Before deciding on what to throw out or what to give to your favorite charity, do some research to find out if it’s worth anything. One could potentially be throwing away hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Keep an eye out, especially for things like dated pieces of costume jewelry, a dingy-looking painting, or an out-of-style vintage table or dresser.
This is true whether you’re moving to a new home or business.
If it’s worth something, do some more research to decide whether to sell it on eBay, take it to a collector or put it up for sale at your local resale shop and see what happens. Either way, it is best to know what you have first and have it appraised before making any final decisions that could wind up with you rummaging through the dump in the end!
Many people give away things they decide are ugly or outdated. They do not realize how much money they could get for the item at an auction or on consignment. In deciding what to save before moving, decluttering, reorganizing, or downsizing, check out these six items that people mistakenly toss out or donate:
- Vintage Furniture
(some vintage furniture can be worth a bundle at auction, especially quality designs from the 1950s or 1960s that are not simply reproductions)
- Costume Jewelry
(most are not worth very much; however, some pieces, like those made by Trifari, can be worth more than gold or diamonds)
- Old Looking Art
(Check the painting for marks or signatures, and check the back for sales receipts or exhibition stamps)
- Old Toys
(Vintage toys should especially be kept in a safe place. Even toys from the 80s and 90s can be worth something today)
- Black & White Photographs
(Antique, as well as vintage black and white photographs, can be of high value. Scarcity, condition, and the identity of the photographer all affect the worth of the photo)
- Military Items
(some military patches, ribbons, uniforms, and weapons, are in high demand and may sell for a high price)
Another hot spot to check for valuables is in the garage. Rather than painstakingly going through each item when faced with a cluttered, overstuffed garage, we feel tempted to throw it away in the dumpster, haul it to a land far, far away, and be done with it forever. However, if we take it a pace slower, it just might be worth the time you spend.
Take a look at some of the following potentially valuable items that sometimes wind up buried in cluttered garages and how to decide which items deserve a much closer look.
(People will pay top dollar for vintage magazines that have icons such as Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe on the cover. Even old magazines with nothing special on the cover could still have value to some collectors. There is even a market for print Coca-Cola ads typically found in magazines from the 1950s and 1960s! Also, newer covers that depict historical events can also have value to collectors)
- Unwanted Heirlooms
(It is worth taking a closer look at that vase you received as a gift as it might have been thought to be tacky or that lamp that seemed too old-fashioned for your house; some of these items might be rare or valuable)
- Cash or Assets
- Treasure chest
(stuffed inside empty coffee cans or cookie tins or hidden away in the back of old filing cabinets)
- VHS Tapes
- Video Games
- Comic Books
- Kids’ Toys
- Vintage toys
- Old Remote Control Cars
- Vintage Board Games and Card Sets
What old things are worth money? What items are valuable to sell? What are the most collectible items? What are collectible items? What collectibles are hot right now?
What are the most sought-after antiques? A few more to add to the list of what should I save before moving or reorganizing…
- Old cameras
- Rare coins or notes
- Old China
- Vintage bakeware
- Old VCRs
- Cassette tapes
- Original Tupperware
Types of Valuable Antiques to Look For
Here are a few items that did not even make it on the radar of things thought to be worth something. Surprising items that may have been handed down as ‘grandma’s old stuff” no one wanted. Take a look before making any last decisions.
- Cast Iron Doorstops
Doorstops have a functional purpose. A cast iron doorstop in an interesting or unique shape, could be worth a fortune. They can be worth anywhere from $50 to over $1,000.
- Depression Glass
Typically, collecting certain glass can be affordable. However, Depression glass can be amazingly valuable if the colored glassware is in excellent condition and in desirable patterns like Cameo or American Sweetheart. Keep an eye out for unusual pieces or shapes that may be worth a premium.
- Hunting Decoys
Those wooden ducks sitting in antique shops are old hunting decoys, that were once used to help attract game for sport. The hard use of these decoys in the outdoors, makes it hard to find them in good condition. Those that are made by famous decoy artists like Elmer Crowell and Joseph Lincoln, may be worth a great deal of money.
- Novelty Barware
Many barware sets do have value but it is usually in the range of $20 to $100, depending on the materials and style. Although, novelty barware items may be worth more. For example, corkscrews with women’s legs, cocktail shakers in the shape of penguins, fish-shaped bottle openers, and other unique items may be worth checking into.
- Old Tools and Toolboxes
Antique hand tools in your garage may have some serious worth to them. Such as tools in good shape with patina but no real damage and brands like Stanley can be especially hot with collectors. Toolboxes are also valuable with old wooden models.
- Old Cameras and Lenses
For many years, digital photography has outstripped film cameras in terms of popularity, and many old film cameras have languished on shelves in storage units and attics. However, a resurgence in interest in film photography has pushed values up again. Certain antique cameras and lenses are worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Lenses made of brass are often worth a lot of money.
Remember, it is best to know what you have first and have it appraised before making any final decisions. Happy hunting!