The World’s Most Valuable Thrift Store And Garage Sale Finds

Thanks to shows like “American Pickers” and “Storage Wars” there has been renewed interest in the lost art of “picking.” While millions of Americans are now paying more attention to the items they find at thrift stores and garage sales, some people have just been incredibly lucky. We compiled a list of the most outrageous thrift store and garage sale finds of all times. By spending just a few dollars, many of the people on our list became incredibly wealthy. From $200 million photographers to unearthed copies of the Declaration of Independence, you won’t believe what they thrifty shoppers bought without knowing what they were getting.

Ansel Adam Prints: $200 Million


In 2000, painter Rick Norsigian purchased a set of glass plates that had been printed with images of Yosemite National Park. Norsigian loved the composition of the photos and was willing to fork over $45 to take home the works of art. He soon discovered that the glass plates were the work of famed photographer, Ansel Adams. Norsigian started by selling prints from the work for $7,500 until he found out that his discovery was worth a mind-boggling $200 million. The family of Ansel Adams denied the authenticity of the work but various experts were able to verify the artists’ hand-writing and dated the photos to the early 1940’s based on cloud formation captured in one of the photos.