Need New Year’s resolution inspiration? Check out America’s biggest yard sale

Every year, the city of New York holds one of the world’s largest yard sales.


December 27, 2019

Getting rid of junk in a yard sale can be a great way to clean out the closet… and maybe even make a few bucks in the process. 

But some yard sales make more than a few bucks. And, as the The New York Times reports, one junk-selling giant made $12m auctioning off its old stuff last year.

New York City has a lot of junk in its trunk

But every year the city cleans out its closets in a series of massive auctions that sell everything from river barges to parking meters.

Most of the products auctioned off — like old road barriers — may seem worthless. But some items bring in a surprising amount of money.

New York’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services held 1.3k auctions last year to sell off old items such as:

  • Old mechanical voting machines ($207k worth)
  • Old shell casings from the police department ($316k worth)

And one city’s trash can be another person’s treasure

In fact, some entrepreneurial buyers have found ways to squeeze some serious value out of the Big Apple’s discarded trash.

One artist converted old parking meters into sculptures… and then sold them for $5k. Another buyer bought an antique fireboat and now plans to use it to give tours on the Hudson River.

Inspired? Here are some NYC hand-me-downs currently for sale:

  • An aluminum boat on sale for $25
  • A hunting blind on sale for $5
  • A snow blower on sale for $150
  • 4 jackhammers and 3 rotary drills on sale for $461

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