Could your house be a giant treasure trove? It is likely that some of the old “rubbish” you have lying around could actually be some surprisingly valuable junk. Read on to find out which household items are worth the big bucks… you just might be in for a big pay day. Thank us later.
1. Game Boys
Maybe those goshforsaken games that kids around the world begged their parents to buy actually turned out to be a good thing! First released in 1989, the Game Boy quickly turned into the must-have toy of the era. But their influence didn’t stop then.
Seeing as we can’t just go to a gaming store and purchase one of these handheld consoles anymore, the resale market has considerably raised their price and they’re now selling for anywhere from $750 to $2,000. A brand new game boy actually sold for over $4,000 on eBay on August 18, 2019. And now all those little ’90s kids are yelling “I told you so!” to their parents.
2. Antique Cookie Jar
These days, old cookie jars are worth some serious cookie dough. And by old we don’t mean decades old – we mean those that were made in the ’40s and ’50s. Don’t believe this household item could be an actual money-maker? PBS’ Antiques Roadshow appraiser, Reyne Hirsch is here to prove it.
According to Hirsch, an Uncle Mistletoe Marshall Fields cookie jar from the 1950’s sold for $1,200 back in 2018. But this isn’t the only type that’ll reap in some serious cash. Hirsch claims that jars in the shape of any well-known cartoon figure can help people hit the jackpot. In fact, a used Little Audrey cookie jar was selling on eBay for $3,400 as of August 25, 2019. Woah!
3. Vintage Perfume Bottles
As it turns out, what’s on the inside matters less than what’s on the outside… or at least it does when it comes to perfume. Back in the 19th century, glassblowers around the world turned bottles of perfume into a form of art, and today they’re worth some pretty big bucks.
Seriously, we can practically smell the wads of cash from here. As of August, 2019, antique perfume bottles from the 1900s were selling on eBay for nearly $4,000. Bottles from a century prior were going for as much as $8,500! Antiques Roadshow appraiser, Eric Silver, also claims that outside of eBay, there are real-life auctions devoted strictly to perfume bottles where people earn more than just a few (s)cents on their sales, pardon the pun!
4. VHS Tapes
Seeing as it’s now 2019 and we live in a world of Netflix, we’d bet most people haven’t taken a look at their VHS collection recently. But it’s probably a good thing to do since these common household items are now being sold for A LOT. Wondering how much these collector items actually go for?
Well, volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Walt Disney cartoon collection shown above are listed on eBay under seller jinelle0317 for a staggering $1,499,999.99. What’s more: movies that never made the change over to DVD or digital – especially those under the horror genre and those that were considered controversial and were banned as a result – apparently sell for the highest price. And for those of us who have already thrown out our old VHS tapes… who else is wondering what we can collect from the new Netflix era to sell later down the line?
5. Vintage Band T-Shirts
As representations of key moments in music’s history, vintage band tees are worth a good lump sum of money. For example, according to Red Bull’s adventure-packed blog, Nirvana’s In Utero tour tee (which was only awarded to crew members) apparently sold for almost $7,000. But that’s not the most shocking price we’ve found.
Ever heard of The Beatles’ banned 1966 “Yesterday and Today” album cover? It was immediately recalled thanks to its gory content featuring the musicians dressed as butchers holding doll parts. Well, in 2011, eBay user, koshercollectibles apparently posted an original ’70s shirt with the album cover on it, and here’s the kicker: his asking price was $20,000. We suppose it’s time to rummage through your closet!
6. Kugel Christmas Ornaments
When most people receive Christmas ornaments as gifts, they usually do one of two things: stash them away in a box in the garage, or hang them on their tree for years to come. But unbeknownst to many, there’s also a third option available: checking their value online and for the lucky ones, striking rich with a big sale.
According to antique appraiser, Eric Silver, vintage sleds can sell for up to a few hundred dollars while blown-glass ornaments can go for an incredible $1,700. But the real jackpot-winners are those who own Kugel ornaments made in Germany between 1840 to the early 1940s, as these pieces sell for a whopping $18,000! Who else is now regretting all those times they re-gifted Christmas ornaments?
7. Vintage Lunch Boxes
As it turns out, the vintage tin accessories used for school serve as more than just PB & J carriers. Actually, their value today is directly correlated with whatever decoration is emblazoned on them: from rock bands to cartoon characters and everything in between.
As reported by lunch box collector, Thad Reece, collectors today pay up to 10,000 times more than the original price of the most valuable boxes. But which are the most valuable? Fox News stated that a vintage The Jetsons lunch box from 1963 was valued somewhere between $1,000 to $1,650, while a Dudley Do-Right lunchbox from 1962 sold for more than $2,200. But it doesn’t stop there. Owner of one of the largest lunch box museums in the world, Allen Woodall, claims a Superman lunchbox from 1954 is the most valuable lunchbox of all time, selling for up to $13,000. Gee wiz!
8. Pokémon Cards
Fair warning for all those former Pokémon card-trading fanatics out there: grab a box of tissues before continuing to read. It’s very possible that past card-traders who either threw out their old cards – or maybe even traded the ultra-rare ones with friends – missed out on a huge opportunity to turn a hobby into money.
On eBay, complete sets of standard, run-of-the mill Pokémon cards sell for hundreds of dollars while rare, single cards go for prices that are well in the thousands. For example, a 1999 first edition Chiazard set sold for $12,499.99 on June 5, 2019 by seller dh25253. But that’s not all. A 2001 Tropical Wind Trophy PSA 9 Mint card was listed on eBay by smpratte for a mind-blowing $500,000. Think those former Pokémon card-traders are crying yet?
9. Vintage Advertising Signs
Remember the time when instead of ads on the Internet, there were signs that hung up outside of bars, restaurants, and shops that advertised what was sold? It turns out these vintage tokens are now worth a very good chunk of change.
Don’t believe us? A vintage Coca-Cola sign sold on eBay for $5,700 on August 1, 2019 by seller rare-necessities. And that is not even the most impressive price that is out there. Some signs go up to four figures! Now please excuse us while we rummage through our garage in search of one – or hopefully more – of these money-makers.
10. Apple iPod 1st Generation
Though relatively new, original Apple products are still highly coveted. And while they may not yet be considered antiques, they could be worth a whole bunch of money if, say, they were built by Steve Jobs himself. So before choosing to toss out any old Apple electronics, take a look at what they’re selling for these days.
On July 19, 2019, eBay user, videoaudiostudios sold a first generation Apple iPod for nearly $2,200. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other first generation models in new or good condition are listed for up to $15,999 as of August, 2019, proving their value increases over time. With that said, think twice before tossing any outdated electronics.
11. Old CDs
How crazy is it to think that in the world of music, CDs are becoming ancient fossils? While this can be somewhat of a sad thing, luckily for all the music aficionados out there, there’s still some value to these tracks: lots and lots of money!
According to several sources, Michael Jackson’s 1993 signature series track and Coldplay’s 1998 Safety EP are worth somewhere around $1,500. But even more valuable is a version of Paris Hilton’s 2006 album, “Paris.” In September of 2006, street artist, Banksy replaced around 500 copies of Hilton’s debut CD with a redesigned sleeve and an added mash-up with DJ Dangermouse. The album was said to be on sale in the US for $3,000 back in 2013 and as of August 21, 2019, it is listed on eBay for 9,995 GBP (roughly $12,134.19)!
12. Boy Scout Badges
Though proud parents would probably prefer to hold onto tributes to their sons’ time in Boy Scouts of America, those who are willing to part with any of their memorabilia could be in to score a sizable amount of money.
According to Collectors Weekly, some highly collectible Boy Scout badges sold for prices reaching up to $1,178 in 2018. And as it goes with most items, the older they are, the more they can sell for. For instance, a Boy Scout sash with 18 patches from between the 1930s-1940s was listed on eBay for $4,500 on August, 2019. Even Air Scout memorabilia is selling for around $2,000.
13. Old Coins
Who else pays little attention to the coins they receive? If you’re anything like us, coins are considered to be more of an annoyance than anything and are certainly not something of high value – that is, at least not as valuable as their dollar bill counterparts. But as it turns out, those coins you have tucked away in the back of your pants’ pockets or buried at the bottom of your purse could actually be worth a pretty penny.
Get a load of this: Jeff Bidelman, an antique dealer at Rare Collectibles in Pennsylvania, uncovered a stash of 200-year-old coins back in 2007 that were worth a staggering $200,000. Even if you don’t stumble upon coins that ancient, you could have a special Kansas state quarter on your hands. In 2005, a batch of these quarters were misprinted with “In God We Rust” instead of “In God We Trust.” These days, the mistake is said to be worth around $100 a coin!
Does anyone else’s mind wander to David Bowie’s song, “When the Wind Blows” when thinking of weathervanes? No? Ok, cool. Anyway, weathervanes – or the metal ornaments that sit atop barns and houses to detect which way the wind is blowing – are but another household item that is worth a fortune.
And just because they aren’t as useful nowadays since we can now use our phones to pull up weather metrics in a matter of minutes, it doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable in monetary terms. Today, 19th century ornate weathervanes sell on eBay for anywhere between $5,000-$7,000. Even more impressive: a Native American weathervane sold for a staggering $5.84 million at a Sotheby’s auction back in 2006. Wow!
15. Polly Pocket Toys
Among other noteworthy things, the ’90s era gave rise to the Polly Pocket craze. These inch-high toys became a staple in many kids’ playrooms and you can now sell them online for a pretty good chunk of change. Well, only if you’ve miraculously been able to hold onto all of its tiny pieces over the years.
Like most things on this list, Polly Pocket toys have made their way over to eBay where they’ve been introduced as a pricey collector’s item. As of August, 2019, larger full sets are priced around $1,900. But it’s not just the Polly Pocket figures that are worth the big bucks; it’s anything Polly Pocket related. For example, a Polly Pocket pencil case sold on eBay July 16, 2019 for an incredible $810!
16. Costume Jewelry
Whoever thought big diamonds were the only moneymakers in jewelry were wrong. Antique costume jewelry is actually worth a shiny stack of money, so before you store away gram’s old statement necklaces because you think you won’t get any use out of them, go get them appraised.
Case in point: a bracelet from 1920s Italian fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli apparently sells at auctions for up to $2,000 and sets of vintage jewelry have recently sold on eBay for more than $5,000, as of June, 2019. And the material doesn’t need to be top of the line, either – early-1900s chunky necklaces and bangles made from resin were recently auctioned on eBay for more than $16,000. Moral of the story? Fashion may change, but jewelry always remains valuable.
17. Tiffany Lamps
Good news: the lamp inherited from an ancestor that doesn’t quite fit the modern aesthetic of your home could actually be a big time money-maker. As it turns out, Tiffany lamps are more than just stained glass; they’re an icon of decorative art and are worth a fortune.
Don’t throw shade at this old household item, because it could be worth anywhere from $4,000 to over $1 million according to Invaluable, one of the world’s professedly largest online marketplaces for antiques, collectibles, and fine art. The company claims the most sought-after Tiffany lamps in today’s market are those that bear vibrant colors and floral motifs. In fact, the light fixtures are so valuable that even their bases are said to be worth a ton.
18. China Sets
Those fancy dinnerware sets that are collecting dust at the back of the kitchen cabinet might actually be worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on the Internet. Wondering what we’re referring to? None other than the fine china sets dating back centuries.
Made of porcelain, these antiques became popular towards the end of the 18th century, when English artists pulled inspiration from China’s white and blue hand-painted ceramic ware. While there are tons of fake models in the market today, vintage sets coming from the early 1900s sell on eBay for an upwards of $5,000. Who else is now planning to do some cleaning around the house?
19. Cuckoo Clocks
What better way to tell the time than with a little bird popping out of a hole while singing a sweet melody? Originating in Germany during the 1730s, cuckoo clocks are nostalgic household items that make us think of grandma. While some of us may only find these rare gems at a local garage sale or flea market, others are lucky enough to own some sought-after examples.
For all those fortunate owners out there: a resale market exists for these timeless time-tellers. As of August 25, 2019, cuckoo clocks on eBay were selling for an upwards of $2,000. Now that’s a price almost anyone would go cuckoo over! Are we right or are we right?
20. Old Stamps
Collecting stamps in the olden days was kind of like modern-day magnet collecting, so it makes sense that some of our ancestors may have taken up the hobby. For those who are lucky enough to have had such a collection fall into their possession, know there are people out there who are interested in buying these seemingly negligible household objects.
As of August 2019, vintage stamp collections on eBay were selling for nearly $90,000 with some even reaching in the hundreds of thousands! Sure they’re just pieces of paper to some, but for others, they’re ancient relics that give insight into the past. Remarkable!
21. Rocking Chair
It looks like there is more value in rocking chairs than just being a tool to help babies fall asleep. Created back in the 1700s, these pieces of furniture are actually still found in many living rooms and front porches today. And boy do we have good news for those who still own them.
For those in possession of an antique chair, know that some pretty big bucks lie ahead. For example, eBay records show that even small children’s rocking chairs dating back to anywhere between the 1950s-1970s sell for nearly $5,000. Now that sounds like some pretty nice spending money, doesn’t it?
22. Boom Boxes
Few kids today probably know what a boom box is. These portable music players from the ’80s not only personalized music consumption, but they also set the stage for portable cassettes and CD players. And thanks to the hunger for vintage goods from today’s hipsters, the value of boom boxes has risen exponentially.
Just take a look at these prices on eBay: seller a.redchenko70 offered a Sharp GF-999 Stereo Boombox for $3,000 on August, 2019, whereas seller astronette-8 listed a 1988 VTG 2 Lasonic TRC-975 Ghetto Blaster Boombox for $8,250. So, for those who have an old boombox laying around their house, it might be worth putting it up for sale.
Seriously, who doesn’t store items in a trunk that’s then tucked away in the back corners of a garage or attic? Well, it turns out it’s not the junk in the trunk (sorry, had to) that’s most important, but instead, it’s the trunk itself.
For example, antiques and collectibles specialist, Marsha Dixey claims that trunks dating back to the 1870s, when luggage was made sturdy enough to withstand wagon travel, are valued around $700. And if you happen to have a designer trunk, say from luxury French fashion house Louis Vuitton, then Antiques Roadshow appraiser, Eric Silver says you’re looking at a win of thousands of dollars.
While typewriters are few and far between nowadays, those who got them passed down from ancestors are likely sitting on top of a gold mine. As significant relics of the past, they are among household items that are considered to be worth lots of money to certain buyers.
Antique shop, Branford House Antiques, reported that a special Hooven Automatic Typewriter sold for a whopping $7,500 in 2018. But that is not remotely close to the price of some other models. Considered to be the Rolls Royce of typewriters, the Malling-Hansen Writing Ball is apparently said to be worth some $100,000. Wow.
25. Signed Yearbooks
More unlikely household items that happen to be a money-makers are your seemingly-ordinary old yearbooks. Now we know what you are probably thinking: what significance can an old book full of embarrassing school portraits possibly have? Well, let us tell you.
If you, your parents, or your grandparents were “lucky” enough to go to school with someone who has since stepped foot in the limelight, then you’re looking at a hefty cash prize. As a reference, a yearbook with James Dean’s photo in it is apparently selling online for more than $10,500. And if the famous figure happened to actually sign the yearbook, you’re looking at a price with even more zeros attached to the end.
26. Vintage Comics
Of all the collectibles you might have had as a kid, chances are, it’s highly probable some vintage comic books were among the lot. As we can see from the blockbuster films that still dominate Hollywood today and generate sequel after sequel, comic book heroes are here to stay. But what about those old comic books you had stashed away collecting dust? It’s best to get them appraised.
Their price depends on date and how many were printed, but just for example, the first comic book introducing The Incredible Hulk fetched an eye-popping $320,000 at auction in 2014. If there’s a superhero movie coming out featuring the hero in your comic, your chances are even better.
27. Original Star Wars Toys
Hold on to those prequels toys; as much as it pains us to say it, yes, someday they too will likely fetch a fortune. For now, the toys that first came out to accompany the original Star Wars trilogy are what it’s all about. When A New Hope came out in 1977, few expected it would do well, let alone how massive it would become, so no toys were even out to accompany its release.
In the few years that followed, as Star Wars cemented its place in the public imagination, merchandise became dizzying. Today, if you have an original Luke Skywalker toy, you could bring home $25,000. Scrounge up an original Millennium Falcon ship, and you might get upwards of $3,000!
28. American Girl Dolls
Ladies who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, perk up your ears! Way back when, you read and loved book after book of the American Girls series, exploring different periods in history through the eyes of girls living through them. If you loved it so much that you bought the accompanying doll and her accessories, hopefully you’re ready to part with her, because she is a treasure trove.
The doll of the character Samantha alone was sold for $4,200 on eBay. The others can still bring you thousands of dollars, and even if they’re out of their original packaging, you may still be able to sell them for hundreds.
29. Air Jordans
This is surely an item you’ll remember with a chuckle: remember when your self-worth all depended on having the coolest kicks on the schoolyard? Look back and laugh — but if you just so happened to stash those old Air Jordans somewhere in your attic, run and grab them.
For a pair of Jordan 11 sneakers with the stylings of Derek Jeter, one online buyer forked over $18,257. That’s not all: other versions have sold for upwards of $20,000. So dust off those sneaks, get their worth evaluated, and while you’re at it, be sure to thank Michael Jordan for existing.
30. Video Games
You smacked them in your hand, you knew the proper angle to blow the dust out of them and somehow make them work, and now you’ve retired them to that forgotten corner of your video cabinet. It’s time to pull out all those old Nintendo and PlayStation cartridges, because there are people willing to pay big bucks for them.
For example, an old cartridge from Mario Kart 64 could bring you hundreds of dollars. Other consoles, including games from Super Nintendo and PlayStation 4, can be found on the market for upwards of $1,000. So don’t just toss them out — put them up for sale!
31. Cell Phones
For this household treasure, you’re going to need to be a bit more precise. Because of how quickly cell phone companies seek to upgrade and change their products, there’s so many outdated and obsolete cell phone brands that only a select few are going to fetch a handsome price.
To really attract buyers, you’ll need to have stashed away a really old cell phone brand, from way back in the beginning when the device was first invented. In 2014, a 1983 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was sold for $550 at auction, the same price many newer phone models might sell for unused.
32. Antique Guitars
Is your father or grandmother an avid music lover? Perhaps you’re a household of musicians, and have been so for generations? If so, and if the older generations are willing to part ways with their weapons of choice, then you could all stand to reap the benefits.
Obviously, the older the better, so while guitars from the 1960s can certainly be sold for an excellent price at auction, models from the decade before are where it’s at. A 1954 Gibson ES-175, case and all, was valued to be in $5,500 back in 2014, and before that, a 1953 Fender Telecaster was estimated to be up to $10,000.
33. Happy Meal Toys
What is it about those little McDonald’s Happy Meal toys that awakened our inner urge to become miniature hoarders? Whatever it was, if for some reason you forgot to get rid of those Happy Meal toys from your childhood, run and have a look at them.
These common household items have entire Internet communities devoted to their sale. It may seem absurd, but believe it or not, there are Happy Meal toys rare enough to have been sold online for $500. A 1995 Inspector Gadget could be worth $350, and a 1987 set of Potato Head kids can be traded for $100.
34. Flip Clock Radios
Whether you experienced them in real time or spotted them in any number of classic movies from the 1980s, you’ve seen this kind of clock before. The numbers flip up as the time changes. The question is, do you have one lying around your household? If so, it just so happens to be that collectors are hot in pursuit of your device.
The Panasonic brand of flip clock radios have been known to be sold at auction for around $300 on eBay. Seeing as how it’s rather unlikely you’re still using this clock radio to tell the time, why not trade it in and make a pretty penny in the process?
35. White Furby
They talked, they learned, they wiggled, and they were probably possessed by an evil spirit. Furby toys were all the rage in the late 1990s, and whether you were a kid at the time or had a kid at the time, it was impossible to escape their irritating chatter.
Here’s the catch: the original set of Furbies had a white variation, and it’s actually exceptionally rare. In fact, a white Furby is so hard to come by that you could sell it for up to $800. So rid your household of these electronic gremlins that you’ve long since grown out of, and make some cash!
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