Thursday, April 14, 2011

...and another not so "average" garage sale find.

In my previous ramblings on discovering "average" yard sale finds, an astute reader kindly suggested another item to be on the look-out for...JanSport backpacks.

I am familiar with these backpacks, my kids used them for years. Judging from their popularity with the school kids, it seems they're the "North Face" of backpacks. Just like North Face jackets, every school kid just has to have a JanSport backpack! They have two things going for them, they're high quality and are the "It" schoolbag to wear on your back. So parents like them because they're well constructed and kids like them for fashion. My kids use to stuff them until they were literally bulging with their schoolbooks. Despite this abuse, they always seemed to hold up well. Retail prices are not cheap, a really nice JanSport with multiple pouches will run you close to $100 new. Many parents will pay the higher prices though, rather then stick their kid with a Walmart cheapie that won't last the school year.

I did some eBay research and looked up used JanSports that sold recently. Glancing through the multiple pages, I noted that the majority of them sold easily. It seems pretty clear that you won't get stuck with a no-sale, especially if you were to sell it during the Fall "back to school" season. Average prices range in the upper twenties to mid-thirties. The one seen in this picture has a very durable leather bottom and sold for $34 bucks, I'll take that any day! Even better, if you find a JanSport hiking backpack at a yard sale, you'll do even better. The camping/hiking models can easily sell for a fifty dollar bill or more!

I am guessing most seller's will look at these bags as just as their kid's old book bag, setting the price for five dollars or less. If you can snag a JanSport for that price, you're looking at a nice return on your investment. In addition to finding one at the yard sales, like me you may wonder if the kids have an old JanSport stashed away in the house somewhere. I am convinced that I can find at least one, probably shoved in the back of a bedroom closet or under a bed. Look out dust bunnies...I am coming in!

Thanks to my reader for this great tip. We now have another "not-so-average" item to look for at the yard sales. We are always looking for more, so let me know what items you found that brought in big cash!
Pin It now!


  1. If you buy one at a sale that is broken, you can send it to Jansport and they'll fix it for free. I got that tip from another ebayer and just sent my first one in for repair!

  2. Nice! Y'know, I thought they had some kind of replacement policy and was going to look it up as part of the piece I wrote, but didn't get a chance. Thanks for letting us know !

  3. These packs have been good to me too. The ones with leather are substantially more valuable than the others, but they all sell well.

    Another thing to watch for is old Frisbees, particularily the wham-o brand. I haven't found any yet, but I know they are out there. Check the prices on some of them, you may be surprised.

  4. Utah Bill- I will check those Frisbees, sold one last year, maybe I'll blog about it. You are right, the leather bottom backpack like the one in the pix bring in he $$$

  5. Well, I didn't know these were a hot item! We bought these for our boys because they last. Once the school year was over, I think we got rid of them to Goodwill. Who would have thought? I should do as I say: Never get rid of anything before checking eBay first. I'm going to go check their closets now, maybe they still have 1 or 2!

  6. I know right? My kids too! If you find any I would hold off until late August to post them. The school season is ending so the demand will naturally be down.

  7. Dude! Just found your blog and have learned so much already!! Thank you for all the excellent advice! This cracks me up about the Jansport backpacks! I still have mine from college and one of my kids was using it and the zipper broke. Thanks so much to your anonymous reader I now know I can send it in and get it fixed. Awesome blog Dude! I am a fan!! :-)

  8. Hey TwistedChrister!

    Thanks for liking my blog. You worked your way down a few months into my entries, glad your enjoying it. Bookmark me and pass the word to your friends, cause I'll have more stuff for the new year!

    Thanks again and Happy New Year...Dude : )