We often walk past items in our homes without a second thought, considering them just part of the scenery or items collecting dust. But what if some of these items are potential goldmines? Several household objects could be worth more than you think. Before you consider a garage sale or a spring clean, take a moment to discover the potential wealth hiding in plain sight. Here 21 common household items that might just be your unexpected ticket to serious money.
1. Vintage Toys
Remember those toys from your childhood you played with? Vintage toys, especially if they are still in their original packaging, can fetch a good sum. Popular brands like Star Wars, Transformers, and Barbie often have collectors clamoring for rare pieces. If you’ve kept your old toys in good condition, they might be worth more than just sentimental value.
2. Old Coins
Dig through that old coin jar! Coins from specific years or with manufacturing errors can be incredibly valuable. Silver and gold coins, in particular, can be worth their weight and then some. Even older pennies or nickels might be worth a few hundred dollars if they are rare enough.
3. First Edition Books
If you’re an avid reader and have a collection of books, keep an eye out for first editions. Classics by authors like Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or J.K. Rowling in their first edition can be worth a fortune. Look for identifying features, like specific printings or author signatures.
4. Vintage Jewelry
That old necklace or ring you inherited from Grandma might be more than just a family heirloom. Vintage jewelry, especially from sought-after brands or designers, can be worth a lot. Look for hallmarks, unique designs, or precious stones that might increase its value.
5. Antique Furniture
Your old wooden chair or dresser might be an antique in disguise. Furniture from certain periods, especially if it’s in good condition and has a recognizable style, can be very desirable. Do some research or get it appraised; you might be sitting on (or in) a goldmine.
6. Old Comic Books
Comics aren’t just child’s play. First issues or comics introducing iconic characters like Spider-Man or Batman can go for thousands, if not more. If they’re in mint condition, with vibrant colors and intact pages, their value can skyrocket.
7. Vintage Postcards
Those old postcards you’ve got tucked away in a drawer? They could be collector’s items, especially if they depict historical events, famous landmarks, or are from an earlier era. The more unique and older, the better the value.
8. Classic Vinyl Records
Vinyl has made a resurgence, but original presses of classic albums can be worth a lot. Records by The Beatles, Elvis, or Pink Floyd in pristine condition can fetch quite a bit. The rarer the album, the more it might be worth.
9. Fine China
Your mother’s or grandmother’s china set might be worth more than you think. Brands like Limoges, Wedgwood, or Royal Doulton are highly sought after. Look for sets that are complete and in good condition.
Stamp collecting might seem old-school, but rare stamps can go for a pretty penny. Older stamps, misprints, or limited runs can be highly desirable for collectors. Check any old collections you might have.
11. Vintage Cameras
In the age of digital, old film cameras have become collector’s items. Brands like Leica, Hasselblad, or Nikon can be quite valuable, especially if they’re functional and in good shape.
12. Retro Video Games
Your old Nintendo or Atari games might just be a goldmine. Classic games, especially if they’re rare or in their original packaging, are highly sought after. Titles like “Super Mario Bros” or “The Legend of Zelda” can bring in a hefty sum.
13. Antique Clocks
Clocks, especially grandfather or mantel clocks, can hold significant value. Look for brands like Howard Miller or antique European models. Their age, craftsmanship, and condition can dictate their worth.
14. Old Perfume Bottles
It’s not just the scent, but the bottle too! Ornate or designer perfume bottles, especially if they’re vintage, can be collectible. Those with unique shapes or made by known designers can be particularly valuable.
15. Sports Memorabilia
Old baseball cards, signed jerseys, or sports equipment from iconic players can be very valuable. The rarer and older the item, the more it could be worth, especially if it’s linked to a landmark sports moment.
16. Old Magazines
That stack of old ‘TIME’ or ‘Vogue’ magazines? They might be worth something. Issues with iconic covers, especially from significant historical events, can be collectibles.
17. Military Memorabilia
Items from past wars, such as uniforms, medals, or gear, can be quite valuable. They’re not just pieces of history but can also be collector’s items. The older and rarer, the higher the potential value.
Old tools, especially if they’re hand-crafted or from an earlier era, can be worth a surprising amount. Unique designs or tools associated with a specific trade can be particularly valuable.
19. Vintage Advertising Signs
Old metal or neon advertising signs, especially from popular brands, can fetch a good price. Their vintage appeal and association with nostalgia can make them highly desirable.
20. Old Maps
Vintage maps, especially if they’re hand-drawn or from a specific era, can be worth a lot. They offer a snapshot of history and can be beautiful pieces of art in their own right.
21. Musical Instruments
That old guitar or violin gathering dust might be more than a musical relic. Instruments from reputable makers, especially if they’re vintage or in excellent condition, can be worth a considerable amount.
It might be time to take a trip around your home. What might seem like everyday items or forgotten relics could be valuable treasures waiting to be discovered.
Josh is the owner and lead writer at Daily Wisely. His career has taken him from finance to blogging, and now shares his insights with readers of Daily Wisely.
Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh has over 15 years of experience on Wall Street, and currently shares his financial expertise in investing, wealth management, markets, taxes, real estate, and personal finance on his other website, Top Dollar Investor.
Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business.