Knocking out a little early-summer cleaning can feel like a daunting task. You spend weekend hours examining your emotional attachments to various pieces of junk in your garage and convincing yourself you won’t miss it if you throw it away. Worst of all, no one pays you for any of it. But believe it or not, there might be a way to get some money out of the job…
Truth be told, there might be a goldmine hiding in your attic or lost beneath the clutter of your garage: items you once thought worthless might actually fetch some serious cash online. So see if you have any of these 20 items somewhere in your house—’cause these valuable vintage items could be worth a small fortune!
1. Vintage comics that inspired movies and TV shows: When Black Panther hit theaters in 2018, single issues of the 1970 comic, written by Jack Kirby (left) have fetched $50 each. In other words, keep an eye on the box office if you’ve got an old comic collection.
2. Sewing patterns: To learn to sew something nice, you’ve gotta start somewhere, and sewing patterns are a great place for that. Classic vintage patterns otherwise lost to time can fetch $50 easily.
3. 2005 Kansas quarter: When the letter “T” was damaged on a U.S. Mint coin press, the press pumped out a few 2005 Kansas state quarters that said “In God We Rust.” If you have a coin sporting one of those irregularities, it could be worth $100!
4. Collectible magazines: One copy of a 2016 issue of Vogue—featuring Kate Middleton on the cover—sold in England for £100 (about $134). Chucking out old magazines may be cathartic, but maybe scan through ’em first to see if any could bring in the moolah.
5. Costume jewelry: Digging through old jewelry boxes for something valuable can be akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. Bakelite plastic bangles or brooches might look like cheap plastic, but they can earn upwards of $130 online!
Thrift Hunter / YouTube
6. China sets: Before unleashing a bull on all your unwanted China, consider posting the collection on eBay. It might be worthless, but it could earn you a couple hundred dollars, too. Hey, it’s worth a shot!
7. Vintage Pyrex: Once upon a time, no family dinner was complete until Grandma busted out a casserole in a Pyrex container. Turns out, people love the vintage dish-ware so much that a humble Pyrex butter dish once sold on eBay for $225.
Westbound Home & Garden
8. Boy Scouts memorabilia: Whether it was because a Boy Scouts enthusiast wanted to complete their depleted badge collection or some dad wanted a Citizenship in the World badge for his kid that didn’t earn it, Boy Scouts badges have sold on eBay for $240.
9. Vintage He-Man, G.I. Joe, and Transformers toys: If you kept toys from popular 1980s franchises, you could be sitting pretty. He-Man and Skeletor figures could sell for $250 together, and some Transformers have sold for over $200.
10. Anything Polly Pocket: You could stick Polly in your pocket… or you could sell her online for a decent price. Some Polly Pockets have garnered bids of $300, and a collection of random Polly Pocket houses sold for $250.
*Randomfish / Flickr
11. Vintage lunchboxes: Those bright and colorful tin lunchboxes that advertised all your favorite TV shows or bands could do more than carry your PB & J. Some, like this Beatles box, could fetch upwards of $400!
12. Old typewriters: Some people just like the sound an old typewriter’s keys make. Other people, like actor Tom Hanks, just likes to collect them. Those willing to part with their vintage typewriters can earn around $500.
The Daily Beast via California Typewriter
13. Vintage advertising signs: Any aluminum sign could earn you enough cash to make a car payment or buy groceries for a month. Vintage Coke signs have fetched more than $600 and old beer signs can snag a few hundred, too.
14. Retro video games: While a lot of nostalgia-seeking gamers have figured out how to download any old game onto their computer, plenty of Super Nintendo lovers will pay upwards of $600 for rare games like Super Mario RPG or Chrono Trigger.
15. Sindy Dolls: Sindy never caught on in the United States, and the doll pretty much faded out altogether once Barbie’s manufacturers cried copyright infringement. Still, some dolls collected bids between $80 and $671 on eBay.
16. Grandma’s wedding dress: Some women just want a vintage wedding dress, especially one made anywhere between 1910 and 1950. Early 20th-century dresses have substantial resale value—up to $1,300. Do you have a parent’s or grandparent’s dress from around then?
Jeannine Marie Photography via People
17. David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs vinyl: At the last minute, record label RCA deemed the artwork for David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album too raunchy. The original cover—which depicted dog genitalia—never hit shelves, but copies survived and have sold for $3,550.
18. American Girl dolls: While the dolls debuted in 1986, they developed a following that persisted for decades—and by 2018, collectors could post their dolls to dedicated social media channels, like American Girl Instagram. You can sell ’em for as much as $4,200!
Yes She Can, Inc.
19. Pokémon cards: If you caught all 150 original Pokémon cards and your mom didn’t give them away to the neighbor kid next door, you might’ve struck gold if you held onto them. A mint-condition holographic Charizard recently sold for a whopping $11,999!
Jim Gehrz / Star Tribune
20. The original Kenner Star Wars figures: At first, no toy company made any toys for the first Star Wars movie because most thought it would flop. But after the film’s success? Kenner rushed to make action figures, and today, a 1978 Luke Skywalker can sell for $25,000.
No doubt, you could scrape together a decent payday if you had a few of these valuable vintage items lying around. Will you be rooting around in your garage later?
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