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20 Common Household Items You Never Knew Were Worth a Fortune

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By Alessia Barranca


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From vintage toys to old furniture, the seemingly ordinary objects found in attics and garages across the country can hold immense value. You may think that your clutter is not worth much, but we’ll take a look at 20 everyday items that may mean you are sitting on a small fortune:

First Edition Books

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First editions typically have smaller print runs compared to subsequent editions. This limited availability creates scarcity, driving up the price for collectors seeking the “first” edition of a favorite story. Look for early editions with “First Edition” or “First Printing” markings, good-quality dust jackets, and famous author signatures. While you may not make the $7 million from a first edition sale of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, your dusty books could be worth hundreds of dollars.

Retro Video Games

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Many early video games had smaller production runs compared to modern titles. Over time, these games become rarer, especially if copies get lost, damaged, or thrown away. The scarcer the game, the higher the price collectors will pay for uncommon or rare loose cartridges, which sell for between $50 – $100.

Vinyl Records

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The resurgence of vinyl has fueled the collector’s market. Records with limited production runs, especially early pressings of an album, become scarcer over time, and records created specifically for radio stations or promotional purposes are highly sought after. If you are lucky enough to own an original copy of The Beatles’ White Album, you could be sitting on tens of thousands of dollars.

Vintage Toys

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If you have kept hold of childhood action figures, dolls, or board games and they are well-preserved, they could be worth a lot of money. Collectors especially look for toys in their original packaging. Action figures from the 1960s to the 1990s, including Star Wars and He-Man, are particularly popular at the moment, as are vintage electronic toys.

Advertising Memorabilia

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Advertising memorabilia showcases how companies used to reach consumers. Vintage signs, posters, or jingles can glimpse past marketing techniques and cultural trends. Nostalgic collectors cannot get enough advertising trinkets with Coca-Cola memorabilia selling for thousands of dollars.

Vintage Furniture

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Mid-century modern furniture or antique pieces with unique craftsmanship can be worth a significant sum. Look for quality materials, distinctive designs, and recognizable brands like Ercol. If you need clarification on the value of your furniture, you can take it to a specialist to ensure you sell it for its true worth.

Costume Jewelry

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Contrary to its name, costume jewelry can hold surprising value for collectors. It’s not just about the materials; it’s about the artistry, design, and the story behind the piece. Jewelry from renowned designers or specific eras like Art Deco and ​​Coco Chanel can bring an exceptionally high price tag.

Comic Books

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Early issues from independent publishers or underground comic scenes can be valuable to collectors. A well-preserved copy with a high grade will be significantly more valuable than a worn or damaged copy, so check the quality of your comics before trying to sell them. Certain issues of sought-after comics fetch jaw-dropping prices, and first-edition action comics are in high demand.

Vintage Cameras

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There are some cameras that revolutionized photography or were used by famous photographers. These iconic models, like the Leica M3 or the Polaroid SX-70, hold a special place in photographic history and can be valuable even in partial working order.

Old Board Games

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Board games hold a special place in many people’s hearts. Like other collectibles, age plays a significant role. Board games from the early 20th century or even earlier, especially first editions, can be highly sought after.

Cast Iron Cookware

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Highly durable and known for even heat distribution, vintage cast iron cookware is a collector’s dream. Look through your cupboards for well-maintained pieces from reputable brands like Lodge or Griswold, which are likely to sell for up to $100.

Vintage Tools

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Vintage tools represent the ingenuity and techniques of toolmakers from bygone eras. They showcase how tools were designed and manufactured before modern technology. Antique tools, especially those with unique designs or made from high-quality materials, can be valuable to collectors and history buffs.

Hand-Crafted Items

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By definition, hand-crafted items are unique, as each piece is created by the artist using their creativity and style. This uniqueness is a significant draw for collectors who appreciate items that stand out from mass-produced goods. Hand-woven rugs and quilts with intricate stitching can hold significant value depending on the skill and artistry involved.

Movie Posters

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Original movie posters, particularly for classic films or those in excellent condition, can be a valuable collector’s item for cinephiles. Posters for smaller films, or those released decades ago, often had limited print runs, meaning they could be worth a small fortune.

Autographed Sports Memorabilia

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Autographs from legendary athletes who transcended their sport and became cultural icons hold the most value. Think Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and other iconic sports icons. Signed jerseys, baseball cards, or other sports memorabilia can be highly valuable if you can bear to part with them.

Vintage Clothing

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Certain styles and brands of vintage clothing, exceptionally well-preserved pieces from iconic designers or specific eras, can be valuable in the fashion world. Vintage clothing provides a unique selection of styles and avoids the environmental cost of producing new clothing, making vintage pieces valuable in today’s market.

Antique Glassware

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Antique glassware can be valuable; the older the glassware, the more valuable it can be. Pieces from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries are particularly sought after, with elegant crystal glasses and hand-blown art glass pieces selling in large amounts.

Old Tech Devices

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Early models of technology, especially those from the pioneering days of specific devices, hold historical significance, leading collectors to pay a lot of money for them. Early computers, typewriters, or even vintage calculators are seen as historical artifacts for collectors interested in all things to do with technology.

Rare Coins

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While not every coin is valuable, some rare or mint condition pieces can be worth significantly. Research your collection and consult a professional for accurate valuation before taking them to auction.


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Stamps commemorating major historical events, depicting significant figures, or issued during a specific era can be desirable to collectors interested in the historical context. The rarer the stamp and the better its condition, the higher the demand and potential value. Think first-edition stamps with limited print runs, printing errors, or unique variations.