Did You Know

7 Items You Should Never Pass Up At The Thrift Store

They weren't kidding when they said one man's trash is another man's treasure. Thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales are great places to find items that you need for next to nothing and in some cases they can make you lots of extra money.

There are plenty of hidden gems among all the unwanted goods, and a little extra effort is all it takes to find a treasure within the trash.

Here are 7 items you should never pass up on at the thrift store:

1. Vintage Luggage Sets


Every so often antique hard case luggage sets turn up at thrift stores after they've been used as decorative pieces. But, did you know that these vintage trunks could be worth big bucks? Louis Vuitton is probably the most recognizable brand when it comes to antique luggage, but even the lesser known brands can bring you small fortune when sold in sets.

2. Jadeite Dishware


If you come across these seafoam green dishes, do not hesitate to snatch them up. Pieces from the Jadeite line by Fire-King and some of the collectors items from McKee and Jeannette can be re-sold for hundreds of dollars. The trick is to look at the bottom of the item for one of the recognizable logos to make sure it's an original.

3. Classic Books

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Sure, most books lose their value over time, but there are certain classics that will always bring its owner a small fortune. Always keep an eye out for first edition books, especially signed copies. If you suspect you may be sitting on a treasure, enter the title onto Abebooks.com for an estimate of what your book is worth.

4. Antique Frames

We often hear stories about paintings that made their owners rich overnight, but what many people don't know is that the frames could also be very valuable. Even if you hate a painting, take a closer look at its frame because certain ornate antique borders are worth more than the artwork itself. Back in 2012, one woman auctioned off a $9.99 painting she bought from Goodwill for $27,000.

5. Pyrex

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The iconic low-thermal-expansion borosilicate dishware is still being manufactured, but if you can get your hands on dishes made prior to 1998 you could net some extra cash. An original Pyrex dish could sell for up to $3,000, depending on the color and design.

6. Silverware


Utensils made out of real silver are still a hot commodity, so next time you're at a thrift shop or garage sale, don't ignore the cutlery. They may look really old, but that's nothing a little baking soda and water can't fix. To make sure you're not being duped, tap on a piece of silverware, if it rings then it's the real deal. Keep your eyes peeled for coveted high-end brands like Tiffany if you want to increase your item's worth.

7. Vintage Canning Jars

Jean Allsopp

Before these jars became trendy for their multi-purpose, they were used for storing and preserving food. These vintage canning jars were a household staple from the 1840s to 1920s before refrigerators were invented. If you can get your hands on an original canning jar, you could make up to $1,000. Look out for popular brands like Ball, Violet, Willoughby and Hero.

Have you purchased any of these items from a thrift store?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.