gameboy games, about 20 NES Game, and 5 N64 Games lots of controllers and some other accessories. I paid $50 for the whole bin, IF everything works its probably going to be worth $200-$300. Next sale got a box full of 1940’s games, puzzles and coloring/activity books for $10.


After that was a moving sale, 2 elderly people selling off their unwanted things and moving out of the family house type deal. Not much there EXCEPT I just happened to see an old rolled up poster in the corner. Unrolled it to see and saw a pixelated Peach sign, mine- 0.25cents. It reads “March on Washington November 15. End the War. Get out Now!” This dates to 1969 and was a 500,000 Protest against Vietnam March, the largest up until that point. This has a value of $150-$300. Now that is a rare find indeed 25cents and worth a few hundred. Wow!



Got some random things from other sales not worth mentioning. Went to a block wide yard sale for the final sale for the day and saw I large packed bin full of old dirty and very abused magazines. Started taking them out and going through the bin. Started to uncover some not so beat up and not too abused. I decided rather than go through the entire bin I should just buy then whole bin. Why not, it will give me something fun to do later! I am very tired at this point I think it was around 1pm. We negotiated to $17 for the bin. The lady told me these magazines had been in the house when she moved there. I will share various pictures of the magazines below, at the bottom of the page. All from the 1920’s, we have the following publications “Collier’s”,  American Magazine, Harpers Bazar, The Saturday Evening Post, Hearst’s International, and Vogue Fashion Bi-Monthly. After doing some research I found that the value lies in the Harpers Bazar and the Vogue Fashion Magazines. Had these been in better shape I would be looking at $100+ PER magazine for those. Because they are from the early 1920’s and they are Fashion magazines. I wont lie, I am bummed that I literally almost hit the jackpot for $17. The problem is those 2 publications are among the poorest of conditions, I really don’t know what they are worth. But I think I should be able to get around $500 because the insides are in good shape and a good amount of the Collier’s magazines are in decent shape cover to cover.

On the way home we stopped at another yard sale which was not advertised. I got 2 local 1887 newspapers for $2 and sitting on the table looking sad with an old feather sticking out of it was a sterling silver and cut glass vase $1, of course even if the glass is broken you should buy sterling silver because the value of the metal is worth more than $1.


This was an awesome yard sailing day for me. Literally almost every sale had a great amount of profit to be had and I was lucky enough to snag some great bargains. Very exciting and yes a very long day. But so worth all the hard work I had invested and so very glad it paid off in the end. When I look back at this year, this will be one of the days I remember as a special one. It is quite rare and I truly value these moments.




My pre yard sale rituals

For those of you wondering what it takes to hunt down the best deals on Saturdays, this post is for you.

It begins with searching through all the Craigslist ads for garage sales in my target areas on Friday. This can take a while if there are a lot, which there were this weekend. I pick out all the sales I want to go to and email them to myself. I then use MapQuest to make my yard sale route. There are many factors which go into making the route. Many sales have different start times although most begin at 8am some don’t start until Noon. The most important thing to do is figure out where to go first, and how early. This is part luck and part experience. If you know things to look for in craigslist ads, you know what to avoid as well. I also recognize dealers addresses trying to pass off their yard sales as estate sales so I know not to go there. I factor in all the start times which sometimes, including this week means I have to circle back due to late start takes. This is very frustrating. When I am finally done making the MapQuest route, I copy and paste the addresses and print them. From there I double check late Friday night again to see what new sales are listed. There are always late posters on Friday night. I pen those in on my printed list, if they are worth going to. I also pen in start and end times as well a a few key words to remind me what it is and what I am looking for.

All of this takes a few hours but there is no avoiding it and in the end the extra work pays off. This is what the final product looks like before I go to bed. Which I am going to now. Goodnight.


10/04/2014 Yard Sale Finds

For this weeks yard sale finds I have various things to share from different yard sales. The first being these two 1980’s Pee-Wee Herman and Chairry Dolls in their original boxes. That’s something you don’t see too often ( vintage toys in the original boxes) and was a nice find for $10. The talker string does not work anymore in Pee-Wee which is a common but unfortunate flaw. These are something I remember when I was growing up, being I am 30 now.  So I got a little flashback seeing these 1980’s toys.


The last thing I have to share are 4 old stage lights. Cool thing about these old lights are they still work. The unfortunate thing is they are a little rusty in areas and quite dusty inside and out so it will take a lot of cleaning to get these looking nice again. But, I suppose I could just clean the dust off and leave them rusty as that is really IN right now. Oh and they super cool thing I should mention I only paid $5 each!!! I know, I couldn’t believe the price stickers either when I saw them! These are for sale except I am going to keep the small one and attach it to an old tri-pod I have for some cool accent lighting. That project is down the road but I will post pictures here when I get to it.



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9/20/2014 Yard Sale Finds

I wasn’t feeling well this past weekend so I would like to share a few of the items I found at the estate sale last weekend. Please refer back to the previous weeks post on 9/13 to hear all about that interesting hoarder estate sale. Please see below for the pictures of just a few of the items I discovered at this estate sale. If you are new to my site, I am Nicole, I am an estate and yard sale picker. I am located near the Philadelphia Main Line, Pa. “The Main Line is an unofficial historical and socio-cultural region of suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, comprising a collection of affluent towns built along the old Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad which ran northwest from downtown Philadelphia parallel to Lancaster Avenue (US Route 30).”-Wikipedia.

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Small Ivory chess set with compartment on the side for holding the tiny pieces. Not missing any pieces Wohoo!




These are the infamous canes which gave me so much trouble at this estate sale. Thought some of you may like to see them.



1969 BIG THUMB game. Fun little 60’s game which probably wouldn’t fly today. The idea is for one player to put their thumb inside the plastic thumb and the other players wack the thumb as hard as they can to try and get the thumb to move to earn small yellow coins. Lol.

9/13/2014 Yard Sale Finds

Hi all. This weekend I was lucky enough to be first at a house contents sale. The owner died and relatives hired a small company to sell it all off. Definitely a packed hoarder type of situation. But, if you are like me, you don’t mind the dust or clutter. It’s like a modern day treasure hunt.

Well, I learned a valuable lesson this week. NEVER leave your pile of goodies unattended. I had several items taken from my pile. I was able to track down a few canes someone took and got them back but there was a lot of other things that were taken that I never saw again. I am thinking next time I am going to bring ribbon or post it’s which say SOLD. Not leaving your pile is hard for sales like this one where there is a basement and first, second and third floors. You cannot very well bring your things all over the house with you when you are a large volume buyer like myself. Anyways, I learned a valuable lesson and this will not be happening to me again.

BTW, the man who stole my canes would not give them back when I nicely confronted him, I had to go to the person running the sale in order to get them. Some of these Pickers are not friendly and will do just about anything including steal. I heard a local story awhile back where some guy ripped a piece of jewelry out of a woman’s hand at a yard sale. Some people are just not right, I will never be one of those people.

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9/06/2014 Yard Sale Finds

This week I found a nice little box full of old track and field athletic medals, some of which are from the well known Penn Relays event. Not all the medals are dated but most are from the late 1960’s. There is one medal which looks special/unique to the others, undated and I am in the process of trying to find history and age on it. I have tested it to be sterling silver. It looks to be a coin given to participating athletes of the special annual event. It is a large as well as thick medal about 1 3/4″. On the front it depicts an athlete and what looks like a roman holding a torch together with the world in the background. On the back it reads Oxford and Cambridge vs. Pennsylvania and Cornell – England. I know the name of the original owner to be William W. Wilson due to some of the medals having names engraved.



8/30/2014 Yard Sale Finds

I have just posted the previous 3 weeks worth of yard sale finds. If interested, please go back to 8/23 and 8/16 to view those which were posted today along with this weeks finds. I have been very busy and today was the first chance in the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to post on this blog. I will be more consistent from now I, I promise. Barring any catastrophe of course. *knock on wood*  🙂

I found some wonderfully old books this week. First, I will tell you that I was lucky enough to be the first one to this sale. The start time was set for 9am but I showed up around 7:30 to see if they were set up and open. And they were, so I walked up to a large set up of books and the like inside a garage. (it was raining so this was a relief.) This was a moving sale. Lots of cool old things which I will share photos of below. Now, this first book is beat up, It is dated inside to 1827. It says it is a “Revised code of Laws of Illinois. This is really neat being there cannot be many of these out there. Yes it is beat up, but the pages are readable and I would think the rarity of it would surpass the condition. I have no idea what this is worth and I believe I will need to find an antique historical book dealer to find out.  I will update when I get around to doing that.



Also at this sale were these 2 WWI era Military Medical Manuals dated 1918. I love antique medical books. In general they have some of the most wonderful illustrations inside. These do not but very cool to find sitting on a shelf at a garage sale.



And finally there are these old Medical graduation certificates and awards. These are about 6 more larger framed certificates that are not pictured here but were also included in my purchased from this same moving sale. Not sure why they were being sold but who am I to judge. I am just happy to have been the person to purchase them. Being a collector of medical items, I may keep one because these are certificates which are local to me (Philadelphia). The dates range as you can imagine because you graduate different studies at various years and receive awards at different times of your life. I believe the earliest was early 1940’s and the latest award in the 1990’s.


8/23/2014 Yard Sale Finds

I purchased this old photo album which is another thing I love to find at estate sales. Don’t ask me why people sell them, perhaps they belonged to someone who the current owner doesn’t know. Either way, I always enjoy finding them and taking a look at someone else’s life from a much different time.



This is something which may not seem that neat to everyone but in my eyes I think  it is very cool. This is a 1945 WW2 mail kit for someone in the United States Navy. I love military items, and I have seen the red and blue striped envelopes, as many have, which have been filled in and mailed. I have not seen, until this one, one of these kits with unused contents. $1