In the 1950s, the best places to buy bargain-priced antiques were local house sales or farm auctions. But times have changed. Old items are often considered “used” not “art.” Try these.

1)  The front yard pile of boxes waiting for trash pick up. Christmas ornaments, old tools, magazines, toys, even portraits are often discarded after years in the attic. Search early. There is a group in almost every city that checks trash.

2)  Church rummage sales and fund-raising events. Since all of the workers are volunteers, few would know that a 1960s rock-and-roll poster could be worth $500, recognize an old Chinese export plate, or that some video games are too valuable to be sold in a group.

3)  Pawn shops, especially in foreign countries. Some shops in Mexico, were filled with antique jewelry figurines and paperweights that were wanted by few collectors. Indian pawn jewelry, and long dangling Victorian gold earrings with small colored gems didn’t have a high price if they had posts to secure them in the ear. They sold them for the gold meltdown value, very little for the stones. Today, they are back in style and even in a pawn shop sell for high prices. Look around; there are probably other unexpected bargains like taxidermy heads or cone-top beer cans.

4)  Consignment shops specializing in building materials and furniture for recyclers. Many also have furnishings for the family like dishes or kitchen gadgets or even large colorful glass or pottery vases. The “beige box look” of the modern fifties enthusiast that was out by the eighties is now almost back. So, look for low-priced unrecognized Fiesta dishes, cobalt blue bottles and early advertising. You might even find a bargain rug. And if you like dishes with dainty flowers and pastels, you can find a set of Haviland dinnerware for 12 for about $150, a lot less if a few cups are missing (use mismatched cups and plates for even less money).

5)  Your grandmother’s attic. Offer to clean it if you can have things you find that you loved as a kid or that remind you of the family. Even old yearbooks can be worth a lot of money, but they have to have pictures of a modern celebrity as a student.