Have you ever wondered how people get started up as eBay traders? Everyone understands the concept of trade - you buy something for a low price and sell it for a higher price - but where do people get the money to start? What do they sell in order to buy goods?
The answer usually lies in things around the home. The bad news for you is that these things might be common household objects you threw out years ago. Vinyl is a good example. We all threw out our old vinyl when the CD was invented; now it's worth big money!
If you took a hit in the pocket because you didn't see the vinyl revival coming, then here's a handy guide to valuable things you may still have in the basement or the attic. Some of them are old toys. Some belong to forgotten trends. All attract surprisingly high prices.
Once upon a time, if you bought Coca Cola (or one of its rivals) in bulk, it didn't come in a cardboard box, or plastic packaging. It arrived in a purpose-built wooden crate. If your parents or grandparents bought one, they might have re-purposed that crate for a number of reasons. Perhaps it became an unconventional trough for plants, or storage for old magazines.
As with anything vintage and branded, there's now a high demand for these crates within the collector's market. The most prized item out there is a 1948 crate in yellow, which is worth $200. Don't worry if you don't have that one though - most of them from in or around that era are worth more than $100 to the right buyer, even if they're not in great condition. If you have one in the yard, maybe it's time to bring it inside!
Remember running off to school with your sandwiches in a lunch box emblazoned with a picture of your favorite pop star or television show? If you were anything like us, you had a brand new one with your favorite new hero on it every six months as your tastes changed. You probably threw the old one out whenever you got a new one, too - and looking back, that was a big mistake.
Branded lunchboxes are little pieces of pop culture, tied to their era and manufactured for short runs. Once a band was no longer in the spotlight, or a TV show was off the air, production on merchandise would cease. Over the years, the number of lunchboxes still in existence has diminished, and that's given the ones which are left a surprising value. If you have a Beatles lunchbox from the 1960s - even if it's in poor condition - it might be worth up to $400.
If we're honest with ourselves, we all got a little bit carried away when the digital camera was invented. When mobile phone technology improved, and the quality of phone-mounted cameras matched that of the average digital camera, we became even more complacent. We decided we didn't need our old cameras anymore, and so we threw them all out - even our beloved old Polaroids.
That was a huge mistake. Polaroids can do the one thing digital cameras and phones can't - it can instantly give you a hard copy of the photograph you've just taken. Also, because of the way it develops on film, it looks like it's been through the kind of filter you'll find on websites like Instagram. Polaroids are very much back in fashion now - especially with hipsters and creatives - and they'll cost you more than they used to. A 1960s Polaroid 120 recently went on eBay for $420.
Most people would never even consider the value of a beer can, save that of what the scrap might be worth for recycling. Like soda cans, they're just the packaging for the product we're really interested in. We drink them, often crush the can, and then throw them away. After all, one can of Budweiser looks exactly like the rest of them, right? Well, perhaps they do nowadays, but that hasn't always been the case.
Standard cans have no value at all - if you want to become a beer can collector, you should keep an eye out for limited editions, commemorative packaging and anything else which is clearly a temporary design feature. Beer enthusiasts will pay big money to get their hands on limited runs in years to come. A gentleman called Jeff Lebo, who lives in Pennsylvania, spent 40 years collecting every can of beer he drank. In 2015, the entire collection of 87,000 cans was valued at over $1.5m. The pick of his range were flat top beer cans from the late 1930s, which can be worth up to $1000 per can.
The way people decorate their homes at Christmas tends to fall into one of two camps. Either they buy a new tree and a completely fresh set of decorations every year, or they've been using the same set which is kept in storage 11 months of the year for as long as they can remember. The family who buys new gear every year may feel like they're going better, but the family who recycles may be doing better in the long run - because their well-worn ornaments may now be priceless antiques.
Blown glass ornaments from the late 19th century are worth the most of all - frequently over $1000 each - but vintage sleds from the 1940 and 1950s are worth several hundred dollars now. If your grandparents' tree and the ornaments on it look impossibly old, maybe take a closer look at what's hanging there.
What price Corn Flakes? Well, it depends on what kind of packaging they come in. The amount of money that some people are prepared to part with for what's nothing more than a decorated cardboard box is incredible, but it's a collector's market where demand drives the price. To get the absolute top-of-the-market price for your cereal boxes, they have to be unopened. That means someone would have had to buy a breakfast cereal decades ago, put it on the shelf and then never eat it. It's not likely, but it could have happened!
We say 'decades,' but that doesn't always have to be the case. It's all about what's printed on the box, and how limited edition the print was. If you have a Sugar Pops box from 2009, then you could get nearly $200 for it, as that design was only used for one year. If you have a Shredded Wheat packet from 1966 in your collection, you could be looking at more than $1000 if you can find the right buyer.
If you were forever being told to keep your hand out of the cookie jar when you were younger, it might not just have been because your parents didn't want you to spoil your appetite by snacking. They may also have known that the cookie jars would one day go on to attract incredible prices online, and they didn't want you to damage them!
Cookie jars just aren't around as much as they used to be. If you have cookies in your home, you probably just eat them straight from the packaging. The idea of having a specific jar for them seems almost quaint. That means there's now a nostalgia market for them, where they're viewed as an old curiosity. You'll see the biggest bids on yours if it comes from the 1940s or 1950s - especially Uncle Mistletoe Marshall Fields cookie jars, which go for an average of $1,200 each. Jars in the shape of famous film or television characters are also frequently worth hundreds of dollars.
In the introduction to this article, we talked about the error that most people made when they threw away their entire vinyl collection to replace them with CDs. The news is about to get worse for some of those people, because if you then went on to throw out your CD collection to replace them with digital files and streams, you've probably repeated the same mistake and lost out on even more money!
If it's any consolation, your collection was probably only worth big money if you had rare CDs in it - early EPs by bands who went on to make it big, or first editions. The average CD still doesn't have a value of more than a couple of dollars (although who knows how much that will go up by in years to come). Limited edition or rare releases by big-name artists are where the big money is, as you might expect. Coldplay's first-ever EP 'Safety' from 1998 is worth $1,500.
As society and technology have moved on, everything has become smaller. Computers once filled a room; now they're small enough to carry in one hand. To listen to music, all you need now is your phone or MP3 player and a pair of headphones. Back in the 1980s - before even the humble CD had been invented - you needed a tape deck. Attach two speakers to that and haul it over your shoulder, and you could call it a boom box. They were the bane of public transport everywhere for over a decade.
Boom boxes were very loud and very portable - hence their name. Young people, in particular, were notorious for carrying them around everywhere they went, and annoying everyone they met by refusing to turn their favorite music off. Fortunately, the trend passed - but those who are yearning for their old boom box are willing to pay up to $1,600 for a genuine Ghetto Blaster.
Handbags are worth big money whether they're vintage or not, as the price-tag in any high street store will tell you. If you have a designer handbag, you won't have paid anything less than $100 for it, and £100 would have been considered a bargain. You're probably less concerned with your cheaper handbags though, which you'd naturally think of as being disposable.
As you've probably just guessed, they're not all that disposable. Handbags that haven't been used for years tend to be the first thing that gets thrown out during a spring clean, but you should always check eBay before throwing one away. Old Chanel bags which are still in reasonable condition can go for up to $3,000 on the secondary market, but they're still worth up to $500 if they have a little wear and tear on them.
The much-missed David Bowie was a legendary performer who pushed both the genre and gender barriers. He was a master of disguise, a consummate performer and an artist who changed with the times. He was also no stranger to controversy, as he demonstrated with the cover of his 'Diamond Dogs' LP cover when it was first released.
The cover depicts a naked Bowie surrounded by equally naked women whose lower bodies have been replaced by the anatomy of dogs. Somehow, Bowie was able to persuade his record company to sign off on the production of the covers, but the public was appalled, and they were very quickly pulled from shops to be replaced by something demurer. That means very few now survive, and if you have one in immaculate condition, it might be worth up to $7,500 to the right collector. Would you really want to part with it, though?
Almost all of us - probably when we were a little younger - went through a phase of buying clothes that had our favorite band's logo or album cover on it. If you went to see the band on tour, you might even have got an official tour t-shirt from a stall outside the concert. When we got older and it was no longer 'cool' to go outside wearing a band t-shirt, they were likely either thrown out or buried at the bottom of a drawer. You might even dig them out occasionally to where when you're cleaning or painting the house!
If you do that, stop it at once. You might damage something worth thousands of dollars. Original band t-shirts - not the 'modern' replacement types found in high street stores and worn by people who've never heard of the band - could be worth thousands of dollars. The record for a band t-shirt on eBay is $7,000, although it was a special one given to people who worked on Nirvana's 'In Utero' tour and was never sold in stores.
Yeezys aren't exactly cheap when they're brand new, but they accumulate value rapidly after they're released because they're all limited-edition runs. Kanye West knew exactly what he was doing when he released his special sneakers; make the runs short so there's high demand, and therefore build a collector's market for them later. We bet he has hundreds of them kept back so he can sell them for their peak price in a few years' time.
The specific Yeezy which has seen the most significant rise in value is 2012's Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers, which sold for $245 when they first hit the shelves. If you still have a pair in their box somewhere, you can expect to receive more than seven thousand dollars if you decide to sell them. Given the pace of escalation, it might be best advised to hang on to them for another five years and see if the price goes even higher!
If you played a game of word association with someone and said the word 'jeans,' we expect the first word you'd get back from them would be 'denim.' The second one would probably be 'Levi's.' That's the extent to which the brand has dominated - and continues to dominate - the jeans market. To the untrained eye, all jeans look pretty much the same, but if you're a collector, you'll be able to spot the differences between modern and vintage immediately. You'll also probably know when you're looking at a truly rare pair.
The ultimate find for a Levi's collector would be the 1950 'Anniversary range, which is worth $8,000 per pair. Even if you don't have that pair, check the logo on whatever you do have and see if the 'e' looks unusual. A misshapen or oversized 'E' is always a sign that the pair comes from a limited range, and is guaranteed to be worth hundreds of dollars online.
By this point, you're probably noticing the word 'vintage' come up again and again on our list. There's a rich and wide market for nostalgia. People love to re-connect with the things which made them happy when they were younger, and they'll pay a high price if you have an item which can help them do that. That still applies even if it's a niche item like an old microphone.
There days all microphones look similar - the world has agreed on what a microphone 'should' look like, and the Shure SM58 is about the industry standard. Decades ago, though, they came in all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes and sizes. It's the oddly shaped ones that go for the biggest money, like the Neumann U47 from the 1940s, which has a guide price of $10,000. Was there a musician in your family? Were you a musician years ago? Do you still have any of your old equipment in storage? Head down there and take a look!
As a civilization, we need to do better than we are when it comes to how we dispose of old technology. Every new piece of kit we pick up, whether it's a phone, a tablet or a laptop, comes with a shelf life. When that shelf life expires, we simply adopt the new gear and throw out the old. What we throw away usually ends up on a landfill somewhere, blighting the landscape. Not only that, you're quite literally throwing money away.
We're not talking a few dollars here, either. Those commercials on television offering to pay you $30 or $40 for your old phone may have been lying to you - they could have been worth much more. If you have a Motorola DynaTAC, you'll get $500 just for the handset. If you have the original packaging, multiply that by 20. No, we're not joking. They really are worth that much to collectors!
We could probably guess your age based on whether or not you just recognized the phrase 'boogie boards.' These miniature surfboards - designed for bodyboarding as opposed to being stood upon - were briefly considered to be the next big thing in surfing during the 1990s, and every child going on a beach holiday absolutely insisted they had to have one. Australia, in particular, went for them in a big way - and that's also where the biggest market for second hand ones exists.
In some cases, depending on the condition of the board, the year of release and the manufacturer, an individual board can go for up to $10,000. Combining a few of them together into one set isn't a bad idea either if you want to attract buyers; a collection of 37 on eBay recently sold of $7,400. If they're doing nothing but taking up space in your garage, why not get them sold?
Yes, we know this is stating the obvious a little. Everybody knows that old coins are worth money, and everybody knows that collecting old coin is quite a popular hobby. What the majority of people don't realize is that coins don't have to be all that old in order to have a value beyond what's printed on them. You also may not completely comprehend the true value of some old coins - we're talking $200,000 for one coin in extreme circumstances.
If you have American coins which are over 200 years old, and they're in good condition, get them valued immediately. After you've had them valued, get them insured, and then get them somewhere safe so that nobody else ever touches them. If that sounds like too much effort, just get them sold and spend the next couple of years living off the profits. Vintage coins can make you life-changing money.
You don't need us to tell you that there's a huge secondary market for sports memorabilia - especially old sports memorabilia. A program from a notable baseball match or Super Bowl final can be worth hundreds of dollars, and sometimes more. A ball from a famous game, a used and certified shirt or jersey, a famous boxer's gloves from a well-known match; those are the kinds of things which we expect to attract a high price. We'd probably pass on the humble old poster, though. More fool us.
The highest price we know of for a poster is $61,000. It was a very specific poster, admittedly - an ultra-rare Cracker Jack poster that had been sitting in a barn since 1915, and was still in excellent condition. The owner of the barn had a friend who collected baseball cards, and tipped him off that it was probably valuable. Even he couldn't believe the auction price it reached, though. Do you have any in the attic?
The current generation of children may be the first to grow up without playing with Barbie Dolls, and we're a little sad about that. Your great-grandmother, your grandmother and your mother probably played with the toys when they were small, and you may have done so as well, but these days kids just aren't as interested in 'hands-on' toys. Everything has gone digital, and everyone's imagination is just a little poorer because of it.
It's not that Barbie isn't available in stores anymore, of course. She's still there, but she's just not as sought after as she once was. Take the Midnight Tuxedo Barbie, for example. That's worth $1,000 on its own. Even that's a steal compared to the Blonde Barbie from 1959, which is an early example of the range and is worth closer to $25,000. The most valuable collection of Barbie dolls in the world belongs to Germany's Bettina Dorfman, who owns 17,000 of them with a combined value of $250,000!
Before Kanye West came along and stamped his name all over the idea of a celebrity sneakers endorsement deal, Michael Jordan had the game wrapped up. Basketball's all-time greatest player was an obvious target for sponsorships and endorsements, and in the Air Jordan, he found a line of income which has lasted far longer than his playing career. New Air Jordans are still released to this day.
They're expensive when they're brand new, but if you have a pair of vintage originals, you could really be in the money. Air Jordan 1's in gold and black sell online for $25,000 if they're in pristine condition. Air Jordan 12 OVOs and Air Jordan 2 OGs are also worth well over a thousand dollars each. The message you should be taking from this list is clear - stop throwing out your old sneakers. In fact, stop throwing out anything at all!
When J.K. Rowling first put pen to paper (or finger to key - we're not sure how she got started) and wrote the very first 'Harry Potter' book, she would have hoped to come up with something exciting and entertaining, and profitable enough to tide her over until she could complete her next book. There's no way she could have imagined she was taking the first step towards a multi-billion-dollar empire. That's what happened though, and as with anything with a huge and obsessive fanbase, rarities are worth money.
The very first book, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,' was released in the US as 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.' If you can find a first edition of the book - with the non-American title and the author credited as 'Joanne Rowling' instead of 'J'K,' then you're looking at a retail value of $55,000.
Much in the same way that digital cameras made Polaroids obsolete, the proliferation of the personal computer and the printer ended the usefulness of the humble typewriter after over a century of being the most convenient way to type letters and novels. If you learned to type on a typewriter, you're likely a more accurate typist than anyone who learned on a computer keyboard; in the old days, you couldn't just hit the 'delete' key to correct an error. You had to start all over again!
Hipsters love typewriters. They might even love taking pictures of their vintage typewriters with their vintage Polaroid cameras just to feel extra-smug about them. Even something that was once as common as the Hooven Automatic Typewriter is now worth $7,500. If your house is home to an old Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, though, you could be sat on a $100,000 fortune that you never even knew was there.
Modern-day billboards are as disposable as the paper they're printed on. They go up, they remain there for as many days or weeks as the advertiser has paid for, and then they're either ripped down or papered over for whoever's taken out the next lease on the advertising space. Back in the old days, they used to be a little bit more robust than that. If you wanted to get rid of an old-school advert, you'd have to dismantle or cut down the entire thing.
The retro market loves it when an old advert that hasn't been damaged by removal appears. Coca Cola adverts appear to be especially collectible, with the most valuable example changing hands for more than $117,000. Beer signs also frequently go for four figures instead of three. If you pass a store and you see one either rotting away or in the process of being taken down, try to persuade them to hand it over to you instead.
Don't roll your eyes - some old magazines really can be worth this much money! We're not talking about anything released within the past couple of decades; they were all mass-produced in far too vast a quantity to be worth anything now - but the types of magazines which had niche appeal and were printed in limited runs may still hold a fascination to the same sort of people who they were aimed at in the first place.
Fashion magazines which are more than thirty years old are often worth hundreds of dollars to designers, who love flicking through them looking for inspiration. As they always say, what's old is new, and fashion tends to work on a circular rotation. If you'd like an example from the top end of the market, though, we can tell you that Beeton's Christmas Annual from 1887 once changed hands at auction for in excess of $150,000. We didn't even know what Beeton's was, let alone that their annuals were valuable!
The majority of people reading this list will have had a teddy bear when they were growing up. You may even have given it a name, and refused to go anywhere without it. Teddy bears were our friends, our sleeping partners, and our soulmates until we were old enough to make proper human connections of our own. They're also highly collectible.
Here's a great piece of trivia knowledge for you - the proper name for somebody who collects teddy bears is an arctophile, and it's arctophiles who'll pay vastly inflated prices for especially rare bears. Although debate rages among collectors, the majority agree that Steiff teddy bears are the 'original' teddy bear, and that makes them the most cherished and rich prizes. The most valuable of all the Steiff bears is one which was made in conjunction with Louis Vuitton and sold at $182,550 during a charity auction.
Yes, even our old computers could be worth eye-watering amounts of money. Try not to think about how much money you could have potentially flushed down the drain every time you've replaced an old computer or phone; it's best to focus on the present, and make a solemn vow to yourself never to make the same mistakes again!
You'd have had to be a real technology nerd to get your hands on the first ever Apple Computer. The Apple 1 was barely available in shops, wasn't particularly well thought-of on release, and didn't really fire the public imagination. They're only valuable now because of what the company has since gone on to achieve, and now you can expect to receive up to $200,000 if you have one for sale. Even more common early models like the A2S1 can be worth several thousand dollars if they're still in working condition.
Everyone has a friend or a relative who has a yard or a barn full of bits of old cars, stored for spare parts and slowly gathering dust and rust. You probably view them as being a little eccentric for hoarding such apparently useless items. Perhaps you even do it yourself, and if so, just know that all your friends think you're weird! Don't let that concern you though; you're going to have the last laugh when you get your collection valued.
Various pieces of old cars are now sought after either for restoration projects, or for use in unconventional furniture or wall-art design. Hipster bars and restaurants, in particular, love them. The most valuable piece of car we've heard about is the hood ornament from the old Rolls-Royce 'Spirit of Ecstasy', which is worth approximately $200,000. They were encrusted with diamonds, which unsurprisingly made them common targets for thieves.
We'll hold our hands up and accept that we're now getting onto objects which you're less likely to have hanging around, but that doesn't mean to say there isn't someone who is or was an avid comic book collector somewhere in your family tree. Who do you know who has a collection of comic books piled up from floor to ceiling in a room, and is always being told to get rid of them? Could they have a copy of the first-ever Action Comics book in there somewhere? If so, tell them to sit down before you explain what it's worth.
Action Comics #1 is especially famous for one good reason - it's the first ever adventure of Superman, who would go on to become the most famous superhero of them all. Even badly damaged copies of this comic are worth more than $100,000 because of their rarity, but the last time a pristine copy went for auction it sold for in excess of $2m. The actor Nicolas Cage famously owns a copy.
Let's move back into the realm of more common objects - hands up how many people once convinced themselves they were the next big thing in rock and roll and bought themselves an electric guitar when they were younger? Keep your hand up if you gave up on learning to play it before you ever made it onto a stage. Yep, us too. If you still have that guitar hanging around somewhere, though (possibly because you're convinced you're still going to learn how to play it one day), you could be sitting a two-million-dollar asset.
The two best-known brands in the guitar world are Gibson and Fender; they have been for years, and they still are today. They've been in business for decades, and each year's design becomes a vintage. That's why a mint-condition Gibson Les Paul from the 1950s is worth more than $100,000. To give real value to a guitar though, it needs to have passed through the hands of a legendary musician. John Lennon's Electro-Acoustic J-160 went for $2.25m at auction in 2014.
Let's calm things down a little. We understand that as much as you may want one, you probably don't have an old guitar belonging to John Lennon at home. That's fine; just remember that any old guitar is still worth money. We're going to take a breath and go back to more common items that you'd never dream were worth money. Hands up if you remember Pogs?
If you weren't there at the time, Pogs were a brief fad which involved cardboard discs, which could be flipped and traded between friends who would play a game that involved hitting them with a larger disc. At one stage during the 1990s they were in every playground in the country. If you still own the full 'Marilyn Monroe' set, it's worth more than $1,000. If you collected the 'Jurassic Park' set and have the holographic versions of each of the dinosaurs, you can add several more zeroes to that. The set is worth more than $1m!
At least some of you must surely have one of these lurking around in storage somewhere? There was a time when every child pestered their parents for a Game Boy every Christmas until they got one. The hand-held consoles were a runaway success for Nintendo, and featured games starring all the Japanese manufacturer's most famous creations including Mario and Zelda. Then, technology progressed, and they became obsolete - until the vintage market woke them up once more!
Even a basic-standard old Game Boy in good condition might attract bids of up to $1,000 on eBay, although you'll have to include the packaging to get that kind of price. Nintendo's special edition - which was coated in diamonds and gold plated - probably isn't as likely to be hiding under the bed in your spare room. If it is, though, it's currently worth anything up to $25,000.
They may still make 'Power Rangers' TV shows and toys in the current day, but nothing will ever top the pop-culture phenomenon that the show was when it was first broadcast back in the 1990s. The adventures of Billy, Jason, Kimberley, Zack, Tommy, and Trinny captured the hearts of a generation of children, who persuaded their parents to buy them the full range of toys and products. They'll have been played with for a while, and then forgotten about and abandoned as all toys are in the end. If you had the toys - or you were one of the parents who was badgered into paying for them - you might be able to get your money back now.
The specific toy you're looking for is the Lost Galaxy Deluxe Gold Megazord, which is the rarest of all of them, and can command a price of $1,400 on its own. Full sets of the Power Rangers can still attract several hundred dollars, so it's worth finding out what yours might go for, too.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, you weren't eating your candy properly unless you were eating it from a PEZ dispenser. We were a little late in catching on to them in America, though - they'd been available (and popular) in their native Germany since 1927. The name comes from what they used to contain - peppermints - which are known as 'pfeffermintz' in their home country. Rather than being a novelty, the original idea behind the tubes is that they would protect your candy from oxygen and touch damage until you were ready to eat them.
They started to become collectible when dispensers began to be released with the heads of famous cartoon, television and movie characters on them. The most obscure of these characters are the most wanted to complete people's collections. At the top of the tree is 'Astronaut B,' from the 1982 World's Fair - that's worth $32,000 all on its own!
'Pokemon' was the ultimate late 90s/early 00s craze. It had cartoons, toys, and collectors' cards, and it seemed to be everywhere. Then, as all trends do, it disappeared overnight. Where 'Pokemon' differs from most trends is that it then found a way to come back, with the release of the 'Pokemon Go' augmented reality game for mobile devices a couple of years ago sending people walking into walls and head-on into oncoming traffic in a big to 'catch them all.'
With the re-entry of 'Pokemon' into the public consciousness, new life was breathed into the vintage trader's market. Suddenly, all of those trading cards from the 1990s were incredibly valuable once again. In some cases, we're talking six-figures valuable! The Japanese version of the 'Illustrator Pikachu' card (don't ask - if you've never seen the cartoon you'll never understand!) goes for over $100,000 on its own when one becomes available.
When the family is round for Christmas or Thanksgiving, or other shared events, do you ever get the old board games out for something to do to keep everyone entertained? If so, how long have those board games been there? Did they belong to your parents before you? Could they go back even further? The reason we ask is that even a basic game of 'Monopoly' might be worth well over one hundred thousand dollars, and we're not talking Monopoly money either. We're talking real cash!
The tell-tale sign that you may be playing a version of 'Monopoly' from the 1930s is that the board is oilcloth instead of cardboard. Well...that and the date on the box! If you are, then you've got one of inventor Charles Darrow's very first editions, and it's worth approximately $146,500. We hope you haven't lost any of the pieces over time!
Once again, we've been bitten in the backside by our habit of throwing away obsolete technology! When the DVD came along, we no longer needed our VHS players, and so they were thrown away. With them went all of our old VHS tapes, and potentially thousands of dollars in future resale values. Especially if you or your child were big Disney fans. Anything that's got the Disney logo on it is collectible, and little more so than a 'Black Diamond' edition of the classic 'Beauty and the Beast.'
The price of the original has been pushed up by the release of the 2017 live-action version of the film, and is now worth over $10,000 on eBay. We've even seen them on sale for more than that, suggesting that they may go on to become even more valuable in the future. Have a look through any old VHS tapes you still own, and see if you have hidden treasure.
You knew that vinyl was going to make an appearance somewhere on this list - we wouldn't have mentioned it at the start if it wasn't! The vinyl revival has been one of the most surprising trends in the music world of the past couple of decades, with vinyl becoming responsible for an increasingly large share of the physical record sales market. One of the most valuable individual records you might own comes from 'The Boss' himself, Bruce Springsteen.
'Spirit in the Night' was one of the very first single releases that Springsteen released after he signed with Columbia Records; i.e., before he really made it big. If you were onto Springsteen before anyone else, you could now make a nice profit from it. The original seven-inch version of the single is worth up to $5,000 if it's in good condition and still has its sleeve.
Back in the 1980s, there was a movie that everyone's forgotten called 'The Wizard.' The only people paying any attention to it were Nintendo, who used it as a theme to hold the first (and only) ever 'Nintendo World Games' series, which ran from coast to coast in America in 1990. Competitions were played out on all of Nintendo's most famous video games of the era, but to make the occasion special, the cartridges used to load the games were gold.
The winners of the tournament were allowed to keep some of the gold cartridges, which sounds like a fairly terrible prize until you find out that they're now worth an average of $21,000 each. All three winners of the tournament sold theirs long ago (and for less than they're now worth), but more are known to exist in private collections; probably the collections of people who helped to stage the tournaments. To hardcore gaming nerds, they're the holy grail.
No, we're not talking about a bad smell. Nobody's going to pay you for that! Before all the current video-game trends like 'Halo' and 'Assassin's Creed,' there was 'Super Mario' and 'Sonic.' Before them, there were 'Space Invaders' and 'Pac-Man.' Going back even further than that there was 'Pong,' the world's first-ever home video entertainment game.
'Pong' was a simple affair - a sort of tennis game where two players could bat a square ball from left to right across the television screen, scoring points when their opponent was unable to return a shot. It would be considered incredibly basic by modern standards, but at the time nobody had ever seen anything like it. If you (or more likely your parents or grandparents) still have a working copy of Pong somewhere in their homes, it's currently worth up to $5,000 at retail. It may go even higher as the years pass, and more people become curious about how video games started.
Why are old cookbooks suddenly valuable? Who knows. Maybe retro food is going to be the next big thing in dining. Maybe people are curious about what previous generations ate during an area where you couldn't send out for a takeaway. Maybe it's just those pesky hipsters again, demonstrating that they'll overpay dramatically for anything that's old and vastly inflate the market price by doing so. Whatever the cause, old cookbooks are definitely 'in.'
Chances are you may know someone who has a few of these around their home, because they're less likely to be the sort of book you'd throw out when you're doing some home clearing. After all, you'll always need food, so why not keep the recipes? Early works by celebrity authors and chefs are particularly popular, with an original edition of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child from 1961 being valued at anything up to $3,000.
We have no idea why so many old toys - especially the sort of old toys we'd throw around the room and take for granted - are now so valuable and so collectible. The pull of nostalgia has a lot to answer for. Who had a room full of Beanie Babies when they were younger? If you still have them now, they could be worth thousands of dollars, depending on which particular models you have.
Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant (a descriptive name if ever we heard one) is one of the most valuable, with a retail price of $5,000 but even more impressive than that are those Beanie Babies which came with celebrity endorsements. One based on legendary French chef Joel Robuchon could be worth double the memorably-titled elephant, for example. Even a humble old Victorian Teddy Bear is worth $2,000 at the bare minimum, so if you have a special box or room full of them hiding away somewhere, it's worth a re-assessment.
We've spoken about Beanie Babies and Barbies so far, which would stereotypically be seen as girls' toys, but don't worry gentlemen. The toys which you still have hidden away and told everyone else you threw out years ago have hidden values of their own. In fact, the most macho of all boys' toys - Mattel's popular 'He-Man' range - are some of the most valuable of all.
The action figures themselves aren't the most valuable aspect of the toy range; it's the playset which collectors are most interested in. For some reason, many people bought the figures but comparatively through bought the full-sized 'Eternia' playset which gave the figures an environment to play on. Perhaps it was overpriced when it was released, or maybe it just wasn't very good? Either way, it's rare now, and rare is valuable. To be precise, it's $10,000 worth of valuable.
Some of the people reading this list have zoned out ever since we mentioned that a single baseball poster was worth over than $60,000, because they've been waiting to find out what their baseball card collection is worth. After all, if a basic paper poster is worth so much money, a well-cultivated collection has to be worth more. That's logical - but it's also why it isn't always the case. Plenty of people collect baseball cards, and so the average value isn't that high.
The real value in a baseball card collection comes in rare individual cards; the sort that nobody picked up in the year they were issued, and have become harder to locate in all the years since. At the top of that list is a 1952 Mickey Mantle card, which a determined collector will pay over $400,000 for alone if you can supply it. Almost half a million dollars for a piece of cardboard. Madness.
How many times have we used the word 'vintage' so far? We don't have the answer for you; we haven't been counting ourselves. We just know it's a lot! The vintage market has probably never been busier or more lucrative than it is right now. Even old cutlery has a price to the right person. Cutlery - and especially knives and forks - have been made the same way for centuries. The name attached to that cutlery is important when it comes to value.
They didn't have to be especially valuable when they were bought, either. Brands like Tiffany and Georg Jensen are well known, but not so expensive to purchase that only the rich and famous would have bought them. If, within the family, you have a flat silverware set from 1927, you can expect to receive at least $17,500 for it and possibly more - that's the price a set attracted at auction back in 2011, and plenty of time has passed since then.
These are the kind of items which are frequently sold at charity auctions, or won at raffles. If you're very lucky, though, you can sometimes get a match-worn jersey or shirt from a player at the end of a game. All you need to do is get near the front row, and either have a child or be a child of the kind who might be able to smile at a player and persuade them to hand the garment over. After that, you need to keep it in the family for a very, very long time.
Not every jersey you collect will turn out to be enormously valuable, but if you find the right player in the right place at the right time, you could set yourself up for life by selling it. The best example of that is a 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers jersey worn by Jackie Robinson, which attracted more than $2m at a Heritage Auction in 2017.
Earlier on, we mentioned that anything associated with Disney is highly collectible. It would have been rude of us to finish this list without offering you further evidence of that fact. If you've ever been lucky enough to visit any of the official Disney resorts, you'll have been given a special pin to commemorate your visit. Those who work in the parks have entire lanyards covered in such pins, and guests are permitted to trade with them. As new pins are created all the time - and old ones are retired - some of them are now very rare.
Disney fans can be quite obsessive when it comes to completing collections, and so the rarest of the pins can attract huge prices on the market when they make an appearance. The most valuable one we've heard of is a 'Hidden Mickey' pin from 1971, which sold on eBay for just over $12,000.
No, that wasn't a typing mistake. A weather vane has honestly sold at auction for more than six million dollars, and therefore we think it makes perfect sense to have a look on the roof of your house and any other property you might own to find out if there's one there. They used to be a common fixture on many buildings, but over the years they slowly fell out of fashion, and now we no longer build the kind of structures which would have space for a weather vane on the top. They're a lost art - and they attract the sort of value you'd associate with art, too.
Victorian-era weathervanes are very popular on eBay and at auction houses, where they routinely sell for over a thousand dollars. The more intricate and ornate the better, and the better the vintage, the bigger the price. The six-million-dollar weathervane, though, was a Native American design, and went at a private auction.
This one's really surprising. Eminem was Dr. Dre's pet project, and was a huge deal from almost the very first second he emerged in Detroit. Millions of people bought his debut single, and even more bought he debut album. So how is it that there's a whole 'Slim Shady' EP that hardly anybody owns, and many people are willing to pay thousands of dollars for?
The answer lies in the fact that it came before the single, and was mostly intended to be a promotional tool more than it was a commercial release. It was available to order if you knew where to look for it, and many rap fans who bought anything Dre told them to buy will have picked it up. If you were one of them, we hope you've kept it - the Slim Shady EP is now worth $15,000 or more on the open market.
We feel, over the course of this list, we've probably taught you never to throw anything out. If we've created a whole generation of hoarders, we're truly sorry. As we've already started that process, there's one more thing we have to tell you to start keeping, and that's your tickets to sporting events. The beauty of sport is that when you enter a game, you have no idea what's about to happen. A once-in-a-lifetime sporting event might be about to occur, and you can tell the whole world you were there. For that reason, keep your ticket close to you.
Just like programs and shirts, collectors like to have tickets and ticket stubs from famous games. A ticket stub - not the full ticket, just the stub - from the 1979 Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Bullhawks NHL game recently sold at auction for $2,700. NHL isn't even all that popular a sport, comparatively! Imagine what a ticket to Lionel Messi's final-ever soccer game might be worth in the future?
To insure one’s house, one’s car or to underwrite a life insurance policy, that is common practice. But who would pay an insurance premium for his/her thumb, legs or smile? Stars, of course.
At the top of the ranking are the legs of Mariah Carey, worth 810 million USD: The diva became, in 2006, the Gillette brand muse for the advertising campaign «Legs of a Goddess». She then took out an insurance policy with London Lloyds to protect her legs, a decision that is far from being insignificant. Among its customers, the London insurer then included several icons of music, such as Bob Dylan or Rod Stewart.
David Beckham’s body insured for 195 million USD: European champion with Manchester United in 1999, David Beckham was in 2006 the most renowned footballer of the planet. In relation to his sporting activities, he took out an insurance cover for his legs. The huge amount paid for his insurance would reportedly exceed the 103 million USD disbursed by Real Madrid for the cover of Christiano Ronaldo in 2009. The fashion model would later extend his insurance cover to his entire body.
15 million USD in insurance for Kim Kardashian’s curves: The curves of Kim Kardashian are her number one beauty asset. The reality TV star, who is crazy about plastic surgery, has underwritten an insurance policy worth 15 million USD to protect her famous butt.
The culinary critic Egon Ronay assured his taste buds: The famous Hungarian culinary critic has insured his taste buds since 1957, for the amount of 400 000 USD. An original insurance policy which allows him to cover his sense of taste without which he will no longer be able to practice his job.