“When will you get rid of all that junk?” This is a phrase that many of us have heard from our partners or parents at one time or another. As the holiday approaches, you may feel under pressure to de-clutter your home to make room for guests and new purchases. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and some of the old collectibles you have lying around may be worth a pretty penny to the right buyer. With the Internet, it is now easier to reach collectors and niche buyers from all over the world and make your collectibles count. Here are some collectibles that may fetch you a fair sum.
Baseball or Pokémon trading cards can be valuable depending on their rarity and condition. According to this sports card price guide, some collectors have card portfolios that are worth over a million dollars! If you are looking for a quick sale, consider putting them up on an online trading platform where you can reach a large audience and set your base reserve. Alternatively, you can contact a local collectibles dealer who may offer you a higher price but takes longer to find a buyer. Before you list anything though, make sure that you check the value of every card individually, as some cards may be worth a lot more than others.
Comic books that are first editions, limited editions, or signed by the artist or author can be worth a lot of money, especially if they feature the first appearance of a popular character. To be valuable, your comic must be in near-mint or mint condition. A rare comic book in excellent condition can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Do your research and find out what similar comics are selling for on online trading sites. If you believe that your comic is in great condition, consider having it graded by a professional comic book grading service to have your comic book properly sealed and labeled with its quality grade.
Vintage vinyl records in good condition can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars to a discerning collector. Make sure you keep the original packaging when you store the record as it adds to the value of the record. Many vintage record shops will buy records outright while others will let you consign your records for a percentage of the sale profits. Note that certain records may only be valuable to the right collector; for instance, an unknown underground jazz album from the 1940s may only be interesting to a dedicated jazz fan. Hence, you may want to list your record independently to gauge interest first.
Most of us still keep the toys that we loved as children. Vintage toys such as action figures, toy cars, or dolls can bring in significant amounts of money if they are in good condition and retain their original box and tags. However, not all toys are valuable and some will only appeal to a specific collector niche. The Star Wars fandom is an example of a collector group that is still going strong. In 2015, a vintage Boba Fett figure fetched $27,000 in an online auction. Other types of collectible toys include model trains, Hot Wheels, G.I. Joe action figures, and Barbie dolls. That said, you never know when a toy line may come back into fashion—just look at the Furby!
World War II and the Vietnam War are considered important events in American history and collectors love to acquire items that were used by military personnel during that era. If you have a medal passed down from a distant uncle that has been stored away in the attic, it may be time to clean it up and put it up for sale. If they are well-preserved, historical military items such as helmets, uniforms, medals, flags, knives, and even ammunition can fetch significant sums of money. Note, however, that certain items such as military ordnance—even if they are demilitarized or unserviceable—may be prohibited from civilian trading.
Were your parents in a band before they got married and settled down? If so, that old Fender Stratocaster that is collecting dust in the basement may have value as a collector’s item. Certain instruments can increase in value over time. In fact, Kurt Cobain’s acoustic 1959 Martin D18E sold for $6 million at auction! Of course, the instrument you have may not have been played by a famous musician, but it could still be worth something. Condition and rarity are key factors in determining an instrument’s value. If you have an instrument that was produced in a small run or is no longer in production, it could be worth quite a bit.
Collectibles are worth money in the eyes of the right collectors. If you have items that you love, chances are there are others who feel the same way. And these people may be willing to pay top dollar to take them off your hands. The key to selling collectibles is to make sure they are in excellent condition with all relevant documentation attached. So, before you toss your cherished collection to the curb, why not do a little research and find out what it is worth? You may be pleasantly surprised.