Turn Trash into Treasure: 20 Collectibles Hiding in Your Home
Are you harboring a fortune in your attic? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is worth checking.
You probably won’t find a rare baseball card worth millions, but there are plenty of lesser-known collectibles that can fetch a pretty penny on the market.
Before rolling up your sleeves and digging through your things, here are 20 valuable collectibles to aid your search.
1. Vintage Comic Books
The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in 1933, and the comic book industry has exploded since then. Specific issues, particularly those from the mid-20th century, can fetch a high price – with some reaching into six figures.
You may have some valuable issues if you come from a family of comic book collectors. The key is finding those in pristine condition, with their original cover and no creases or tears.
You could be $3.2 million richer if you find Action Comics #1.
2. Vintage Postcards
While postcards may seem like a trivial trinket, certain vintage postcards can be worth quite a bit. The value depends on the card’s age, rarity, and subject – for example, cards depicting famous events or locations tend to fetch higher prices.
You may have inherited a box of old postcards from your grandparents – it’s worth sorting through them to see if you have any valuable ones. Vintage postcards are valued up to $100k, according to TxAntiqueMall.
Books? Yes, believe it or not, that old novel on your shelf could be worth some money. It’s all about finding those original editions like the first edition of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The boy wizard’s debut book sold for a whopping $471,000.
But it’s not just children’s books that can be valuable; first editions of classic literature, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, are also valuable. So, look at your bookshelves; you may have some hidden treasures.
Understandably, glassware may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering collectibles. But some of them can help pay your debt, and then some. Depression-era glassware can fetch high prices due to its rarity and beautiful designs.
These glassware sets were produced in relatively small quantities during the Great Depression, making them valuable to collectors. Depression glasses can cost anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds, if not thousands.
5. Antique Furniture
Do you have an old dresser or armchair passed down in your family? It may be worth more than just sentimental value. Antique furniture can sell for high prices as long as it’s well-preserved and in good condition.
Some of the most valuable antique furniture includes pieces from famous designers like Thomas Chippendale and Gustav Stickley and pieces from the American Colonial and Victorian periods. These can sell for up to $100k or more.
6. Retro Video Game Consoles
Do you have an old Nintendo Entertainment System or Sega Genesis tucked away in your closet? These vintage video game consoles are worth something on the collectibles market, especially if they’re in good condition and come with their original controllers and games.
How much you can get depends on the gaming console – an original Sega Genesis CDX can sell for up to $5,000, while a “This Is Cool Sega Saturn” can fetch around $700 – $1,000. Dust off that old console and see if it’s worth some cash.
7. Rare Coins
Collecting rare coins can be fun, but did you know that some of your coins could also be worth a lot of money? If you find a 1933 Double Eagle gold coin, you could be $18 million richer, as one sold for that price in 2021.
There are even more common coins that are valuable to collectors. For example, a 1909-S VDB Lincoln Penny can sell for over $2,500. Other valuable coins include the 1943 Bronze Cent and the 1867 3 Dollar Gold Coin.
8. Old Typewriters
Typewriters may be obsolete in today’s world of computers and smartphones, but antique typewriters are making a comeback. Vintage typewriters command high prices, particularly those produced by famous brands like Underwood and Olivetti. You could earn up to $5,000 for a collectible model in good condition.
Check your basement or attic to see if you have any old typewriters; they may be worth more than a nostalgic conversation piece.
9. Rotary Phones
The only place you’ll see rotary phones these days is in old movies or recent movies set in the past. These retro phones are collectibles and valuable to the right buyer.
An old-fashioned rotary phone in good condition can sell for up to $500 or more, depending on the brand and model. Think again before you throw out that old phone at your granny’s; see if it can fetch a reasonable price on the collectibles market.
10. Fine China
Are you planning to sell the China at the next flea market or backyard sale? For pennies? It may be worth holding off and doing some research first. Some fine China sets, particularly those from popular brands like Royal Doulton or Wedgwood, can sell for high prices – we’re talking five to six figures.
These collectible sets often have intricate designs and were produced in limited quantities, making them valuable to collectors. Hold onto those plates a little longer before getting rid of them.
11. Vintage Perfume Bottle
Fragrances may come and go, but vintage perfume bottles can hold value for collectibles. Many vintage bottles were beautifully designed, often with ornate details, and made from precious materials like crystal and glass.
A collectible vintage perfume bottle can sell for up to $2,000, depending on the brand, age, and condition. Keep those antique bottles in your bathroom cabinet – they may be worth more than their scent.
12. Vintage Toys
Do you have some old toys or board games tucked away in your basement? Some vintage collectible toys (in good condition and still in their original packaging) can sell for high prices.
Barbie by Stefano Canturi, for example, sold for $302,000 at Christie’s in 2010. And there are collectible Star Wars toys from the 1970s and 1980s that can fetch thousands of dollars. Look at your old toy collection and see if it has some monetary value to collectors.
13. Classic Cameras
Photography may have gone digital, but some vintage film cameras are prized collectibles. A collectible Leica camera, for example, can sell for $100,000 or more, depending on the model and condition.
A century-old Leica camera sold for $15 million at the 20th anniversary Leitz Photographica Auction in 2022. it was one of 23 prototypes released in 1923 to test the market. You may not have this rare and valuable collectible, but it’s worth checking to see if you have any old cameras that could make you smile to the bank.
Who would have thought that those tiny pieces of paper stuck to envelopes could be worth so much? Some collectible stamps are worth more than a few hundred dollars, and some even fetch millions at auctions.
The British Guiana 1c Magenta stamp (aka the Mona Lisa of the stamp world) from 1856 is the most valuable in the world, selling for $8.3 million at auction in 2021. See if you can find your “Mona Lisa stamp” in your stamp collection and cash in on its collectible value.
Some collectible jewelry, especially those from high-end designers or with rare and precious gemstones, is worth thousands or even millions of dollars at auctions.
One collectible piece worth mentioning is the Graff Pink Diamond – a stunning 24.78-carat pink diamond sold for $46 million at an auction in 2010, making it the most expensive jewel in the world (at the time). Keep an eye out for collectible jewelry in your collection, or consider investing in collectible jewelry for potential future profits.
16. Cassette Tapes
A growing number of collectors seek collectible cassette tapes and pay top dollar for rare and unique releases. A typical example is The Black Album by Prince, which sold for $27,500 on Discogs.
If you are a music fan and had cassette tapes back in the day, look at your collection and see if you have any releases that could bring in some cash. The valuable ones are usually limited editions or releases by famous artists, so keep an eye out for those.
Vinyl record collectibles are making a comeback, with some people adorning their walls with record players and collectible records.
A collectible Elvis Presley record can net up to $20,000; an original copy of Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You” is worth about $40,000. Many other old records are worth significantly less, but if you have popular collectible records by artists like The Beatles or Michael Jackson, they may be worth a pretty penny.
18. Old Magazines
Vintage magazines are collectible items for people who enjoy reading and collecting them. These collectibles can range in value, with older issues potentially selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
If you own Nintendo Power Magazine Issue #1 1988, you get up to $2000 for it, while a collectible issue of Beeton’s Christmas Annual 1887 (Sherlock Holmes) could earn you $156,000 or more. This magazine sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $156,000 in 2010.
19. Musical Instruments
Some collectible musical instruments are worth dusting off because they could be worth something. A collectible 1960s Fender Stratocaster sells for up to $2,500 on eBay, and others like that too.
As with any vintage collectible, the model, condition, and age, among other things, determine the value of your vintage instrument.
20. Vintage Rolex watches
Vintage Rolex watches are collectibles that continue to increase in value over time. A collectible Rolex Submariner 1680 could sell for up to $12,000, while a collectible Daytona could fetch $30,000 to $100,000 or more.
Let the Search Begin!
Now you know some collectibles that may be worth something in your home. Take some time to look through your belongings and see if any collectible items are hiding in plain sight. Who knows – you may strike collectible gold!
You may ask older family members, as people often pass collectible items through generations.
This article was produced and syndicated by Parent Portfolio.
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