40 Valuable Antiques That May Be Hiding In the Attic

Shannon Quinn - December 7, 2019
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Almost everyone in the good old USA has a lot of excess stuff in their attic or barn. Maybe you inherited things when you grandparents passed away, or your parents gave you a box of your childhood toys. No matter what your circumstances may be, you could potentially have a fortune waiting in your attic as we speak. Here are some examples of hidden treasures that are worth a lot of money.

Lunch boxes featuring super heroes are likely to be worth a lot of money when sold online. Photo Credit: History

40. Collectable Lunch Boxes

Years ago, lunch boxes were made of tin, rather than plastic. Kids could show off their favorite characters to their friends when they went to school. Considering that kids are rough with most things they own, many of these lunch boxes got destroyed over the years, or they are at least missing the original thermos. So if you ever come across a fully intact lunch box and thermos combo, you may be able to sell it for at least $50 to $100.

Move memorabilia is always a valuable thing to find in your attic. Photo Credit: Star Wars

The most expensive vintage lunch box ever sold was of Superman fighting a robot, which was distributed by Universal Studios in 1954. According to experts, this is worth $13,000. This is the most valuable lunch box in the world. So if you find one, make sure you bring it to your nearest auction!

Your children’s toy cars may be worth something today. Photo Credit: ohmmzz/Shutterstock

39. Toy Cars and Trucks

No matter how much technology changes, little boys will still love playing with toy trucks. These comes in all shapes and sizes, from as small as a Hot Wheel car to a large Barbie camper van. Popular Mechanics has an extensive list with some examples of rare toy cars that have sold for a pretty penny. One of their examples is the Hotwheels 1969 prototype VW “Beach Bomb”. This goes for $70,000 to avid collectors who want to get their hands on this rare toy.

Always check the value of toy cars and trucks before donating them. Photo Credit: Beloborod/Shutterstock

Don’t forget about those vintage metal trucks. While searching on eBay, we found a 1923 Vintage Arcade International Harvester Dump Truck listed for $2,000. Even some of the vintage metal Tonka Trucks, which are more commonly found in people’s attics, will still sell between $50 to $100.

Vintage and antique trunks can be valuable for collectors. Photo Credit: S_Photo/Shutterstock

38. Trunks

Vintage trunks have been popular for a long time, so much so that home decor companies are trying to recreate the look. Years ago, people would take a large steamer trunk onto a train if they knew they would be going on a long journey, like the Orient Express. Today, most people use rolling suitcases, and would rather pack light if it means saving some money on baggage fees. So instead of traveling with them, people love using these for coffee tables, or they might have one at the end of the bed with extra blankets.

Some people prefer to buy vintage luggage, because of the style. Photo Credit: Olga Pink/Shutterstock

The most coveted vintage trunks out there are the ones made by Louis Vuitton. At the time this article was written, there is a full wardrobe Louis Vuitton steamer trunk selling on eBay listed at $28,000. There are plenty of other classic Louis Vuitton trunks selling in the ballpark of $6,000 to $10,000. Some of them were also made without the iconic LV logo. So always check the labels to see who made a leather trunk in your attic.

Vintage typewriters are a popular collectable among writing enthusiasts. Photo Credit: Virrage Images/Shutterstock

37. Typewriters

In modern times, professional writers would never use a typewriter to work. However, plenty of English majors, aspiring authors, and antique collectors love the aesthetics of an old typewriter. Most of the time, it just sits around as a piece of decor. Even though most people will not actually use it, selling a working typewriter always goes for more money than one that is broken.

A vintage typewriter like this might be hiding in your parent’s or grandparent’s attic. Photo Credit: StudioByTheSea/Shutterstock

Most vintage typewriters sell on eBay for at least $50. Some of the rarest machines sell for over $1,000. If you have one that is a nice color, or the shape of it is unique in some way, it will always sell for more than one that was mass produced. Keep in mind that they are very heavy, so if you provide free shipping, it will seriously cut into your profit.

Mechanical banks were a popular gift to give children years ago. Photo Credit: In Collect

36. Mechanical Banks

Years ago, piggy banks were a lot more creative than they are today. Kids could put a penny into a mechanism that would move the coin into the bank. So they were like both a toy and a bank all in one. Today, they are highly collectable.

There could be a mechanical bank hiding in your attic. Photo Credit: Cowan Auctions

When you look for mechanical banks on eBay, you might find some for only $20, but others go for over $5,000. This has to do with their rarity, subject matter, condition, and the company that makes the bank.

Some coats are worth reselling, even if they’re used. Photo Credit: Ko Backpacko/Shutterstock

35. Coats

For years, women were dying to own a fur coat. It was all the rage, and a sign that you were wealthy. Now, people are more conscious about animal cruelty. So real fur is looked down upon. However, if a coat is vintage, the animal has been dead for a very long time. It would be even more of a waste and disrespect to the animal if nothing was done with it.

Check the tags on vintage clothing and coats before donating them to the thrift store. Photo Credit: Ko Backpacko/Shutterstock

Looking on eBay, you can see that certain brands of vintage fur coats go for thousands of dollars. It doesn’t have to be fur, either. If you have a really nice coat in your closet, you may be able to sell it to someone who is looking to wear a vintage style.

Most attics have a set of porcelain china hiding. Photo Credit: Tom Black Dragon/Shutterstock

34. Sets of China

Nowadays, a lot of people buy their cups and plates from somewhere like Target, and they are not too interested in the brand name. But for years, housewives prided themselves on having an amazing set of matching china from companies like Spode and Lenox. While it is rare to find someone who cares enough to collect these china sets, those people are still out there!

There are collectable china prints that are highly sought-after online. Photo Credit: Mariana Marakhovskaia/Shutterstock

So if you find a full set that has been passed down to you from your parents or grandparents, be sure to check the bottom of the plate. You should be able to find the brand name, as well as the name of the style. Do some research on eBay to find the price. They usually go for a couple hundred dollars.

Believe it or not, people love to buy vintage taxidermy. Photo Credit: Brothers Art/Shutterstock

33. Taxidermy

If you find taxidermy in your attic, your first reaction might be, “yikes!” But don’t throw those furry animals away or donate them just yet. There are some people out there who actually collect taxidermy, and they are even willing to restore an older piece if it’s still possible.

Deer heads are one of the most commonly found taxidermy pieces. Photo Credit: DedMityay/Shutterstock

Some taxidermy pieces even go for thousands of dollars. Since these are so large and difficult to ship, try to sell your taxidermy locally if you can. Maybe contact a local hunting league to see if you can get any tips.

Vintage globes give you a glimpse to how borders were divided long ago. Photo Credit: Aris-Tect Group/Shutterstock

32. Globes

A globe can add some sophistication to a living space. It shows that you are cultured, and it can also be a fun, interactive piece in your home. It’s even better if a globe is interesting. Older globes might have hand painted illustrations, and others might have countries that don’t even exist anymore.

Many people like to collect vintage globes for visual aesthetic. Photo Credit: Aris-Tect Group/Shutterstock

The value of a globe depends on a few factors; Size, brand, condition, and uniqueness. Your best bet is to do some research on eBay and Etsy to see what your globe is worth, but they can go anywhere from just $20 up to $1,000.

If your grandparents owned a store, there is a good chance they had an old cash register. Photo Credit: CryKitten/Shutterstock

31. Cash Registers

Did one of your ancestors own a business? They may have left behind an old cash register. These are gorgeous, and some shops like to have them just as a decoration. And, of course, people like to have them in their homes, too.

Vintage cash registers are a thing of beauty. Photo Credit: Aleksandar Mijatovic/Shutterstock

Depending on the quality and condition, these can go for $150 to $500. Even the parts from an old register can be sold, in case someone else out there is missing something and needs to fix the one they already had.

Popular brand signs like Coca Cola are always highly sought-after. Photo Credit: Webcrobg

30. Signs

If you have ever seen the History Channel show called American Pickers, then you already know that gasoline signs can be worth a lot of money. There is an entire fandom surrounding these items, and it’s called “petroliana”. They are so popular, that companies began to re-release some of their vintage signs so that people can hang them in their home, garage, or “man cave”.

Petroliana signs are very popular and collectible. Credit: Shutterstock

Many of these signs sell in the ballpark of $20 to $100. Some of the larger neon signs that hung on the windows of gas stations can go for thousands of dollars. It really just depend on the rarity, size, and condition.

Silver is always valuable, so never give it away if you find it in your attic. Photo Credit: PavelStock/Shutterstock

29. Silver Kitchenware 

Years ago, people would keep their finest silver for when honored guests would come over for dinner. Taking out the silver was a huge process of polishing each and every piece so that they shined beautifully on the table. It was a huge point of pride in the home, and women often inherited silver from their parents if they were in a wealthy family. It also doubled as an item that could easily be sold if times got tough, because silver was so valuable.

Silver can be sold as-is or melted down. Photo Credit: Hitdelight/Shutterstock

Today, we rarely see anyone using real silver kitchenware. They see it as too much of a hassle to worry about shining their cutlery, and they would rather get a full set from somewhere like Ikea. But there are still plenty of people out there (especially Downton Abbey fans) who want a real silver kitchenware set. Not sure if it’s silver or not? Check the bottom of the platters, pitchers, and cups. There is usually a marking on the bottom.

Folk art pieces are one of a kind, and their value is subjective. Photo Credit: Andreas Wolochow/Shutterstock

28. Folk Art

In modern times, when we think of arts and crafts, we think of kits you can buy from Michael’s or DIY projects inspiring by Pinterest. The only downside to this type of crafting is that it doesn’t always last, and it’s not always made by someone who is really skilled in what they do. Years ago, people were creating crafts of their own, which we now called folk art. These could be wooden sculptures, paintings, ivory carvings, hand blown glass, and so much more.

It’s possible that you might find pieces like this in your attic. Photo Credit: clicksabhi/Shutterstock

The whole idea behind valuable folk art is that it is one-of-a-kind, and often reflect the culture of the person who made it.  People want to collect these pieces for their home because they cannot be found anywhere else. So if your parents or grandparents just so happened to make things, this might be an opportunity for you to see if anyone would be willing to buy some of their pieces.

Vintage weather vanes are very valuable. Photo Credit: VVO/Shutterstock

27. Weather Vanes

Farmers use weather vanes to help them know which direction the wind is blowing. People have been using these for a very long time, and they were sometimes custom-made by a craftsman for each farm. There are weather vanes of eagles, sheep, angels, horses, and so much more. Some of the rarest weather vanes can sell for up to $10,000. The most expensive one that sold on record was $770,000.

If you find a weather vane, take it to a local auction for appraisal. Photo Credit: Ahmet Naim/Shutterstock

Sometimes, the price of a rare weather vane is completely subjective, and it really has everything to do with how much people are willing the battle in an auction. If you have one of these rare weather vanes, you will probably need to take it to an auction house, instead of trying to sell it online. This way, you will get the most you possibly could from it.

Vintage wind-up toys are very popular. Photo Credit: kirill_makarov/Shutterstock

26. Wind Up Toys

For a while, wind up toys were all the rage with kids. They were fascinated to play with something that actually moved on its own. So for years, toy companies manufactured all different kids of characters.

Years ago, vintage wind-up toys were all the rage. Photo Credit: charles taylor/Shutterstock

The value of each toy is going to vary drastically, depending on its age and rarity. Believe it or not, some wind-up toys can go for tens of thousands of dollars. 

If you find a lamp like this in your attic, always check the brand, because it might be a Tiffany. Photo Credit: milosljubicic/Shutterstock

25. Lamps and Light Fixtures

Sometimes, people want to have special light fixtures and lamps in their home. After all, almost everyone has the same lamps from Ikea and Walmart. This is why vintage and antique lamps still sell really well to people who are looking for a specific interior design.

Vintage lamps can be sold online for people looking to replicate an old style. Photo Credit: Michael C. Gray/Shutterstock

Some of the most expensive lamps in the world were made by Tiffany. They go for over $1,000. Just make sure it’s not a Tiffany replica.

Vintage war posters are highly collectable. Photo Credit: AXpop/Shutterstock

24. Vintage War Posters

History buffs love to collect vintage war posters. These are so sought-after, they are often reprinted in modern times. So if you find one in your house, make sure you figure out if it is a genuinely vintage poster, or a replica. If you have a real poster, you can sell it for a few hundred dollars to a collector.

During times of war, propaganda was used to manipulate people. Photo Credit: Galerie 123

Make sure that your posters are still in good condition. Bends, creases, rips, and water damage can all take away from a paper product’s value. Discoloration is normal over the years, but a well-preserved poster will be very valuable.

Windsor chairs are highly sought-after. Photo Credit: Olivier Le Queinec/Shutterstock

23. Windsor Chairs

The style of Windsor chairs are probably familiar to you, because it has been copied for years. If you have an original Windsor, it can sell for $100 or more per piece. Some of the older antique chairs can go for even $1,000 or more.

If you find a chair like this, check to see how old it is. Photo Credit: 3Violetsphotography/Shutterstock

Not sure about the authenticity of your old chairs? You might want to visit a professional auction house or an antique appraiser before you try to sell them.

Copper pots and pans are highly collectable. Photo Credit: Fabio Pagani/Shutterstock

22. Copper Cookware 

Copper cookware is amazingly beautiful, and it is used by professional chefs around the world. They conduct heat really well, and it spreads evenly around the entire pan.

Copper cookware is popular in France. Photo Credit: FabrikaSimf/Shutterstock

Even if a copper pot is dirty, it can usually be polished. Just be careful of the inside wearing away. It’s toxic to cook with real copper, so you need the inner lining. This can be repaired, and for expensive French cookware, some people might think it’s worth the hassle. But just keep that in mind when you are either looking to use or sell it.

Souvenir bandanas may be worth something if you check online. Photo Credit: Ekaterina43/Shutterstock

21. Bandanas and Scarves

Pretty much everyone’s grandma had a collection of scarves. Years ago, they were all the rage to tie in your hair, or have over your shoulders. But now, a lot of people immediately donate them to the thrift store without a second thought. Stop right there! Before you give them all away, make sure you check the labels of every single scarf. You never know if your grandma had an Hermes scarf that will sell for a few hundred dollars.

Designer scarves can be re-sold if they are still in good condition. Photo Credit: Thiti Sukapan/Shutterstock

Souvenir bandanas are also popular, especially among people who collect memorabilia from a certain place. Always double-check on eBay to see if anyone has sold something similar before in the past. Try to price your objects within the ballpark of everyone else’s asking price.

An authentic vintage Shaker hat and chair. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Shaker Furniture and Accessories

In case you have never heard of it before, Shaker furniture is a specific style of furniture. It was originally developed by a religious group called the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing. They were more commonly known as “The Shakers”. They believed that they needed to work hard, put their full mind and body into creating beautiful things. By making these pieces, they believe they are doing God’s work.

Shaker chairs are some of the most popular pieces of furniture to collect. Photo Credit: Bonnie Taylor Barry/Shutterstock

If you want to find genuine furniture, it is far more common on the east coast of the United States. Genuine Shaker furniture can go for over $1,000 per piece. Plenty of furniture companies have tried to copy this style, especially with the growing popularity of Farmhouse Decor. So always make sure you are selling something genuine. If you want to know more about Shaker furniture, check out some of the books available online.

These copper cake molds are highly collectable. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Cake Molds

Just like copper pots and pans, people once used cast iron and copper cake molds. Today, these look amazing when hung on the wall or used as a piece of decor in your kitchen. Plenty of places make modern replicas. But if you have a real vintage cake mold, it can sell for $50 to $100 each.

Copper cake pans in various shapes and sizes are highly sought after. Credit: Shutterstock

Remember that the more unique the mold is, the more it is worth. Shapes like an Easter bunny or other holidays are especially popular.

Vintage oak cabinets can be valuable. Photo Credit: PROFFIPhoto/Shutterstock

18. Oak Cabinets

In today’s work, so many people buy furniture from Ikea. The reason why their items are so cheap is that they are not actually made of real wood. Today, it’s rare to find real wood furniture, unless you spend a lot of money on it. But a lot of people still want to buy it for their homes, because it will last a lifetime, instead of a few years.

Some people love the shabby chic look. Photo Credit: Evannovostro/Shutterstock

If you have an oak cabinet in your house, check to see if there is a stamp from the person or company who made it. Obviously, selling furniture is a lot more difficult than sending a small item in the mail. Most buyers will have to come from an auction house, or someone on Craigslist who would be willing to pick up the furniture from your house with a pickup truck.

Original oil paintings can go for a lot of money. Photo Credit: Smithsonian Mag

17. Paintings

It’s no secret that paintings can be incredibly expensive. Auction houses like Christie’s and Southeby’s regularly sell paintings for millions of dollars each. The likelihood of finding a million-dollar painting in your attic are slim. However, you might find an original oil painting or an art piece made by a family member. Even if the person is not famous, the painting still might be worth something.

Precious art is found in more than just museums. Photo Credit: Rferl

Just make sure that the painting is an original work, and not a reproduction or a print. These are not as valuable. Of course, the quality matters a lot too. If something is bad and quirky, try to sell it as “outsider art”.

Some iron door stops are worth over $100 each. Photo Credit: Itareabdi

16. Iron Door Porters (Door Stops)

Door porters, or “door stops”, as we call them in America, have been around for a very long time. Years ago, they had to be heavy to hold open a door. So they were often made out of cast iron. After a while, home owners wanted a door stop that matched their personality. This is why there are some really cute door stops out there shaped like animals, family crests, and so much more.

This is a rare black cat door stop. Photo Credit: The Whippet Company

In general, most of these door stops sell in the ballpark of $100 each. Just keep in mind that if you sell this online, it will be very heavy to ship. So either you or your customer will need to pay a lot for it to come to their home.

Some first editions books can go for thousands of dollars. Photo Credit: Youtube

15. First Edition Books

Some people are massive fans of their favorite writers, and they are willing to pay a ton of money to get first edition novels. These are very rare, and difficult to find. But if you happen to find one in your attic, be sure to look in the first few pages to see exactly which printing the book was. The most valuable first editions are the first printing. These are incredibly rare, especially since most offers have very limited prints of their books made before they become successful.

This is a full set of first edition Mark Twain books. Photo Credit: Indulg Express

Even if a book is not a first edition, there still might be an older edition that has an amazing cover, or might be highly collectable. These rare books can go from just a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars. Always check on eBay and book auctions to compare the prices of auctions that have ended in the past.

Some people want to use an old fashioned coffee grinder. Photo Credit: stockcreations/Shutterstock

14. Cast Iron Coffee Grinder

Modern-day coffee snobs like to take whole coffee beans and grind them down to make their brew. Today, we have electric grinders. But years ago, the beans were crushed by a cast iron coffee grinder. Most people who find these in their house have no idea what it’s used for. But if you find one, do NOT give it to the thrift store! Most sell for a few hundred dollars, and certain brands even go for well over $1,000.

Cast iron coffee grinders are rare. Photo Credit: Marina Shanti/Shutterstock

If you find one at a thrift store or yard sale, just be careful to be sure this is not a modern-day replica. Amazon sells vintage style coffee grinders for just $35 to $50. They hold little to no resale value. So always be sure that it is genuinely vintage.

Some vintage violins are sought-after. Photo Credit: Ingrid Balabanova/Shutterstock

13. Musical Instruments

Was someone in your family musically talented? There is a chance you could sell an instrument online. Certain musical instruments are a lot more expensive than others. Prices vary depending where it was made, what material it’s composed of, and so much more. Always look up the name of the brand. If you can’t find the name, look inside of a string instrument for a marking. Most woodwinds have the name stamped on the outside.

An old pipe organ, most likely from a church. Photo Credit: Justyna Kaminska/Shutterstock

Depending on the size, you may need someone to do a local pickup. But certain instruments can easily sell for a few hundred dollars, or up to several thousand. So it would be worth the effort to sell it, if you found a buyer.

Some people like to collect vintage mac computers. Photo Credit: Taner Muhlis Karaguzel/Shutterstock

12. Vintage Computers

Most people get rid of their old computers once a new model comes out. We usually perceive these to be useless once they slow down and are not very good anymore compared to the new standard. However, some of the really old computers, like the original Apple personal computers are sought after by tech collectors and museums. The Apple II sold for over $6,000 on eBay.

Apple made very few computers in the beginning. Photo Credit: Masini/Shutterstock

So if you happen to have one of these old guys lying around, do your due diligence to check what they go for. Unfortunately, most other older PC’s and laptops will not make as much of a profit.

Vintage radios are very cute. Photo Credit: BrAt82/Shutterstock

11. Radios

Before the invention of television, people loved to sit around their livings rooms and listen to the radio. Back then, it was all the rage to have huge radios that looked like furniture, or stylish little boxes you could have on your countertop. Today, we rarely listen to the radio, unless it’s on a long road trip. But these retro electronic still look adorable mixed in with home decor.

Some people love to listen to their vintage radios. Photo Credit: Mallika Home Studio/Shutterstock

If you happen to have a vintage radio in your house, test it to see if it works. These sell online from just $20 up to over $1,000 depending on the brand, quality, and uniqueness.

People love to collect vintage cameras. Photo Credit: Bartek Zyczynski/Shutterstock

10. Vintage Cameras

Decades before everyone had a digital video camera on their phone, the only people who could afford to shoot films were professionals. As the years went on, there were personal cameras sold to the public, and you can see the evolution of technology with each new style of camera that emerged through the years.

Years ago, before digital, movies were captured on film. Photo Credit: Itsra Sanprasert/Shutterstock

Hipsters love to collect old cameras and put them on display in their homes. Serious collectors will shell out big bucks to have a nice camera, and some people even plan to film or shoot pictures with them, to get the retro vibe. You could only get $20 for an old Kodak, or nearly $8,000 for a Military Leica camera. Pricing these takes a bit of research, and you may also have to test it out to see if it works.

Apothecary cabinets are highly collectable. Photo Credit: MIA Studio/Shutterstock

9. Apothecary Cabinets

In the olden days, Pharmacists kept a lot of their ingredients to make medicines in apothecary cabinets. These were a big set of small drawers labeled for each chemical. (After all, in England, a Pharmacist is called “The Chemist”, because that’s exactly what they are!) Apothecary cabinets were made of real wood, and they were built to last a lifetime.

If you are lucky enough to find a genuine apothecary cabinet, it’s worth a small fortune. Photo Credit: MIA Studio/Shutterstock

Flash forward to today, and pharmacists are getting shipped pre-made pills from pharmaceutical companies. They are often sorted into little plastic bins, rather than wooden drawers. These cabinets were removed from old pharmacies and brought into people’s homes. Considering that they were only made for a town’s pharmacy it is actually very rare to find a genuine antique apothecary cabinet. Smaller ones can go for a few hundred dollars, and the larger ones like in the photos above usually cost around $2,000 to $3,000.

Some people love to collect vintage perfume bottles. Photo Credit: Ahmet Burcak Gozcu/Shutterstock

8. Perfume Bottles

Before you could buy perfume at every beauty supply store, women often had elaborate bottles on their vanities that could be refilled. Even the major brands sometimes had really gorgeous glass bottles that we do not see today.

Collectors are willing to pay a pretty penny for a nice perfume bottle. Photo Credit: bellena/Shutterstock

There are plenty of beauty lovers out there who love to collect vintage perfume bottles. Even if the perfume is old and smells a bit off, people still collect older bottles, especially if they’re by brands like Guerlain or Chanel.

Some people love to collect vintage postcards. Photo Credit: Valentina Perfilyeva/Shutterstock

7. Postcards

Paper postcards are definitely old fashioned. Back in the day, they were used to say hello to their family and friends when people went on vacation. Not many people write notes to one another on them anymore. We have Twitter and Instagram to show all of our friends where we have been, instead.

Even today, people enjoy writing letters on postcards. Photo Credit: Valentina Perfilyeva/Shutterstock

But there are still people out there who collect post cards. Keep in mind that people are looking to buy certain topics and locations. You may not make a lot of money on each individual card, but if you have a huge collection in your attic, the money coming in from those sales just might add up.

Vintage playing cards can be collectable. Photo Credit: Silviu Hisom/Shutterstock

6. Playing Card Decks

Nowadays, we can get a deck of playing cards at the dollar store. So it might be hard to imagine that anyone would want to pay a lot of money for them. Believe it or not, some of the older playing card decks can go for hundreds of dollars.

Some playing card decks are worth a small fortune. Photo Credit: Silviu Hisom/Shutterstock

So, what makes a playing card deck so valuable? It may have amazing artwork, or it could have been manufactured in someone’s home town. Unlike some of the other collectables out there, value is a bit more arbitrary. Do you research to see how much your old playing cards have sold for in the past.

Costume jewelry can be valuable too. Photo Credit: Hanka Steidle/Shutterstock

5. Costume Jewelry

When most people think about jewelry, they assume that only real gold and jewels hold value. There are actually a lot of costume jewelry companies that are still collectable today. The most popular name brands are Monet, Trifari, Hobe, Weiss, and more.

Some people collection vintage costume jewelry. Photo Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

If you inherited a collection from your grandmother, and you are not sure of the true value of each individual piece of jewelry, you might want to start an auction for the entire lot. In some cases, you might be able to get a couple hundred dollars up-front. The buyer might re-sell the pieces later, but it may take them an entire year to turn a profit. So it could potentially be a good way to make some quick cash.

Collectors love to buy autographed books. Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

4. Autographed Books

We already mentioned how people love to buy vintage first edition books by their favorite authors. A book doesn’t always have to be old, though. If you have a book autographed by a famous author, it might just be worth a lot of money some day. Signed magazines can be sold, too. One issue of Playboy that was signed by Hugh Hefner sold for $57,000.

If you get an autograph, try to get a photo as well. Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Keep in mind that an autograph is worth more if you can prove that the author actually signed it, and it isn’t just a forgery. So if you stood in line at a book signing, make sure you get someone to take your picture with the author.

Always keep your vintage Christmas ornaments in good condition. Photo Credit: Nomofoto/Shutterstock

3. Christmas Ornaments

Nearly everyone’s grandmother has a box of those vintage hand blown glass ornaments. Sadly, a lot of people throw them away, or they are given to the thrift store. They can easily chip or break, too. This is exactly why some collectors covet a well-preserved vintage ornament. If they want the old fashioned look without buying the recreations you can find in the craft store, they will have to pay a pretty penny. Your best bet is to examine your collection of older ornaments, and check out eBay and Etsy for listings.

Even today, people love vintage Christmas style. Photo Credit: Pine And Lakes

One of the most valuable vintage ornament brands is Kugel. If you look on Etsy, you’ll see that just one Kugel bulb sells for $40 to $60. And if you find an ornament that is rare and unique, it can go for several hundred dollars. Now imagine if you had an entire box in your attic.

Rare art prints are a great investment for collectors. Photo Credit: Kick Starter

2. Rare Art Prints

Nowadays, we find cheap art prints almost everywhere. Ikea, Walmart, Target, and pretty much every store that sells home goods have prints on paper. However, there are some limited edition vintage prints that could be valuable, if they are original. (Make sure it is not a reproduction.) These prints usually have a number on them, like 1/10 which signifies that there were only 10 made, and you have one of them. If the print is signed by the artist, it’s even better.

Some people love to have unique art pieces in their homes. Photo Credit: Antique Maps Fair

The cost of art varies wildly depending on the artist, subject matter, and rarity. Always try to figure out the artist’s name, and do some research on your own.  You may have heard of the famous graffiti artist BANKSY. His original prints sell on eBay for around $50,000.

Certain baseball cards can be worth a fortune. Photo Credit: Ramzs

1. Rare Sports Cards

Almost everyone knows someone who has a sport card collection. Some collectors out there insist on having boxes filled to the brim with cards. However, there are only a few select cards that are actually worth a lot of money. But it’s not just baseball cards, either. The 2000 Tom Brady Rookie Card is listed on eBay for $800,000.

Always try to make sure your baseball cards are in good condition. Photo Credit: Sporting News

Keep in mind that if you want to sell your rare baseball card for a lot of money, you will have to get it authenticated and graded for its condition. Collectors want to know that the card they are buying is the real deal, and not something that was printed on card stock.

Vintage watch faces are sought after by people who repair them. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Watches

If you are ever lucky enough to inherit a watch collection from your grandparents, always search the names on eBay before you donate them. Collecting watches is a luxury hobby, so there are few people out there who even think about this as an opportunity to make money. Even if a watch isn’t a particularly expensive brand, if you have a piece that is unique in some way, it could still sell for a few hundred dollars online. The most expensive vintage watch was The Patek Philippe Chronograph Watch, which sold for $31 million at Christie’s Auction in 2019. 

Pocket watches were popular a hundred years ago. Credit: Shutterstock

Be very careful with high-end watches that you find or inherit. There’s always a chance that it could be fake. Take it to a jeweler who is certified in that particular brand. They will be able to tell you if the watch is real or not. For example, I purchased a box full of jewelry at an estate auction. I nearly had a heart attack when I got home and looked through the box, because I found a Rolex watch. If this was real, it would have been worth $10,000. It turns out that the watch band was genuine Rolex. But once you opened it up, it was actually a very high-quality fake. Even though I couldn’t sell the watch, I kept it for myself. 

Babie Babies and plush toys made by TY. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Beanie Babies

Back in the 90s, beanie babies were a huge craze. People were buying and selling them on eBay and trading them with their friends in hopes of making a profit. Stores like Hallmark sold tag protectors, because many believed that one day, these stuffed animals could be sold for a fortune. A few years after that, the value of Beanie Babies plummeted, due to over saturation. Everyone packed them away in their attics and forgot about them, for the most part. 

Beanie Baby teddy bear. Credit: Shutterstock

Now, some people are trying to sell rare beanie babies once again for thousands of dollars. If you find these in your attic, always double-check before you donate them or throw them away. Keep in mind that just because you have a certain beanie baby doesn’t guarantee that it’s valuable. It may only be the first edition version of the toy. So please do your research on how to grade the value of your beanie babies before you put it online.

Marvel Avenger action figures. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Action Figures

Most of you out there already know that action figures can be worth a lot of money. Typically, they only retain their value if they are in the original box, and were made in limited quantities. So we’re sorry to say that all of your used action figures might not be worth a lot. However, it’s still a good idea to check their value, just in case. The most expensive action figure to have ever was the 1963 prototype G.I. Joe sold for $200,000 in 2009. This toy wasn’t in its original packaging, but it had all of the complete accessories. Since it was a prototype, it was also one-of-a-kind.

DC super hero action figures. Credit: Shutterstock

A more realistic expectation for rare action figures is between $20 to $100. For example, I was lucky enough to find a collection of vintage My Little Pony figures in my attic. I was a 90’s kid, and I was given hand-me-downs of 1980’s ponies. These were so rare, that each individual pony toy sold for $75 to $100. Since this was an entire collection, it really added up. I was a college student at a time, so this helped to pay for my education. 

Many people purchase items from the Disney store only to re-sell them later online. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Limited Edition Disney Collectables and Collaborations

Disney movies and parks have been a magical part of childhood memories. For a lot of people, they might have resonated with certain characters that got them through difficult times in their life. Seeing these things brings them joy. This is why collecting Disney items has become a hugely popular pastime for some people. For example, a Mickey Mouse poster from the 1930’s sold for $23,900. Most likely, this was found in someone’s attic at some point, and sold at auction decades after it was purchased.

Vintage Disney toys are valued online. Credit: Shutterstock

When you’re looking to sell some of your items online, keep in mind that it’s not just officially licensed Disney products. Believe it or not, some people will buy an item that only vaguely looks like a character, even if it’s fake. Just be clear that it’s a Japanese inspired version, or wherever the toy may be from. You might also have a collaboration between Disney and another company. For example, even very recently, you could re-sell Vans shoes that were in a collaboration with Disney online.

Movie posters are collectables. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Movie Collectables 

Movies hold a special place in people’s hearts. They really resonate with certain films, or it might have come out at a certain time in their life that makes them feel really nostalgic for a happy past. Movies can also be a huge part of history, since some of the most popular films exist in the collective consciousness. That’s why some people are willing to purchase movie collectibles for a small fortune. For example, the Maltese Falcon statue sold for $4 million, and Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber sold for $450,000.

Limited edition movie figurines end up being re-sold later for much more than the original price. Credit: Shutterstock

To be fair, you aren’t going to find an actual movie prop hiding in your attic, unless you live in Los Angeles and your grandparents were working for a studio. But  there still might be promotional materials, posters, magazines, autographs, or other memorabilia dealing with a movie that has become part of pop culture. For example, magazines with popular actors featured on the cover can sometimes sell for hundreds of dollars. Always do your research before you give something away when it has to do with movie memorabilia.

If you have a rare Star Wars toy, keep it in the box. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Star Wars Collectables 

In the 1970’s, Star Wars: A New Hope was a revolutionary film that was a huge technological advancement in a science fiction movie. Children loved the film, and many went back to see it in theaters multiple times. George Lucas was clever enough to retain the merchandising rights on Star Wars, which is why he went full force into making toys out of his characters like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Han Solo. There are certain toys that existed when the movie first came out that are now worth a small fortune. For example, according to Popular Mechanics, the “Rocket” Boba Fett action figure is worth $86,000.

Certain characters become more popular because of modern Star Wars adaptations. Credit: Shutterstock

Over the past few decades, toy makers never stopped making Star Wars items. And with the newer movies coming out, there are all sorts of new characters that appeared on the scene. You might have an assortment of Star Wars toys in your home. Keep in mind that the most valuable boys are kept in the original box. For very old toys, you may be able to sell them without the box and still make a decent amount of money.

Pokemon cards are hot right now. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Pokemon Cards

Did you collect Pokemon cards as a kid? Well, it might be time to pull those binders and tins out of the attic. In 2020, there was a huge resurgence in popularity for Pokemon cards. At the time this article was written, you can’t find new Pokemon cards anywhere, even if you’re trying to buy them from the manufacturer’s website. This is because people have finally figured out that certain cards have a high resale value on eBay. For example, a 1st edition holographic Charizard card from 1999 sold for $220,000.

If you have a holo mew card, you’re in luck, because it’s worth something. Credit: Shutterstock

If you don’t know anything about this phenomenon, a great video to watch is an interview on YouTube with a master collector named Gary King called Inside The Most Expensive $10 million Pokemon Card Collection. Please keep in mind that these cards can only sell for high prices if you get them “PSA graded”. Professionals examine the card, and give it a score from 1 to 10. The highest prices only go to cards that are graded a 10, so the value can be dramatic. For example, a card may be worth $10,000 as a 10, but only $500 as a 9. Please do your research before putting your cards online, and invest in getting professional grading. 

Music memorabilia is a hot item online. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Music Memorabilia

Music is one of the most soulful ways to express how you feel through sound and language. There’s a very good reason why pop stars become famous, and why young women were screaming and fainting when they would go to see The Beatles. People absolutely love musical stars, and certain collectors want to own all of the memorabilia they possibly can. Objects that were personally owned by famous musicians like pianos, jackets, and guitars have sold for $2 million or more.

Some people like to collect ticket stubs. Credit: Shutterstock

Obviously, you don’t need to own a piece of music history to make money from selling memorabilia. Vinyl records, posters, autographs, ticket stubs, t-shirts, magazines, and other promotional materials are all under the umbrella of music memorabilia. And if you went to a theme park like Dollywood, you might have even walked away with a toy or object that you purchased as a souvenir. Never give away any music related items until you have done your research beforehand.

Boy Scout and Girl Scout patches are collectable. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Medals, Patches, and Badges

If you played sports or group activities when you were a child, chances are that you collected some sort of medal, badge, or patch that is now collectible.  This is especially true if you were a part of the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts. The price someone is willing to pay usually depends on the motivation behind a collector purchasing one of these things. For example, someone might have grown up as a Boy Scout, but they never participated in the activities that would have gotten them a certain patch. I once purchased a full collection of Girl Scout patches from the 1950’s at an antique store for $10, and I was able to sell each one individually for $10 to $50 each. In total, I was able to turn $10 into $200.

Athletic medals can be sold online. Credit: Shutterstock

When it comes to sports medals, the motivation behind buying them can change for a lot of reasons. Maybe they felt like they deserved a certain medal, or they simply want to use it for decor. For example, I once sold a collection of swimming medals to a prop company. After doing some digging, I realized that they were filming a Starz TV series called “The Affair”. The main character was a swimmer, so they needed vintage swimming medals to decorate his childhood bedroom. I only made around $50 selling a large collection of medals, but it still felt amazing to see something I sold being featured in a show.

The original Nintendo Entertainment System and the golden Legend of Zelda cartridge. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Video Game Collectibles

If you grew up in the 1980’s and 90’s, you probably played video games on the weekend and after school. But as the years went on, some people gave their games away to friends and family, or donated them to the thrift store. Or, they never received a game they wanted as a kid. The games themselves are not the only things selling, either. Collectibles like toys, action figures, t-shirts, magazines, and household items are all highly sought-after. This is especially true if the objects were limited edition.

Vintage video games and systems. Credit: Shutterstock

The tricky thing about selling vintage video game collectibles is that you need to make sure these things work. If the video game is no longer working, the cartridge is virtually useless.  Consoles can be sold for parts, but you’re going to get far less money for it compared to something that is complete and working. Always be honest with your customers on eBay about the condition of your items.

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