Arts & Antiques by Dr. Lori – Yard Sales Have Become Big Business

| July 1, 2017

Know what items are worth before you buy or sell at a yard sale.

Know what items are worth before you buy or sell at a yard sale.

Lori Verderame on Google+

Dr. Lori

Dr. Lori Celebrity appraiser Dr. Lori Verderame is an author, international columnist, and award-winning TV personality who stars on History channel’s The Curse of Oak Island and Discovery’s Auction Kings. With a Ph.D. from Penn State, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events to audiences worldwide. Visit or call 888-431-1010.

By Lori Verderame

Buyers And Sellers Are Now Competing With The Pros

Many of you have spent a weekend driving around your favorite neighborhoods to shop for goods on other people’s lawns. Typically, you end up buying a few things that you really don’t need but you just can’t leave on a neighbor’s lawn, such as a watering can, vintage poster and bunch of silk napkins. You spend $12 and call it a day.

As an expert appraiser, I have been advising people about at yard sales for decades. Here are several things that those of you who love yard sales, both buyers and sellers, need to know beforehand.

One of the things that people don’t realize about yard sales is that they are big business. You think they are just small-time stuff with neighbors cleaning out the basement of old junk, but in reality, yard sales are the source of objects that
command six-figure price tags in other markets far from someone’s freshly mowed front yard.

That’s right, the elite auction houses and Internet markets for art, antiques and collectibles use yard sales as a major source for their inventory. And many of the major auction houses and smaller estate auction houses regularly send people known as pickers or runners to yard sales to get auction inventory from yard sales.

These people are sent to neighborhoods where the homes have reached the 50-year-old mark assuming that their original owners are ready to move on to assisted living facilities, in with family members, or to smaller, downsized residences.

Most unknowing yard sale hosts just think that they are just selling their stuff to naive shoppers. Well, be warned if you are a yard sale seller or shopper because you   are competing with the pros out there. These big time buyers know what you’ve got, know what it is really worth, know where to sell it for top dollar, and they are not in the game to tell you that you just made a big mistake putting out that Eastlake table or vintage Guerlain perfume bottle on the front lawn for $25 dollars or 50 cents respectively.

And your asking price is all wrong, too! These guys are going to get you down on the asking price and take away something very valuable that was once in your house as a treasured family heirloom.

Know what you’ve got before you schlep it out to the front lawn. At my mobile website,, you can send a photo of an object from a yard sale, and I will tell you its value before you buy it. This is how technology will help you cash in.


Category: Dr. Lori Arts & Antiques

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