14 Surprisingly Valuable Collectibles You Probably Already Own

MAKE MONEY - SIDE HUSTLES
Cash in on these common collectibles you may already own.
Updated May 6, 2024
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If you’re dusting off your bike in the garage this spring, you’re likely to stumble over cobwebs and coffee cans of mystery bits. There was some good reason to set it aside, right?

If you’ve got a mint-condition Beatles album, it deserves pride of place in a home — not to rot away in a basement closet. And if you’re not playing or displaying this masterpiece, it’s time to cash in and boost your bank account.

Many pop culture collectibles are worth a small fortune. Here’s a look at the 14 most valuable types of collectibles.

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Comic books

Kristina/Adobe girl reading book

According to Heritage Auctions (HA), the comics market is exploding. In 2021, the site sold a golden-age Batman comic book for a cool $2.2 million.

While you might not have comics from the 1938-1955 era, other books can be worth plenty — especially anything pre-1980. Books from that period with original artwork are highly desirable.

Action figures

Aisyaqilumar/Adobe teenage mutant ninja turtle

Old toys have sentiment. As the audience these toys were built for ages, the toys’ monetary value grows.

Action figure toys do very well, in particular those tied to beloved movies like Star Wars. Hake’s Auctions sold a 1979 Star Wars Boba Fett rocket-firing figure for $236,000 in 2022.

Barbies

Maria/Adobe Vintage Barbie doll

Barbies are a collector’s dream. The original 1959 doll is especially sought-after. A well-preserved (used) 1959 Barbie, with the box and the stand, is going for just under $16,000 on eBay.

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Baseball cards

motionshooter/Adobe baseball cards

According to ‌experts, many player cards are worth a small fortune. According to WorthPoint, there are thousands of cards worth more than $10,000 today.

You likely don’t have a Mickey Mantle, which is a hot commodity, but you may have a 1993 Derek Jeter card, which could fetch upwards of $600,000.

Pokémon cards

wachiwit/Adobe pokemon trading card game

Pokémon cards have been around since 1996, and many have already achieved vintage collector status.

Scarcity and condition are the main factors driving value. Rare Pikachu holographic “illustrator” cards can sell for $375,000 to $6 million.

Old technology

dannyburn/Adobe atari flashback console

Yesterday’s cutting-edge technology holds tremendous value for today’s collectors.

A floppy disk signed by Steve Jobs sold at auction for $84,115. Jobs’ signature helped, but even unsigned goods are valuable. eBay has listings for vintage computers priced at $20,000+, with some coveted goods listed at $100K+.

Furniture

Heidi Patricola/Adobe chrome and vinyl diner barstools

Old furniture is popular on the collector’s market. For example, a 1956 Eames chair on Chairish is selling for $38,540.

Keep in mind old does not automatically mean valuable. Several factors come into play, including manufacturer, style, hardware, and construction. High-value furniture is sturdily built with tight joints and solid veneers.

Sports memorabilia

W.Scott McGill/Adobe authentic signed Babe Ruth baseball

It’s not just baseball cards; there’s a wide market for a range of athletic paraphernalia — especially goods tied to superstar athletes.

Michael Jordan’s signed college jersey sold for $1.38 million. And it’s not just autographed goods that are making the money. Used, unsigned Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jerseys go for several hundred dollars on eBay.

Barware

Kristians Berents/Wirestock/Adobe glassware

Period TV shows like Downton Abbey, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Mad Men have renewed interest in collecting vintage drinkware.

Valuable items include sterling silver shakers, colored glassware, and decanters.

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Vintage clocks

Photocreo Bednarek/Adobe interlocking gear

While we may love our smartwatches, there’s still a sizable market of analog clock lovers.

Collectors clamor toward popular manufacturers like Ansonia, Seth Thomas, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Chelsea Clock Company, Howard Miller, and Gilbert Clock Company.

Posters

BOOCYS/Adobe vintage music concert posters

Stop heckling your spouse for buying posters at music festivals.

Posters for movies, concerts, and events can be extremely valuable. An original Wizard of Oz movie poster went for $108,000 -— a staggering sum, yet chump change compared to the $525,800 a 1931 Dracula poster commanded in a 2017 auction.

Video games

Pedro/Adobe super nintendo with control

Don’t yard-sale your old games into oblivion. Old games and gaming consoles can be worth a small fortune.

A Donkey Kong 3 cartridge sold for a reported $28,800 in 2019. While Donkey Kong is a beloved brand, games don’t have to be popular or even “good” to be valuable; it’s more about age and rarity.

Handbags

STUDIO GRAND WEB/Adobe leather hand bags

The market for luxury handbags, brand-new or vintage, is strong. As such, there are many ways to check the value of your handbag, including auction and consignment sites like Heritage Auctions and The RealReal.

Couture brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès do especially well, but there’s also a large market for name brands like Coach and Kate Spade.

Qualities or features that impact value include condition, materials, rarity, and trim.

Coins

Tomasz Zajda/Adobe collectible coins

Double-check your coin jar. A few super-rare pieces buried in the stash could help you bring in extra cash.

The world’s most valuable coin, a gold Double Eagle minted in 1933, sold for $18.9 million at a Sotheby’s auction.

And most of us probably have a Kennedy half-dollar. According to Greysheet, Kennedy half dollars are worth $1.05 to $24,000, depending on the year minted and the coin’s silver content. But that range could be low. In 2019, a 1964 coin sold for $156,000.

Bottom line

zinkevych/Adobe joyful woman holding a box

You could have a small fortune hiding in your parents’ garage or sitting in the hutch and staring you in the face every morning at breakfast.

Before you discard old collectibles or make them live out their days in musty boxes, figure out what they’re worth and consider selling them to make extra money. A local appraiser can help, or turn to specialty sites to jumpstart your research.

Even if you don’t sell, you should properly store the goods and consider insuring them.

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Author Details

Stacy Garrels Stacy enjoys writing about fintech, consumer deals, the side hustle economy, and random tomfoolery. She's personally tried more than 100 different gigs, including being an Uber driver for one afternoon.

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