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Home Rummage/Garage/Yard Sale Hunting

Rummage, Garage, & Yard Sale Hunting

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This area is being started for Bradyoyo who asked for content around Garage Sales, Rummage Sales, Yard Sales. Thanks for the request Bradyoyo!


Hunting for Scrap Gold or Silver at Garage, Rummage, and Yard Sales all share the same basic process, the difference is mostly just the quantity of items you'll be able to look through. In a lot of ways they are all very similar to hunting at Flea Markets except at Flea Markets 1/2 the time you have dealers who are a bit more knowledgable.

Tips for finding gold:

  • Open all tins, cans, jewelry boxes, and anything else with a lid. Sometimes items will be hidden from site and what looks like an empty container could contain gold! I'd say about 20% of what I find...I had to be nosey and open up things to find the jewelry bits
  • Set your expectations low
    • The downside of hunting at Garage & Yard sales is that typically it's a one family event - so the time it takes to find the yard sales vs. what you find AT the yard sale. The "Find Ratio" is lower than at Rummage sales, in large part because Rummage sales pull together a lot more sellers into one area, increasing your chances of finding scrap. However, there are ongoing Rummage sales - and the seasonal or infrequent Rummage sales. I prefer the infrequent onces because if you visit an ongoing sale - chances are it's already been picked over!
    • Don't expect to find tons of gold, consider yourself lucky if you find a couple earing bits, broken thin necklaces, even sterling silver, and Filled Gold.
    • Don't expect gold coins or bullion bars - it's rare to find that and most people will know better than to put it out at a garage sale, they'll take that to a coin shop.
  • Wear dark sunglasses (good to keep people from seeing where you are looking - and also good for negotiating to hide your eyes)
  • If you find bits of gold, try not to pull out a loupe or magnifying glass - it will tip people off that you know what you are doing
  • Check out visual examples of what to look for.
  • If you find the odd earing, usually the Karat stamp is on the post (not necessarily on the backing that goes on the post). Often times you may have a gold earing - that has a fake back or a fake earing that has a gold back. Always check the two seperately
    • On the earing, remove the back
Last Updated on Sunday, 13 June 2010 11:52