13 household items that could be worth something



At some point during this quarantine, you’ve probably decided to tidy up around the house. Maybe once things get back to normal, we can all benefit from our decluttering.

Unfortunately, the demand for your releases is not what it used to be. “We’re seeing a very strong trend towards simplification and downsizing, so between parents moving on and selling their stuff, and selling our stuff as we downsize, the market kind of gets saturated.” , explains Julie Hall, owner of TheEstateLady.com.

Not only is there too much to sell, tastes are changing. “What mom and grandmother told us was really diminished, unless it was extraordinary,” says Hall. “Most things are not.”

This means buyers may be scarce for your china, cutlery, ornate silver tea sets, and ceremonial furnishings. But fear not. You might still have things gathering dust in the attic that are worth bothering to sell.

Can’t see one of your finds in the list below? Check the internet. “If you go to an online auction site like AllButTheHouse, you can get a really good idea of ​​what’s in demand, ”says Jennifer Pickett, associate executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Ebay is another place to research. But remember: the selling price, not the asking price, is the true measure of market value.

If you want a real appraisal, find a pro through the American Society of Appraisers at evaluators.org.

1. Old toys

Arthur Sidey / Mirrorpix / Getty Images

If you have an original Star Wars toy or an early Spiderman or Batman, this is a trendy item. “Star Wars is getting more and more valuable,” says Roger Schrenk, co-owner of NOVA Liquidation in Luray, Virginia. “We sold a Millennium Falcon that had never been opened since the 1970s for $ 1,500. ”

That’s not all. “I heard there was a market for Polly Pockets in the 90s,” says Pickett.

Like anything else, toys are worth more if they’re still in the original box. Those five small cars which sold as a set for $ 101, all had their original packaging.

Ancient trains are huge, as long as they are in good repair. “If they were stored in the attic, they probably won’t be in great shape,” Hall says.

2. Pyrex

This classic cookware is a collector’s favorite these days, but you can’t just sell just any old bowl or dish. “There are certain patterns and colors that are extremely desirable,” says Hall.

Vintage models in demand, according to this preview on estatesales.org, include the “Pink Daisy”, “Snowflake”, “Balloons” and “Black Rooster.” »This set of two Pyrex bowls motif” Gooseberry “from the 50s or 60s recently sold for $ 124 on EBTH.com.

3. Mid-century modern furniture

Mid-century modern furniture des Eames, Noguchi, Jacobsen, Knoll and Saarinen is desirable, but not as desirable as it was a few years ago. This is because millennials can buy cheaper replicas at stores like Wayfair and West Elm.

“They create these beautiful reproductions with a bit of a modern twist, so instead of teak legs, they might have brushed stainless steel legs,” says Hall.

Nevertheless, there is still a market for chairs, sofas, tables and credences your parents or grandparents picked up in the 50s or 60s, especially if the piece is named after the maker or designer. “Some designers and chairs are worth a fortune because they’re hard to find,” says Hall.

Even later reproductions can be valuable, like this one pair of white tulip style chairs which recently sold for $ 135 (by comparison, another seller is asking $ 450 for this vintage tulip chair by Eero Saarinen).

4. Retro gaming systems

All those hours you wasted playing video games could pay off. Your old Nintendo, Atari or SEGA game console, either the machine itself or the tapes that come with it, can be worth money, especially if they are in good condition. (Bonus points if you still have the box.)

This Atari 2600 game console with a stack of games recently sold for $ 110 on EBTH.com.

5. Costume jewelry

“A lot of people are shocked, but there is still some really good costume jewelry, like old Trifari,” says Schrenk. “It’s really, really hot.

The Trifari jewelry line, launched in the 1920s, became closely associated with First Lady Mamie Eisenhower by the mid-century. If your Trifari brooch, necklace or bracelet has a crown on the T, that’s the Trifari crown, and it is sure to sell.

Other designers to look for: Christian Dior, Myriam Haskell and Chanel. Even non-designer costume jewelry can find a buyer, like this unnamed assortment which sold for $ 67.

6. Men’s watches

Do you have an old Rolex? Patek Philippe? Omega? Good men’s watches have exploded in value.

A Rolex Milgauss stainless steel wristwatch recently sold for $ 4,503 online.

“Some totally ordinary stainless steel Rolexes that you bought in ’83 or ’84 are worth a lot more money today than what you paid for it,” Schrenk said.

“There are a lot of Rolexes made in the ’70s that are now so desirable they are almost untouchable.” If you can find the box and papers with the watch, even better.

here is a Rolex Milgauss stainless steel wristwatch which recently grossed $ 4,503 online.

7. Old family slides

Open up any old slide boxes you come across. If they are in Kodachrome and have a red border, they are of very good quality and could be worth something. On ebay, Kodachrome slides 1940s to 1960s can go for around $ 10 a piece.

Even though the slides don’t have a red border, the topic could add value. Did your parents take trips to big cities in the 1940s or 1950s and took pictures of the airport, cars or people? “This stuff is gold,” said Schrenk. “People who are trying to remember what the cityscape looked like always refer to these slides. ”

There is also a market for old photos of trains or planes from this era.

8. Vintage stitching

If you have a Hermès handbag or dress, have it appraised. Frankly, if you have dresses that were worn between 1960 and 1964, don’t just throw them away.

“Even if they are yellowed with age, look at these labels,” says Schrenk. “An old Dior dress from 1965 could cost $ 300 or $ 400 on Ebay as is.”

This vintage Christian Dior coat recently sold for $ 182. A vintage Hermès silk tie went for $ 75.

9. Parts

If you come across a collection of coins, have it appraised by a professional expert in the field. Keep in mind that your local coin store may be more interested in purchasing the coins than evaluating them, Hall explains. “You need it before anything is sold, especially if you have gold coins or silver coins.”

On the other hand, all those foreign coins left over from vacationing abroad are not worth much.

In general, a local appraiser can be a good resource for any potential value, with advice on where to sell, if there is an auction house that could take a piece, or if you should consult an expert. in real estate sale.

A set of 13 American silver quarters 1940s to 1960s recently sold for $ 46 on EBTH.com.

10. Turntables and vinyls

Everything old is new again. So, of course, there is a market for record players and records. Made this Pioneer vinyl turntable with a walnut veneer base looks like the one in your old playroom? It fetched $ 185 at auction.

“Even a midrange turntable is now really desirable, because a lot has been destroyed and lost,” says Schrenk.

When it comes to records, you’ll have the best luck trying to sell old jazz and old rock, like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Doors.

11. Precious metals

Gold jewelry has retained its value over the years. “In a lot of cases, that old gold necklace is now worth four times the value of the metal when you bought it, and even though it’s ugly, it’s worth the money,” says Schrenk.

You can also sell old platinum jewelry or any other item that contains a large gemstone. Get appraisals from two to three jewelers.

With sterling silver, you may find that it is better to sell it for scrap or wait for prices to rebound. If you want to sell the cutlery, bowls or tea set, even for scrap metal, they should be stamped with the word “Sterling”, the numbers “925” or an English lion mark, which indicates that they are. sterling silver and no silver plate.

This Set of 10 pieces of sterling silver baby spoons and teaspoons reported $ 211 on EBTH.com

12. Military memorabilia

There is a healthy market for firearms and military items from almost all wars, including medals, knives, vintage photographs, and more. Civil War era field microscope which was offered up to $ 140 in an online auction.

“That’s not to say that a grandfather’s uniform is worth a fortune,” Hall says. “It just means someone has to watch it.”

Plus, she adds, one of the most important characteristics of value is condition. You might have a real Civil War photograph in your hands, but if you can’t see anyone in the photo it’s not worth much.

13. Ceramic Christmas trees

Do you recognize those vintage ceramic Christmas trees that were all the rage decades ago? In some cases, they are worth a little.

“During the holidays, everyone wants one because it reminds them of the past,” said lifestyle expert Bob Richter. Today. “And that’s a recent thing over the past couple of years.”

Prices tend to go up as Christmas approaches, so if you’re looking to offload your own, make sure your timing is right.



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