One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

Featured Guest Blog by Ed Augusts treasuresThat is as true today as it ever was, come boom or bust, recession or inflation!  Through the numerous examples I give in my book, “Get Rich Buying at Yard Sales”, I think I can PROVE to you that a few hours of your time on Saturday morning will be more than sufficient to move you ahead financially, faster and more efficiently than almost anything else you could be doing in that small amount of time. There are a number of KEYS which unlock wealth to those who search for it, but the one I want to talk about today is:  “Find Don’t Wanters!”

Finding Don’t Wanters to make a fair profit means AVOIDING sellers who think their stuff is extremely precious and valuable, and are offering it for sale at ANTIQUE SHOP prices.  You will be able to recognize who they are by the litany of “names” they give in their classifieds.  If a seller sounds a little bit TOO proud of her Wedgwood or her Hummel figurines, if the prose is oozing with professional-sounding terminology, the weekend sale is possibly being held by a dealer, or someone who thinks like a dealer, and has the expectations of getting a good, high price for their wares.

Once you arrive at the garage sale or yard sale of such an antiquer, it is likely going to be very hard to dicker with them over price.  And if they’ve set a price of $10 for an item you want, even if you get them to reduce it a couple of bucks, they are STILL getting closer to retail than to wholesale for the item, and you, the buyer, are probably paying more for it than you should.

Probably right down the street and around the corner, is a sale being held by a real “Don’t Wanter,” a person who is selling personal effects of someone who is no longer living there, or, excess ‘stuff’ that the seller is eager to get rid of because he or she is moving cross-country.  Or stuff that they’re simply TIRED of, and want it to go to a good home — someone who wants it — and price is not always of great importance to some of these sellers. If you are friendly and courteous and stop to admire something they’re selling, you may be rewarded with a VERY low price, even for something that has quite a bit of intrinsic value.

Sometimes doors will open for you!  I am reminded often of the nice old guy on Homestead Road in Cupertino who sat along at a little table in his garage. There were a few small items.  I am primarily a bookman and was just about to leave when I thought twice about it and smiled at him and said, “I really like old books. I don’t suppose you have any that might be for sale, do you?”Sure! He said. “Go right into the house, the living room is full of ’em.  Take as many as you want for ten cents apiece.” I thanked him and almost sheepishly , my lady friend and I entered his home and saw piles and piles, rows and rows, of old books. The bookcases had been sold already, and the books were mere derelicts on the carpet of the large living room.  There must have been a thousand books!

As I recall the first book my eyes focused on was a History of the Johnstown Flood, from the 1880’s. The next item was:  a tour of the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, 1915.  My goodness!m “You’ve got some really good books in there,” I went out and told him. “Yeah, that’s okay. They were my wife’s.  I just wanna get rid of them now!” I bought hundreds of his books, so many that I drove home and then drove again to his house, and continued selecting from his books.  Nobody else was invited inside to look at these books, I had the whole collection to myself.  Since I only had fifty bucks cash money on me, I could only buy about half of his books, but he was grateful. Sad but true, the books were of no meaning to him. He was moving on. and God Bless him!

Now, THAT is what I call a “Don’t Wanter!” You may not think so, but there are a LOT of them out there, as you will find if you go out on Saturday mornings and see what you can find!   Good luck in your search, and if you find something REALLY good, let us know!

Ed Augusts is the author of “Get Rich Buying at Yard Sales”

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