Every garage-sale lover dreams of finding that one-of-a-kind item for “real cheap." Be it a vintage lamp or a unique piece of home décor, the thought of picking up a special item for a good price drives many shoppers to shop garages week after week.

Here are five tips that can help you find the antique you've dreamed about at Billings' Biggest Garage Sale.

  • The early bird gets the antique worm. In general, sellers have more selection earlier on in the day than they do in the afternoon. Therefore, you have a better chance of scoring something special if you hit the sale in the morning.
  • Heavy equates to quality. Older items were constructed of denser, more durable materials, and will feel heavier as a result. This holds true for everything from china to porcelain dolls
  • Look for signs denoting age.. Old silver items will tarnish and once you learn what tarnishing silver looks like, it’ll be easier to pick those items out from the rest. Old pottery will develop crazing. Crazing is wild network of cracks in the finish. You can tell crazing apart from cracking because you won’t be able to feel crazing. You will be able to feel cracks in a piece.
  • Learn about makers’ marks.. Manufacturers marked their goods back in the day. If you know how to identify who made an object, you’ll also be able to tell whether the object has value. www.Kovels.com is a good place to find information on identifying makers’ marks.
  • Hit up sales in older neighborhoods. This tip is just common sense. Grandma and Grandpa are much more likely to possess an old piece of silver or other valuables than a young family or a group of college kids.

Antiquing at garage sales can be a wonderful side hobby for your warm weather weekends. You will start to get a feel for items of value and then this becomes really fun. These five points are your go-to starter list for scoring antiques at garage sales, whether it be Billings' Biggest Garage Sale or others this summer.

Billings' Biggest Garage Sale will be June 11, 2016 at the MetraPark in the upper parking lot.

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