As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Aaron LaPedis is living proof. Over the years he’s been so successful buying and reselling other people’s unwanted items, he’s earned the nickname The Garage Sale Millionaire and even written a book about it. His most recent gem: photo negatives of Elvis Presley’s famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show — the one where Sullivan told him he couldn’t shake his hips — that he hopes to sell for six figures.

I recently visited LaPedis in his hometown of Denver to learn how to spot valuable items.

What’s Hot and What’s Not

My first lesson came during our visit to his local Goodwill store. There, LaPedis found a signed graduation speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson. While the signature couldn’t be authenticated on-site, if it proved to be real, LaPedis was certain it could fetch at least $100. For a purchase price of $5, he was willing to take the risk. Later, a quick call to a local appraiser proved he was right.

Along with signed presidential memorabilia, the best items to consider purchasing for resale value, according to LaPedis, inclthe best items to consider purchasing for resale value, according to LaPedis, include fine art, antiques, Beatles or Elvis collectables, coins, toy trains, rare books, antique firearms, antique furniture, china and some baseball cards and comic books.

You should avoid purchasing the following items: autographed sports memorabilia (since so much is fake), antique rugs, old newspapers and magazines, or fad collectibles such as Beanie Babies. His rule of thumb is that if something’s been mass-produced, even if it’s historic, it’s not going to fetch much money since there are likely many more still in existence.

When In Doubt, Search eBay

While perusing a yard sale or your local thrift store, LaPedis’ shopping tip is to keep your mobile device handy and search online for clues about an item’s worth. Consult sites like and, of course, the ever-popular eBay, where you can search its “completed auctions” section to judge whether the item in question has potential value.

Spotting Fakes

Fake antiques contain glue, staples, modern screws or nails. Examine items like paintings, pottery, china and Depression-era glass with a black light to see if they’ve been repaired or restored. Glue and residue from cleaning agents will typically glow under a black light. Depression-era glass will glow, as well, but that’s usually a sign it’s the real deal.

LaPedis has a few tricks for spotting real antique silver. “A lot of real silver, somewhere underneath, will say ‘.925.’ Another nice, really cool trick is to put a magnet to [the silver]. If a magnet attaches itself, it’s not real,” he says.

Be an Early Bird

Timing is everything when it comes to scoring the perfect treasure, says LaPedis. Shop garage sales early to get first pick, and swing by at the end of the day, about an hour before closing, when sellers are desperate to unload. Visit thrift stores regularly and kindly ask management to give you a heads up when deliveries are made.

Don’t Show All Your Cash

When trying to haggle, LaPedis says it helps to pretend you only have a limited amount of cash. For instance, if a yard sale item is marked $15, but you only want to pay $10, show the seller you only have a $10 bill.

Dress the Part

Presentation goes a long way when trying to score a deal. It’s less likely you can get a discount after driving up in a fancy car and carrying a designer handbag. “Dress the part,” LaPedis urges. “Wear jeans, tennis shoes and maybe a teeshirt. You don’t have to look like a bum, but you shouldn’t look like a millionaire, either. If you have a nice car, park it down the block.”

As always, we want to hear from you. What’s your most valuable garage sale find? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit. For YF, I’m Farnoosh Torabi.

via Secrets from the Garage Sale Millionaire – Yahoo! Finance.

A treasure trove of old baseball card art that had been untouched for 100 years was sold Thursday night during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore. The 37 baseball cards featuring the likes of Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Honus Wagner fetched $566,132 in brisk online and live bidding. Watch the video capturing this discovery by clicking here!

Munch’s ‘The Scream’ may fetch $80M at NYC auction – Yahoo! News

 One of the art world’s most recognizable images — Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” — could sell for $80 million or more when it is auctioned at Sotheby’s on Wednesday.

The 1895 painting of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky has become a modern symbol for human anxiety, popularized in movies and plastered on everything from mugs to Halloween masks to T-shirts.

It is one of four versions created by the Norwegian expressionist painter. Three are in Norwegian museums; the one at Sotheby’s is the only one left in private hands. It is being sold by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist.

A price tag of $80 million would be among the highest-ever for an artwork. The record is $106.5 million for Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust,” sold in 2010 by Christie’s in New York.

The image has become part of pop culture, “used by everyone from Warhol to Hollywood to cartoons to teacups and t-shirts to whatever else,” said Michael Frahm of the London-based art advisory service firm Frahm Ltd.

“Together with the Mona Lisa, it’s the

via Munch’s ‘The Scream’ may fetch $80M at NYC auction – Yahoo! News.