Let's See/Hear those epic garage sale finds!


Strat-Talk Member
Jul 23, 2022
Columbus OH
Not a fender or a strat BBUUTT I was looking for a cheap bass and stumbled onto this 1992 Peavey Fury for $50. Met the dude in a gas station parking lot and was only mildly nervous I was about to get jumped. Worked out great and after a clean-up it looks and plays great.

Here's the listing photo

Here's mid-cleaning

Here's post cleaning


Jan 17, 2015
I'm a sucker for a good story about "found a '56 strat in a garbage pile",etc.. Let me hear em!
Found this little guy in a pawn shop for $40. I installed a Weber speaker and a new preamp tube and she works perfectly. Its from '73. Was hoping it was a '71, but I'll take it.

Lol. In 1973 I bought my first amp a Vibrolux Reverb with 2 10’s in it for about 40.00. But I don’t think I would ever find one for that price now. Back then. Fender amps sold for about 200.00 new I believe

Guitar Hobbyist

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 25, 2021
Not exactly a steal but I got my money’s worth. In Spring 1994 I traded a ‘73 Pro Reverb in for a late ‘82 or early ‘83 Rivera-era Princeton Reverb II. Music store wanted $329 for it so I offered him my Pro Reverb and $69 for the PRII. I got credit for all the money I had put into the Pro and later contacted Fender for a new handle, chassis straps, and new amp corners. Got an original owners manual, schematic, and parts list in addition to an amp cover made for a DRRI too. Any amp cover is better than no amp cover and the DRRI was the same cabinet specs as the PRII. Later dropped a Celestion Greenback in there as well while keeping the original speaker in the box the Greenback came out of. Recent prices on Reverb.com had the PRII at $1200 in Good Condition.


New Member!
Apr 8, 2015
New York
I'ma sucker for a good story about "found a '56 strat in a garbage pile",etc.. Let me hear em!
I'm from fairly affluent Long Island. Garage sales and garbage offer some good find over the years. Here are some find. Early 60s Ampeg B15 flip top bass amp $100. MIM Power House Strat with the Eric Clapton active pickup circuit $25. I had to resolder one wire to get sound. 1962 Ampeg Rocketreverb 30 watt tubeamp $50. At garbage 1966 Ampeg Gemini 2 tube amp free. At garbage in street Marshall 30 watt
I'm a sucker for a good story about "found a '56 strat in a garbage pile",etc.. Let me hear em!
I'm from heavily populated and fairly affluent Long Island so garbage finds and garage sale giveaways do occur. Over a few years, here are some finds: 1960s Ampeg B15 flip top bass amp $100. MIM Power House Strat with Eric Clapton booster çircuit $25, needed a wire resoldered. 1962 Ampeg Reverbrocket 30 watt tube amp $50. At the curb being thrown out: 1966 Ampeg Gemini 2 guitar amp. Marshall MG30FX amp in perfect condition along with 3 effects pedals in perfect condition, a Digitech Whammy pedal, Jim Dunlop wah wah and a nice echo pedal. 1970s Epiphone Deadnought $20. 1970s Japanese Squier Precision bass with hard case $40. 1986 Japan made Strat Blazer with case $40. That's some of it over the years. You have to keep your eyes open.


Strat-Talk Member
Sep 22, 2017
About 6 yrs ago I walked into a pawn shop and found a 1986 AVRI 62’ CAR Stratocaster hanging. Absolutely mint! Still had plastic on the pg and the original strings. Asked about the case and was told “well we just give you a case that fits”. Guy brings down an equally mint tweed G&G case. When opened up it had about half the original case candy - bridge cover, five way switch, trem springs, trem arm, and hex wrench. Missing the strap, cord, manual and hang tags. Paid their full asking price because he said it had been only been out on the floor for 8 days, $500! My best find ever!!!


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Strat-Talk Member
Mar 6, 2014
Carpinteria, CA
I'm a sucker for a good story about "found a '56 strat in a garbage pile",etc.. Let me hear em!
I've been a Sunday swap meet guy for the last 30 years.....in that time I've made some Major scores including an 80s Charvel Fusion for $200.00, Oberheim OBXA for $50.00, 72 Tele Thinline for $100.00, blackface 67 Super Reverb for $200.00, too many old Zildjians to count, tube amps by Magnatone, Sano, Fender, Ampeg, Silvertone, and others. Here's some photos...just yesterday I scored two 1950s Zildjian 15 inch crash cymbals for 10 bucks and 10 RCA backplate 6L6s for $50.00.


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Strat-Talk Member
Not Garbage find but pawn shop find--I got a Fender "Telegib" at a pawn shop for $100. Apparently a Japan exclusive and the owner called it a "fake". I bought it becuause I wanted the pickups and figured I could get far more than $100 worth of parts from it. I almost did not plug it in before I took a screwdriver to it. I plugged it in and thought, "wow. Hang on now". Temendous guitar.

I got a Martin HJ-28 with a top seam seperation. Owner called it a "giant crack". I took it to a luthier who advised me it was already fixed and needed no repair.I acutually felt so bad I took it back to the owner and offered it back to him but he wanted me to keep it. Later on the binding came loose and the luthier fixed the binding and also did a better repair on the top seam for me.

I found a Gibson Branded amp (Trace Elliot made) RV-15 for sale for $100. I decided to try my hand at amp electronics. I took it apart and doused everything wiht contact cleaner and it works FLAWLESSLY. That was a score.

I found a mislabled Gibson Country Gentleman Sunrise Orange guitar on guitar center mislabled for $1200. Listed in fair condition. arrived in what I would call Like New shape with the stickers and tags still on it. Probably worth $4k. It is a really "pretty" guitar. Dont play it much.

those are my "garbage" finds.


New Member!
Oct 5, 2013
Around 1979 or so, I'd recently moved to rural Northern California. I got the itch to learn to play Dobro and the local acoustic music store had a new one ("Dobro" brand squareneck) for $350. I was a poor starving musician and didn't have the dough but it was in my mind.

Out at the local flea market and a little old lady had a couple tables piled with usual flea market crap. But there were also two beat up electric guitars for $50 each. One was a no name, but one was a Strat: a 1962!! I immediately turned to my GF and between us came up with the $50. First thing I did was call the Sheriff and local police departments making sure it wasn't hot. Then went to the store with the Dobro. They primarily dealt with acoustics and told me they already had one Strat in the store so weren't interested.

I drove to the next small town's electric guitar store. They said they'd buy it, but couldn't pay $350. Remember, in the late '70s a '62 was just an old guitar, not bringing the sky high prices like today. However, a fellow musician friend of mine worked there and suggested that he would trade his newish Guild D-55 acoustic for it. So I called the Dobro store and asked if they'd trade the Dobro for the Guild. They said yes. I then made the Strat for Guild trade, drove back to the other store, made the Guild/Dobro trade and by the end of that same day had my Dobro!

I still own it and still play it, but I wish I had the white '62 Strat these days. As far as I know, my friend still owns it.


P.S. In the mid-'90s I was back in the electric guitar store early one morning when they first opened and saw a well used Strat on the wall for $350 (again, prices hadn't jumped yet, but it was still a great deal for a USA Strat. It was a Dakota Red, 1973 Strat. The store guitar guy arrived at work (I was talking to the piano guy while examining the Strat) and he said "Where'd that come from?!?" The piano guy said he took it in trade the prior night after the guitar guy was gone for the day. The guitar guy frantically asked if I was going to buy it, to which I simply said, "Damn right!" He was not happy with the piano guy or me.

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New Member!
Aug 16, 2019
Reading UK
Stuff is much harder to find....I have had a few bargains from Car boot sales.

a £12 1983 Squier Telecaster...in great condition and still playing well after new strings and set up.

Several old valve heads over the years including a £5 Selmer head.

A japanese Cimar bass for £5 and a USA peavey Bandit from a charity shop for £30 just the other week.

I was pipped at the car boot sale to a 1968 Gibson SG which needed a lot of work but went for £75 very distressing.


New Member!
Jun 8, 2021
MIJ Squier Bullet with case, mint $100
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro with coil split, with case, still has stickers on controls, mint, $50!

Addendum: For sure, I've bought some clunkers, including a Strat neck in "excellent" condition off eBay. Never seen a neck with the frets sticking out so far. Must have sat in a sunny Arizona window most it's life.

03-31-2022 Fender Squier Bullet H2 (1).JPG 03-31-2022 Epiphone Gibson Les Paul Custom Pro (3).JPG
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New Member!
Aug 26, 2016
San Francisco
The local Goodwill store used to put out a selection of clunkers during the Fillmore Jazz Festival in SF. Found this heavily-adulterated MIK Strat in the pile for $170, and figured it would make a good project. Scraped off a bunch of electrical tape and other garbage, dropped in a surplus pick guard with Lace Holy Grails, and whaddya know?! Great travel guitar, and for banging around with the grandkids.


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92 Fiesta Red 62

Apr 27, 2022
I know some of y’all around here don’t like to read long stories, so here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

I got this at a garage sale for $1.00
It’s been through some journeys, but a couple of years ago I got it back up and running, and now my daughter and I fight over it.

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Here’s the longer version for the more literate amongst us: