As spring rolls around, driveways, garages and front lawns around the country fill with unwanted stuff for weekend yard sales. There can be some real gold mines—the trick is, knowing what to look for. So, how can you sort the junk from gems? Popular Mechanics’ recent article examines some of the great finds you can snag at garage sales and they have some sweet tips for shoppers!
We broke up Popular Mechanics Magazines’ finds into four segments, our first highlights tips for home electronics:
Used electronics are a tricky business. Yard sales can offer tempting bargains, but there are several reasons to beware a deal that seems too good to be true.
Before you spend a thin dime for yard-sale tech, insist that the seller turn the thing on and show that it still works. There’s no way to tell that computers, TVs, MP3 players and other electronics work just by looking at them. And you have to ask yourself: If they are functional, why is this person getting rid of them?
We’ve got a different set of advice for computer enthusiasts. If you’re the type of guy with a soldering iron and an antistatic strap at your desk-side, then yard sales can be gold mines for spare parts. Internal connectors, wires, outdated interfaces, all things that can be hard to find in stores but may be useful in your projects.
The best finds are likely to be in technological subcategories that haven’t been much affected by the digital revolution. Speakers are a good example.